Programmes for the Future

The process of programme redesign is intended for degree-programme teams, who work in parallel during the process and share good practice as they re-think their programmes and do their design work. Such teams have already made a commitment to some specific curriculum innovation (e.g. 'blended' or fully online learning, assessment redesign, graduate attributes, or even designing a brand new course). They aim to develop the practice of course design and development in expanded, multi-disciplinary teams. This process is based on the Oxford Brookes University CDI Model and links to the Deakin University Live the Future: Course Intensives

TU4Dublin Programmes for the future Initiative (PFI)

Building on the expertise and resources available across the three partner Institutions, the TU4D Steering committee has allocated up to 60,000euros for the development of three to four flagship programmes. The aim of the initiative is to encourage the PFI approach to programme design which will exploit the possibilities offered by digital technologies, and thereby to develop the practice of digitally-informed course design and development in an expanded multi-disciplinary team.

This work will be coordinated by one of the TU4D partner institutions and comprise a TU4D Teaching Fellowship Team involving staff from at least two of the partner institutions. Over the course of a semester, the selected Teaching Fellowship teams will be invited to work in partnership with a dedicated TU4D support team in conjunction with experienced eLearning practitioners/ developers, learning technologists, subject librarians, or other relevant specialists (both internal and external) to align their syllabus, learning resources and other course-related material with the draft TU4D Curriculum model and associated teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

The Programmes of the Future initiative was launched by Prof Rhona Sharpe at a TU4D workshop on 7 May 2015. Rhona Sharpe Presentation 

The programmes

Applications were sought from cross-institutional teams who had already made a commitment to a specific curriculum innovation (e.g. 'hybrid' or fully online learning or digital assessment practices, as above) and who identified a Teaching Fellowship Team from at least one other TU4D partner. Applications were judged on criteria to include the following: (i) cross campus, involving at least two of the the three TU4D institutes; (ii) alignment with the TU curriculum model; (iii) clearly niche area (flagship); (iv) clearly innovative (e.g. digital); (v) addresses the TU criteria; (vi) management support (cross campus).

On 18 September 2015 it was announced that the following teams have been successful in obtaining Programmes for the Future designation for their initiatives:

Masters in Applied Culinary Nutrition

Angela Feeney, ITT Dublin (Lead), Michael Hagan (ITB), Dominic Dillane (DIT)

The aim is to deliver this Masters in Applied Culinary Nutrition completely online. This programme is a unique global offering and has huge potential to attract international students. The programme was described as a 'flagship' programme by the external validation panel, bringing together science and culinary arts and adding in the expertise of horticulture and organic growing from our ITB partners, as well as participation from DIT.

MA in Management for the nonprofit sector

Dr Francis McGeough, ITB (Lead), Judy Doyle (DIT), Cormac Doran (ITB), Dr. Carmel Gallagher (DIT), Blath McGeough (ITT Dublin),
Caroline Tansey (ITT Dublin)

Managing not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) is hugely different to managing for-profit organisations. Currently, there is no third-level course in Ireland dedicated to managing the NPO sector. Therefore, this proposal offers an opportunity to the new TU4Dublin to develop a flagship programme that meets an unmet need, and place the new entity at the forefront of management education for the NPOs. This programme will be innovative, practical and builds on existing skills (teaching and research) across the three institutes. The involvement of staff from all three institutes highlights the unique collaborative nature of this proposal. The NPO sector faces huge challenges and has been the focus of much criticism with controversies in Rehab and CRC impacting on the entire NPO sector.
The challenges facing the sector include:
- The implementation of the new governance code and increased regulation which is managed by new oversight bodies;
- Maintaining staff morale in the face of these scandal and increased pressure of work;
- The ongoing need for organisational responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness, with a government requirement for evidence-based outcomes.
These challenges will require NPOs to refocus and up-skill their management capability so that they can deliver the services required, while maintaining public trust.

M.A. in Social Research

Dr Fiona McSweeney, DIT (Lead), Dr Aiden Carthy (ITB), Margaret Fingleton (ITT Dublin)

A foundation theme for the Technological University for Dublin is strengthening research. This programme will make a strong contribution as it will equip postgraduate students with knowledge and skills in conducting social research. As part of the programme students will undertake a placement within an organisation where they will undertake a small scale research project of relevance to that organisation, which will form the basis of the student’s thesis. This will ensure that the students and staff of the university are in dialogue with external stakeholders. In addition the provision of a taught masters degree in social research will encourage students to continue to research at PhD level and beyond within the university, thereby increasing postgraduate research student numbers. Although the programme is not exclusively aimed at graduates of the B.A. (Hons) in Social Care from the three institutes it is relevant to note that with registered professional status and consequent drive for practice relevant research TUD should be proactive in providing a pathway for graduates who wish to engage in research within the university. Currently researchers in the field of social care and social work are under-represented in research in the health and social care professions.

