Executive Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Leadership & Innovation (2020)

Digital Skills Global (Level 9)
Key Programme Details

Graduate Certificate (postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma at NFQ Level 9)

NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits


General Information

Angela Dinu




+353 (01) 902 6535


Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8, Ireland D08 R2YP


Enrolment Advisor

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Leadership & Innovation is offered by world leading U.S. university Boston College. Boston College have partnered with Digital Skills Global (formerly Digital Skills Academy), to deliver one of Ireland’s most exciting, innovative and forward-thinking postgraduate programmes.

This programme is designed to advance participants' careers to senior management positions, or significantly strengthen their profile at that level. Participants will be equipped with the digital competencies, leadership abilities and mind-set to lead teams and organisations in the digital age.

The programme also enables participants to 'future-proof' their careers by providing them with the hybrid digital technology and digital business skills needed to successful work at leadership-level with emerging technologies, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace of the future.

This is a 8-month, part-time programme leading to a Boston College award of a 12 U.S. semester credit hours Graduate Certificate in Digital Leadership & Innovation (comparable to a 24-ECTS post-graduate certificate or postgraduate diploma at level 9 on the Irish NFQ /National Framework of Qualifications).

This programme has a global dimension: Participants from 33 countries have enrolled on similar programmes offered by Digital Skills Global in the past three years, including from the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, South Africa, UAE, Singapore and the U.S.

Offered nationally within Springboard+, the 8-month part-time programme blends online eLearning and working in Virtual-teams with online project workshops, online mentoring and team-coaching, and includes project-based team assignments with employers and industry partners.

During the programme, participants can avail of the opportunity to attend a number of workshops and talks by industry guests at the Boston College Ireland (BCI) campus on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Each of these sessions will culminate in a networking event. This will facilitate networking between participants and with invitees from industry.

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a Level 8 Honours Degree qualification (or equivalent) directly related to one of the specific programme disciplines.

Applicants with previous substantial work experience in the sector without a Level 8 Honours Degree or equivalent qualification may also be considered.

Student Participants who do not meet the minimum entry requirements but with significant experience would be considered for entry through RPL.
All applicants must provide:
- Transcripts of examinations
- CV

Applicants may be invited for interview.

Applications will also be considered in light of other factors, including letters of reference and personal statement.

This programme is available regardless of your employment status. It is free of charge for applicants who fall under the Springboard+ 'unemployed' & 'returners' categories and there is a 10% contribution fee for applicants who are in the 'employed' category. Employed applicants only have to contribute €300. The HEA will fund the additional 90% of the fees for successful employed applicants.

Long Description

All participants take a number of shared courses and select two specialisation courses.

Shared Courses:

Select one of the two following courses:

User Experience and Solutions Design:
Participants apply and evaluate the principles, processes and international user experience (UX) design best practice for digital solutions. Participants will take a user-centered approach to design, develop and present a prototype for a solution that responds to user needs, developed based on functional requirements and analysis, data gathering, concept design and prototyping. Participants taking this course will develop their prototype through continuous project work. The project work is undertaken as part of a multidisciplinary team using the latest online sharing and collaboration tools as well as etiquette and multi-cultural best practice methodologies. Participants will analyse the evolution of digital devices and responsive website design and explore, evaluate and research the adaptive skills they will need in this field in future.


Agile Project Management:
This course analyses the principles of Agile Project Management and how to apply these principles to development projects. A strong focus is on the Scrum method and researching why agile teams can perform to very high standards. The aim of this course is to train participants to lead agile efforts inside organizations. Exercises are based on real-world scenarios, applying agile principles in project work.

Additionally, select one of the following two courses:

Cross Functional Team Digital Industry Project:

Participants will successfully complete a digital product for the industry partner company. They will work primarily in an online collaborative environment designed to facilitate diverse international locations and etiquette. Participants will work in teams on ‘live’ projects for selected businesses. Completing a digital product includes all aspects of digital production, including but not limited to analysis, design, development, implementation, integration, international system design best practice including documentation, research and business value.


