Professional Studies Certificate in Digital Technology, Design & Innovation (2020)

Digital Skills Global (Open to Working Professionals and Unemployed)
Key Programme Details

Professional Studies Certificate in Digital Technology, Design & Innovation

NFQ Level

7 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



Open to Working Professionals and Unemployed

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 Professional Studies Certificate in Digital Technology, Design & Innovation is offered by world leading U.S. university Boston College. Boston College have partnered with Digital Skills Global (formerly Digital Skills Academy), a pioneer in online digital education, to deliver one of Ireland's most exciting higher education programmes.

Designed to meet the demands of Ireland's high-growth Internet and digital technology sectors, this programme will equip participants with the skills, experience and credentials to become digital leaders and accelerate their career in this dynamic field. The programme also enables participants to 'future-proof' their careers, by helping ensure their careers won't become obsolete due to technological advances but instead thrive in the digital age.

Applications are invited from working professionals wishing to up-skill or re-skill in digital technology, digital business and design - and from jobseekers and those returning to the workforce - who have directly-related higher education level 6 major awards (Higher Certificate) or level 7 major awards (ordinary degree) in other disciplines. Candidates with significant experience in industry, without higher education qualifications, may be considered for entry through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

This is a one-year, part-time programme leading to a Boston College award of a 30 U.S. semester credit hours Professional Studies Certificate in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation (comparable to a 60-ECTS award at level 7 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 12-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.


Digital Skills
New and emerging technologies are transforming industries, and impacting professionals. Working professionals are faced with integrating technology to streamline tasks and foster collaboration which requires the attainment of digital skills. This programme is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to learn, apply and perform digital skills in a specialist digital area such as project management, marketing, design or application development.

Management and leadership skills
Alongside developing core knowledge in Digital Skills for participants, this programme seeks to:
- Develop Digital Leadership Behaviours
- Cultivate Digital Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship skills
- Train for Agile project management skills
- Build capabilities for the management of cross-functional virtual teams
- Combine Design-thinking with Digital Innovation skills

Workplace of the future
Core to this programme is providing participants with training - and applied practice - to work in collaborative, cross functional, online international teams. This mode of team-working, which requires the use of online collaboration tools, is one of the critical components of the emerging workplace of the future. In the programme participant teams are supported through online coaching and mentoring, and are encouraged to adopt established best practices to ensure effective online team-working, and team-dynamics.

In addition, this programme is designed to cultivate the participants' quest for lifelong learning, where adaptability and on-going skills education are key to succeeding in the workplace of the future.

Entry Requirements

- A higher education level 6 major award (Higher Certificate) directly related to one of the specific programme disciplines,
- A level 7 major award (ordinary degree) or higher in a discipline not directly related to, but sharing aptitudes and skillsets with one of the specific programme occupational roles.

Applicants with significant experience in industry, without a higher education level 6 or 7 major award qualification may also be considered. Applicants who do not meet the minimum entry requirements but with significant experience would be considered for entry through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

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 €630. The HEA will fund the additional 90% of the fees for successful employed applicants.

Long Description

This programme emphasises cross-functional team-working across four areas of specialisation. All participants take a number of shared courses and select one specialisation stream.

Shared Courses:
- Agile, User Experience Design & Digital Project: This course integrates theory and practice of creating a Digital Project. Participants will be given the skills to address at a digital solution challenge through the key skills of design thinking, agile and key elements of user experience design.
- Cross Functional Digital Team Project: This course delivers advanced methods for researching and scoping a project for a client based on a challenging and potentially changing brief.
- Digital Industries and Career Development: This course examines thought leaders in the digital space and their impact on business and us as individuals.
- Digital Business Ethics: This course provides participants with the fundamental tools and frameworks to address the myriad of ethical issues and concerns that are emerging from new technology and the rise of digital platforms.

