Advanced Diploma in Public Procurement Law

Covid–19 Course Changes 

All students will have the option of completing the entire course fully through distance learning in the academic year 2020–2021. Course materials and lectures will be available via our accessible Virtual Learning Environment. Students will also have access to a range of online legal databases and resources. 

King’s Inns has the capacity to run all classes for the entire academic year using online learning systems if needs be and has invested in technology and training in order to ensure that the student learning experience during 2020–2021 will remain at the highest possible standard, whether teaching takes place online or in person.


While the European Union (“EU”) public procurement regime has long been in place, it has received greater prominence in recent years, in particular, following the introduction of the new remedies regime in 2010, and the possibility of an automatic suspension of contract conclusion following a challenge.

Public purchasing is also central to the internal market and the EU procurement rules have been reformed, with three new directives adopted in 2014, which were implemented by Ireland in May 2016. There is a significant volume of Court of Justice case law in this area, as well as an expanding national jurisprudence. It is an important and fast–moving area of law.   

Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes

This unique Diploma will provide participants with a comprehensive and practical knowledge of the public procurement regime, including the recent amendments, and will address a range of issues in depth, from drafting invitations to tender, to conducting the various procurement processes, selection of tenderers, tender evaluation, contract conclusion and procurement litigation. 

Participants will also acquire an understanding of how procurement can be used to achieve innovation and promote government policies. Participants will have a thorough grounding in the differences between the utilities and public sector regimes, and the intersection between procurement law and competition, state aid and intellectual property.


The Diploma will appeal to procurement professionals, public sector and utilities employees, academic and government researchers, industry, policy–makers, practising lawyers, regulators and judges.


The coordinators of the course are Dr Catherine Donnelly SC and Dr Aoife Beirne BL. 

Course Content and Delivery

Delivery is part–time over a period of 18 teaching weeks. In the first term, lecture recordings will be available weekly on Tuesdays. From January 2021, if it is possible to allow teaching in person at King’s Inns, lectures will take place on Wednesday mornings between 8.30am and 9.50am (lectures will still be recorded for those wishing to complete the course via distance learning).

Course Start Date: October 2021.

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.

This course includes:

  • Course Introduction from Coordinator(s) (live online session, 9.30am on 14 October 2020, not recorded)
  • Introduction to Public Procurement Law 
  • The Scope of the Public Procurement Rules
  • Procedures, Contracts and Drafting the Tender Documentation
  • Conducting a Lawful Process I
  • Conducting a Lawful Process II
  • Intersections between Public Procurement and Competition Law
  • Innovation in Public Procurement and Intellectual Property
  • Sub–threshold Contracts
  • Contract Conclusion
  • Frameworks
  • Procurement in the Utilities Sector
  • Public Procurement and Secondary Policies
  • Public Procurement Litigation I
  • Public Procurement Litigation II
  • Reason–Giving in Public Procurement
  • Public Procurement: A View from the Bench 
  • Seminar: Practical Problems in Procurement

Previous speakers on the course have included: 

  • The Honourable Mr Justice Maurice Collins
  • Eileen Barrington SC
  • Dr Aoife Beirne BL
  • Kerri Crossen, Partner, Philip Lee
  • Anna–Marie Curran, Partner, A&L Goodbody
  • Joseph Dalby SC
  • Dr Catherine Donnelly SC
  • Nathy Dunleavy BL
  • Joanne Finn, Partner, DAC Beachcroft
  • Patrick McGovern, Retired Partner, Arthur Cox
  • Jenny Mellerick, Central Bank
  • Audrey Murtagh, CSSO
  • Jonathan Newman SC


To be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Public Procurement Law 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 2020–2021

Course fee: €2,350. View King’s Inns fee structure 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 wlll open in April 2021.

Apply here

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.

Receive notification when more information is available 


John McPhillips

“Excellent content, good course material, well organised and presented. Good insight into procurement law.” (Class of 2019–2020)

John McPhillips, Procurement Manager

Mark Harmon

“Highly recommended for anyone working in public or regulated procurement.” (Class of 2017–2018)

Mark Harmon, Chief Procurement Officer, ESB