Higher Diploma in Advanced Languages and Global Communication (Higher Diploma in Advanced Languages and Global Communication)

University College Cork (HDALGC)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Classroom


Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

General Information

Lorna Moloney






Adult Continuing Education,
University College Cork,
The Laurels,
Western Road,



UCC Springboard+ Programme Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End 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. It specifically addresses the need highlighted by employer reports for language skills in the workforce, as well as Ireland's Foreign Languages Strategy launched in Q4, 2017, where one of the aims is to increase the number of students learning a foreign language in higher education by 20%.

This programme has been delivered as part of Springboard+ for the past several years. Past graduates of this programme have secured roles in organisations such as Glanbia, VoxPro, EMC, Dooleys Car Hire, UCC, Irish Life Health, and Concern.

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 programme offers advanced specialism in one language (selected from Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian and French) and 10 credits in 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.

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 of the Localisation Industry (5 credits)
- Mobility, Plurilingualism & Intercultural Communications (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, Globe Tech, Partnership International and Corcadorca working in the areas of marketing, sales, customer service, administration and event management. For students who are not successful in securing a work placement, a research project will be completed instead.

***Please note that places are limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. This course may be closed prior to the application deadline if all places are filled early.***

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 one of our previous graduates 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.”

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 2020 Springboard+ call: those unemployed / previously self-employed; returners; those employed seeking to upskill. 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+ 2020 applicants.

2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to complement 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.
*Meet with employers for informational interviews.

Timetable Info

This course has a single intake commencing with an orientation day in late Sept. 2020.

Taught modules will be delivered across two semesters:
Semester 1: September to December
Semester 2: January to May

Timetables will depend on language specialisms but students will be required to attend classes an average of 14 hours per week during these semesters.

Following exams in April/May, students will then complete a work placement of 12-16 weeks. Students already in employment or those who cannot secure a work placement will complete a project in lieu of placement.

Delivery Location

UCC & Online

Delivery Notes

* Given the current public health advice around social distancing, this programme will likely be delivered in a blended manner comprising live online classes, online recordings, and face-to-face teaching where possible.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorna Moloney





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.

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

*Application statement (In 500 words or less, please outline why you wish to study this course at UCC)

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

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

PLEASE NOTE: Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated.


No fee applicable for jobseekers (unemployed and formerly self-employed) and returners (homemakers, carers, etc.).

Fee applicable for those currently in employment - €600. This fee will be collected by UCC prior to the commencement of the course.

**Please note that this course may be closed prior to the application deadline if all places are filled**