Digital Application Development Stream:
- Introduction to Web Programming I: This course covers programming concepts, algorithm design, fundamental Internet protocols and server side programming. In this course, participants will work on the back end of a web application to gain valuable experience coding object-orientated PHP. It looks in detail at the LAMP stack and how to understand the various components of a modern web app.
- Introduction to Web Programming II: This course covers the client-side in order to understand the browser at a fundamental level. It provides for building client-side web apps in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It looks at the browser to understand the inner workings of the object model. Once participants are comfortable with basic principles, they will have the opportunity to practice their skills developing a HTML5 site to a design specification.
- Mobile & Web Applications: This course adopts a mobile first approach to client-side coding. It lets participants work extensively with many of the most popular client-side libraries and frameworks such as jQuery, JQM and React. Participants have the opportunity to code up a variety of client-side apps that rely on third-party data and gain valuable experience building a live-data driven mobile app.

Digital Business Stream:
- Digital Business Analysis: This course integrates theory and practice to allow participants develop a practical overview of business analysis in the digital business environment.
- Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning: This course provides participants with the fundamental skills to research and plan a digital marketing strategy using digital channels appropriate to the target audience and market to achieve goals desirable by the business.
- Technical Project Management: The course analyses digital technology and technical development strategies and processes. It equips participants with the skills to manage Web, mobile, games and other digital development projects.

Digital Marketing Stream:
- Digital Marketing: Analytics and Campaign Management: On this course, participants will cover topics such as keeping your Digital Marketing activities In-house Vs outsourcing to an agency. Participants will also cover affiliate marketing, display advertising and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) as well as deep delving into Google Analytics to understand how it and similar tools can track their marketing efforts as well as inform their further marketing decisions.
- Digital Marketing: Search and Social: On this course, participants will delve deep into how to perform digital marketing research and allocate budgets based on that research. They will also learn how to effectively utilise digital marketing tools to reach, engage and convert their target audience. Participant will gain in-depth experience in Search Engine Optimisation, paid search via Google AdWords and social media advertising via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning: This course provides participants with the fundamental skills to research and plan a digital marketing strategy using digital channels appropriate to the target audience and market to achieve goals desirable by the business.

Digital Design Stream:
- Web Graphics Design and Production: This course provides participants with the skills to develop proficiency in the practical use of graphics design tools and software for use in mobile and Web applications.
- Front End Web Development I: This course consists of providing participant with knowledge of in-demand, front-end languages and libraries to design and build client-side apps.
- Front End Web Development II: Building on Front End Web Development I, this course improves and extends the front-end apps developed to include many of the exciting new features of HTML5, as well as leveraging a variety of front-end frameworks.

The Professional Studies Certificate in Digital Technology, Design & Innovation leads to a Professional Studies 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 Professional Studies Certificate is comparable to undergraduate awards offered at Level 7 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 work in or 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

“You’re going to meet new people, learn new skills, network and gain confidence in your line of work.”
- Anna Lonergan, Senior Business Systems Analyst, MetLife

“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

“The programme has really helped me develop my ideas, learn hard and soft skills and played a big part in getting my foot in the door of my current job.”
- Shane Murphy, UX Analyst, Accenture

Career Opportunities

The aim of this programme is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge required to be able to work in, or progress to, the role of one of the following specific occupations in digital technology, design, business, and application development:

• Web & Mobile Application Developers
• Web & Digital Designers
• Project Managers
• Online Marketers
• Information Designers
• Digital Product Managers
• Digital Marketing Managers
• Designers for Web & Mobile
• SEO, Search, and Media Managers
• Marketing Analytics and Campaign Managers
• Business Analysts
• Digital Business Transformation Managers
• Digital Team Leaders and Facilitators

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.

Further Study
Gaining 30 U.S. credits through successful completion of this programme is comparable to gaining 60 ECTS credits at NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) Level 7, and therefore comparable to completing year 3 of a 4-year honours degree. On successful completion of this programme you would thus be in a position to apply for entry into the fourth year, or an ‘add-on year’, of an honours degree programme in a similar or comparable field.

Delivery Location

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

Delivery Notes

Engaging Digital Content and World-Class Faculty
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
Work in cross-functional digital teams and develop a portfolio of real-world digital projects and challenges. 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).

Digital Skills Global - Past Participant Testimonial