Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020.

Looking to upskill your innovation, creativity, and leadership?

Pressing world challenges demand individuals creatively lead innovation. This fully immersive online learning experience upskills today’s leaders. It empowers them with the mindsets, skills, and tools necessary to seize opportunities and drive creative innovation in the workplace. These key competencies are in high demand from employers across all sectors.

Critical world challenges including Covid-19, Brexit, Climate Change, rapid technological change, and shifting global complexity have punctuated the urgency and necessity of equipping professionals with these essential skills

The World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report 2018”, asserts that human skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation retain or increase their value. 1,500 CEO’s interviewed in face-to-face meetings for IBM’s fourth Global CEO Study, “Capitalising on Complexity”, cited creativity as the most important leadership quality. 

“Participating in this course was perhaps the single most rewarding thing I’ve done in my professional career. This course gave me the confidence to grasp new opportunities and believe I can succeed.”

Graduate 2018/19

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for individuals who are working in SMEs or large corporates in any sector who want to build their capacity for innovation and creativity to develop and drive new initiatives within their organisation. It is also designed for individuals who may have been adversely affected by the recent Covid-19 crisis and are now seeking new opportunities within an SME or large corporate organisation. 

This course is free for eligible jobseekers, returners, carers, those in receipt of Covid PUP and those who are formerly self-employed and 90% subsidised (you pay 10%) for eligible individuals in employment via the Higher Education Authority Springboard+ initiative. Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. See full eligibility criteria here.

(Note: Enrolment on an Innovation Academy module means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at all scheduled classes. Please note that auditing Innovation Academy modules is not possible.)

“Towards the end of the Diploma, I was interviewing for new roles. I had the confidence to be more open and honest about what I could bring to the organisation, and what I expected from my employer in return. This was quite transformational for me.”

2018/19 Graduate who was appointed to a CEO role shortly following completion of the programme

Meet some of our Graduates.

How can it benefit me?

“I work in an area where artificial intelligence is becoming a major positive factor in my role but is removing traditional work practices that I would have completed each day. I have found new ways of working since this course, I am more confident in taking risks, asking out of the box questions, and really pushing the boundaries of traditional ways of thinking.”

– Course Graduate working as Director of Revenue Strategy in a 5* Hotel

“One of the key benefits of the course for me included [a] strong focus on creating a community of practice with student peers. I continue to access this network regularly”

Healthcare Innovation Manager

What will I learn?

On completion, you should be able to
– Generate innovative ideas and know how to approach their subsequent selection for further development.
– Understand the structures and theoretical tools that enable efficient team work, in order to convert ideas into value.
– Confidently recognise, cultivate and apply creative and entrepreneurial thinking in their own discipline and appreciate its value in other arena.
– Understand the fundamentals of innovation and ‘intrepreneurship’

Full module description 

On completion, you should be able to
– Reflect on personal strengths, weaknesses, mindsets and values
– Apply design thinking to drive a culture of innovation
– Strengthen capacity for self-awareness, reflection and resilience.
– Unlock creative, innovative leadership in self and in others
– Create the conditions for innovation to flourish in an organisation
– Lead collaboration and iterative learning in an unpredictable environment
– Deploy skills for influencing, negotiating and problem solving
– Utilise methods for strengthening emotional intelligence

Full module description 

On completion, you should be able to
– Apply what you have learned in class to a real world innovation project for an organisation
– Understand the barriers and obstacles involved in developing and implementing innovative practices and solutions in a real-world context
– Demonstrate the use of problem-solving tools and techniques
– Understand the process for initiating and using creative techniques within project structures
– Apply reflective practices to understand what works well and less well throughout the project
– Expand your professional network by delivering this piece of work
– Enhance your CV by delivering a project of value to an organisation

Full module description 

How will I learn?

The first two modules are delivered completely in five-day blocks, delivered a month apart. Classes run from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day and as the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions. Mornings will be live online sessions and the afternoons will be a mixture of self-directed learning, reflective learning and group or individual work.

Module 3 runs over three to four months and there are no classes during this module. It is a combination of external project work along with three mentoring sessions. This module culminates in the Action Learning Project presentations at the end of the module.

Throughout the roughly 5 month duration of the program, there will be additional hours of student effort comprising of self directed learning, reflective learning and group and individual work. 

How will I be assessed? 

Continuous Assessment: Participation in Online and Offline Challenges and Exercises
Attendance: This module requires active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at ALL scheduled classes. (80% attendance is required to pass this component)
Assignment: Reflection Report

Presentation: Pitching your action learning project
Attendance: This module requires active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at ALL scheduled classes. (80% attendance is required to pass this component)
Assignment: Reflection Report

Project: Project Report and Presentation
Assignment: Reflection Report

When will it run?

What are the Eligibility 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.

As part of Springboard requirements, we must ensure that Springboard places are allocated on the basis of priority for the unemployed/formerly self-employed and returner categories ahead of the employed.

Please CLICK HERE to assess your eligibility to apply for a place under the HEA Springboard+ / HCI Pillar 1 initiatives.

Springboard+ Requirement

Be in receipt of a payment from the Department of Social Protection (see complete list here) – OR – Be signing for social insurance contribution credits – OR – Be previously self-employed;Be actively seeking employment;Provide proof of welfare payment status. Examples of what you can provide include: a payment receipt (with the payment amount redacted); a copy of the completed PTEO form or any in date correspondence from the DSP. You may also log into www.mywelfare.ie and download details of their claim for verification purposes.
Be a Returner (Homemaker/Carer) for a minimum period of 12 months prior to your application;Ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding your entry to the programme;You must swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status. A form to complete this process is available here.
Provide a letter/statement from Revenue stating that you are no longer trading or a similar letter from your (former) accountant should be sufficient – OR – Swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths stating that you are no longer self-employed.
Employed applicants must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme and will be required to demonstrate this;Employed applicants must be an EU/EEA/Swiss state National or have a Stamp 4 Visa and will be required to demonstrate this;Note: Employed applicants will be required to pay a fee which equates to 10% of the actual total fee cost of the course.

Documentation Required to Apply

NOTE: Not all documentation is required for all Springboard Statuses

*Click here for full English Language Requirements for UCD.

If you don’t have all the required documentation to hand, we would encourage you to begin your application and upload documents at a later point before the deadline.

What are the Course Fees?

The course is free for eligible jobseekers (including those in receipt of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment) who are in receipt of eligible DEASP payment, returners, carers and the formerly self-employed. See full eligibility criteria here.

The course is 90% subsidised (you pay €260) for eligible individuals in employment, self-employment and those who are formerly self-employed via the Springboard+ Initiative. See eligibility criteria here.

Non-Springboard+: €2,600 (EU Citizens) / €5,200 (Non-EU Citizens)

What do I do next?

Please click this link below to take you to an online registration form. Complete this form and we will send you further information about the course. Please note that by completing this form you are simply expressing an interest in the course and that this is not a formal application.


For more information contact Mary Saunders at mary.saunders@ucd.ie

David NevinUCD Professional Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership