Student bursary scheme - IHREC - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Student bursary scheme

The 2021 Student Bursary Scheme is now closed.

In 2021, as part of our work in promoting the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission ran the sixth and final year of our bursary scheme for prospective students of the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration.

The student bursary scheme 2021 supports applications from staff employed by civil society organisations only.

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 enrolling until September 2021. The bursary scheme will cover all course fees for successful applicants.

The 2021 Bursary application process is now closed.

The aim of this bursary is to contribute towards building participants’ skills to advance implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty by public bodies. Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 establishes a statutory obligation on public bodies to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and protect the human rights of those to whom they provide services and staff when carrying out their functions.

Civil Society Organisations can advance public bodies’ implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in many ways, including through advocacy. For more information on the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty please see visit the Public Sector Duty webpage.

As a NUI Level 8 Special Purpose Award the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration is primarily academic in its nature. While there is no requirement to have completed study of such a nature previously, it does involve the submission of written assignments and a formal written examination, and a significant time commitment.

About the bursary scheme

There are 6 bursary places available for staff members employed by 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 levels and functions. However, preference will be given to applications demonstrating clear intention to advocate for implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty (the Duty) in one, or more, public bodies.

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

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

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.

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 a staff member employed by a civil society organisation registered in the Republic of Ireland
  • Be submitted by an eligible applicant
  • Include a nomination by their employer

All eligible applications received will be assessed. 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 advocacy to promote implementation of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in one or more public bodies engaged with (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.

Queries related to the bursary scheme can be sent to bursary@ihrec.ie

For all other queries related to the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality programme itself, please contact the Institute for Public Administration: information@ipa.ie

About the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality

For the academic year 2021-2022, the programme is delivered through a blended learning model. Students combine self-directed study (course material provided) with participation in four two-day seminars (eight days in total) which will take place either online or at the IPA campus in Dublin. The programme can, therefore, be taken from anywhere in the country. For semester one, all seminars will most likely be online, for semester two this will be considered with regard to public health guidelines and safety considerations at IPA. There is no guarantee of in person attendance in the academic year 2021-2022. Form of delivery, including possible elements of blended learning, is subject to change in light of the current circumstances regarding COVID-19 and related matters.

The Diploma assessment is by a mix of continuous assessment (assignments submitted over the course of the academic year) and a 3-4 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. The responsibility to devise policy, deliver services, and follow processes that protect human rights and further equality has become explicit since the introduction, via legislation, of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty in this area. This programme provides instruction in the most relevant laws and in their implications for the civil and wider public service.

Further details about the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality  are available on the Diploma web page.