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

30 ECTS Level 9

Jointly awarded Level 9 (NFQ) qualification by Technological University of Dublin and University College Dublin.

100% Online

Learn by doing through live online workshops and tutorials from the comfort of home with easy to use virtual education and collaboration platforms. Take six 5 ECTS modules, each delivered over a two-week period to gain a Professional Diploma.

Skills that Work

Boost your employability. Develop and practice widely sought after skills in Innovation, Creativity, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Intercultural Collaboration. Leave with a a toolkit and action plan for your career now and in the future.

Funded Places

Fully and partially funded places are available to those candidates who meet the Higher Education Authority Springboard+ criteria. See below for further information.

Your route to in-demand skills and qualifications with Ireland’s largest Universities

The rapid changes shaping our world are having a significant impact on whole sectors of our economy. Even before the Covid-19 crisis, The World Economic Forum stated that by 2022, the core skills required to perform most roles would change by 42%. It has called for a re-skilling revolution. The current crisis has intensified this call to action. Individuals and organisations need to adapt and re-skill to succeed. Central to this is the development of transversal skills.

“Today’s worker can expect to have 5 careers and 20 different jobs… 68% of professionals feel that their skills will be obsolete in 5 years… Adaptability will be the most desirable skill in ten years…future proofing skills is critical”

Julie Spillane (Accenture), Future Jobs Summit

Co-designed with


Each module has been co-designed and informed by collaborators from across industries and sectors. This is to ensure that the course maintains agility and meets the  up to date needs of employers from a diversity of sectors across Ireland. 

What are

Transversal skills are also known as ‘soft skills,’ ‘transferable skills’ or ‘power skills.’ These include innovation, creativity, entrepreneurial agility, analytical skills, business acumen, teamwork and communication skills. They translate across professions and are not confined to a specific industry, job or company. With these skills, you are better-positioned to make a career change, gain a promotion or to help your organisation identify innovative ways to thrive. Transversal skills are in high demand from employers across sectors and industries globally.

“Soft skills, transversal skills (e.g. communication skills, organisational skills, self-motivation) ….. are critical for work in all sectors, and opportunities to develop and enhance these skills are vital.”

– Future Jobs Ireland Report 2019​

What is a ?

By participating in this course you will gain a Professional Diploma which is a level 9 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework jointly accredited by Technological University of Dublin and University College Dublin. Participation in this course will mean that you are registered as both a TU Dublin student and as a UCD Student for the duration of your studies.

What makes this course ?

Joint qualification

This professional diploma is jointly awarded by the two largest Universities in Ireland, Technological University of Dublin and University College Dublin giving participants a truly unique qualification that will set them apart.

Learn by doing

This course takes a practical, ‘hands-on’ approach to learning facilitated through highly interactive ‘live online’ workshops combined with individual and team challenges and projects.

Profile your strengths

The programme incorporates Strengths Profile, the world-class strengths assessment developed by Cappfinity. Cappfinity is the world leader in strengths-based assessment and development, providing award-winning solutions for organisations across the globe.

"The course has been fantastic. It's given me real clarity on my own work and wonderful resources to move forward with. The content is exciting and inspirational provided by experienced and supportive tutors. I would highly recommend this course."
- Deirdre Casey, Course Participant, September 2020
"Such an enriching hands-on programme, a wonderful and truly life-changing experience. The module topics are interesting and 'real life' challenges are taken on that offer you the unique opportunity fully submerge yourself in the learning experience. This programme has improved not only my skills but my creativity and confidence as well."
- Ruxandra Fanning, Participant, September 2020
"Having to apply methods and processes to come up with real solutions and presenting back to our hosts brings our learning to life and makes it a very fun, memorable and interesting way to learn new skills. ....the course is cleverly designed to keep up energy levels and to ensure this experience is very inclusive and collaborative."
- Susan Maxwel, Participant September 2020

is this course for?

Impacted by Covid19

Individuals in sectors that have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic (e.g. hospitality, tourism, entertainment) who want to upskill for a new direction to enhance their employability or who want to learn to innovate for a redefined industry.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Individuals who are currently or recently self employed who want to develop their innovation and digital skills to enhance their venture and to develop new revenue streams.

Professionals who want to up-skill

Professionals working in industry who may want to upgrade their skill set to enhance their career trajectory and support their organisation to thrive.

How can this course my career?

According to the National Skills Strategy 2025, core transversal skills are becoming ever more important to an individual’s successful and sustainable employment. They also enable people to move between jobs and careers, to participate in lifelong education and training. The importance of transversal skills is well recognised by employers across sectors and employer representative bodies such as Ibec and ISME have highlighted the need for these skills.

Transversal skills identified by enterprise, include creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, critical & analytical thinking, team work, communication, and business acumen. These are skills that employers need and need now. By harnessing these skills you will increase your flexibility and the speed at which you can adapt and / or accelerate your career trajectory. Given how much our world has changed in such a short period of time, this flexibility is fundamental. 

The modular structure of this programme means that you can gain immediate value by learning a specific new skill in a short period of time and then applying it quickly to bring value to your workplace, startup or as you seek new opportunities. This flexibility enables you to start with the content area that matters most to you now then build upon that towards a qualification as desired. 

This course will equip candidates with the right mindset and skillset to thrive in global workplaces and address global challenges.