Cross Functional Team Digital Entrepreneur Project:

Participants will use fundamental tools, and study the key stages in developing a successful start-up. Participants will evaluate numerous case studies and academic research that emphasis lessons learned by entrepreneurs who have gone before and helped to highlight the characteristics of successful ventures and management teams. Practical application of hypothesis testing together with customer development and business model design and evolution form the cornerstones of this course. Participants will successfully evaluate a concept that could lead to a start-up business or critically research an area for potential digital entrepreneurship for a start-up.

Specialisation Courses:

Select one course from the following three courses:

Digital Ecosystems Strategy
This course introduces participants to digital ecosystems and how they are extending the boundaries of value creation beyond traditional industries. Participants will be exposed to new concepts from a coherent framework to understand, design and apply new business models to effectively compete in digital ecosystems. Participants will explore how digital native companies have gained strength in digital ecosystems through their platforms and how legacy companies can apply those insights to build new business models of their own. The course will also highlight how legacy companies can extend their traditional products and services into digital platforms, how to compete as platforms, and the costs of not having a platform strategy in the modern digital era.

Design Thinking for Business Professionals
Design Thinking introduces the participant to the design approach to problem solving and innovation. Participants are led through the journey of ideation, creativity, rapid prototyping, and experimentation. Design Thinking changes the way businesses approach the customer and leads to greater innovation.

Digital Product Leadership
This course introduces participants to the methods and approaches that are used to successfully launch digital products into a market. You'll learn about different online business models and how to create a customer value proposition that meets market needs.

In addition, select one of the following five courses:

Artificial Intelligence: AI Applications
This course will teach you the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as preparing you to recognise opportunities to apply AI Applications within your organisation. You will examine basic Machine Learning models and develop an overview of the approaches used to solve complex real world problems with AI Applications.

Leading Digital Transformation
This course focuses on the organisational changes that are required for harnessing the power of technology. Participants are introduced to the concept of digital maturity, cultivating a digital environment, enabling intentional collaboration, and fostering an experimental mind-set.

Mobile Web Applications
This course introduces participants to the theory and techniques required to build Mobile Web Applications. Mobile Web Applications have significant constraints and differences with respect to traditional web development and this course will prepare the learner for this style of development by focusing on best practices and established methodologies.

Digital Marketing Analytics and Insights
This course provides you with the principles of digital marketing planning and the necessary steps in building effective digital marketing strategies. You will learn about various marketing tactics and digital platforms, understand how to define & research target audiences, set Goals & KPIs, as well as understand how to create strategies, set targets and assign budgets based on your research.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Innovation for Business Professionals
This course focuses on the opportunities for businesses to innovate using artificial intelligence. While technology will be discussed, the course is decidedly not a technical course. It is designed for the business professional, emerging leader, and leader who wants to better understand the implications and impact of AI on the business world, their industry, and their company. The participant will begin to think through the possibilities of AI in their organisation.

The Executive Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Leadership & Innovation leads to a Graduate Certificate awarded by Boston College. Boston College is accredited in the USA by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) which adheres to the standards of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), also in the USA. Boston College is recognised as a higher education institution by the International Association of Universities (IAU).

This Graduate Certificate is comparable to postgraduate awards offered at Level 9 on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) according to advice given by NARIC Ireland. Final recognition decisions for the purposes of accessing further education and/or employment are made by education institutions, professional recognition bodies and employers.

Why Choose This Course

Digital Skills Global Have a Proven Track Record of Delivering Success for Thousands of Graduates

• 94% of past participants recommend our programmes
• 250+ projects developed by participants for Corporate Partners
• 85-95% completion rate for courses
• 20,000 courses successfully completed by participants

Reach Your Career Goals with a Qualification from a Top-ranked U.S. University:
Whether you are looking to advance your career, change career direction or increase your earning potential, you will complete the programme with a qualification from Boston College, a top-ranked U.S. university, to help you reach your career goals.

