UCD Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability
Level 9 About NFQ
UCD Innovation Academy
Mary SaundersEmail Phone
UCD Innovation Academy
O'Brien Centre for Science
University College Dublin
Marketing and Recruitment Executive
DESIGN A BETTER FUTURE!
The world of work is changing faster than ever before. Climate Change is increasingly driving this rapid transformation across all sectors. No matter where you see your future, employers of all sizes and in all sectors want agile employees who are creative, collaborative and innovative who can combine these attributes with a ‘Sustainability Mindset’. This NEW UCD graduate conversion programme has been developed in collaboration with industry, and it enables you to develop the skills and knowledge to lead change, embed sustainability and make a real impact.
WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?
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
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation”, Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, Annual Report
“All companies will have to focus on making a transition to a low carbon, resilient and sustainable business model. The Governor of the Bank of England has warned companies that only those that make this transition will survive the next decade. The skills to enable such transitions do not exist within most businesses. The level of employment is of course as big as it can get.” – Professor Richard Templer, Director of Innovation, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London and member of the UCD Innovation Academy International Advisory Board
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
This postgraduate conversion course is designed for recent graduates as well as 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 to business, the humanities and more, bringing a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to the complex challenges of sustainability.
WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM THIS COURSE?
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. 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 overview of the 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 multi-disciplinary teams. You will learn key sustainability concepts including Circular Economy, Decarbonisation, Product Development Life-Cycle and Just Transition.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of Design Thinking and Systems Design 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.
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.
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 and a large number of organisations from across sectors including AIB, Bord Bia, Business in the Community Ireland, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, ESB, Hibernia REIT, Logitech, Musgrave, Oxfam Ireland, Press Up Entertainment, PwC, Sustainability Works and Smart Docklands (Dublin City Council). Guest speakers and the Team Project in the Module Design for User-centric Sustainable Solutions will be drawn from these and other leaders in sustainability in Ireland and internationally.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
With a hands-on approach to blended 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.
This course is offered in a blended format delivered through a fully immersive online experience using a combination of UCD’s virtual learning platform and the Zoom online collaboration platform. In person small group work and some project work may be delivered at UCD Campus and may also take place at organisations hosting student projects for the ‘Design for User-Centric, Sustainable Solutions’ module.
"I wasn't sure about online, I didn't think there would be the same sense of class and community - but after the first week there was a really great class dynamic." UCD Innovation Academy Postgraduate Course Student, June 2020
UCD INNOVATION ACADEMY
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 multi-disciplinary 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 www.innovators.ie/design-thinking-sustainability/ for further information.
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 (their relevance, strengths, limitations and ongoing adaptation) 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 - Gaining 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 practictioners 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.
Participants should hold an undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent) or equivalent professional qualification. 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 do not have the required documentation (e.g. academic transcripts) to hand, you may still begin an application to this course and upload these documents at a later point.
1. Applicants must satisfy the HEA's requirements to be eligible for funding under the Human Capital Initiative.
2. Applicants must satisfy UCD's requirements for entry to this postgraduate, level 9 course.
This means you must upload original, official transcripts or your degree parchment that demonstrate that you have a minimum of an honours degree, in any discipline (NFQ level 8 or equivalent) and you must upload an up-to-date CV.
In the absence of a degree, 5+ years of relevant work experience may be considered under UCD's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy. Such applicants must submit their CV and any transcripts, certificates etc.
If you are applying under RPL, please review your CV to ensure that it includes the following:-
I. Experience of leadership and self-direction
II. Experience of management or entrepreneurship
III. A description of eg. employee, budget and client responsibilities
IV. Two professional/employment references including name, role and email addresses
3. UCD Innovation Academy requires each applicant to upload a satisfactory Letter of Motivation.
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, academic year-long, postgraduate course delivered and awarded by University College Dublin.
21st September - 10th December 2020
18th January - 20th April 2021
This blended course is delivered through a combination of:
1. 1. A fully immersive online experience using a combination of UCD's virtual learning platform, Zoom online collaboration platform, Whatsapp and a selection of other tools and platforms that will be introduced over the programme.
2. In person small group work and some project work will be delivered at the Innovation Academy in the O'Brien Centre for Science at UCD Campus in Dublin 4 and may also take place at organisations that are hosting student projects for the module entitled 'Design for User-Centric, Sustainable Solutions'.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
LEARN BY DOING
All Innovation Academy programmes offer an experiential, ‘learning by doing’ approach. Participants work mostly in multi-disciplinary 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.
BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH
This course is offered in a blended format delivered through a fully immersive online experience using a combination of UCD’s virtual learning platform and the Zoom online collaboration platform. In person small group work and some project work may be delivered at the Innovation Academy in the O’Brien Centre for Science at UCD Campus in Dublin 4 and may also take place at organisations that are hosting student projects for the module entitled ‘Design for User-Centric, Sustainable Solutions’.
UCD Innovation Academy
O'Brien Centre for Science
University College Dublin
UCD Recognition of Prior Learning Policy - http://www.ucd.ie/governance/resources/policypage-rplpolicy/
1. Complete all fields in your HCI online application on www.springboardcourses.ie.
2. Upload your up-to-date CV.
3. Upload proof of status as stated in HCI Eligibility Guidelines.
4. Upload your Letter of Motivation. For this, you should consider:
- why you want to do this course at this time,
- what you can contribute to this course,
- what you would like to achieve from the course, and
- how the course fits with your future career aspirations.
5. Upload your transcripts 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 in lieu of transcripts. 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.
6. If applying as someone in employment, upload passport or GNIB with Stamp 4 visa (valid for 3 years prior to the course start date).
7. Finally, as part of the process, candidates may be invited to interview via the Zoom online platform.
Create a Sustainable Future with a Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability