UCD Professional Certificate / Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education
(Part-time courses starting in Oct 2021 & Dec 2021)

Globally, governments are finding themselves challenged to provide relevant education for their citizens which keeps pace with the rapidly changing world and takes into account our near ubiquitous access to information and educational content via the internet. The 21st century has seen fundamental shifts in our understanding of the neuroscience of learning and key structural shifts in the nature of our economy, society and world into which our students will enter. If we are to fully realise our human capacity for creativity, innovation and learning we need to support our educators in enhancing their teaching practice and in the development of their own creative and entrepreneurial mindsets, so that they are best positioned to develop such mindsets in their students for the betterment of economy and society

This course is for all educators.

All backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience are welcome – the more diverse, the better. Teachers, Lecturers, Program Managers, Education Technologists, Teaching & Learning professionals and in-fact anyone involved in the design and delivery of learning experiences are welcome to apply.

Educators with a passion for teaching and learning

We are seeking those academics and teachers with a deep commitment to teaching and learning and who want to drive this forward. Those educators who seek out any opportunity to enhance their practice for the benefit of their students.

Ready to move up in their academic career

Individuals who may have been in their post for a while now and are eager to progress their academic careers and gain promotion within their institution or school or to move out and up.

Educators who feel 'stuck' and are seeking inspiration

Many educators who have been in their role for a long period of time in the same institution or school may have lost their passion for teaching. No matter how far into your career, this course aims to reignite that passion and confidence.

New to their post and seeking support

Those educators who may have moved to a new role in a new institution, school or organisation and are seeking to gain a supportive professional network whilst developing new skills and approaches. They may have recently moved to Ireland.

What you will learn.

On completion, you should be able to

  • Understand the relevance and importance of creative thinking and how it can be applied in a variety of disciplines to generate solutions;
  • Use problem solving tools and techniques and understand the process for initiating and using creative techniques within project structures;
  • Understand general pedagogical principles within the context of creative thinking and innovation;
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of established methods and techniques for triggering creative thinking;
  • Design and deliver their own style of educational experience for generating creative thinking in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Participants will also have further developed their engagement with creative and innovative processes from an alternative angle, whilst constantly developing their networks and building on their interpersonal and presentation skills.

Full module description 

On completion, participants should

  • Have the ability to use and critically analyse various creative leadership styles, practices and skills;
  • Be able to lead design-thinking projects, collaboration, teamwork and iterative learning in a leadership context;
  • Have developed the skills to self-evaluate and critically reflect on one’s own leadership style and contribution towards achieving a common goal in an ambiguous or unpredictable environment;
  • Have developed the skills to lead successfully in relation to challenges arising inside or outside of established organisations, such as change management, stakeholder relations, resource constraints.

Full module description 

Upon completion of this module participants should be able to:

  • Develop a broad knowledge and interpretation of entrepreneurial activity and an understanding of its role in the context of their teaching and student learning;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of general pedagogical principles as they relate to entrepreneurial activity;
  • Develop understanding of established methods and techniques for triggering entrepreneurial thinking;
  • Identify key learning from the experience of group dynamics and motivation;
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and deliver their own style of educational experience for generating entrepreneurial thinking in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Further develop their engagement with entrepreneurial processes from an alternative angle, whilst constantly developing their networks and building on their interpersonal and presentation skills.

Full module description 

On completion, you should be able to

  • Have applied their prior learning to develop and implement a project in a professional environment;
  • Understand the barriers and obstacles involved in developing and implementing innovative practices and solutions in a real-world context;
  • Be able to use problem solving tools and techniques and understand the process for initiating and using creative techniques within project structures;
  • Have the ability to reflect on both the process and outcome of the applied project and reflect on failures, improvements and opportunities;
  • Have further expanded their personal networks, in conjunction with the invaluable professional experience of working on a focused independent project.

Indicative Module Content:

  • Participants will identify an action-learning project based on the needs or opportunities within their school, college, institution, community or contest.
  • Participants will supported by monthly 1:1 mentoring and peer group work sessions.
  • At the end of the project phase, participants will share their project and lessons learnt with their class and an audience of their peers.

Full module description 

What you will gain

The Course Experience

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Meet Your Facilitators

Alan Morgan


Alan is an Entrepreneurial Specialist & facilitator at the UCD Innovation Academy and Programme Director for the Professional Certificate/Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education. Alan is an enthusiastic & emotional academic with 8 years teaching, learning and academic management experience. Prior to joining the Innovation Academy, Alan was Course Director for Marketing at Kaplan Dublin Business School, the largest private college in Ireland, where he taught consumer behaviour, led a faculty of over 30 marketing lecturers and a huge cohort of students at both undergraduate and Postgraduate level. Previous to Alan’s career pivot into academia, he worked in the international retail business sector for over 20 years’ where he held senior buying roles across a number of sectors, including Giftware, DIY Hardware, pharmaceutical distribution and pharmacy retailing. Alan is passionate about education and eager to work on developing a new way of learning through the concept of Entrepreneurial Pedagogical Methods. He shares the belief that everyone requires an entrepreneurial mindset to overcome the challenges we all face and to capitalise on the opportunities to succeed in work and life both today and into the future. This entrepreneurial mindset is one that combines the ability to identify and create ideas of value with the ability to learn through intentional iteration and the ability to engage others through empathy, teamwork and effective communication skills. Alan holds an MBA from Liverpool John Moores University, 3rd level Teaching and Learning Diploma’s from TUD & UCD and is currently studying and researching for a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) at The University of Wales Trinity Saint David.


