Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for the UCD Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise


What’s the typical profile and age of students?

Typically the course attracts participants who have experience working in a broad range of industries, often as owner/entrepreneurs. The majority of participants are educated to degree level or higher. The age profile of participants ranges from mid 20s to 70s, with most participants aged between 30-50. All participants share in common a desire to move to the next stage of their careers by exploring how they can innovate and design new business opportunities.

Do I need a business idea to do this course?

No. If you have an idea, that’s great. If not, that good too.

Is this course only for entrepreneurs?

No. This course is relevant to both those who want to launch a new venture as an entrepreneur and to those who want to bring new value to their new role as “intrapreneurs”, thinking entrepreneurially within an established organisation.

I am unemployed. How will this help me?

Off all Springboard students who were first enrolled between September 2013 and May 2014,
32% were unemployed for a year or less
46% for between 1 and 5 years
and 9% were long term unemployed.
74% of graduates from these programmes have gone on to gain or create employment (according to the most recent outcome survey of students (first enrolled in July 2012 to May 2013) conducted in September 2013.

What costs does Springboard cover?

Springboard covers 100% of the fees of this course. (Typically, a course of this nature at The Innovation Academy would cost €4,000.)

Can I maintain my existing welfare payments if I do this course?

Yes, if you take up a Springboard course, you can keep your existing social welfare payment if you continue to fulfil the conditions for the payment. You do not have to pay any course fees or charges while you are unemployed. Read detail >

What happens if I get a job while on the course?

Employers are often eager that new hires finish this course, and you may be able to negotiate to be able to finish the course and take the qualification while also working. The 2 day per week structure of the course should facilitate this.

If you take up a job while on a course, Springboard will also fund the fees for the full academic year. (If your course extends into another academic year(s) the amount of fees payable will be a matter for your college to decide. If you are getting a jobseeker’s payment and participating on a part-time Springboard course you will continue to get your jobseeker’s payment under the Part-Time Education Option (PTEO). If you are on a full-time Springboard course you will transfer to a Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) – you must meet the qualifying criteria for BTEA). Read detail >

Is it evening or online learning?

No. This is a 9.30am – 1.30pm programme of active learning in which you will participate in workshops, industry engagement, and invited speakers.

How many days/hours per week?

January Programme – 2 mornings per week, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, 18 weeks.
March Programme – 3 mornings per week, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, 15 weeks.

Where are the classes in held?

The course is held at the Shackleton Lounge in the new O’Brien Science Centre in Belfield, UCD.

Will my travel expenses be paid?

No. The costs of the course are covered by the Higher Education Authority’s Springboard programme, for applicants who meet the criteria, but travel costs are not covered. See criteria here >

How much is the course?

The costs of the course are covered by the Higher Education Authority’s Springboard programme, for applicants who meet the criteria. See criteria here >

What resources are available to participants on this course?

The Innovation Academy’s workshops are equipped with computers, iPads, lego mindstorms, 3D printers and other prototyping and presentational tools. The staff will make these available during the course.

Who teaches the course?

The staff giving this course are a mix of practitioners and academics, ranging from tech entrepreneurs to agricultural pioneers. See staff profiles here >

When’s the next course after this one?

Details of upcoming courses are available on the Springboard site, where you can pick one to apply for. See upcoming courses >

Is this a Masters or a Diploma?

No. If you successfully complete the course you will be awarded with a Postgraduate Certificate from University College Dublin.

What is a transcript?

University College Dublin requires academic transcripts that certify each applicants’ academic record. You will need a copy of your academic record of university grades and courses. These documents are available from your previous place of study. We caution applicants that it may take several days, and perhaps even several weeks, to get these documents from their previous university or educational establishment. If you obtained your qualification outside of Ireland and are unsure at what level it translates to in the National Qualifications Framework, this website can assist you.

Can I miss any days of the course and still get the certification?

The course has been designed to give participants and intensive and immersive experience over 36 days that prepares them to transform their careers, to innovate, and to develop novel ventures. It is important that all participants carefully consider whether they have the required time to commit themselves to the course. Each day of participation is important. In exceptional cases allowance will be made for doctors’ appointments, emergencies, job offers etc.

Having read through this FAQ have we missed anything? Email us to Let us know what questions you have >

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Watch former students speak about their experience on Springboard funded courses at The Innovation Academy

David NevinSpringboard FAQ