Advanced Diploma in Data Protection Law

Last Updated: Monday, April 12, 2021


Data protection has gained an increasingly high profile, both in Ireland and internationally, over recent years. With the imminent entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (“the GDPR”), which significantly reforms the regulatory regime, it is more important than ever for citizens, businesses and public institutions to become familiar with their rights and obligations under Irish and EU data protection law.


This course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive and practical grounding in the changing framework for data protection law and practice, knowledge of which will be essential for almost all businesses and public and private entities in the State.


The GDPR is of such wide application that it will affect anyone dealing with personal data. This course will be of interest to: barristers and solicitors working in the public and private sector; prospective data protection officers and members of DPO teams; those working in technology and data–driven sectors; employed and self–employed persons whose work brings them into contact with data protection issues on a regular basis in large, medium and small enterprises; employees of financial institutions; those working in central or local government, as well as the health and education sectors. The course will be particularly valuable to individuals with responsibility for data protection within their organisations, whether big or small, public or private sector. 


The coordinator of the course is Dr David Fennelly BL, assisted by James Byrne BL.


Delivery is part–time over a period of 18 teaching weeks. Lectures will take place on Tuesday mornings between 8.30 am and 10.00 am.

Course Start Date: October 2021 – date to be confirmed

All class notes are available online. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our Library and legal resource databases.

This course includes – 2021–2022 schedule not confirmed

  • Course Introduction from Coordinator
  • Introduction to Data Protection Law
  • Data Processing Principles 
  • Lawfulness of Data Processing 
  • Data Processors and Data Controllers: Roles and Responsibilities 
  • Data Subjects’ Rights
  • The Right to be Forgotten
  • Dealing with Access Requests
  • Data Security 
  • Data Protection Officer
  • Data Protection: the EU Regulatory Framework
  • Data Protection Remedies 
  • Data Protection Enforcement
  • Dealing with Data Breaches
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment
  • State Surveillance
  • International Data Transfers
  • Data Protection Law: Public Sector Issues 
  • Data Protection and Law Enforcement
  • Current Issues in Data Protection Law 

Previous speakers on the course include: 

  • Anna Morgan, Head of Legal ODPC
  • Brian Honan, BH Consulting
  • Dr Catherine Donnelly SC
  • Colin Rooney, Arthur Cox
  • Damien Young, Partner Philip Lee
  • Dr David Fennelly BL
  • Eileen Barrington SC 
  • Emily Gibson BL
  • Dr Eoin O’Dell, TCD
  • Gráinne Gilmore BL
  • James Byrne BL 
  • Jevan Neilan, Senior Associate, Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Kate Colleary, Colleary & Co. 
  • Kate O’Donnell BL, Governance Specialist, Institute of Public Administration
  • Kenneth Ruane, Head of Civil Legal, An Garda Síochána
  • Noel Travers SC
  • Paul Lavery, Partner, McCann Fitzgerald
  • Dr TJ McIntyre, UCD/Digital Rights Ireland


To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant will be required to successfully complete two written assignments. 

Provisional assessment schedules: Assignment 1 will be released at the end of term one and assignment 2 will be released closer to the end of term 2.

COURSE FEE 2021–2022

Course fee: €2,550. View fee structure and other charges here

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. View more information here.


There are no admission requirements for this course. 

Application Deadline: 

Applications open on Thursday, 29 April 2021

Your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. 

Payment can be made through the application portal using your credit / debit card. If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a PO number, the name and email address for the person responsible for payment in your organisation. The invoice will issue directly to the person whose details you enter. You will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the application portal.

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Anne MacRandal

“This was an excellent course; relevant, comprehensive and satisfying. The organisation, delivery and course materials were high quality and overall it was a good investment.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Anne MacRandal, In–house Solicitor

Garret McMahon

“The Advanced Diploma in Data Protection Law was the first time I had taken a formal course of legal studies. As a records manager, it has not only supplemented by practice perspective but also given me a first class introduction to legal analysis and writing. The course has excellent scope and is well supported by class materials and online recordings. The structure and delivery of the lectures is outstanding. The breath of experience and knowledge brought by the course lecturers is, for me, a major strength.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Garret McMahon, Librarian and Recordkeeper