Course Description

Certificate in Data Protection Practice

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • A comprehensive knowledge of Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR);
  • An understanding of the data protection framework in Ireland as governed by the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018;
  • An ability to apply that knowledge to a range of data protection issues in practice and to evaluate the role of the data protection officer;
  • The skills to advise on subject access requests, legitimate processing, data retention, consent, and international data transfers;
  • The confidence to recognise when a data breach has occurred and the notification requirements;
  • The ability to analyse sanctions for non-compliance and the powers of the Data Protection Commission;
  • The skills to conduct a data privacy impact assessment and a data protection audit and to report on an organisation’s data governance and security.

Programme structure and approach to learning

The General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation 2016/679) came into force in May 2018 and, as a result, the data protection landscape has changed significantly. This certificate will offer an in-depth analysis of the new data protection framework, the data protection legislation, and how to comply with the GDPR in practice.

Data is a valuable commodity. Modern technologies allow for huge volumes of data to be collected by companies on a daily basis. There are many legal responsibilities associated with collecting, retaining, and processing such data. Data protection laws act to balance an individual’s right to privacy with a company’s ability to use that data. It is essential that the use of data is regulated to prevent against abuses, while at the same time ensuring that companies can use data efficiently and effectively.

In this popular certificate course, participants will be brought through the application of the law by experienced data protection practitioners and privacy consultants from private practice, the public sector, and from large multinationals. There is a strong focus on the GDPR and how to apply it in practice. This course will ensure that participants are equipped to deal with the compliance issues that arise in practice.

Online and interactivity

Course materials, including webcasts of lectures, will be released each week online. In addition, online participation will be required. There will be three interactive online workshops to enable participants to connect with expert contributors and to consolidate their knowledge. Participants are also afforded the opportunity to interact with the expert contributors online each week. Participants are invited to have an open-minded approach to learning and are encouraged to interact and share knowledge with colleagues, as engaging online is a central element of online courses.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Introduction to data protection law

  • Origins of data protection law,
  • Data protection concepts and principles,
  • Overview of data protection landscape.

Module 2: Data processing and sharing

  • Legitimate processing,
  • Data retention,
  • Data access requests,
  • Government data, public sector,
  • Data protection v freedom of Information,
  • Litigation – legal professional privilege/discovery.

Module 3: Data processing and personal rights

  • Removal, amendments, rectification,
  • The right to be forgotten,
  • Direct marketing,
  • Automated decision making,
  • State surveillance.

Module 4: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Overview of key changes,
  • Impact of changes on processing, consent, outsourcing,
  • Compliance and enforcement,
  • Requirement to have a DPO,
  • Changes referenced in each module throughout the certificate.

Module 5: Data governance

  • Role of the data protection officer,
  • Data breaches,
  • Powers of Data Protection Commission,
  • Privacy impact assessments.

Module 6: International data transfers

  • Data transfer risks,
  • Transfers outside EEA,
  • Effect of Brexit data transfers,
  • Supervision, enforcement, offences.

Module 7: Data protection compliance

  • CCTV,
  • Direct marketing,
  • Cookies, the Cloud,
  • Outsourcing,
  • Drones, biometrics, wearable technology.

Module 8: Data governance framework

  • Best practice models,
  • Information Asset Life Cycle,
  • Aligning data protection and data governance,
  • Standard frameworks and ISOs,
  • Measuring date protection compliance.

Module 9: Change management

  • Context and rationale,
  • Principles of change management,
  • Data protection training.

Module 10: Data security and technology

  • Physical security of data,
  • Virtual security of data,
  • Technical considerations.

Module 11: Ethics in data protection

  • Ethical first principles,
  • A framework for ethics in information management,
  • Practical application.

Module 12: Data protection update

  • Global view and EU v US approach,
  • Overview of recent data protection issues.


Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on group problem-solving and are designed to revise all modules covered to date and to consolidate the student’s knowledge.

Workshop Title Date Time
1 Subject Access Requests Saturday 20 November 2021 Online –
Log in at an appointed time required in order to participate.
2 Data Breaches Saturday 04 December 2021 Online –
Log in at an appointed time required in order to participate.
3 Data Privacy Impact Assessments Saturday 22 January 2022 Online –
Log in at an appointed time required in order to participate.


2,500-word written assignment, including case-study scenarios (70%), multiple-choice questions (20%) and continuous assessment through online activities (10%).

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and trainees who currently advise or aspire to advise on data protection issues,
  • Data protection officers,
  • Compliance Officers,
  • IT professionals,
  • Professionals who are data controllers/processors and need to understand their legal obligations/duties,
  • All professionals advising on/working in the area of data protection who need to update their knowledge on the GDPR,
  • Suitably qualified professionals wishing to move into the area of data protection, and
  • Individuals who have an interest in protecting their personal data.

We welcome applications from others who are suitably qualified. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €100.

Hear from our graduates

Laura Ni Dhruachain

“This course has been very helpful in furthering my understanding of data protection practice. The practical-orientated focus of the course enabled me to fully understand complex legislation in its day-to-day application. The online delivery of the course was great, as it enabled me to learn at my own pace and in my own time, without interfering with my work responsibilities. The content of the course was comprehensive, covering all remits of data protection law, such as data processing and sharing, the personal rights of data subjects, international data transfers, and the General Data Protection Regulation. The calibre of the lecturers was excellent, and the various backgrounds of the lecturers added value to the course delivery.” 

Laura Ní Dhruacháin (Associate in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice, focusing on intellectual property law, Dentons)
Certificate in Data Protection Practice, Autumn 2016


The teaching faculty for this certificate comprises a fantastic array of data protection experts.

Previous lecturers have included:

  • Chris Bollard, Matheson,
  • Fergal Crehan BL, Three,
  • Olga Gaffney, Michael J. Breen & Co. Solicitors,
  • Dr Denis Kelleher, LinkedIn,
  • Jeanne Kelly, LK Shields,
  • Fred Logue, FP Logue Solicitors,
  • Phil Lee, Fieldfisher,
  • Simon McGarr, Data Compliance Europe,
  • Patricia McGovern, DFMG Solicitors,
  • Dr TJ McIntyre, UCD and Digital Rights Ireland,
  • Anna Morgan, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner,
  • Emerald De Leeuw, Logitech,
  • Linda Ni Chualladh, Citi,
  • Daragh O’Brien, Castlebridge,
  • Dr. Katherine O’Keefe, Castlebridge,
  • Richard O’Sullivan, Solicitor,
  • Ruth O’Toole, Daon,
  • Emma Redmond, Stripe
  • Kenneth Ruane, An Garda Síochána,
  • Aoife Sexton, Trūata,
  • Kate Colleary, Colleary & Co and Pembroke Privacy,
  • Oisín Tobin, Mason Hayes & Curran.


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2021 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2021. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year.

CollegeLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course CategoryLaw
Course TypeOnline Learning
Course QualificationAward / Certificate
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsCertificate in Data Protection Practice
Course Start Date6th October 2021
Course End Date22nd January 2022
Course TimeOnline lectures on Wednesdays, with online workshops on Saturdays. Also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee1650
For information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College Profile page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

Make Enquiry

Please insert your contact details and any additional information you require and we will forward your request to Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre.

Captcha code        I confirm I have read the Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions & Cookie Information and agree to join the community.


Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
Visit Website