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Data Protection

Who is this programme for?
Data protection law underwent a fundamental reform on 25th May 2018, being the date on which the EU's General Data Protection Regulation came into force. This new law has significantly changed what data protection law is and how it applies. The GDPR imposes new penalties and liabilities on data controllers and processors who fail to comply with its provisions.

The prospect of such liabilities and penalties requires that data controllers and data processors reform their internal governance of personal data processing to ensure that the new standards of data protection that the GDPR imposes are complied with. Many organisations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer; all organisations have to significantly enhance their compliance functions in order to ensure that the obligations of Data Protection Impact Assessments and data protection by default and design are complied with.

The Professional Certificate in Data Protection has been carefully designed to provide Data Protection Officers and Compliance Officers with the professional qualities and expert knowledge of data protection law along with guidance on practical application that they will need to implement in order to discharge their requirements under the GDPR.

The programme has been designed in consultation with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner. The programme is accredited by UCD and is the only accredited qualification at this level.

How you will benefit
This programme will support your personal and professional development and will enable you to:

•understand the obligations imposed by the GDPR in law and practice

•undertake a Data Protection Impact Assessment

•use contemporary theories and practical evidence to design a data protection framework within your organisation

•design, complete and report on major data protection projects which may be required to enhance your firm's positioning within the sector

•justify the rationale behind recommendations in relation to data protection

•analyse and discuss data protection case-studies and scenarios in a class-room setting

•maintain, develop and apply contemporary professional best practice and contribute to a personal ethos of life-long learning and selfimprovement.

Professional designation
Individuals who complete the Professional Certificate in Data Protection , are entitled to apply for the designation 'Certified Data Protection Officer' and use the designatory letters CDPO. Continued use of this designation is subject to meeting ACOI's Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the programme are an:
-Honours degree (minimum second class honours grade 2 award or higher) in a business, legal, IT or a relevant cognate discipline.


- Those who do not hold a degree, but have detailed professional experience in the area of data protection, risk and/or regulatory compliance, are eligible to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Four months part-time.

Lectures are held on a part-time basis across one semester (4 months).

Further enquiries

Address: IFSC, 1 North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)1 6116500
Fax: +353 (0)1 6116565

Subjects taught

You will study one module:
•Data Protection Policies and Procedures (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

Lecture Topics:

01 What is data protection law? Purpose, scope, definitions, lawfulness.

02 The obligations on controllers: sensitive data, data protection by design & default, record keeping, security, role of the Data Protection Officers (DPO), and an introduction to Data Protection Impact Assessments

03 Getting ready for GDPR: the focus of this session is entirely practical focusing on what controllers and processors need to do now to prepare for GDPR. Students will present on their group project and undertake a DPIA in a class-room setting as part of their preparation.

04 Subject rights, supervision and enforcement and privacy at work.

05 Profiling, eprivacy, data processing in a criminal justice context and transborder data flows

Students will undertake a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) as a group project.


When you successfully complete this programme, you will be awarded the Professional Certificate in Data Protection from UCD (at postgraduate degree level 9).

The Professional Certificate in Data Protection forms part of the MSc in Compliance.

Assessment method

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment and end of semester exams.

The pass mark is 40% in line with UCD academic policy.

Course fee

The programme fees are €1,450.

Part-funding may be available for eligible applicants through Summit Finuas Skillnet.

For more information see

Professional body membership
You must be a current member of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland, or become a member, to register for this programme. Membership is currently €150 per year.

Enrolment and start dates

Please contact the course provider for the next enrolment and start date.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!