Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability
Level 9 About NFQ
UCD Innovation Academy
Mary SaundersEmail Phone
+353 (0)1 716 2065
UCD Innovation Academy | O'Brien Centre for Science | UCD | Belfield | Dublin 4
Marketing and Recruitment Administrator
"An open & collaborative environment in which to learn, reflect, grow, test new ideas and to push oneself towards your best abilities." - 2020/21 Course Graduate
LEARN IN DEMAND GREEN SKILLS!
Green talent is rising and already demand for green skills is outstripping supply. By 2030, up to 20 million jobs could be created worldwide in sustainable employment.
The shift to a greener economy will not only generate new jobs but also change the scope of existing jobs. Green talent with the necessary sustainability and design skills to aid our transition to a more sustainable future is in demand.
Employers need people who are agile and innovative, and who understand these sustainability challenges. Through this course you will understand key concepts such as the circular economy, decarbonisation, and just transition. You’ll learn an iterative approach to product and service design and how to embrace your creativity and entrepreneurial side to lead change, embed sustainability, and address complex challenges. Everything you’ve learned will be put into practice with a project to look at a real-world sustainability challenge.
This UCD graduate conversion programme has been developed in collaboration with industry. It enables you to develop a skill set, toolkit, and mindset to design innovative solutions in addressing sustainability; feel empowered to drive change; and make a real impact.
• Green talent rising: green talent increased from 9.6% in 2015 to 13.3% in 2021 - a cumulative growth rate of 38.5%.
• Talent outpacing supply: globally, job postings requiring green skills grew at roughly 8% annually since 2015, the share of green talent grew at roughly 6% annually in the same period.
LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report Feb 2022
WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?
This course uses an immersive, hands-on approach to learning about creativity, design thinking, innovation, and sustainability. You will work on real-world challenges, supported by leading experts and practitioners from academia and enterprise to develop your skills, knowledge, and mindset in order to drive change for sustainability.
Sustainability is a rapidly growing field across all sectors of society. The knowledge and skills that learners will develop on this course will be applicable to organisations across sectors and industries from startups and SMEs, to large corporates, government and semi-state bodies and social enterprise.
“I see sustainability in the same space as IT 30 years ago – a rapidly emerging field that will become fundamental to business... as with IT, future graduates will need to understand the fundamentals of sustainability.” - Sustainability Manager, Wholesale Sector
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
This postgraduate conversion course is designed for recent graduates as well as early and
mid-career professionals who want to start or transition into a career in the area of sustainability. It is open to participants with both technical and non-technical backgrounds. The class is likely to include a diverse range of participants, coming from science and engineering as well as business, the humanities and more - bringing a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to the complex challenges of sustainability.
Students who have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability will:
1. Gain an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the design thinking and related system thinking processes for creating innovative user-centric solutions to complex real-world problems across a wide variety of domains and sectors, in particular as applied to the challenges of sustainability.
2. Develop a sustainability mindset - Gain a broad perspective of the wider context around sustainability (from environmental, business and societal perspectives) including key trends and underlying issues, an appreciation of synergies and conflicting approaches across sectors, an understanding of the systemic nature of the challenges and need for systemic solutions.
3. Develop their ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary team to apply a user-centred design approach to develop and test a viable, sustainable solution for a client organisation.
4. Develop their supporting career, communication, creative, entrepreneurial, leadership, learning agility and teamwork skills.
5. Create a diverse network of peers from across multiple backgrounds and disciplines and meet with leading practitioners across Ireland and the world.
6. Gain an awareness of relevant and possible career pathways and the skills and tools required to effectively navigate a way ahead.
1. Applicants must satisfy the HEA's requirements to be eligible for funding under the Springboard+ Initiative. See www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility
2. Applicants must satisfy UCD's requirements for entry to this postgraduate, level 9 course. This means applicants should demonstrate that they hold an undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent) or equivalent professional qualification.
Under UCD's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, 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. Typically, such applicants would have five years or more experience where their role includes managing teams, leading projects, programmes or business units.
If you are applying under RPL, please review your CV to ensure that it clearly demonstrates the following-
a. Any experience of leadership and self-direction
b. Any experience of management or entrepreneurship
c. A description of employee, budget and client responsibilities
RPL applicants should also upload two recently dated professional/employment references. These should be on headed paper or from an official email address and including the referees name, role and email address.
WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM THIS COURSE?
We envisage that graduates of this course will have a strong advantage in the emerging green economy and be equipped to progress into a wide variety of sustainability roles across enterprise, social enterprise and government. As a graduate conversion course, this course will enable you to augment previous qualifications and experience and reposition your career for the rapidly emerging green economy.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of how creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative approaches can be used to address complex 'wicked challenges'. Working in multidisciplinary teams, on real-world challenges, you will take an iterative approach to developing new products, services and business models. You will learn how to gain deep insights into user and stakeholder needs, to use high-tech and low tech rapid prototyping, to test and adapt new offerings before making your case to key decision-makers.
You will gain an overview of the key topics, issues, and challenges of sustainability, exploring responses from a business as well as scientific, regulatory and ethical perspectives. You will develop a multi-sectoral, systems-thinking approach, understanding problems and developing solutions with multidisciplinary teams. You will explore key sustainability concepts including circular economy, decarbonisation, product development life-cycle and just transition.
The development of your creativity, leadership, entrepreneurial, team, communication, well-being and career management skills is embedded throughout the programme and supported by a series of foundational modules.
You will meet like-minded peers and leaders from academia, enterprise and government.
The course consists of two trimesters. In the first, you take modules designed to give you a skill set, toolkit, and mindset in innovation, along with a grounding in sustainability.
Creative Thinking & Innovation (5 credits)
Entrepreneurship: Application and Mindset (5 credits)
Innovation Sprint (5 credits)
Sustainability Mindsets (15 credits)
Much of the second trimester is focused on applying the learnings and insights from the first trimester to a real-world sustainability-themed innovation challenge (see below ‘who is contributing to the design of this course’ for a list of the companies who set challenges for this past year’s class). This trimester also includes modules to support you as you consider your future career path.
Design for User-Centred, Sustainable Solutions Project (20 credits)
Leadership Development (5 credits)
Design Your Life (5 credits)
During the course, you will meet leading academics, practitioners, activists and policymakers across all sectors, from Ireland and around the world.
WHO IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE DESIGN OF THIS COURSE?
This conversion course is designed by the Entrepreneurial Specialists of UCD Innovation Academy in consultation with leading practitioners in the field including Professor Richard Templer (of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London), Ali Sheridan (sustainability and climate advisor & consultant), and many organisations from across sectors.
Companies who set challenges for the Trimester 2 ‘Design Thinking for Sustainability’ 10- week project in the 2020-2021 iteration of this course included: AIB, ESB, Oxfam, Dublin City Council, PwC, Hibernia REIT, and SuperValu.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
With a hands-on approach to learning, you will work on real-life challenges, supported by leading experts and practitioners from academia and enterprise to develop your skills, knowledge and mindset for leading innovation for sustainability.
Subject to Government guidelines, it will be delivered as a blended course. This means that classes will take place online on Tuesdays and in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays during term time. For 5 day module block weeks, class engagement is in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30.
UCD INNOVATION ACADEMY
The UCD Innovation Academy is located at University College Dublin, Ireland’s largest research-intensive university. This location ensures that we can leverage the world-class, leading edge expertise in relevant core research areas of environment; energy; agri-food; culture, economy and society.
The UCD Innovation Academy provides an education response to the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Since 2010, we have delivered accredited creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial leadership programmes to over 7,000 undergraduates, postgraduates, job-seekers, early stage entrepreneurs and middle and senior managers across public, private and non-profit sectors. All our courses are grounded in the real world, with a focus on ‘learning by doing’, an emphasis on creativity, innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets and a holistic multidisciplinary approach. We are continuously learning as we go. All our courses are informed by participant feedback and impact, as well our interactions with and feedback from enterprise and other external organisations and guest speakers who participate in each programme.
Our Teaching and Learning team consists of eight Entrepreneurial Specialists, with a wide range of prior experience and expertise in starting and scaling ventures in the arts, academia, agri-food, business, cultural, hospitality, public sector, retail and social enterprise sectors. Our team are also immersed in the national and international ecosystems - collaborating with both industry and the public sector, participating in panels, working on representative bodies, mentoring at accelerators and ultimately connecting learning in higher education to the wider world.
See w https://www.innovationacademy.ie/courses/ucd-graduate-diploma-in-design-thinking-for-sustainability/ for further information.
During the course, you will meet leading academics, practitioners, activists and policy makers across all sectors, from Ireland and around the world. We envisage that graduates of this course will be have a strong advantage in the emerging green economy and be equipped to progress into a wide variety of Sustainability roles across enterprise, social enterprise and government.
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. Examples may include Sustainability Manager, Design Strategist, Innovation Manager, Environmental Officer.
Graduates of the programme will have:
Academic Excellence - Learning Agility
• An in-depth understanding of the Design Thinking process, the ability to apply it appropriately across a wide range of contexts and sectors and the aptitude to continuously adapt and develop their approach and to learn in a collegial, professional manner.
Intellectual Flexibility & Cultural Literacy - Professional Adaptability
• Well-developed intellectual curiosity, analytical and interpersonal skills to lead multi disciplinary approaches for the successful development of creative and innovative solutions to real-world sustainability challenges across a broad range of sectors and disciplines.
