Higher Diploma in Advanced Languages and Global Communication

University College Cork (HDALGC)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma

NFQ Level

8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Classroom - Daytime



ECTS Credits



School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University College Cork

Skills Area

Marketing, Languages and Communication

General Information

Janet Milner




021 4902563


School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures,
Room 1.22,
O’Rahilly Building,
University College Cork.


Programme Administrator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


About this Course

The Higher Diploma in Advanced Languages and Global Communication is aimed at people hoping to return to the job market with modern language and intercultural communication skills along with competencies relating to managing global relationships, ICT, translation and localisation skills.

The programme offers advanced specialism in one language (from Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian and French) and 10 credits of an additional foreign language from an expanded range including Chinese, Korean and Japanese. It will equip students with the necessary language competence, as well as intercultural skills, to be able to do business with markets of particular strategic interest to Ireland, both in Europe and beyond. By the end of the course, students in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and French will have reached a minimum of CEFR level B1.

Past graduates of this programme have secured roles in organisations such as Glanbia, VoxPro, Samco, Dooleys Car Hire and Concern. 67% of the 2015/2016 cohort on this programme secured employment within six months of completing the programme, with another 28% in further study.

"The course has helped me a great deal. It provided much needed career support and gave me an entry route into employment."
(Graduate who secured full-time permanent employment after graduation)


On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
* Evaluate a broad range of primary and secondary sources related to contemporary languages practice in the widest context;
* Use advanced language skills in an appropriate professional setting;
* Write short critical essays to a professional standard;
* Deploy relevant transferable skills (including communication skills, presentation skills);
* Demonstrate familiarity with a range of topics and academic approaches in the areas of intercultural and global communication;
* Interact and communicate with other students in an inter-disciplinary setting.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this programme are expected to hold a level 8 degree or equivalent qualification (incl. relevant professional qualifications). Individual language level requirements will apply for students wishing to choose German, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. Candidates may be required to complete a brief language proficiency test when being placed beyond beginner's level.

Long Description

The course comprises of the following:
- Advanced Language Skills in either French, German, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese (20 credits)
- Additional 10 credits in a second language chosen from Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese (10 credits)
- Translation and Professional Communication Skills (5 credits)
- ICT and Localisation Skills (5 credits)
- Negotiating Knowledges in the Networked Society (10 credits)

Teaching is conducted in small group classes and seminars allowing maximum student input and interaction which are crucial to advancing the students' learning across the four language skills at both a receptive and productive level, namely speaking and writing, and reading and listening. Assessment of learning is done through various modalities, including continuous assessment through student presentations and written assessments, as well as end-of-semester written and oral examinations and term papers in the form of essays and reports.

Students will also complete a 12-16 week work placement (10 credits) which will offer them the opportunity to practically apply their learning in a live work environment. Past students have completed placements in organisations such as Samco, Glanbia, Amazon, UCC Language Centre, Kingsley Hotel and Corcadorca working in the areas of marketing, sales, customer service, administration and event management.

Why Choose This Course

The Higher Diploma in Advanced Languages and Global Communication is anchored in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, UCC ranked in the top 100 institutions worldwide. It offers a vastly experienced teaching team, cutting edge technology and superior facilities in which to build your language skills and enhance your employability.

Students are encouraged to attend the many cultural events scheduled throughout the year and there are also opportunities for progression. Students graduating from the Higher Diploma can apply for a range of MA courses in languages including Translation Studies, Applied Linguistics or Languages and Cultures should they wish to continue their studies.

We have already had success with Springboard courses over the past few years, here’s what some of our previous graduates have said about their experiences:

“Since graduating, I got a job at Voxpro in Mahon working at Google Technical Support. I chose the Springboard course because I thought it would be a chance to give my CV the extra edge it needed in this economy. Personally, I don't think I would have gotten the job if had not been for the course because it showed commitment and versatility.”

“I have just completed a Springboard course in UCC called Certificate in Languages for the Global Marketplace. We had 8 hours of intensive Italian each week as well as modules in Marketing and Intercultural Communications. By the end of the course we achieved a high standard of Italian, had a good understanding in modern marketing methods and a greater awareness of cultural diversity. We also got invaluable advice on updating our CVs and in interview techniques. We were helped and encouraged all the way by the teaching and administrative staff who were interested, committed and thorough. I wish there was a 2nd year!”

Career Opportunities

Employers and graduates report on the importance of language competence in securing employment and in career development. The Cork region has an expanding GSS sector, with EMC, Apple and McAfee, for example, locating such services here. Munster-based companies like Kerry Foods are expanding globally, particularly in Brazil and Mexico. Since the 1990s, collaboration between the School of Languages in UCC and the IDA has succeeded in bringing call centres to the region by highlighting the availability of a core local workforce with the necessary language skills. People with experience in financial services will benefit from improved language skills, as vacancies and opportunities for promotion exist at national level that require these combined competencies. Provision of teaching in Portuguese and Spanish will facilitate the expansion of Irish companies into expanding global markets: this, in turn, will generate further demand for competence in these languages. Competence in German is highly sought after by employers and Germany remains the most important trade partner of Ireland along with the UK. French remains in high demand from our industry partners, a point recently highlighted by two important stakeholders, VMWare and VoxPro.

This programme will provide a dedicated UCC EMPLOYABILITY AND WORK PLACEMENT COACH will work with students on this programme and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with the development of their job readiness and their transition into employment. The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the 3 categories of eligible applicants for the 2017 Springboard+ call: those unemployed; those previously self-employed; and homemakers. Main activities will include:

1. ONE TO ONE CAREER COACHING to formulate Individual CAREER ACTION PLANS leading to employment: Individual career coaching will be provided for each participant to reflect on:
* Where they are now in their careers;
* Where they want to be;
* Strategies for gaining employment on completion of their springboard course.
These individual coaching sessions will be customised to the needs of the student within the three categories of Springboard+ 2017 applicants.

2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to compliment individual coaching sessions will be built into the programme as outlined below:
* Positioning oneself for job readiness (4 workshops): Setting realistic career objectives; Understanding strengths and skills; Learning from successful role models; Developing a career management strategy.
* Moving forward into a job (4 workshops): Taking action by developing career goals and implementing them;
* Creative job-hunting both on-line and off-line; Written applications, CVs and interview preparation and Implementing career plans.
* Small Group Workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, develop the people skills and the insights needed to transition to the world of work.

3. Participants will be given the opportunity to MEET EMPLOYERS by
* Attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students;
*Attending employer-led events on building workplace competencies. Springboard 2016 students attended talks delivered by Voxpro, Biomarin, Cork Local Enterprise Office, among others.
*Meet with employers for informational interviews.

This course also includes an accredited 12-24 week work placement (10 credits). The students' Employability and Work Placement Coach will help candidates in securing suitable work experience to fulfil their personal objectives. The Coach will customise their support in this regard to meet the needs of the individual student and take cognisance of their individual requirements in terms of their previous experiences, length of time out of the workplace etc. Work placement opportunities will be sourced by the Work Placement Coach and will be offered to students on a competitive basis. Workplace preparation workshops will also be offered to all students prior to going on work placement.

Timetable Info

Timetables will depend on language specialism chosen and will be provided upon registration.

Delivery Location

This programme is delivered on UCC's main campus.

Delivery Notes

Classroom teaching delivered during business hours (9-5pm) with online elements.

This programme includes a work placement.

Admissions Contact Details

Lorna Moloney


Adult Continuing Education, Western Road, University College Cork.


021 4904700



RPL Information

RPL may be used by Springboard participants applying to this course to gain:*Admission to the programme where an applicant many not otherwise reach the standard educational qualification entry requirements.*Exemptions from some part of the programme.The RPL process for UCC Springboard students shall focus on the prior achievement of relevant learning outcomes by the student. Exemptions shall normally be given on a module-by-module basis, vis-Ã -vis the student having already achieved the learning outcomes. Exemptions will not normally be approved for more than 10 ECTS of the programme.

Application Procedures

Apply online at www.springboardcourses.ie. Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Candidates must present precise information in their application about prior knowledge of / qualifications in the languages they want to study, as well as providing a clear indication (even if provisional) about which languages they want to take from the following available languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. Candidates MUST specify which language they elect as a major language (20 credits) and which one is chosen as a minor language (10 credits).

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Please ensure that you have the following documentation available at the time of application:

* Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational or language qualifications

* Current CV including prior knowledge of languages

* References where applicable

* Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers.

Candidates may be required to complete a brief language proficiency test.

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University College Cork