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Skillnet Ireland, the Trainers’ Learning Skillnet, the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD) and DCU Business School have joined forces to launch a unique programme for the learning and development sector.

The fruits of this exciting collaboration, the MSc in Strategic Learning and Development, is the first master’s level programme in Ireland focusing on learning and development from a strategic and contemporary approach.

This significant new master’s degree aims to bridge the gap that exists for learning and development professionals to support their professional practice with recognised qualifications at this level.

Tracey Donnery, Director of Policy and Communications at Skillnet Ireland, noted the significance of this new programme:

“Skillnet Ireland’s partnership with IITD and DCU Business School has resulted in Ireland’s first MSc in Strategic Learning and Development. This innovative master’s programme will be a key enabler in developing the expertise of Ireland’s learning and development professionals, meeting the strategic talent development needs of businesses across many sectors and in developing Ireland’s highly skilled and talented workforce.”

Shaped by the future needs of the L&D community

This two-year part-time master’s programme is informed and shaped by the future needs of the L&D community. It is aimed at those working across the full breadth of the people development including professionals who are working with their organisations, or with clients, to support the advancement of organisational performance through people.

IITD CEO Sinead Heneghan, who heads up the professional body representing learning and development professionals in Ireland, said:

“We’re delighted to further build on our already, very strong, relationship with DCU in bringing this Master’s in Strategic Learning and Development to the market. Supported by the Trainers’ Learning Skillnet Ireland, IITD and DCU are delighted to be working together now to bring this fantastic programme to our profession. This is a great opportunity for people working in the field to develop a strong knowledge base to support their professional practice. We have received huge interest in this programme already and look forward to seeing many more people in the coming years and gain their master’s qualification and apply their new knowledge back into this sector.”

The aim of the programme is to provide the knowledge and insights necessary to position participants as recognised experts within the learning and development community and beyond.

According to Academic Programme Director Dr. Margaret Heffernan from DCU Business School “this exciting partnership with IITD and Skillnet highlights DCU’s commitment to offering programmes developed with industry partners that advance high academic standards whilst meeting the needs of practitioners in a key sector of industry”.

The MSc in Strategic Learning and Development combines elements from L&D Design and Strategy to Organisational Transformation, Leadership and Change, Digital Learning Tools, the Future of L&D and Data Analytics.

“We expect that this programme will be an excellent way for participants to accelerate their career giving graduates the analytical and practical skills they will need to develop and implement strategies. Graduates will also be positioned to contribute to decision-making and policy discussions at a senior level – this programme will prepare them for a role in L&D departments of large or multinational organisations,” added Dr Heffernan.

The programme was designed in conjunction with both leading industry and academic experts with the subject matter integrating both professional and applied L&D business material.

Lectures are delivered by experienced experts from academia, industry and practice, facilitating graduates with the most up-to-date theory and practice.

Learn more

Learn more about the MSc in Strategic Learning and Development at DCU Business School please visit

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