Innovation Academy - Design Thinking for Sustainability

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 and who can combine these attributes with a 'Sustainability Mindset'. This UCD graduate 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. HCI Pillar 1 courses are designed to provide specialisation and conversion courses for graduates to ensure that they have the skills most needed by employers today. They are open to all, regardless of employment status.

Who should apply
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Every aspect of the global economy is changing rapidly due to the effects of climate change. As a result, employers need people who are agile and innovative, and who understand these sustainability challenges. Not just from a business perspective but also scientific, regulatory, and ethical viewpoints.

Through this course you will understand key concepts such as the circular economy, decarbonisation, and just transition. You'll become well-versed in an iterative approach to product and service design – trying, testing, and trying again. And you'll learn how to embrace your creativity and entrepreneurial side to lead change, embed sustainability, and address complex challenges.

Everything you've learned will be put into practice with a project to look at a real-world sustainability challenge. This will be set by one of our industry partners, who have previously included ESB, Oxfam, Dublin City Council, and SuperValu.

By the end of this course you'll be ready to reposition your career for the emerging green economy.

Entry requirements

This course is great for anyone just beginning their career in sustainability, or keen to move into this area. You may have a technical background, or you might not – we welcome learners from diverse disciplines and sectors.

You might be:
A recent graduate
Changing focus part way through your career
Unemployed or formerly self-employed
A carer or returner to work

You'll need a minimum honours degree (Level 8) qualification.

OR applicants with 5+ years of relevant employment history can apply under UCD's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.

HCI Pillar 1 eligibility requirements.

English language requirements.

Keen to start seeing the world differently?

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Design Thinking for Sustainability FT (F189)
Duration 9 Months
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

This course in closed for applications but register your interest and we can let you know when it opens for applications.


9 months

Students have 16-20 hours of in-person classes per week (usually 9.30-13.30).

In addition, 20-30+ hours of additional effort each week (including individual & team activities, tasks, project work and self-study).

More details
  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider