Course Description

Certificate in Personal and Professional Development

An Cosán

Programme Overview

The Certificate in Personal and Professional Development (NFQ Level 6; 60 ECTS Creditsis an innovative, blended online programme. The Certificate aims to develop awardees who are equipped with sufficient core academic competences and transferrable skills to enable them to adapt to the future world of work and lifelong learning. The Certificate is offered and validated under the linked partnership between An Cosán and the Institute of Technology Carlow. This programme forms part of the IT Carlow-An Cosán ‘Higher Education Pathway for Non-Traditional Learners’ project. We aim to create a new, innovative Higher Education pathway for non-traditional learners by drawing on international best practice in flexible learning, technology enhanced community education, and competence-based learning. This project is funded under the Higher Education System Innovation and Transformation Call from the Higher Education Authority   

Aim of Programme 
The aim of the Certificate in Personal and Professional Development programme is to enable learners:

  • To understand the theory of key transferable skills and abilities (including digital literacy) for lifelong learning and work, through their higher education
  • To deepen understanding of their previous real world learning through looking at theoretical frameworks, and to apply this learning in new contexts.
  • To develop self-confidence and the abilities needed to take part in lifelong learning, including higher education, in addition to taking a variety of different roles the workplace.

An Cosán has worked in partnership with IT Carlow to develop this blended online Certificate.

Course Format
The Certificate in Personal and Professional Development is being offered fully online until December 2021. From January 2022 we hope to return to a blended model pending public health restrictions at that time.

All modules will be delivered in online environments, through a combination of live and recorded lectures, online discussions and forums, as well as individual and group assignments. Teaching will be facilitated through An Cosán’s and IT Carlow’s online learning environment, Blackboard, the Zoom video platform, and other tools. In order to participate in the programme, students are required to have access to a desktop or laptop computer and a reliable internet connection.

Subject to public health advice, should the restrictions around in person delivery of teaching change, some sessions may take place in An Cosán Tallaght or in a blended mode combining in-class and online engagement. However, students who are unable to join face-to-face workshops will be able to complete their Certificate fully online.

The online programme is delivered by the same high quality and experienced staff who traditionally deliver in person and online education. Educators will provide feedback on your assignments, and you will have access to staff via email or Zoom video calls to discuss your work. The above conditions are subject to government and public health advice regarding restrictions and social distancing measures and may be modified or adapted as the situation changes.

Each 10 ECTS Credits module on the Certificate in Personal and Professional Development will consist of 8 online sessions, 6 Wednesdays and 2 Saturdays (10am-12:30pm). Each 5 ECTS Credits module will consist of 5 online sessions on Friday mornings (10am-12:30pm). Additional tutorial sessions in the online classroom may be offered throughout the year to assist students with study skills and assignments.

The Certificate’s Orientation Day will take place online on Wednesday 3rd November (10am-12:30pm). Students will be introduced to one another, to course content, and to online learning.

Modules at a Glance:
 Stage 1 / 60 ECTS

Stage 1 Certificate | NFQ Level 6 | 60 Credits
Module 1 Foundations in Adult Learning
Module 2 Communications
Module 3 Essential IT Applications in a Changing World
Module 4 Unpacking Everyday Maths
Module 5 Critical and Ethical Thinking
Module 6 Learning to Collaborate
Module 5 Enabling Wellbeing
Module 6 Introduction to Research



Teaching, Learning and Assessment 

Students will acquire in-depth knowledge and develop research and problem-solving skills through work and enquiry-based learning, more formally structured tuition, and self-directed learning.  They will develop competencies in the following transferable skills: written and oral communication, critical thinking, digital literacy, group collaboration, problem solving, planning & time management.  A variety of assessment methods such as reflective journals, presentations, research projects, portfolios and assignments are used on the programme. 


Learner Supports  

At An Cosán, we support our learners fully so that they can achieve their full potential.  

  • Technology moderators provide technical support and encouragement to learners in advance of and during online sessions.  
  • Qualified tutors with in-depth classroom experience and subject matter expertise are readily available to discuss programme content.  
  • One-to-one online mentors are available throughout the programme.  
  • Learners are actively encouraged to support one another and build collaborative learning communities.    


Time commitment 

For each 10 ECTS Credit module (there are 8 modules in total 4 x 10 ECTS Credit modules and 4 x 5 ECTS Credit modules), you need to be available for 6 online sessions every Wednesday (2.5 hours per week) from 10-12:30pm and 2 online Saturday sessions (10-12:30pm).  

Subject to public health guidelines, these Saturday sessions may be changed to full day, face-to-face workshops (10am-4pm). 

For each 5 ECTS Credit module, you need to be available for 5 online sessions every Friday (2.5 hours per week) from 10-12:30pm.  It is recommended that participants allocate a minimum of 4-6 hours per week for self-directed learning to study recommended course materials and to prepare assignments. 


We are currently receiving applications.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come basis. 

  1. Click here to complete your online application
  2. Write a letter of application (download template here) and return the completed form to email



This is a funded programme.  A Registration Fee of €200 will apply to secure your place on the Certificate.
A registration fee of €65 will apply to learners who wish to register to individual minor awards.
Learners may register to the following modules as individual minor awards only: 

  • Foundations in Adult Learning – 10 Credits 
  • Learning to Collaborate – 10 Credits 
  • Communications – 10 Credits 
  • Critical and Ethical Thinking in a Changing World – 10 Credits 

 The 5 credit modules are only accredited as part of the Certificate (60 ECTS Credits). They are not accredited as minor awards and so cannot be offered as such.  

College Name An Cosán
Course Category Adult & Community Education, Education
Course Type Blended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course Qualification Level 5 Certificate
Course Location Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 24
Course Start Date 3rd November 2021
Course End Date 31st October 2022
Course Fee This programme is heavility funded. Registration fees are €200
Course Duration 1 year
Course Times Every Wednesday and Friday from 10-12.30pm
Awarding Body Institute of Technology Carlow
Title of Awarding Minor Award
Entry Requirements Applicants must be 18 years+. Applicants should have completed the Leaving Certificate or a QQI (FETAC) Major Award at Level 5 in a related area. Other applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Institute of Technology Carlow policy on recognition of prior learning (RPL). Applicants over the age of 23 are assessed as mature students. They may apply on the basis of age and experience. Applicants under the age of 23 must meet IT Carlow’s minimum entry criteria for the programme: QQI Level 5 full major award OR Leaving Certificate (5 subjects at Ordinary Level grade D3 or better; subjects required are English or Irish and Mathematics). Applicants may be required to attend for an interview.
Career Path This Certificate programme offers a great opportunity for anyone thinking about going on to Third Level and provides an access route with specific modules to prepare them for Higher Education next year. You will learn core transferable skills e.g. Adult Learning at Third Level, Collaboration, Communication, Critical and Ethical Thinking, Well-being, Essential IT Applications.
For information about An Cosán, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

An Cosán

Kiltalown Village Centre, , Jobstown, Tallaght,, Dublin, Ireland

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An Cosán
Kiltalown Village Centre, 
Jobstown, Tallaght,, Dublin
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