Masters in IoT applications

Dr Philip Owende, ITB (lead), Dr Catherine Deegan (ITB) (Proposed Programme Lead), Mr Benjamin Toland (ITB), Dr Damon Berry (DIT), Mr Frank Duignan (DIT), Mr David Powell (ITB), Mr Paul Stacey (ITB), Mr Michael Gill (ITT Dublin)

We propose to commence development of a new, cross-institutional level 9 programme in the rapidly expanding field of the Internet of Things(IoT). The purpose of this proposed new programme is to provide access to an online, flexible, Masters award. This award will have embedded a Postgraduate Diploma in the rapidly expanding field of the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as single certificate module qualifications. This flagship Masters programme would consist of six ten-credit taught modules and a thirty-credit research thesis. The Postgraduate Diploma programme would consist of six ten-credit taught modules. It is proposed to target both industry based learners seeking up-skilling opportunities and graduate learners from Engineering, Computer Science and other fields seeking to align their skills to this new cross-discipline area. This programme will be designed to complement the undergraduate offerings at both institutions, as well as provide a flexible, accessible level 9 programme of study for those already in employment. This programme will draw on the considerable existing expertise across the computer engineering programme boards of three institutions, ITTD, ITB and DIT. The new programme would work closely with key industry partners such as Intel who have expressed interest in helping to develop the programme.

DT003/2, Mathematics 2, 12666 MATH2103 (Module)

Bill Reddington, DIT (lead), Damien Cox (ITB), Ciaran O Sullivan (ITT Dublin)

The key purpose of redesigning this module is to introduce the concept of the "Flipped Classroom" or blended learning. The "flipped classroom" approach is a teaching and learning strategy wherein study and classwork exchange places so that students view lectures at home via pre-recorded video or audio files and then use class-time to carry out hands-on exercises allowing individual support from their lecturer or teacher while in class. Once implemented the strategy provide a means by which students can access and then review material presented by their lecturers. The flipped classroom approach enhances the learning experience for the student and offers many advantages, such as;
• The students can digest new lecture material at their own pace and are not are not bound by the pace set by the lecturer.
• The lecturer is present while students apply new knowledge.
• It has been shown that the flipped classroom approach can significantly improve student grades, and enhance their understanding and enjoyment of the subject.
• Reduce class contact hours between lecturer and student.

Maths for STEM level 5 (Module)

Dr Michael Carr (DIT), Martin Marjoram (ITT Dublin), Cormac Breen (DIT), ITB participant TBC

Dr Carr has served as the DIT representative on the QQI body tasked with the redesign of Maths for STEM (Fetac level 5). Previously the level of this module wasn’t of a high enough standard to prepare students to cope with STEM degrees at level 8. As part of the redesign of this module it was agreed that an element of high threshold testing be introduced onto the module. This would be a series of online tests that students have to pass in basics mathematics with a pass mark of 80%. Students can re-sit these tests as often as required until the achieved the necessary level. Such a high standard in basic mathematics would leave these students much better prepared to cope with the demands of a STEM degree at level 8. These tests would be accompanied by a series of online resources.

Emotional and social competency training for final year students (Module)

Dr Aiden Carthy, Lecturer, ITB (lead), Dr Fiona McSweeney (DIT), Ailish Jameson (ITB), ITB participant TBC

Research has demonstrated that with respect to graduate attributes, employers favour graduates who possess higher levels of emotional intelligence (EI) (Job Outlook Survey 2008). Increasing students’ levels of emotional intelligence is, therefore, a viable means of improving graduate employment rates. Previous attempts to improve students’ emotional competencies have involved ‘whole school’ approaches, whereby generic EI skills development programmes were designed and delivered to all of the students in a given school or college (e.g. Durlak and Weissberg 2005). This proposal aims to develop a suite of educational modules that will specifically enable students to develop key emotional strengths that are linked with career success in their chosen field of study. It is anticipated that this will lead to reduced attrition rates and allow students to develop key abilities that will help them to improve their employment prospects. A critical aspect of this course design will be the inclusion of employers from key sectors of industry in the research process and importantly in programme design, implementation, assessment and evaluation. This study will in fact constitute the first time that such an approach will have been taken, either in Ireland or elsewhere.

Congratulations to all!

The proposed work is to commence Sept 2015 with new or redesigned TU4D programmes commencing 2016, and further information is available from,, and