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Certificate in Design for Sustainability and Circular Economies 2024

14th February 2024 (12-weeks duration)
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Hybrid Studio-Based learning:
• 10 weeks of online studio (3 hours per week)
• 2 in-person sessions (2x5 hour days)
• Independent Learning (125 hours expected)

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***Members of IDI, ICAD, 100 archive, IAPI: €939
Non-members: €1,400

Design For Sustainability And Circular Economies Certificate

Level 9* Special Purpose CPD Award – Accredited by TUS (10 ECTS)  Delivered by Limerick School of Art & Design at TUS (Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest) in partnership with Design Skillnet.


The Design for Sustainability and Circular Economies Certificate will facilitate and support design professionals in their practice-based enquiry into Design for sustainability.

The continued professional development course structure will increase awareness and shine a light on opportunities and challenges facing design practices by critically evaluating the current cultural, social, economic and ecological landscapes and interrogating their existing models and approaches to design for sustainability and circular economies.

Suited to practitioners from all design disciplines, it will invite designers to identify opportunities to adapt with agility, to re-shape and remodel existing approaches within their own design practice and wider design communities and build on valuable and existing skillsets through the adoption of regenerative, circular and sustainable practices to address global challenges at their roots, enact meaningful change, make a real impact now and future-proof their design processes.

Guided by expert specialists, this course will equip participants with the tools to actively query existing modes of design for sustainability, deepen their understanding of Life Cycle Thinking, Circular Economy Principles and Regenerative Design Practices, gather industry insights, generate dynamic discussion with both peers and subject matter experts, co-design for best practice and propose new ways of shaping our design futures.


The course will cover*:

  • Introduction to Sustainable Development, case studies, approaches & philosophies.
  • Project Scoping
  • Practical DfS strategies for designers
  • Social and environmental legislative concerns for designers
  • LCA (Product Life Cycle Analysis), LCA tools, IT(Information Technology) packages, simplified applied LCA
  • Circular Economy Principles and application
  • Social and corporate responsibility
  • Packaging and waste considerations for designers
  • Regenerative Design Practice
  • Material Flow and Production
  • Marketing ‘Sustainable Design’ and managing customer/user expectations
  • Procurement and specification of materials and processes
  • Sustainable Product Service Systems
  • Project Presentations

*Subject to change


Eligibility Criteria

Honours (Level 8) Degree in a Design discipline or appropriate industry experience or prior learning (RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning).

Duration: 1 semester (12 contact** weeks) TBC

Hybrid Studio-Based learning:
Including Expert Lecturers, Workshops, Peer to Peer facilitated discussions, Self-directed Research, Individual Tutorials/Critique and Presentation

• 10 weeks of online studio (3 hours per week)
• 2 in-person sessions (2 x5 hour days)
• Independent Learning (125 hours expected)

**12 weeks of classes plus an independent learning window. The overall semester is 15 weeks.

• Number of Days/Evenings per week: 1 afternoon per week
• Delivery Day/Evening: Afternoons
• Number of Hours per day/evening: 3



IDI/Design Skillnet members can apply via the TUS portal Certificate Course Registration.**

Application deadline: Accepting late applications for final places – Apply by Feb 6th

**Make sure to state Design Skillnet in your application to avail of the preferential rate. Not a member? Please contact for information regarding becoming a member.


Institute of Designers in Ireland, ICAD, 100 Archive, IAPI Members*** are eligible for a discounted fee of  €939.

Non-members: €1,400.

Register your interest to enquire about your eligibility, fees and general inquiries.


*Level 9 Certificate as per the NFQ (National Framework for Qualifications).


Find out more

Download the Design for Sustainability and Circular Economies Certificate (DfSCE) most frequently asked questions (FAQs) or request one of our information session recordings via

Read our Q&A with Design for Sustainability and Circular Economies Certificate (DfSCE) graduates Brian Byrne, graphic designer and owner of Lands Studio, Fiona O’Reilly, Founder of On the Dot and Róisín Jordan Freelance Sustainability and Innovation Designer, Róisín Jordan and member of Design Declares Ireland to find out more.

I really recommend this course. The DfSCE course was the best way to investigate what role a Graphic Designer could play around wasteful packaging, Sustainability and Generative practices, get informed and learn from experts and my peers. I am really delighted I did the course as I now have a qualification that reflects On The Dot’s values and our aim to lean into the Circular Economy. This is an achievement we can take genuine pride in as part of our lifelong learning journey and mission to make a meaningful difference to the community of clients we find ourselves within as well as our personal community. This qualification will form part of our ongoing goal to learn how to live and work as sustainably as possible and to incorporate this into our academic work and client projects. Overall, the journey of discovery has given me the confidence and motivation to learn, and do - more in this space.

Fiona O'Reilly, On The Dot Design, Member of Design Declares Ireland.

The DfS+CE course is an ideal introduction to sustainability and circularity for anyone working in the design industry. From the outset, we were encouraged to think about how we could apply what we learned to our own roles and responsibilities. The course gave us the time and space to do that successfully. It has completely changed how I think about my work, the methods I employ and what I produce. I would highly recommend it.

Brian Byrne, Lands. Design Studio; Member of Design Declares Ireland.

With 70% / 80% / 90% (depending on who you read) of a product’s environmental impact ‘locked-in’ at the concept design stage, it quickly reveals the responsibility of—and opportunities for—design in the sustainability economy.
This collaborative Design for Sustainability and Circular Economies course, with experts from across the spectrum of design disciplines, gave valuable insights and tools to inform, adapt and develop our design processes and output.

David Rice ,

I would definitely recommend the course. Being able to connect with like-minded peers who are also interested in climate action and sustainability and staying connected afterward was invaluable. Getting an education and being exposed to a wide amount of disciplines, areas and international lecturers, was extremely beneficial in looking at design for sustainable and circular economies in Ireland and Europe

Róisín Jordan, Freelance Sustainability and Innovation Designer, Member of Design Declares Ireland.

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