Advanced Diploma in Data Protection Law

Page last updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Data protection has gained an increasingly high profile, both in Ireland and internationally, over recent years. Since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (“the GDPR”), which significantly reformed 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.

On completion of the Advanced Diploma, participants should be better able to:

  1. Understand the legal framework governing data protection in Ireland and the EU;
  2. Identify the structure of the regulatory regime, including enforcement and remedies;
  3. Apply the practical application of data protection law.


The GDPR is of such wide application that it will affect anyone dealing with personal data. This course will be of interest to; 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; barristers and solicitors; employees of financial institutions; those working in central or local government, as well as the health and education sectors. 

Having a diverse group of professionals studying this course together allows participants to learn from each other, especially during tutorials and Q&A sessions.

“Excellent speakers, well run course. Extremely flexible in terms of being able to log on and listen to the sessions at your convenience. Suitable for anyone who is working full–time. It was great to get the opportunity to learn a new area of law…I have only just completed the course and already have been offered an opportunity to work with and support our DP team.”

2023 Graduate


The designer and lead lecturer of the course is barrister and academic Dr David Fennelly BL, assisted by barrister James Byrne BL.

David specialises in EU and international law, particularly in the fields of human rights, equality and data protection. He is also the current Chair of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), a human rights NGO that promotes access to justice for all.


This course takes place 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 online live only.

The course takes place over 18 weeks from October to March, with lectures on Tuesdays from 8.30 am to 10 am.

Course Start Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2024

Classes are recorded using eLearning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class online live via Zoom, 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 to read through our Virtual Learning Environment. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our library and legal resource databases.

King’s Inns is built on networking and engagement. Over the year, we invite students to attend and participate in various social events, fireside chats and talks. Events take place either online or in–person. All of this contributes to the learning experience that is King’s Inns.

Course Content

  • Course overview and introduction (live 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

Please note the course content is subject to change in accordance with new developments in this area. 

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 and it is accredited independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns. The skills and competence gained in studying at King’s Inns are transferable, portable and recognised internationally. It is a valuable qualification delivered by distinguished lawyers, members of the judiciary, legal and other practitioners specialising in legal education.

To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete one assessment. 

Note: The timetable and assessment information are subject to change in 2024. Details will be confirmed and updated soon. 


  • Course fee: €2,550. 
  • You should view the fee structure, payment terms, and other charges here > 

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. You must receive your discount code before applying. View more information here >


There are no admission requirements for this course. A place on the highly sought–after course is not secured until the tuition fee is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.


Application Deadline: Midnight (Irish time) on Tuesday, September 24, 2024

  • In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘register and apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 
  • The application process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.
  • Payment can be made through the Application Portal using your credit or debit card (please make sure your bank allows you to process the full payment in one go), or 
  • If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a valid PO number in advance of making the application, 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. The participant will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the Application Portal. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their employer has paid in full within the timeframe required in order to secure a place. King’s Inns cannot contact your employer for payment, we can only liaise with the applicant.
  • An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.
  • Subscribing members: You must apply your discount code upon application. It cannot be applied after the application is made. 

Apply here

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Data Protection Law Graduate 2022

“I found the Diploma in Data Protection Law to be very helpful. The lectures were very clear, and it was convenient to access the videos of the lectures after they had been conducted live. As a result, I now have a firm understanding of data protection law, data protection obligations on data controllers and the practical implications of the introduction of the GDPR.”

Class of 2021–2022

Data Protection Law Graduate 2022

“Apart from GDPR principles, the course presented a comprehensive study of data protection law, including practical examples of case law, the DPC, DPO, EU, remedies, etc. It also covered security, state surveillance and the importance of personal data. The references to the law provide confidence for those working in the area.”

Class of 2021–2022