Postgraduate Certificate in Universal Design for Learning (Online)

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 30
  • Course Code
  • Award Post Graduate Certificate
  • Duration 1 year

Course Summary

The aim of this programme is to support educational personnel to develop a variety of teaching methods to lower any barriers to learning, by introducing more flexible methods of teaching, assessment, and service provision to cater for the diversity of learners in their classrooms. The programme carefully examines the neuro-educational research that UDL evidence in addressing how people learn. It will explore its implementation in a variety of contexts and critically examine it in practice success as support to inclusion and access.

Semester 1

Understanding the UDL Framework; 15 credits.

(Theory: Examining the research evidence and formation of UDL in relation to the neuro-educational sciences. Close review of the social evolution and history of disability and access to education globally and nationally.) National experts will be part of this delivery as guest lectures, bringing in their field experience to enrich the theoretical learning. Semester 1 runs October through December.

Continuous Assessment One: Creative Project (70%) (LO 1, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Task I: Learners will have choice in creating an artefact e.g., programme leaflet, poster presentation, artwork etc. It will represent student’s voices about inclusion. Learners will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the voice of the student. They will construct their ideal inclusive module and what it has to offer in terms of pedagogy, accessibility and compliance with various national and international policy and law. Consideration of the inclusive learner experience will be on display. Staged feedback and feed forward will be part of this assessment. (40%)

Task II: Presentation – Learners will present their creative piece using a presentation format of choice. Presentations will be demonstrative of pedagogical inclusive theory and factors impacting the professional educator with modern day challenges, which were considered during the construct. (30%)

Continuous Assessment Two: Digital Reflective Journal (30%) LO 1-7 - In support of identifying their inclusive professional identity, learners will be prompted weekly with various teaching and learning scenarios. Learners will draw on the relevant theorist, reflect and respond on the most effective approach to scenarios which connects with their inclusive practice. A series of online understanding of content surveys will be facilitated through the VLE Moodle.

Semester 2

Implementation of UDL to Support Student Learning; 15 credits. (Practice: Research, learn to plan, and implement the principles of UDL in a module by providing evidenced options for perception, expression, and comprehension through careful consideration of flexible materials, classroom practices and assessment.) This practical component will support academics in implanting theory to practice in a co-taught approach, where the lecturing team will be comprised of teaching and learning expertise coupled with technological expertise. Semester 2 runs January -May.

Continuous Assessment One: ePortfolio (70%) LO 1-6 This ePortfolio assessment will comprise of seven sections (allowing for choice of presentation formats within these sections) including (i.) teaching philosophy, providing a description of the educator’s view as to the underlying principles upon which their approaches to inclusive practice are based; giving appropriate reference to conceptual frameworks or theoretical perspectives if appropriate. (ii.) student reflections, showcase student reflections evidenced. (iii.) module UDL plan, rationale and description for change, adaptations and accessibility plan and sufficient context describing the rationale for change undertaken and description of change undertaken., (vi.) implementation of change, evidence of change undertaken in relation to UDL implementation. This section of portfolio will have a thorough explanation and evidence of suggested changes made within the module in relation to UDL. (vi.) evaluation & effectiveness of change - include student feedback which include results from, and responses to, student surveys. (vii.) Reflection: Inclusive educator’s philosophy. Stages of feedback/ feed forward will be part of this assessment.

Continuous Assessment Two: Digital Reflective Journal (30%) LO 1-6 - In support of identifying their inclusive professional identity, learners will be prompted weekly with various teaching and learning scenarios. Students will draw on the relevant theorist, reflect and respond on the most effective approach to scenarios which connects with their inclusive practice. A series of online understanding of content surveys will be facilitated through the VLE Moodle.


Key Course Information

Study Hours - Whether you are studying part-time online, blended or full-time online, it is very important that you allocate enough study time to your online course to stay focused, reduce stress and achieve your goals. For part-time online or blended learning, it is recommended that you should try to allow for 5-6 hours per week per 5 credit module to your studies.

Most online courses typically involve 3 x 5 credit modules per semester which leads to an average 15 – 18 study hours per week. Our online courses have about 3 hours of live lectures per week (but this can vary per programme). The rest of your study time consists of independent learning, communicating with your lecturers and classmates and carrying out assignments.

Live Lectures - Normally take place between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Thursday but this may vary depending on the availability of specific lecturers. If the Live Classroom scheduled times for the live online lectures do not suit you, recordings will be made available through Moodle. Please note, you may be required to take some time off work for the below:

  • Exams Christmas Exams: 2 – 4 days in January each year. Summer Exams: 2 – 4 days in May each year.
  • Workshops/Practical Classes Approximately 2 - 4 days per year depending on the course you are studying. You will receive notification of the dates from your lecturer for each specific subject requirement

Application Closing Date : 18th August 2023

Entry Requirements

Honours degree (Level 8), with evidence of a 2:2 or higher.

Successful completion of 300 word applicant summary stating intent to progress UDL through practice in relation to further study and research.

Career Opportunities

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate/Master of Arts in UDL, graduates will possess the necessary knowledge and skills on the science of cognition and how to embrace individual learning differences. Based in cognitive neurosciences, UDL focuses on designing curricula with variability and removing barriers through offering flexible options and proactively designing capacity building learning experiences. While completing the programme participants will experience the UDL framework first hand as programme lead and guest lecturers model the principles and actively engage students in applying and evaluating UDL in their own practice. This will empower graduates to apply UDL into curriculum and the classroom in manageable ways and thus empower their own students to learn more effectively with choice.

Following completion of the programme graduates will have a deeper, more accurate understanding of student learning. They will have the knowledge and skills to provide their students flexibility in expression and flexibility in engagement which will serve as a platform to enhance skills, abilities, and motivations. Graduates will build on these skills to develop curriculum that is inclusive and caters to the diversity of the 21st century student.

From this programme, these graduates will carry forward attributes that will enrich any educational programme team based on their deep engagement with the incorporating the principles of UDL into their curriculum.

Further Study

Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate may progress to the Masters in Universal Design for Learning. This additional year will allow the student to undertake an in-depth research project, applying the UDL principles in practice.

Did you know?

This award would be the first accreditation at Level 9 rooted in teaching and learning from both a National & International perspective and is therefore unique in its offering. 

  • Considers inclusive theory transcending into practice in supported professional development for educators in higher education
  • This programme models what it teaches in flexibility and so the programme and its content will be offered through a flexible medium allowing for ease of access for academic staff through an online form.
  • Opportunity to engage with peers nationally and learn from each other’s best practice approaches in relation to student-centred learning.
  •  Students can progress to complete a Master’s award with an add-on year, working on a UDL research component that will build a portfolio of research that addresses the gap in the body of knowledge and feeds the appetite for research in practice.

Programme Fees

For the 2022/23 academic year, the programme is offered to ATU staff only.

Fees will be reviewed in 2023/24 when the programme has a wider offering.