Advanced Diploma in Data Protection Law

Last Updated: Monday, September 27, 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.


This course will be delivered in an online format only, live via Zoom, with recordings of lectures available after class is over. Interactive elements such as class discussions / tutorials will not be recorded and will be cast live only. There will be no attendance in person at King’s Inns for class, though we hope to be able to host an event for students later in the course, public health regulations permitting.

Delivery is in part–time mode through the medium of lectures and seminars, presented by leading experts in the area. The course will take place over 18 weeks with lectures on Tuesdays from 8.30 am to 10.00 am during the academic term.

Course Start Date: Tuesday, 19 October 2021 (new start date)

Classes are recorded using e–learning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment. This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live, most of the sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time.

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

Please note the course content is subject to change. 

Course Content

  • Course Introduction from Coordinator – live online session, not recorded 
  • 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

  • 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


This is a professional development course. It is awarded independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns and delivered by seasoned, highly experienced practitioners. To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is 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: Extended to midnight on Sunday, 10 October 2021

In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 

The process is very short and 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 or debit card. An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.

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.

Register and apply here

Receive notification when more information is available


Peter Carney

“As I was completing the course, I was making technical changes to how we process data in our organisation. This was a result of my lectures and information provided by King’s Inns. The lecture notes and videos were excellent, and they allow me to learn at my own pace. I would have no hesitation recommending this to a friend.” (Class of 2020–2021)

Peter Carney, IT Director and DPO

Garret McMahon

“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 an excellent scope and is well supported by class materials and online recordings. The structure and delivery of the lectures are outstanding. The breadth of experience and knowledge brought by the course lecturers is, for me, a major strength.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Garret McMahon, Librarian and Recordkeeper