Build a Portfolio of Real-world Digital Projects to Accelerate Your Career:
Develop a portfolio of real-world digital projects and challenges and showcase your skills on your resume, LinkedIn account and to your current or prospective employers.

Master the Skills to Become a Leader in the Digital Age:
By working in cross-functional digital teams on real-world projects, you will master the communication and collaboration skills to lead online multi-location teams.

Advance Your Career by Learning Trending Skills:
Advance your career by learning the very latest emerging technology and leadership skills and developing the mind-set to become a digital leader in today’s hyper-competitive economy.

Join a Community of Digital Leaders:
You’ll be part of an online community and benefit from the advice, support, insights and experiences shared by your peers to help with your assignments and project work.

Our Participants Reach Their Career Goals:

“The programme has really helped me stand out from my peers and given me a lot of confidence managing digital projects at work.”
- Bella Jasani, Executive Director of Global Technology, J.P. Morgan

“It was a great experience. I thought the courses were well delivered, the lecturers were excellent and I easily managed to balance study hours with my professional life.”
- Michael Wahlberg, Digital Commerce Specialist, IBM

“From a career perspective, it has helped me as a leader to stand out amongst the pool of leaders at Dell EMC.“
- Matthew Atherfold, Director of People Insights, Dell EMC

Career Opportunities

The aim of this part-time programme is to develop digital leadership and management skills and knowledge so participants can enter or progress in the following careers:

• Digital Product Managers
• Digital Marketing Managers
• Digital Transformation Leaders
• Digital Programme Managers
• Technology Leaders
• Digital Team Leaders
• Digital Strategists
• Digital Platform Managers
• Digital Evangelists
• Artificial Intelligence Initiative Team Leads
• Global Digital Marketers
• Digital Entrepreneurs and Start-Up Founders

Over the past three years in Ireland, employers of participants taking similar programmes with Digital Skills Global have included respected organisations such as Accenture, Bank of America, Cartrawler, EA Games, Facebook, Fexco, Fidelity Investments, Google, IBM, Oracle, Paypal, Pramerica, Rothco, Salesforce, Squarespace, Starwood Hotels, The Irish Times, National Treasury Management (NTMA), Titan Marketing, and WMware.

Many of these Irish employers have also separately hired from our previous Springboard+ programmes, alongside others including Deloitte, Ebay, KPMG, and Vodafone.
Applications are invited from working professionals with a level 8 qualification wishing to prepare for digital leadership roles in their organisations.

Delivery Location

This programme is 100% online and can be taken from anywhere in Ireland.

Delivery Notes

Engaging Digital Content
Engage with high quality online video-based classes with activities, workshops, live-classes and projects.

Flexible, Online Learning
Study flexibly online from anywhere in Ireland and access high quality learning content with your mobile device, tablet or desktop.

Real-World Projects
Participants engage in cross-functional digital team work in both the User Experience and Solutions Design and the Cross-Functional Team Digital Project modules. These two modules are required along with two subject modules (of a participants choice) to meet the requirements of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Leadership and Management.
In cross-functional teams programme participants undertake the digital innovation projects, either for their own employer, or for organisations who are Industry Partners of Digital Skills Global and Boston College. Over 200 companies and organisations have previously partnered in this Industry Partner programme, including AIB, Bank of Ireland, Cisco, UPC/Virgin Media, Dell EMC and VMware.

Team Coaching and Mentoring and Participant Support
Coaching and Mentoring will support your teamwork and project performance skills and Participant Support to help you succeed on your learning journey.

Digital Cross-Functional Teams
Work alongside team members from different functions (Designers, Developers, Managers, Marketers working together) during the cross-functional team project

RPL Information

Candidates with significant experience in industry, without higher education qualifications, may be considered for entry through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Past Participant Feeddback