Student bursary scheme

The 2019 Student Bursary Scheme is open for applications until Friday, 21st June 2019.

2016 launch of diploma programme

As part of our work in promoting the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is delighted to announce the launch of the fourth year of our bursary scheme for prospective students of the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration.

The Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality is a one-year, part-time programme that has been developed in conjunction with the Institute of Public Administration and is now enrolling for October 2019. The bursary scheme will cover all course fees for successful applicants. The application process is open from Friday 10th of May to Friday 21st of June 2019.  


The aim of this bursary is to contribute towards building participants’ skills to advance implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in public bodies. The student bursary scheme will support applications from public sector bodies and civil society organisations.

The 2019 application forms are available here: (select the appropriate form)

  1. Public Body Organisation – application form
  2. Civil Society Organisation – application form

About the bursary scheme:

There are 10 bursary places available and 4 of those have been reserved for people working in civil society organisations, including community and voluntary organisations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, groups representing geographic communities or communities of interest, and trade unions.

Bursary places on the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality are open to people working at all grades and functions. However, preference may be given to applications demonstrating positions of influence to drive the implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (the Duty).

The bursary scheme will cover all course fees for successful applicants.

If you or your organisation have applied for the bursary previously, this does not preclude you from applying again.

Please note that bursary recipients will be required to report back and liaise with the Commission during and after the course and participate in meetings / focus groups and impact reporting relating to their participation in the course.

Please also note that candidates who do not complete the diploma course or assessments will be required to provide the cost of the fees covered by the bursary.

Application criteria:

• Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they intend to use the learning from the diploma in their work.

• Relevant organisations are asked to nominate their candidate(s) to be considered for the bursary scheme and provide official sign off of the application.

• More than one staff member from each organisation can submit an application. However, in the event that a large volume of applications are received, priority may be given to ensuring that as many organisations as possible are represented.

• Priority will be given to those demonstrating positions of influence to promote implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty.

• Completed applications should be submitted via the online application form. The closing date for applications is Friday, 21st of June 2019 at 5 pm sharp. Please note that applications must be received by the closing time and date indicated above. Applications after this time and date will not be considered.

Evaluation of applications:

All applications will be screened to check eligibility. In order to be eligible applications must:

• Be submitted on time;

• Be completed in full;

• Be submitted by an eligible applicant;

• Include a signed nomination by their employer.

All eligible applications received will be assessed by a panel convened for that purpose. The assessment panel for this bursary scheme will comprise of relevant staff of the Commission and independent external expertise.

Eligible applications will be assessed according to the following marking scheme:

• Interest/reasons for applying and relevance of human rights and equality issues to the applicant’s work (50 marks);

• Reported intended use of the learning from the diploma, including in regard to implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (50 marks);

To be eligible, applications must achieve a score of at least 50% of the points available on each of the specified criteria, and a minimum total score of at least 60% of the total points available. For avoidance of doubt, this does not mean that applications achieving these minimum scores will be supported.

Please strictly respect the word count on the application form.

Queries related to the bursary scheme can be sent to

For all other queries related to the diploma programme, please contact the Institute for Public Administration:, 01 240 3600

About the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality:

Students combine self-directed study (course material provided) with attendance at four two-day seminars (eight days in total) at the IPA campus in Dublin. The programme can, therefore, be taken from anywhere in the country. The Diploma also includes four assignments of 2000 words each, and a three hour examination. It is a level 8 (Special purpose) award and is accredited by the National University of Ireland. The modules include:

• Philosophical and Political Perspectives on Human Rights and Equality

• The International and European Frameworks for Human Rights

• Human Rights and Equality in the Irish Legal System

• Human Rights and Equality in Public Management

The diploma seeks to give students a better understanding of the place that human rights and equality occupy in public management and administration.

Read more about the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality.