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Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice and Leadership

Join us this September for an exciting new professional development offering.

Why choose this course?

Are you a professional working in an administrative or academic role in Higher Education looking to formalise your experience and to develop your leadership potential?

Do you wish to enhance your skillset and professional competencies to respond to complex challenges and changes in Higher Education?

This September, University College Cork offers a part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice and Leadership in Higher Education as a flexible learning opportunity that will connect you to an experienced programme team of academics and professional services staff in higher education.

The programme will allow you to

  • engage in peer learning,
  • gain a professional qualification,
  • and grow your network.

You will discover the latest insights in the development of policy and practice, and connect with peers across the Higher Education sector via a virtual and in-person learning environment.

For further details on the programme see FAQ PG Cert in Professional Practice and Leadership in HE (pdf)

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8). Applicants who do not hold a degree at Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) may also be accepted under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), following a review of their qualifications, relevant industry experience and interview with the programme team, and subject to final approval by the CIRTL Academic Programmes Board. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

As the course assignments are based on authentic professional scenarios, applicants must be in employment, or be able to gain access to an organisation upon which to base assignments. You will need to provide evidence of permission from the organisation to use their data during your course. Applicants must supply written permission to access data for acceptance onto the programme.

Programme overview

With a unique focus on leadership in higher education, participants in this part-time programme will explore the higher education landscape and operations. They will develop a holistic understanding of current professional practice within Higher Education while enhancing their reflective leadership capacities and their ability to sift through relevant evidence to inform decision making.

The course adapts a blended learning model involving online facilitation and face-to-face instruction. It will be delivered through 3 blocks of campus-based sessions in each semester. Subsequent engagement will be via a virtual learning environment and engagement in webinars and with online resources such as academic literature, videos from key theorists, and trigger questions to focus specific learning activities. This blended approach will encourage students to develop a community of practice that will be anchored through peer exchange and collaborative learning partnerships.

This 30 ECTS programme is comprised of the following four modules:

  • TL6101: Higher Education Landscape (10 credits) - semester 1
  • MG6104: Understanding, Navigating and Implementing Change (5 credits) - semester 1
  • TL6102: Innovative Practices in Higher Education (5 credits) - semester 2
  • TL6103: Reflective Leadership Practices 1 (10 credits) - semester 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Examine the key features or challenges in your professional practice as relates to your institutional setting and the wider higher education landscape and policy context.
  • Investigate opportunities within your professional practice identifying options to effect innovation and change and the potential for sustainable societal impact.
  • Reflect on professional identity and professional culture and how these are manifest in the higher educational context.
  • Critique professional practice and leadership and the implications for future innovative practice as a community of learners committed to inter-professionalism.
  • Demonstrate engagement in interprofessional exchange, collaboration, and peer learning.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee for this programme is €3,000*.
UCC staff have a discounted fee of €1,000* and may be eligible for the staff fee concession scheme.  

*The application fee of €50 is additional to this cost. 

Programme Team

Patrice Cooper Lecturer, Management & Marketing
Katy Dineen Lecturer, Teaching & Learning Enhancement
Anne Gannon Staff Wellbeing and Development Manager
Thomas Garavan Professor, Leadership Practice
Michelle Nelson Service Improvement and Change Manager
Elizabeth Noonan Director, Quality Enhancement Unit
Catherine O'Mahony Director, Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning

Indicative Timetable (this will be confirmed closer to October start date)

Semester 1 campus-based sessions
25-26 September 2023
23-24 October 2023
20-21 November 2023

Semester 2 campus-based sessions
29-30 January 2024
26-27 Februaru 2024
8-10 April 2024

Weekly synchronous webinars are held (2-4pm) every Wednesday.

View the Prospectus page here

Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

West Lodge, Main Campus,