Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability (Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability)

University College Dublin (GDRES001)
Key Programme Details
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Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability

NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Classroom

Mode

Full Time

ECTS Credits

60

Department

UCD Innovation Academy

General Information
Contact

David Nevin

Email

david.nevin@ucd.ie

Phone

+353 (0) 86 069 0939

Address

UCD Innovation Academy
Ground Floor
O'Brien Centre for Science
University College Dublin
Belfield
Dublin 4

Role

Business Development Manager

Important Dates
Application Deadline

10/09/2021

Start Date

13/09/2021

End Date

22/04/2022

About this Course

"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

DESIGN A BETTER FUTURE!
The world of work is changing faster than ever before. Climate change is increasingly driving a 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 UCD graduate conversion programme has been developed in collaboration with industry. It enables you to develop a skillset, toolkit, and mindset to design innovative solutions in addressing sustainability; feel empowered to drive change; and make a real impact.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation” - Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, Annual Report

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 multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral approach to the complex challenges of sustainability.

Objectives

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.

Entry Requirements

1. Applicants must satisfy the HEA's requirements to be eligible for funding under the Human Capital 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 includes the following:-
a. Experience of leadership and self-direction
b. Experience of management or entrepreneurship
c. A description of eg. 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.

Long Description

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.

>LEADING INNOVATION
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.

>SUSTAINABILITY MINDSET
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 multi-disciplinary teams. You will explore key sustainability concepts including circular economy, decarbonisation, product development life-cycle and just transition.

>PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
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.

>NETWORK
You will meet like-minded peers and leaders from academia, enterprise and government.

COURSE STRUCTURE:
The course consists of two trimesters. In the first, you take modules designed to give you a skillset, 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 policy-makers 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 a large number of 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, this course will delivered in person at UCD Innovation Academy in the O'Brien Centre for Science at UCD Campus in Dublin 4:

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 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.

Why Choose This Course

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

Career Opportunities

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.

Timetable Info

This is a full-time postgraduate course delivered over 7 months.
Trimester 1:
(Start date) 13th September 2021- 10th December 2021
Trimester 2:
10th January 2022 - 22nd April 2022 (finish date)

Based in the Shackleton Lounge - the Innovation Academy's dynamic teaching space on UCD's main campus - you'll have between 15 and 20 hours of in-person workshops each week, usually between 9.30am and 1.30pm (meaning you'll be on campus four to five days in a given week). These sessions will include hands-on engaging activities, real-world team challenges, fireside chats with guest speakers (some of whom will join us remotely from around the world!), use of our new sustainable living lab + updated MakerSpace, and more.

Along with this, you can expect 20 to 25+ hours of additional effort each week - including individual & team activities, tasks, project work, and self-study. Enrolment on a UCD Innovation Academy course means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates in person attendance at all scheduled classes in UCD.

Delivery Location

Subject to Government guidelines, this course will be delivered in person at UCD Innovation Academy in the O'Brien Centre for Science at UCD Campus in Dublin 4:

Should circumstances change during the year, it will be 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.

Delivery Notes

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.

LEARNING AGILITY
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.



Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Mary Saunders

Address

UCD Innovation Academy
Ground Floor
O'Brien Centre for Science
University College Dublin
Belfield
Dublin 4

Phone

01 716 2065

Email

mary.saunders@ucd.ie

RPL Information

UCD Recognition of Prior Learning Policy - http://www.ucd.ie/governance/resources/policypage-rplpolicy/

Application Procedures

1. Complete all fields in your HCI 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?

3. Upload Status Verification document, as stated in HCI Eligibility Guidelines. See www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility

4. Upload your transcript (2020 and 2021 graduates) 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.

6. If you are a graduate, 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.

7. Finally, as part of the process, candidates may be invited to an online interview.

Media
UCD Postgraduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability

Create a Sustainable Future with a Graduate Diploma in Design Thinking for Sustainability

https://www.innovators.ie/design-thinking-sustainability/