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Bioeconomy with Business

This Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business is a flexible, one-year, part-time blended, distance-learning programme designed to enable upskilling of those in the workplace and those seeking to engage in further study.

The Bioeconomy is one of the largest sectors in Europe encompassing agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, bio-energy and bio-based products. With a current annual turnover of 2 trillion euro on track to generate 1 million extra high quality jobs by 2030 driven by the transition to a low carbon economy.

The programme will be co-delivered by an interdisciplinary team, from IT Tralee, UCD and Teagasc. Students will gain a critical understanding of the concepts and frameworks of the Bioeconomy from technological, environmental, social and business perspectives. Students will explore primary production, sustainable processing, biotechnology, new product development, supply chain dynamics, innovation, business models, funding, collaboration and policy. Innovative pedagogies (peer-to-peer learning, action learning, professional and work-based learning, site visits and case studies) will be applied.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a minimum NFQ level 8 degree in science, agricultural science, business, management, engineering or other relevant area.

Ideally candidates will possess relevant experience in one of the following areas: manufacturing; research and development; laboratory; quality; supply chain; procurement; engineering policy; funding or sales & marketing in one or more of the following sectors: agriculture; food & beverage; life science; chemical; packaging construction and policy.

The Institute's policy in relation to recognition of prior learning (RPL) also applies (see below).


This programme will be delivered part-time from January 2020 to December 2020.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Progression Opportunities
On successful completion of the programme, students will have gained 60 credits at NFQ level 9 and may have the option to progress to the MSc in Bioeconomy with Business.

Graduates will be fully equipped to identify, lead and deliver bioeconomy initiatives in public or private organisations from SME to multi-national and will be in high demand across the bio-based industries (agriculture, forestry, marine, food and beverage, feed, nutrition and nutraceuticals, and bioenergy). Roles will include new product development, process improvement technologists, research scientists, sustainability managers, procurement, innovation managers, marketing and communication, regional development, policy and funding.

Further enquiries

Lifelong Learning Department
Tel: + 353(0) 66 7191701

Subjects taught

The Bioeconomy Model for the Transition to a
Low Carbon Economy
Feedstock and Biomass: Production to
Sidestream Management and Valorisation
Biobased Value Chains, Markets and Products
Life Cycle Assessement
Biorefinery Processes and Technologies
Green Technologies Project
Policy and Social Aspects of the Bioeconomy
Knowledge, Innovation & Industry
Professional and Work based Learning


This programme is offered subject to approval.

NFQ: Level 9
Credits: 60
Award Type: Major Award

Springboard+ 2019
In order to participate on a Springboard+ course you must meet the eligibility requirements, be normally resident in the state at the time of course commencement and also hold a valid PPSN.

The Employed
Applicants who are employed will need to meet the residency requirements, i.e. that the applicant has been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme. This category of applicant will also be required to provide a copy of their most recent P60 or other relevant revenue documentation. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on for more information.

The Unemployed
Be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection:
• Jobseekers Benefit
• Jobseekers Allowance
• One Parent Family
• Disability Allowance
• Qualified Adults of Working Age
• Carers Allowance
• Farm Assist/Fish Assist
• Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory or Non-contributory Pension
• Blind Pension
• Deserted Wives Allowance

There is no requirement to be in receipt of a payment for a particular period of time prior to the commencement of the programme. Participants in receipt of an eligible payment at the time the Springboard+ course commences are eligible to apply for a place on that course. However, providers will be required to give priority to applications from people who are long term unemployed.

Be signing for social insurance contribution credits
Be previously self-employed
Be actively seeking employment

People participating in the Community Employment Scheme; the Rural Social Scheme; Tús or in receipt of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or the Short Term Enterprise Allowance may apply for Springboard+ and, with the approval of a Department of Social Protection Case Officer, take up a Springboard+ course.

Homemakers are those who are not in receipt of a payment from the Department of Social Protection or may be economically dependent on a partner or spouse but have been out of the work environment for a number of years due to childcare or other caring obligations and have a previous history of employment but may require upskilling, reskilling or cross-skilling to transition back to the workforce.

To be eligible the applicant must have been:
• A Homemaker or on other caring duties for a minimum period of 12 months prior to their application;
• Ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme;
• In addition, the applicant will need to provide supporting documentation to confirm their status as a homemaker;
• Applicants must swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to their status. This form can be downloaded at

It should be noted that acceptance onto a Springboard+ course does not confer any entitlement to DEASP payments or childcare supports.

Formerly Self-employed
To be eligible those who are formerly selfemployed must provide a letter/statement from Revenue stating that the applicant is no longer trading or a similar letter from the applicants (former) accountant should be sufficient.

Alternatively, you can swear a declaration stating that you are no longer self-employed.

Recent Graduates
To participate on a NFQ Level 9 (post graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing a full-time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the NFQ. For the purposes of determining eligibility for Springboard+ the term unemployed also includes people who are on short term working and in receipt of a Jobseekers payment from the Department of Social Protection.

Further information
Participation on a Springboard+ course will not confer any entitlement to receive an income support payment from the Department of Social Protection. Participants who are in receipt of a Department of Social Protection income support payment may be able to retain such payments.

Through the Part-time Education Option (PTEO), jobseekers in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance who wish to pursue a part-time day or evening course of education may retain their payment subject to continuing to meet the eligibility conditions, including being available for and genuinely seeking work. If a payment is due to cease prior to the end of a course, payment cannot be extended past the due cessation date.

The PTEO will continue to apply when a participant is undertaking a work placement of less than 6 months duration that is a specific component of a Springboard+ course. Prior to commencing a Springboard+ course participants in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance should contact their local social welfare office to make an application to retain their payment under the PTEO.

The relevant Springboard+ PTEO 2019 form can be downloaded at The PTEO scheme does not involve any special payment. Signing-on arrangements continue to apply for PTEO claimants. Attendance on part-time courses is allowed on the clear understanding that availability for and genuinely seeking work opportunities must take precedence over course attendance, including attendance at any work placement component of a course, should a conflict arise.

Participants in receipt of other forms of income support payment from the Department of Social Protection must contact the appropriate scheme area in that Department to confirm if they may retain such payments while on the course. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on for more information.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
The Institute operates a policy that allows for the recognition of prior learning, both formal and informal. Informal and experiential learning includes non-accredited education, work based training and relevant life/work experience. This learning is assessed and this assessment may lead to academic credits, exemption from subjects on your intended course of study or places on particular courses of study. Applicants are required to compile a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how they have achieved the learning outcomes of a particular module within a programme or how they meet the entry requirements of a programme of study. The Institute is committed to providing support and assistance to guide the learner through the RPL application and/or in compiling the portfolio. Applications for RPL for module exemptions are dealt with on an individual basis once a student has registered on a particular course.

Application date

Closing Date: 8th November 2019
Apply online

Course fee

Fees do not apply to applicants who meet the criteria under the Springboard+ initiative (see below).

Fee paying applicants, €5,505 however, for employed applicants the HEA will pay 90% of the programme fee, the remaining 10% will be collected before registration.

Enrolment and start dates

From January 2020 to December 2020.

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