Advanced Diploma in Social Media and Media 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 need 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. 


The area of social media and media law is very much an evolving environment particularly due to advances in communications technology. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to and overview of social media and media law to include Irish law, EU Law and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. 

Students learn about the main areas of media law to include the law of defamation, contempt of court, privacy, freedom of expression, broadcasting/press regulation and the regulation of new forms of media.


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, students 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, writers, journalists, bloggers, in–house counsel, those working in the newspaper and broadcasting industries, data protection lawyers and barristers/solicitors working in the public and private sector together with anyone in the entertainment or media industries.


The coordinator of the course is Dr Sarah Fennell BL.


Delivery is part–time over a period of 16 teaching weeks. Lecture will take place on Tuesday mornings between 8.30am and 10.00am.

Course Start Date: October 2021.

All class notes will be made 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:

  • Course Introduction from Coordinator (live online session, 8.30am on 20 October 2020, not recorded)
  • Live online round up of first term topics with course coordinator (not recorded) 
  • Introduction to Social Media and Media Law (recorded)
  • Freedom of Expression under the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (recorded)
  • Defamation (Parts I, II and III, all recorded)
  • Privacy, Online Publications and Remedies Available (recorded) 
  • 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 (not recorded–attendance in person recommended; if King’s Inns is not open to students at the date of this lecture due to public health guidelines, there may be a live online lecture in place of one where attendance in person is necessary) 

Previous speakers on the course include: 

  • Dearbhail McDonald, Freelance Journalist, Author and Broadcaster
  • 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
  • Paula Mullooly, Director of Legal Affairs, RTE
  • Peter Feeney, Press Ombudsman 
  • Dr. Sarah Fennell BL (course director)
  • Shane Murphy SC
  • Simon McAleese, Simon McAleese Solicitors


To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant will be required to successfully complete one written take home (100%) assignment.

Provisional assessment schedules: This assignment is released close 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 will open up 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 


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