Award Type and NFQ level : POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHK20

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 23 August 2021

View FETAC details


"Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020."


This is a conversion course that teaches the innovation techniques of design thinking through action orientated learning to uncover user needs and insights, and then combine it with big data analytics; and the broad concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to utilise technology from a human-centred perspective. As a global fourth industrial revolution unfolds there are concerns that a ‘difficulty in accessing knowledge and expertise can be a barrier to the diffusion of new technologies, particularly for SMEs’. This course will give a broad holistic knowledge and understanding of future work to assist in meeting Government aims to inform businesses through collaborative projects of the opportunities industry 4.0 presents and reveal threats of inaction.

Through the Department of Design Innovation, the course utilises ethnographic research methods to inform, develop, implement and validate new services. In a Design context, learners will be encouraged to evaluate methods such as participant observation and in-depth interviews and consider other, less tangible elements: the challenges of ‘figuring out’ a socio-cultural context, symbolic meaning or the indeterminacy of meaning. This is combined with a core module from the Business School Living Lab to teach the principal concepts of big data management, and techniques, with hands-on-experience in descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. This combination of soft and hard analytical skills can be used to inform business strategy and innovations. Underpinning this are Computer Science modules that provide foundation tools for computational thinking and problem solving, in areas such as AI and machine learning.

Where appropriate, modules employ live projects from industry partners with established working/research relationships with Maynooth. A year-long bespoke module for the course delivers career guidance providing employability skills, such as C.V. preparation and presentation skills, as well as invited industry speakers and site visits to contextualise course learnings in real world scenarios. Topics could include Sustainable Development, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, issues around citizens/workers’ rights, data privacy and democracy within the emerging AI context.  Students are offered a choice of optional modules depending on their interests and career intentions in computer AI or electronic engineering control systems. Two blended learning modules in user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design, and Service Innovation, will be delivered using online content delivery and face-to-face practical labs.

This is a one-year full-time programme for students who have a level 8 qualification in any subject, for example in the Arts & Humanities, seeking a more technical qualification that better prepares them for the new emerging digitally connected workplace. As a conversion course it does not require any prior learning.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements: please visit Maynooth University International Office website for information about English language tests accepted and required scores. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and non- EU applicants.

National University of Ireland Maynooth’s TOEFL code is 8850

Applicants also have the opportunity to apply through Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning.

Head of Department

Department of Design Innovation

Department of EDEN

The course comprises of five MSc Design Innovation modules, one module by the Business School masters programme; and one module from Computer Science. Students will have the opportunity to choose from two modules from Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. A new module to develop employability skills for the digital workplace has been developed with support of the Careers Office.

Some elements of the PD modules are taught in a studio based format using group and individual applied practicals of research, ideation, prototyping and presentation of findings and concepts. Guest speakers and live projects will bring industry engagement into the studio and may involve some site visits. CS280 and PD616 are delivered primarily online. MI628 is delivered through four days of module content. Learnings are done through a combination of taught lectures, individual independent study, reading and research and group work. 

Course Duration: 1 year full-time

All industries are waking up to the new emerging digitally connected workplace. There is a growing demand for skilled graduates in computer science, business and creative problem solving. Any future management trainee, and current managers wishing to keep abreast of new technology, will need to have an understanding of the digital workplace.

Online application only 

There are two online application routes for this programme:

PAC Code - 

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:
Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.
 Please only apply via one entry route, Springboard or PAC.
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