What will I

This programme comprises six modules; three facilitated by TU Dublin and three by UCD. These modules are complementary to each other and combine to give you a joint TU Dublin – UCD Professional Diploma in Transversal Skills (Level 9 NFQ). Participants will start with Creative Thinking and Innovation OR Digital Entrepreneurship before proceeding to complete the other modules. Please click the links below for a description of each module.

Creative Thinking

Where do opportunities come from?

Digital Entrepreneurship

How do we exploit opportunities?

Design Thinking

How can I solve problems that arise?

Digital Marketing

How do I get solutions to the user?

Design Your Life

How can I apply this to my development?

Global Citizenship in the Workplace

How to navigate the modern diverse workplace?

Modules in the programme may be taken on a stand-alone basis if you wish to up-skill or develop your knowledge in a particular area but priority will be given to those students who are applying for the full course of 6 modules. On completion you will receive a transcript to add to your professional portfolio.

will I learn?

Live Online

Interactive workshops facilitated by TU Dublin and UCD Innovation Academy academic staff and entrepreneurial specialists​

Action Learning

Action learning through individual and team based challenges​

Real-world Projects

Team-based projects, including innovation projects for external ‘client’ organisations

Strength Profiling

Engage in individual strength profiling exercises designed and facilitated by our core enterprise partner Cappfinity


Participate in small tutorial sessions with course faculty and entrepreneurial specialists as well as peer-to-peer tutorial sessions

leads this course?

This course is developed and led by a multidisciplinary team of Educator Practitioners with extensive real-world experience as academics, business and social entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, creative professionals and design thinking practitioners. We take an action-oriented approach to learning, with a combination of individual, group and class tasks and activities, including discussions, presentations and reflection. All of our teaching is grounded in academic rigour, but our focus is on ‘learning by doing’ in a real-world context.

Maurice Knightly

Maurice Knightly

Entrepreneurial Specialist, UCD Innovation Academy

Clare Mulvany

Clare Mulvany

Occasional Lecturer, UCD Innovation Academy, and Creative Consultant.

Dr. Deirdre Ryan

Dr. Deirdre Ryan

Lecturer in Transversal Skills, TU Dublin, City Campus

Norah Cussen

Norah Cussen

Lecturer in Transversal Skills, TU Dublin, City Campus

How will I be

Participants will be assessed on a combination of presentations, team projects and individual reflections. Reflective practices including self-evaluation will be required along with seeking and providing peer feedback. Feedback will be provided such that students can improve on subsequent assessments (i.e. feedforward feedback). Each of the individual modules (and the course overall) is designed to be progressive in nature, to allow students to carry forward insights and lessons learned. A pass/fail grade will be used for each of the modules and Professional Diploma overall.

A course designed for flexibility

Each module runs for two weeks. The first week consists of live online classes in the morning beginning at 9.30am and individual or group assignments in the afternoon running to 4.30pm. During the second week of each module students will reflect, study, work on deliverables and participate in tutorials. Outside of the prescribed live online workshops and tutorials, the module is flexible, ensuring that you have the time to balance the course with your other commitments. 

As the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions.

There is a scheduled break for Christmas after the second module. 

The course will be completed on the 12th March 2021.

What are the

All applicants must hold a minimum of an honours degree (Level 8) in any discipline – OR – 5+ years relevant employment history, in the absence of a degree.

This course is funded under the Government of Ireland’s July Stimulus Provision. 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.

There are particular eligibility criteria to be able to avail of a fully funded place ( for jobseekers (including Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment), returners, formerly self-employed) or a 90% funded place (for the employed (including Covid-19 Wage Subsidy)) under the July Stimulus. Guidance on the criteria to be eligible for these fee subsidies can be found in the dropdown items below and a comprehensive official list of the criteria can be found at www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility.

As part of HEA requirements, we must ensure that course places are allocated on the basis of priority for the unemployed / formerly self-employed and returner categories ahead of the employed. Thus places will not be offered to any eligible applicant in employment unless places are available the week prior to the course starting.

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. 

Please note that for those participants who are on a Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), you will be able to retain this payment during your studies if you are successful in receiving a place on this course. 

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. Here is a template declaration. 

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 of €330 which equates to 10% of the actual total fee cost of the course. 

How do I

To apply for a place on this course please  register your interest by clicking the link in the button below. Following this you will receive a link to the UCD online applications page with information regarding the steps to take. There you will be required to register an account on the UCD system, then complete a short application form and to upload the following documents listed below. ***The deadline for receipt of applications in full is 1pm Monday 16th November 2020*** (Please note that this is at the discretion of TU Dublin and UCD and is subject to change.)

An up-to-date CV

Please outline your employment history including the location and dates employed for each employer.

Letter of Motivation (1 page)

Please outline your experience, why you want to do this course and why now?

Academic Transcript

Please provide either a scanned copy of your academic transcripts (these are the list of subjects and grades) or a photo / image of your parchment.

Employment status

As per the section above, please provide evidence of your current employment status.


Please upload a copy of the picture page of your passport.

Please note that in order to gain a TU Dublin – UCD Professional Diploma in Transversal Skills you must register for and complete all six modules. 

If English is not your first language an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our courses. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country. Click HERE for full English Language Requirements for UCD and HERE for those from TU Dublin.

to learn more?

Mary Saunders

Mary Saunders


Karina King

Karina King


Josephine McDonnell

Josephine McDonnell

josephine.mcdonnell @ucd.ie

David Nevin

David Nevin