Professional Diploma in Data Protection and Governance

UCD Sutherland School of Law is delighted to accept applications for the Diploma in Data Protection and Governance. The Diploma is designed to supply training for Data Protection Officers and others involved in the compliance role in organisations. It will also be of relevance to legal practitioners involved in this area.

The Diploma has been designed to meet the training needs that have developed since the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. The GDPR has meant that significant new data protection obligations have been imposed on Irish organisations. As a result, a wide range of organisations must now appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) with an appropriate level of expertise in data protection law and practice. Organisations not required to appoint DPOs are still obliged to carry out a range of new tasks such as Data Protection Impact Assessments and will benefit from training their staff in this area. This Diploma is designed to meet the training needs of Data Protection Officers and others involved in the compliance role in organisations and the legal community involved in this area.

The programme is co-ordinated by Dr TJ McIntyre of Sutherland School of Law with teaching from eminent industry specialists (listed below).

Graduates of this programme will enhance their competence by adding relevant knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to Data Protection and Governance. The programme will use teaching, learning and assessment approaches such as small group teaching, academic writing and summative examination assessments.

The programme will be delivered through two hour lectures each week over two trimesters - the first tranche will take place from January to April on Wednesday evenings at 5pm. 

The second tranche of lectures will take place from September to December on Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Further information can be obtained by emailing Interested student may apply here. 

The Diploma will be delivered by a number of data protection and privacy specialists including: 

Ronan Lupton SC

Ronan Lupton is a barrister practising in the areas of Commercial, Chancery and Media Law. He has particular expertise and teaches in the areas of Defamation, Data Protection, eCommerce, Freedom of Expression, Intellectual Property, Privacy and Media Contempt and Communications Regulatory Law.  He was called to the Irish Bar in 2008 and the Bar of England and Wales in 2019. 


He is a media law adviser to a number of large media organisations, has advised Government on Internet content issues, and advises generally on complex commercial and technology contracting matters in both the private and public law spheres. 

Daragh O Brien,

Daragh O Brien is the Managing Director of Castlebridge, one of Europe’s leading Business Information Strategy and Governance consultancies, Prior to founding Castlebridge in 2009, Daragh held senior roles in CRM Programme management and Regulatory Assurance in a leading telecommunications company. Since 2009, Daragh and his team have worked with organisations in a range of sectors, including Government and EU bodies, credit unions, semi-state sector companies, utilities, and retail, in Ireland, the UK, and further afield. 

Daragh has served on the boards of a number of professional bodies in the information management field and is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society. He was a key contributor to the Innovation Value Institute’s IT-CMF in the areas of Enterprise Information Management, Data Quality, and Data Governance, and is a participant in the ADAPT Centre in Trinity College Dublin. He has worked with a number of leading professional bodies in Ireland to develop course syllabuses for some of the leading Data Protection practitioner courses available in Ireland.

With over two decades of cutting edge experience, Daragh has written a number of books on information management topics. His most recent (Ethical Data and Information Management) was co-authored with Dr Katherine O’Keefe and published in May 2018. He has also written countless articles and blog posts in a variety of forums and is a regular tutor and keynote speaker at conferences in Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the United States. In 2019 he was recognised by the All Ireland Business Foundation as a Thought Leader in Data Governance and Data Privacy. 

Dr Katherine O'Keefe

Dr Katherine O’Keefe is a lead Information Governance and Privacy consultant, trainer, and Chief Ethicist with Castlebridge Associates. She is co-author of the book Ethical Data and Information Management : Concepts, Tools and Methods (2018). Since joining Castlebridge in 2013, Katherine has worked with clients in the telecommunications, transportation, education, and not-for-profit sectors, and leads the Social Enterprise and MicroBusiness consulting team within Castlebridge Representative consulting and advisory projects include:

  • Data protection advisory and training support to one of the largest providers of secondary and further education in Ireland.
  • Analysis and design of a Data Governance Strategic roadmap for a leading Irish telco.
  • Subject access request advisory and support for an education sector client.
  • Identification and definition of Data Governance priorities and development of a strategy and roadmap for a large organization in the transportation sector.
  • Data protection and compliance reviews for a number of clients in the Irish not-for-profit sector.
  • Design, development and delivery of a variety of bespoke Data Governance and Data Protection training programmes for clients in various sectors, using traditional classroom-based, e-learning, and blended delivery methods.

Katherine has co-written public consultation documents on Data Governance in the public sector, a chapter on using Agile Data Governance in a regulatory environment, and white papers on Subject Access Requests, the privacy implications of instant messaging in a medical context, and Information Governance Strategy for the implementation of Health Identifiers.