Professional Certificate in Data Protection


Programme Overview

Data protection law underwent a fundamental reform in May 2018, the date on which the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. This new law has significantly changed what data protection law is and how it applies. GDPR imposes new penalties and liabilities on data controllers and processors who fail to comply with its provisions.


The Professional Certificate in Data Protection, a 10 ECTS award at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications was designed in consultation with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner. It provides Data Protection Officers and Compliance Officers with the expert knowledge of data protection and is the only accredited qualification at this level. Participants will learn through an applied approach and develop specialist skills and competence to support and advise their organisation in managing and mitigating data protection related reputational, compliance and financial risks. 


The programme is delivered on a part-time basis across one semester. It comprises of one module, Data Protection Policy and Procedures and forms part of the MSc in Compliance. Students who successfully complete the certificate are exempt from this module if they subsequently decide to apply for the MSc in Compliance.

How you will benefit:

On successful completion of the Professional Certificate in Data Protection, graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand the obligations imposed by GDPR in law and practice and justify the rationale behind recommendations in relation to data protection;
  2. Use contemporary theories and practical evidence to design a data protection framework within your organisation;
  3. Design, complete and report on major data protection projects which may be required to enhance your firm’s positioning within the sector; and
  4. Maintain, develop and apply contemporary professional best practice and contribute to a personal ethos of life-long learning and self-improvement.
Taking up an ACOI Designation:


On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded the Professional Certificate in Data Protection from UCD.


Graduates who complete the Professional Certificate in Data Protection, will be invited to apply for the designation ‘Certified Data Protection Officer’ and use the designatory letters CDPO. Continued use of this designation is subject to meeting ACOI’s CPD requirements. For more on ACOI designations, click here.

Education Partners:

The Professional Certificate in Data Protection is delivered by the iob, and awarded by UCD.


  • Fee - €1,450


  • IFS Skillnet Funded fee €1,000


  • Part funding may be available for eligible applicants through IFS Skillnet.

How to Apply

  1. You will need to be a current member of ACOI to register for this programme.
  2. Register for this programme through our Education Partner, iob.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions on the Professional Certificate in Data Protection, or any of our education programmes:


Contact: Ciara on [email protected]