Create A Sustainable Future

UCD Graduate Diploma
in Design Thinking for
Sustainability

The world of work is changing faster than ever before. Climate Change is increasingly driving this rapid transformation across all sectors. No matter where you see your future, employers of all sizes and in all sectors want agile employees who are creative, collaborative and innovative who can combine these attributes with a ‘Sustainability Mindset’. This NEW UCD graduate programme has been developed in collaboration with industry, and it enables you to develop the skills and knowledge to lead change, embed sustainability and make a real impact.


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for graduates, professionals and returners, from all backgrounds, who want to enter (or return) to the workforce or change careers and transition into a career in the area of sustainability.

Participants should hold an undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent) or equivalent professional qualification. Consideration will be given on a case by case basis to applicants who do not hold a primary degree but who can demonstrate extensive professional experience.

What will I learn?

You will gain a broad overview of the challenges of sustainability – including key levers and barriers to change.  You will explore and examine current and emerging responses across enterprise and society from business as well as scientific, technical, policy and ethical perspectives. You will develop a more systems-thinking, integrative approach, understanding problems and developing solutions from a multiplicity of perspectives and appreciating the potential (and challenges) of multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral approaches.

Participants on this 9 month full-time programme will take the following modules.

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship: Application and Mindset
  • Innovation Sprint
  • Sustainability: Global
    Challenges, Interdisciplinary Solutions
  • Leadership Development
  • Design Thinking in Action: Applied Design Thinking Project
  • Design Thinking for Life

How will I learn?

UCD Innovation Academy  places a strong emphasis on ‘learning by doing for the real-world.’ This programme wills take a workshop-style approach where students work collaboratively through a series of challenges, followed by reflection and discussion on what was learned.

Participants on this programme will learn through a combination of:

  • Active/task-based learning
  • Peer and group work
  • Reflective learning
  • Enquiry & problem-based learning
  • Student presentations
  • Case Study Learning
  • Guest speakers / panel discussions from organisations working in this field
  • Field visits

In the final module students will work as part of a team on a capstone project, applying the Design Thinking process to a real-world problem set by an external partner company working in a sustainability related industry.


How can I benefit from this course?

Participants will gain a Level 9 (NFQ) qualification from University College Dublin, the Sunday Times University of the Year 2019 ranked in the top 1% of Universities globally. 

We envisage that graduates of this course will have an advantage in the emerging green economy and you will be equipped to progress into roles that involve sustainability, corporate responsibility, and more, in a variety of sectors. Or, you may decide to launch your own venture!

Whether you have a technical or non-technical background – a foundation in real-world innovation is highly valued  and opens up key opportunities in sustainability across all sectors.


Who teaches this programme?

This programme will be delivered by UCD Innovation Academy Faculty and by a panel of experts from academia and Industry. The UCD Innovation Academy Team includes academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners… and Pepper…our Robot in Residence! Learn more about our team HERE.


How much does this course cost?

This UCD Accredited Graduate Diploma Programme is costed at €6,300. Partially and fully-funded places may become available subject to external funding commitments.

Where is UCD Innovation Academy?


David NevinUCD Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability