Contact Us | Leagan Gaeilge | Meeting Facilities | Membership Login | Sign Up For Email Current Students
Ireland´s Public Service Development Agency
Back to Certificates
Audit Skills
Business Studies
Civil Service and State Agency Studies
Health Services
Housing Studies
Human Resource Practice (CIPD)
Irish Government and Politics
Learning and Development Practice (CIPD)
Local Government Studies
Management Development
Project Management
Project Management (Evening)
Public Management
Public Procurement

Certificate in Civil Service and State Agency Studies

Key Facts

  • Distance learning supported by attendance at weekday tutorials at the IPA in dublin and regionally where demand warrants.
  • 5 tutorial days over one academic year (September to April)
  • Accredited by UCD
  • Level 6 (Special Purpose Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications
  • Commences September/October 
  • The cost of the programme is €950 (includes all matriculation and examination fees), payable in two instalments (see page 85 of the undergraduate prospectus for more details).
  • Students who successfully complete the Certificate can choose to continue their studies with the Diploma in Civil Service and State Agency Studies
  • Download Brochure | Read Key Facts Sheet| Apply Now

The Programme

The Certificate in Civil Service and State Agency Studies is designed to provide students with a practical and comprehensive understanding of government in Ireland. In this new era of integrating and transforming public services, students will receive an important ‘system-wide induction’ to the roles and functions of the various sectors of government and the key processes such as legislation, budgeting, modernisation and government decision making. Students will consequently better appreciate the role and interactions of their organisations within this complex system, and be better equipped to deal with the myriad of tasks and responsibilities in their public service careers.


This Certificate is relevant to all staff working within the civil service or state agency sectors, but will be particularly useful to staff at junior and middle level grades. The content is appropriate to those in administrative, technical, professional, and managerial roles.

It will also be relevant to staff in other organisations that have significant interactions with government and the system of public administration.

Delivery and Duration 

This programme is delivered over one academic year.  It will commence in September/October and ends with examinations in April.  It is delivered in a distance learning format. Students will receive a learning pack comprising a specially developed distance learning text and recommended readings. Tutorials are designed to support students and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the course material. Tutorials are delivered by IPA Specialists and experienced practitioners. Attendance is required at five x one day intensive tutorials. Tutorials typically run from 9:30am to 5:00pm.

Programme Content

This Certificate covers the following key topics over five modules:

  • Central Political Agencies
  • Government Departments and Civil Service
  • State Agencies
  • Non-Elected Oversight Agencies
  • Sub National Government, the Health Sector and Legal Agencies


The IPA is a recognised college of University College Dublin (UCD).  The Certificate in Civil Service and State Agency Studies is awarded by UCD and is at Level 6 (Special Purpose Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).


Students who successfully complete the Certificate can choose to continue their studies with the Diploma in Civil Service and State Agency Studies.


Assessment is continuous throughout the programme and consists of five project assignments and review through examination.

Fee, Enrolment Procedures and Admissions

The IPA's undergraduate brochure provides all this information and can be downloaded from this page.

Read Key Facts Sheet

Read the Brochure

Apply Now (application form)

Have some questions? Contact us

What Former Students Say

"I began the course with a personal objective of understanding the legislative process in Ireland. Not only did the course meet this target but by the time it had finished I had gained an excellent appreciation of how the State is organised and run. I'd recommend it without hesitation to anyone with an interest in learning how the public sector operates in Ireland." 
- Dr Stephen Fennell, Senior Scientific Officer, Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland

"I would say the course gives anyone who has began a career in the civil service a better understanding of the working's of the civil service structure, and what the expectations of civil servants are while providing the grounding needed to progress your career in the civil service" 
- Jonathon Sweeney, Clerical Officer, Department of Education & Science

"The Civil Service has changed a lot over the years. As a longer-serving Civil Servant, I found that this course brought me up to date with current structures and developments, and provided me with a much broader knowledge base of government in Ireland from which I have benefited in my current work environment." 
- Anne Boyle, Junior Clerk, Houses of the Oireachtas

Related Programme

57-61 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 | Tel: +353 1 240 3600 | Fax: +353 1 668 9135 | Registration no: 21087