As funding increases for training in high-tech sectors through the Springboard+ scheme, NUI Galway has free places on year-long, part-time courses covering such topics as medical-device sciences, automation and control, and tech innovation


There is no doubt that the future growth of the Irish economy will benefit from the ongoing development of a highly trained and diverse workforce, and an expansion of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, aligned with personal advancement and job satisfaction.

Continuing professional development of the existing workforce, and lifelong learning in general, has a major part to play in this vision. It was Albert Einstein who said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Engineers Ireland has long recognised the importance of constantly refreshing old skills and learning new ones and it supports engineers on their professional journal through CPD schemes. Recently, the department of Education and Skills revamped its funding schemes to support upskilling of the existing workforce, in addition to supporting the return of unemployed individuals, homemakers and carers to the workplace, or to establish their own business.

Springboard funding

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton recently announced an increase in funding for training in high-tech sectors through the Springboard+ scheme. “This year, we’re expanding the programme to homemakers, and those in employment in the biopharma/medtech sector, to meet a specific emerging skills need,” he said.

The Springboard+ initiative offers free certificate, degree (level 8) and masters (level 9) courses that lead to qualifications in areas where there are excellent employment opportunities. NUI Galway has free Springboard+ funded places on the following year-long, part-time courses:

All courses are highly applied and include project and placement elements. This ensures that participants can apply learning directly and immediately to the work-place. Activities are often group based and allow for deep exploration of topical areas.

There is also an emphasis on professional transferrable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, decision making, communication and teamwork.

Flexible delivery

Conscious of the many competing demands placed on adult learners from a work and/or family perspective, the courses are delivered on a part time, flexible-learning basis, which enables participants to combine their commitments with the demands of a programme of study.

Blended learning delivery allows participants to study where and when suits them best, while providing the ongoing support of an online learning system and optimising the time spent in workshops and lectures.

So, if you are already working and want to learn new skills, or if you are looking to reactivate your career, check out your eligibility and apply on the Springboard website The normal cost of these courses is up to €3,950, so this is a fantastic opportunity. Course outlines are provided below and further details are available on the NUI Galway website.

Applications will be accepted until Monday, 7 August 2017.

Course outlines

  • The Specialist Diploma in Lean and Quality Systems is a level 8 qualification that focuses on the topical area of Lean, Six Sigma and Business Process Modelling and Continuous Improvement. Participants will gain knowledge of effective tools and systems for streamlining products, processes and services and minimising waste in all its forms. Problem solving, team building and change management skills will be sharpened. Green Belt material is covered to enable students to top off their academic award with a professional qualification. This course carries 110 Engineers Ireland CPD credits.
  • The Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Sciences (level 8) provides up-skilling for MedTech engineers and technicians and cross-skilling for career change or cross-team roles. Participants will develop a holistic understanding of the science and engineering behind various medical devices, knowledge of human biology and disease states which can be monitored or improved by these devices; appreciation of which materials can be used to best effect and skills in the design, development and manufacture of medical devices. The course will also cover best practice, industry standards, policies and regulations within the sector.
  • The Specialist Diploma in Automation and Control (level 8) is suitable if you want to build on existing automation skills or if you have a basic technical qualification and want to specialise in this growing area. Participants will gain an understanding of industrial control systems, robotics and automated production lines and practical experience in programmable logic controllers, pneumatics, machine design and other automated systems. With the move towards Industry 4.0 and a greater drive towards quality and high volume manufacturing, knowledge of automated systems and control is highly valued in many industries.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma in TechInnovation (Entrepreneurship Development) is a level 9 course recently established by serial entrepreneur Dr John Breslin. It was developed with leading employers and local start-ups to strategically enhance entrepreneurship skills in small and large companies. It will provide know-how on creating an innovation-driven company, or a new business unit within an existing company, with a particular focus on enterprises that can scale up. Course activities will include working through issues of market analysis, technology viability assessment, competitive positioning, team building, product lifecycle planning, marketing strategy, sales channel analysis, and have a strong emphasis on the entrepreneur as a salesperson.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma in Innovation Management (level 9) is suitable for companies, big or small, who want to design and improve products and services, to optimise their business processes, to improve operational efficiency and competitiveness, and to integrate innovations in multiple domains. It explores topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship, and the creation, development and strategic use of new and emerging technologies in a variety of sectors. The course focuses on organisational change, sustainable improvements and business excellence and will build participants’ management and leadership capabilities.

For more information, click on the website or contact Niamh Nolan. Email: or telephone: 091 493746 O'RiordanSponsoredbiopharma,biotechnology,education,medtech,NUI Galway
There is no doubt that the future growth of the Irish economy will benefit from the ongoing development of a highly trained and diverse workforce, and an expansion of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, aligned with personal advancement and job satisfaction. Continuing professional development of the existing workforce, and lifelong learning...