UCD Innovation Academy Undergraduate Electives

The world of work is changing faster than ever before. This change has been accelerated further by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Now, more than ever matter, employers of all sizes and in all sectors need agile graduates who are creative, collaborative and innovative. Our modules bring together hundreds of students from across UCD to build these skills by tackling real-world challenges in partnership with leading graduate employers.  Modules are open to all eligible UCD Undergraduate students.

“I improved my communication skills, my presenting skills, teamwork, problem-solving and much more. I feel that I have gained fundamental skills that will benefit me for my entire life.”

2019/20 Participant

Live interactive online modules

Learn how to develop new ideas.

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Learn how to think like an entrepreneur.

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Develop new ideas to change society.

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Learn to solve problems creatively.

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Develop a plan and toolkit for important life decisions.

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The Course Experience

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Meet Your Facilitators

Maurice Knightly


He is currently a director of several companies ranging from food and catering to new media. From 1992 to 2009 he was deputy managing director of the O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars franchise, responsible for operations, training, marketing and purchasing. He worked to grow the chain to 282 outlets in 10 countries and developed the brand’s initial presence in each new market.


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.


Kathleen Lonergan


Kathleen, an Entrepreneurial Specialist, is constantly curious. It is a quality that has taken her around the world learning from, working with, and supporting entrepreneurs. She has worked as a journalist, in international operations and corporate communications, and in research communications and marketing. As an independent business owner and consultant to other businesses, she is constantly discovering ways to nurture creativity and deliver fresh ideas. 


Alan Morgan


Alan Morgan has lectured in a number of Irish business colleges before planting his routes at Dublin Business School. His last role as Course Director for Marketing at DBS formed an integral part of the academic leadership of the College, working in an integrated and cohesive way with Head of Academic Programmes, Registrar, Head of Faculty and School Operations and others. Prior to moving into academia, Alan has accumulated over 20 years’ entrepreneurial & intrapreneurship experience across the services and distribution industry. He has held senior manager and ‘head of’ roles in the Pharmaceutical, DIY, Toy and Homewares retail sector.


How will I learn?

While each module explores a different aspect of innovation, all of our modules focus on learning by doing through workshop style classes delivered through a combination of ‘live online’ workshops, individual & team activities, tasks and project work. Students will focus on practical application of theory.

All of our modules are pass/fail and GPA Neutral meaning that you can really enjoy participating in class without the pressure of an end of trimester exam or essay. 


How will I be assessed?

  • Attendance: 40%
  • Team Presentation (In Class): 20%
  • Continuous Assessment: 20%
  • End of Module Reflection: 20%

When do these modules take place?

All modules will be delivered online over five days. Classes will run from 9.30am – 4.30pm each day. Each day will be a combination of ‘live online’ workshops in the morning until 1.30pm approx. Individual & team activities, tasks and project work will take place in the afternoon. We appreciate that online learning can be intensive and you will not be online for the entire day. This work will take place remotely using a combination of Blackboard and Zoom. There are two intakes in Trimester 1 and  in Trimester 2. The dates and modules running are listed below.

Intake 1: 14th – 18th September 2020

IA20010: Creativity and Innovation

IA20020: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

IA20090: Design Your Purposeful Life


Intake 2: 7th -13th January 2021

IA20010: Creativity and Innovation

IA20020: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

IA20060: Entrepreneurship for Social Good

IA20080: Design Thinking for Innovation 

IA20090: Design Your Purposeful Life

Intake 1: 8th – 12th March 2021

IA20010: Creativity and Innovation

IA20020: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

IA20060: Entrepreneurship for Social Good

IA20080: Design Thinking for Innovation 

IA20090: Design Your Purposeful Life


Intake 2: 15h -20th March 2021 (excluding 17th March)

IA20010: Creativity and Innovation

IA20020: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

IA20090: Design Your Purposeful Life

Feedback from Students and Graduate Employers

Shane Mohan

Partner, Government and Public Services Leader at Deloitte

“An entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and an innovative approach are key attributes employers look for from graduates…They are attributes that we look for ourselves when hiring.”

Meg Brennan

UCD BioEngineering & BioMedical Engineering Student and Winner of the Accenture Young Leaders of Tomorrow Award 2019.

"The Innovation Academy has definitely given me a platform to develop my entrepreneurial skills. The caring nature of the facilitators really comes through in the modules they teach and they are always willing to advise if there is a product or service you want to develop. The powerful network that they have access to can really get you talking to the correct people to help bring your idea forward."

Cian O'Ceallaigh

Corporate & Enterprise Account Executive, Qualtrix

“As a science student I sometimes felt like I would struggle to apply what I was learning to the world of work when I graduated. The Innovation Academy gave me the opportunity to take the critical skills of my degree and apply them to real world scenarios."

How to apply for a place

The window for registering for electives in Trimester 2 opens on the 5th of  January 2021 for 1st Years and on the 11th of January for all other students. 

You will be notified by your course programme office when this window is open. In the meantime you can register your interest to take part in an online information session.

We expect there to be a strong demand for these electives and places are limited. Places in our Trimester 1 modules were oversubscribed.

  1. Login to SisWeb
  2. Click MyRegistrations
  3. Select the option to register for an elective module. (Please check that registration has opened for your course first. You will have received an email from your School Programme Office).
  4. On the next screen type in Innovation Academy in the Subject Search box.
  5. Select the module you would like and the schedule offering option
    • Trimester 2: Intake 1 (Mar 8-12) is Reading Week
    • Trimester 2: Intake 2 (15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th March)
  6. Please note that because the electives run from 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, the module will display a little strange in your SisWeb schedule. This is ok and will not clash with your other modules. 
  7. If you have ANY issues registering to an Innovation Academy elective module please contact your individual school programme office to check that you are eligible to register for a general elective module at this time AND THEN contact innovation.academy@ucd.ie and mark your email ‘For the attention of Deirbhle Carroll’ in the subject line. 

Contact our Marketing and Admissions Team

Deirbhle Carroll or Mary Saunders


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