Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
Professional Diploma
NFQ Level 9 Minor Award
Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Course Type: Taught, Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: UL@Work Team

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Brief Description

In today's fast-paced media landscape, data is everywhere, leading to the gathering of enormous amounts of data about the world around us in areas as diverse as health, politics, business, education, sport, and the environment. Current National Data Strategies in Ireland and the UK highlight how this increasingly data-first approach has implications not only for experts with advanced analytical skills but for those communicating this information. Having relevant data literacy skills to operate and thrive in 'data-rich' environments is now a much sought-after skill. Professional communicators have a critical role to play in this environment because they act as conduits between those making evidence-based decisions informed by data to a wide range of external audiences. Interpretation of these datasets drives decision-making in the commercial and public sectors, shaping policy and contributing to the delivery of products and services. Being able to communicate that data accurately and effectively as a media professional is emerging as an essential skill.

Our Professional Diploma in Data Communications programme will enhance your ability to understand and communicate data-driven information. Whether you're a journalisteditorPR specialistmarketercontent creator, or another type of media professional, you will need to know how to correctly analyse and interpret data and then present it in a way that engages your audience.

You'll learn how to use data accurately to tell compelling stories, and you'll learn how to analyse data to uncover important insights and trends, which you can then use to inform your work. But that's not all. By taking our Data Communications programme, you'll also gain a range of other benefits. You'll be cross-skilled in data analysis, a highly valued skill in today's job market. You'll also become more confident in your ability to communicate complex data, making you a more effective communicator overall.

UL@Work programmes are co-designed with industry to ensure skills transfers are industry-responsive for current and future needs. Our programmes are developed for working professionals and are designed to be flexible and accessible. You can take it online and from anywhere worldwide.

(M) Microcreds available:

Modules listed within the Programme Content with an (M) beside them are MicroCreds and can be taken independently.

This Professional Diploma in Data Communications will elevate your professional ability to understand and communicate data-driven information.

On successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and account for, all of the elements involved in analysing, assembling, visualising and telling stories using digitised datasets from a variety of sources.
  • Take a critically informed approach to recent research and debates about data communication and this will inform their profession communication practices.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role that data communications play in society and be able to communicate and discuss the necessary steps for creating effective data stories.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the role of data communications in contemporary society and evolve their professional data communications practices to new media platforms and audiences as they develop.

Download the programme flyer HERE

Autumn Semester

Spring Semester

Content has been selected following a review of best practices in communications skillsets. This new programme will include practical exercises and case studies to help apply the learnings in real-world scenarios. It will incorporate a problem-based learning (PBL) approach across all modules, both individually and group-based. Group-based processes will allow for closer collaboration and stronger networking opportunities among online learners.


  1. When does this programme start?
    This programme starts in September 2023 and finishes in May 2024. It is part-time and delivered online.
  2. How many hours per week? And what is the split between lecture + study time and tutorial time?
    This programme is delivered as a combination of asynchronous bite sized videos in six-week blocks. For example, one module would consist of 3 x 15minutes asynchronous & 1-hour interactive online workshop each week for six weeks.
  3. What skills will you and your employer benefit from on completion of this programme?
    On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Assemble, analyse, visualise and tell a story with digital data from a variety of sources.
  • Understand and apply data analysis and visualisation skills and be able to communicate outcomes to a variety of audiences.
  • Communicate and discuss the necessary steps for creating effective data stories.
  • Have a critical understanding of recent research and debates about data communication.
  1. What day of the week are the classes delivered?
    To be confirmed
  2. Does a student need to attend live/ or is everything recorded?
    Live attendance is required for the 1 hour interactive weekly workshop but there will be pre-recorded bite-sized content that can be engaged with at a time that suits you.
  3. What software programmes will be used?
    Data visualisation and storytelling tools eg. Datawrapper, Tableau, Excel, Flourish. Looker Studio, Data analytics software, for example the programming language R.
  4. How are learners assessed on this programme?
    There are no terminal exams on this programme. Assessment will be continuous, through project-based learning.
  5. Who is leading this course?
    Dr Fergal Quinn is an experienced lecturer and course director with over 10 years’ experience as in University of Limerick and Dublin City University. He brings a wealth of experience in researching, teaching and module and course design, both in person and online oriented, as well as over ten years in the media industry as a journalist with RTE, The Irish Times, Longford Leader and others. Fergal takes a creative, flexible, practical and industry oriented approach to teaching and course design and constantly seeks to innovate alongside industry trends and developments.

Applicants are normally expected to hold a primary honours degree in a related discipline, (minimum H2.2), or equivalent and have at least 3 years of relevant industry experience.

Alternative Entry Route:

In accordance with the University's policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning, candidates who do not meet the minimum entry criteria may be considered.

What to Include with your Application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • A copy of your birth certificate or passport
  • If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice. If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
  • English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
    AND English language competency certificate
    For more information Click Here

EU - €3500 per annum

Non EU - €4750 per annum

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.