May enrolment closes soon. Last places remaining.

May enrolment closes soon. Last places remaining.

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Professional Academy Diploma in Problem Solving & Decision Making

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The ideal course for engaged and motivated professionals who enjoy making things happen! This intensive course will take you through the dynamics and psychology of problem solving and decision making.

We’ll help you to peel back the layers and understand how these processes can be derailed by cognitive bias, conformity bias, groupthink, lack of trust, and fear of failure. The skills learned on the course will help take your strategic thinking to the next level.

Problem Solving & Decision Making Course Modules

Highly practical sessions using real-world examples and group discussions will introduce you to the concepts, tools, and skills involved in solving problems and making decisions. Learn to tackle complex problems more effectively, address barriers, and be more objective. This course will make you a more effective problem-solver and decision-maker, but also a better facilitator in group situations. You will learn about the subtle obstacles that can hinder or alter these processes and how to identify and then overcome them.

Or browse our wide range of expert-led online courses and grow your career potential today.

1. Problem Solving: The Independent Employee

Learn how to identify a problem and how problems impact motivation. Discover what problem-solving skills are.

  • What is a problem?
  • What is problem solving?
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Problems and their effects on motivation

2. Barriers To Problem Solving & How To Overcome Them

Learn about barriers to problem solving and how failure can help you move forward. Discover how to implement problem solving strategies.

  • Typical barriers to problem solving
  • Problem solving and failure
  • Problem-solving strategies
  • Making ideas visible

3. The Psychology Of Decision Making: What Is A Decision?

Understand the psychology of decision making and learn about the mechanics of choice.

  • What is a decision?
  • The decision-making process
  • The psychology of decision making
  • The mechanics of choice

4. Decision Making Under Risk

Discover why risk management is an important aspect of facilitating good decision making. Learn how to use risk assessment to make better decisions.

  • What is risk?
  • Risk management
  • Using risk assessment to support decisions
  • Why fear of failure can keep you stuck

5. Cognitive Bias & Decision Making

Learn how cognitive bias can influence the decision-making process, and how to identify, reflect on, and embrace strategies to overcome cognitive bias in decision making.

  • What is cognitive bias?
  • Types of bias
  • How to make objective decisions
  • How to avoid confirmation bias

6. Group Decision Making

Learn about group dynamics and how they affect group decision making. Explore approaches for more effective group decision making.

  • What is group decision making?
  • Better and more effective group decisions
  • Belbin team roles
  • Tuckman's stages of group development

7. Groupthink & Conformity Bias

Understand how groupthink and conformity bias have a negative effect on decision making and learn how to identify and eliminate them from groups.

  • What is groupthink?
  • What is the devil's advocate?
  • Fatal flaws in group decision making
  • Groupthink vs conformity bias
  • Workplace diversity vs groupthink

8. Procrastination & Its Effects On Problem Solving

Discover how procrastination affects individuals and groups. Explore how fear affects problem solving for both individuals and groups.

  • What is procrastination?
  • Myth: we work better under pressure
  • Fear and procrastination
  • Eliminating procrastination from your team

9. Improving Decision Making

Learn how to improve decision making and to consider how ethics can help when making decisions. Explore the importance of the post-decision evaluation.

  • What leads to bad decision making?
  • Strategies to improve decision-making skills
  • The importance of post-decision evaluation
  • How ethics can support decision making

10. Problem Solving Techniques

Discover some common problem-solving techniques which are used to enhance problem solving.

  • Fishbone diagrams
  • Flowcharts
  • Strategy maps
  • Mind maps
  • Root cause analysis tools

11. Influencing Skills: Inspiring Confidence In Others

Learn how influencing and persuasion skills help inspire confidence in others, and work on developing these skills in yourself.

  • Organisational intelligence
  • Team promotion
  • Trust-building
  • Leveraging networks
  • Persuasion skills

12. Strategic Thinking: Understanding The Bigger Picture

Learn to embrace strategic thinking when formulating and implementing solutions to problems.