Jacinta Owens


Jacinta Owens is an educator, writer and filmmaker. She has been facilitating creative workshops with diverse groups of people for many years and joined the Innovation Academy as a Facilitation Specialist in early 2018. Jacinta’s focus is on helping people discover, uncover and recover their creative potential through practical techniques and tools.


Eina McHugh


Eina McHugh is an entrepreneurial specialist, consultant in creativity, Irish Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her senior leadership experience has been gained over twenty-five years of work, both nationally and internationally, across the public, private and charitable sectors. 


How will I learn?

Practical Online Learning 

The UCD Professional Certicate and Diploma in Creativity and Innovation for Educators
runs from 9.30am – 4.30pm each day with live online classes typically in morning with
self-directed learning and group activities in the afternoon. There will be a number of
days during the programme (approximately 3) where we will be working together for the
full day. In response to COVID-19, this course is currently being facilitated fully online.

The course takes a practical, action-based approach to online learning. Each iteration of the course is left purposely flexible to adapt to the experience and needs of any given cohort. This provides the space for participants to ‘co-create’ the course. Additionally, as the course progresses, participants themselves are facilitated to lead aspects of the course in class.


Diploma Project 

The aim of the Diploma Project (Professional Practice Module) is to enable participants to apply and build on lessons learnt from the Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education to a real-world project over the course of a trimester / semester / term to further develop their creativity, leadership and entrepreneurial mindset as well as developing their overall professional practice as an Entrepreneurial Educator. Participants will be supported through three one-to-one mentoring meetings with their project supervisor.


click the image to Download the course welcome information pack

Transforming careers for educators across disciplines

Dr. Conor Buggy

Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Studies at UCD

“…a fantastic experience that reinvigorated my teaching practice. The programme pushed my teaching well beyond its comfort zone and prompted me to think very differently about my approaches to teaching”

Peter Lydon

Head of Geography, Wesley College Dublin and Founder, Gifted & Talented Network Ireland.

“When you have done this course, you will never look at your classroom in the same way.”

Ann O'Reilly

Assistant Principal at St. Raphaela’s Secondary School, Dublin

“Everyone in my school can see the benefits of my having done the course. Even if you feel you’re coming to the end of your career it’s a great course to do and an opportunity be re-inspired. A course like this coupled with the wisdom that comes from years of teaching means that you can continue to engage with the changing nature of education in an energetic and meaningful way."

International contributors to this programme

We invite key influencers in education in Ireland and internationally to give their thoughts on innovation in education through intimate discussions and larger events.

Programme Quality Oversight

Prof. Sir Mark Welland


Professor Sir Mark Welland is the Master of St Catharine’s College, and Head of Electrical Engineering at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He was Chief Scientific Advisor in the UK Ministry of Defence from 2008-2012, where he directed the science and technology programme and chaired the Investment Approvals Board. 


How to apply for a place

UCD Academic Criteria

All applicants must hold a minimum of an honours degree (Level 8) in any discipline – OR – in the absence of a degree applicants who have 5 years or more of relevant employment history can apply under UCD’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy.


UCD English Language Criteria

If English is not you first language, you must meet the English Language Requirements for UCD. Click here for the list


UCD Academic and Teaching Staff:

  • Letter of Motivation OR have their Head of School nominate them via email.

TU Dublin Academic and Teaching Staff: 

  • Letter of Motivation OR have their Head of School nominate them via email.

All other Applicants: 

  • CV
  • Letter of Motivation (1 page) 
  • Academic transcripts (or your student ID if you are a graduate of UCD)

UCD Academic and Teaching Staff:

For 2020/21 UCD University Performance Related Fund is supporting UCD Innovation Academy to offer full bursaries to cover fee costs to UCD Academic and Teaching Staff. Please note that the number of fully funded places available is limited.

TU Dublin Academic and Teaching Staff:

Full bursaries to cover fee costs offered to successful applicants from TU Dublin Academic and Teaching Staff. Please note that the number of fully funded places available is limited.

All other Applicants:

The fee for the UCD Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education is €1,000 (EU Citizens) / €2,000 (Non-EU Citizens). 

The fee for the UCD Professional Diploma for in Creativity & Innovation for Education is an additional €1,000 (EU Citizens) / €2,000 (Non-EU Citizens)

Contact our admissions team

Mary Saunders | Karina King | Jojo McDonnell


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