Advanced Diploma in Social Media and Media Law

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The law governing media and social media encompasses several different areas, from defamation and privacy to criminal and intellectual property laws. The legal principles underpinning the use of various forms of media have practical consequences in many professions; journalism, blogging, and political communications through to marketing, advertising, and in many other areas of business and civil society. The practical application of the law in these different industries requires balancing rights and interests that will be explored through the delivery of this course, from protecting the rights to privacy and a good name to recognising the importance of ensuring freedom of expression in a democratic society. 

The law in this area evolves alongside the developments in technology that occur on an almost daily basis. This Social Media and Media Law course will seek to provide participants with insights in respect of relevant legal principles and provide them with opportunities to hear from leading experts and individuals with vast experience in applying those principles in their engagement with media and social media in practice.


The aims and objectives of this course are to provide an overview of media law in Ireland in addition to addressing emerging issues in this area.

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

  1. Explain the main elements of social media and media law
  2. Critically assess how the law regulates the media environment
  3. Understand the obligations and rights of social media and media practitioners
  4. Evaluate emerging developments in media law and in particular, social media law
  5. Critically analyse and apply constitutional provisions, statutory provisions and the principles in case law
  6. Conduct research into areas of media law
  7. Engage in critical thinking and legal analysis


This course is suitable for professionals working in social media, digital marketing, communications and public relations. People working as writers, journalists, bloggers, in–house counsel, those working in the newspaper and broadcasting industries, data protection lawyers and lawyers working in the public and private sector together with anyone in the entertainment or media industries.


The coordinator of the course is Lewis Mooney 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 approx. 16 weeks with lectures on Tuesdays from 8.30 am to 10.00 am during the academic term.

Course Start Date: Tuesday, 19 October 2021 (provisional)

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 session, not recorded)
  • Live online round up of first term topics with course coordinator 
  • Introduction to Social Media and Media Law
  • Freedom of Expression under the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 
  • Defamation – Part I, II and III
  • Privacy, Online Publications and Remedies Available
  • Contempt of Court
  • The Media and the Courts
  • Censorship
  • Public Order and Morality
  • Online Publication
  • Social Media and the Law
  • Data Protection and the Media 
  • Regulation of the Press
  • Broadcast Regulation
  • A view from the bench (live session, not recorded – attendance in person recommended)

Previous Speakers

  • Dearbhail McDonald, Freelance Journalist, Author and Broadcaster
  • Paula Mullooly, Director of Legal Affairs, RTE
  • Peter Feeney, Press Ombudsman 
  • Declan Doyle SC 
  • Eoin McCullough SC
  • Dr Eoin O’Dell, Associate Professor, Trinity College Dublin
  • Hugh I Mohan SC 
  • Joe O’Malley, Partner, Hayes Solicitors
  • John O’Dowd, UCD
  • Karyn Harty, Partner, McCann Fitzgerald
  • Mark O’Shaughnessy, Partner, ByrneWallace
  • Professor Neville Cox, TCD
  • Shane Murphy SC
  • Simon McAleese, Simon McAleese Solicitors


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 one written take home (100%) assignment.

Provisional assessment schedule: This assignment is released close 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: 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

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Anthony O’Toole

As a communications and business development professional, I found the course approachable, practical and the expert speakers knowledgeable and quite entertaining in their delivery! I particularly enjoyed the Q&A’s sessions, where we discussed recent legislation and court cases, and how it might impact the media industry going forward. Would highly recommend anyone working in media and communications to complete.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Anthony O’Toole, Independent Creative and Business Development Advisor

Damien Conroy

“I found the course content relevant and interesting and I was very impressed with the quality of the speakers.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Damien Conroy, Solicitor