  • What is strategic thinking?
  • Strategic decision making
  • Environmental scanning
  • Strategy formulation and strategy implementation

Access to thousands of journals, articles and papers. Free of charge.

Students taking part in this course will now have access to the EBSCO Online Library, free of charge, for the full duration of the course. Here you can browse thousands of relevant journals, articles and other reliable academic and commercial texts like the Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes Magazine, to supplement your learning and assignments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course right for me?

This practical course is ideal for professionals who want to develop their ability to arrive at better decisions and solutions and facilitate those around them to do the same. It is suitable for individuals with a high level of intrinsic motivation and an interest in professional development. You don’t need prior experience in this field but should be able to demonstrate a clear interest in the subject and how it could benefit you personally and professionally. You should be able to put in at least three hours per week (for self-study and assignments) in addition to the course lectures.

How will this course help with my career?

Demonstrate your ability to problem-solve and make decisions as part of your professional role by adding this Professional Academy Diploma to your list of achievements. With the skills and knowledge gained on this course, you will be able to discuss your ability to influence decision-making processes, gaining the trust of colleagues while avoiding roadblocks and minimising risk. This course will build your confidence in all areas of problem solving and decision making, in addition to providing insight into your own psychology so that you can overcome blind spots or weaknesses.

What is the learning experience like?

Many of our courses are now available in a variety of formats. All formats cover the same course content. You now have more choice in how you learn with us:

Live Online

Our online experience is designed to be just as interactive, supportive, and inspiring as the UCD Professional Academy campus experience.

Online courses can be accessed from any computer or laptop with an internet connection.

Live lectures are delivered using Zoom. During these lectures, your teachers will use technology interactively to ensure an engaging learning experience. When appropriate, students will be encouraged to activate their microphones so that they can ask questions and communicate with other students.

On Campus

UCD Professional Academy is delighted to welcome learners back on the UCD Belfield Campus. On Campus courses are delivered in-person with our industry experts in the O'Brien Science building.

On Demand

On Demand courses enable you to complete your course on your own schedule. Course modules are delivered in the form of one “lesson”. The lesson is broken up into short videos followed by activities designed to put the new information and concepts into practice through exercises, quizzes, forum participation and other activities.

What is the student experience like?

Student care is a high priority at UCD Professional Academy, which is why our Student Services team is on hand to support you throughout your time with us. They will respond to any queries you have, help you with any technical issues, and facilitate your learning experience at every point. All students are given access to our Student Portal, where you can see your timetable, access all your study materials, and manage your account.

How is this course assessed?

If you are studying an online course, your assessment will also be submitted online.

This course is assessed through a weekly student learning log of around 200 words per week (worth 40% of your assessment) and a final project of between 3,000 and 4,000 words (60% of your assessment) that is submitted at the end of the course.

How do I get my Professional Academy Diploma?

Your UCD Professional Academy Diploma will be issued electronically on a secure platform, with a link that you can share with employers and others wishing to verify your credentials. You can also add this certificate to your LinkedIn profile.

What are the benefits of a Professional Academy Diploma?

UCD Professional Academy Diplomas and Certificates are designed to give your career an advantage. Developed in conjunction with industry thought leaders our courses teach practical, applied skills to support you to achieve your career and business goals. Professional Academy Diplomas are suitable for career minded learners wishing to advance their professional skills and prospects rather than their academic credentials.

The Professional Academy is an independent wholly owned part of UCD designed to address the need for skills development in the workforce. Courses tend to be short, designed and delivered by industry practitioners, and are not part of nor do they lead to a traditional University award such as a degree or a masters. They are widely accepted by employers and many students are sponsored to study by their organisation.

For full details of UCD Professional Academy’s Certifications & Governance please visit

What payment options are available?

A place on any of our part-time & on demand courses can be secured with a 50% deposit with the remaining balance due within 30 days of the course commencing.

For full-time Bootcamp courses, 100% of the course fee should be paid before starting.

Please note that standard terms and conditions apply, which you can review here:

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