Globally Engaged - Ethical Leadership
• An ethical perspective to leading change - sensitive to the beliefs and values of others, able to contextualise and communicate with diverse groups in a way that engages and influences behaviour.
• An awareness of their own role and responsibilities as an active global citizen especially in the context of sustainability
• An inclusive values-based approach to their life and work, appreciating the importance and benefits of diversity and equity.
This is a full-time postgraduate course delivered over 8 months, running from 12th September 2022 to 27th April 2023
Classes run from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day, (Tuesday online, Wednesday and Thursday in person). As the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions.
Sustainability Mindsets (15 credits) Monday 19th Sept 2022 to Friday 9th Dec 2022
Design for User-Centred, Sustainable Solutions Project (20 credits) 30th Jan 2023 to 27th April 2023
Design Your Life (5 credits) Monday 12th Sept 2022 to 27th April 2023 (one Friday per month)
5 Day Module Block Weeks
Creative Thinking & Innovation (5 credits) - Monday 12th Sept 2022 to Friday 16th Sept 2022 (Class engagement in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30)
Entrepreneurship: Application and Mindset (5 credits) - Monday 10th. Oct 2022 to Friday 14th Oct 2022 (Class engagement in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30)
Innovation Sprint (5 credits) - Monday 7th Nov 2022 to Friday 11th Nov 2022 (Class engagement in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30)
Leadership Development (5 credits) - Monday 23rd Jan 2023 to Friday 27th Jan 2023 (Class engagement in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30)
As the programme involves continuous assessment, participants must attend all class sessions.
Along with this, you can expect 25+ hours of additional effort each week - including individual & team activities, tasks, project work, and self-study. Enrolment in a UCD Innovation Academy course means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates in-person attendance at all scheduled classes at UCD.
Subject to Government guidelines, it will be delivered as a blended course. This means that classes will take place online on Tuesdays and in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays during term time. There is also a requirement to attend class online one Friday a month. For module weeks, class engagement is in person Monday to Friday 9:30-4:30. In-person classes take place on UCD Campus, Belfield, Dublin 4.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
LEARN BY DOING
All Innovation Academy programmes offer an experiential, ‘learning by doing’ approach. Participants work mostly in multidisciplinary teams on a range of workshops, projects and activities in a challenging but supportive class environment.
LEARN THROUGH EMPATHY AND ITERATION
We emphasise an Iterative Approach – trying, testing, trying again, along with Empathy – gaining a deep understanding of people and organisations – their problems and needs and Innovation – to create novel solutions to complex problems.
In the rapidly changing world of Sustainability, we also emphasise Learning Agility including peer to peer learning, reflective practice and giving and feedback, as well as self-care and resilience. You will also be expected to do self-directed study in areas related to the course and your projects.
GUEST SPEAKERS FROM INDUSTRY
This is all supported by Fireside Chats, interviews and panel discussions with leading practitioners across the sector.
UCD Innovation Academy | O'Brien Centre for Science | UCD | Belfield | Dublin 4Phone
087 179 5647Email
Applications will be reviewed and places offered on a rolling basis until the course is full.
1. Complete all fields in your Springboard+ online application on www.springboardcourses.ie.
2. Upload your Current CV & Letter of Motivation SAVED AND UPLOADED AS ONE DOCUMENT. Please ensure your CV is up to date and includes dates and countries of employment. Your Letter of Motivation should be about one page long and outline a. Why you want to do this course at this time? b. What you can contribute to the course? c. What you would like to achieve from the course? d. Your preferred start date for the course.
3. Upload Status Verification document, as stated in Springboard+ Eligibility Guidelines. See www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility.
4. Upload your transcript or degree parchment for a minimum of an Honours Bachelors Degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent). If you previously studied at UCD, please provide your UCD student number. on a word document/PDF. If you do not have an honours degree, we will look for 5+ years of relevant work experience on your CV and employer references as per RPL guidelines above.
5. If you are employed, formerly self-employed, self-employed or in receipt of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, upload your passport or the last 3 years of your GNIB Stamp 4 visas.
6. If you are employed, formerly self-employed, self-employed or in receipt of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, please upload a copy/scan/photo of a utility bill (e.g. phone, gas, electricity) in your name for any three separate years of the past five (2017-2021) that demonstrates that you have been resident in a EU/EEA/Swiss/UK for three of the past five years. Other options are a P60, P21 or Employee Detail Summary for three of the past five years.
7. If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to 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 https://www.ucd.ie/registry/prospectivestudents/admissions/policiesandgeneralregulations/generalrequirements/minimumenglishlanguagerequirements/ for English Language Requirements for UCD.
The deadline for applications is subject to change and is at the discretion of UCD Innovation Academy.
Create a Sustainable Future with a Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability