Return to Site

An Established Leader

Hibernia College is an established leader in pioneering new education technologies and embracing change in the ever-evolving world of education.

Founded by Sean Rowland PhD at the turn of the new millennium, Hibernia College follows an ambitious and forward-thinking strategy in order to play a leading role in education for the future. Dr. Rowland brought together his colleagues from the corporate, education and technology communities to create Hibernia College, Ireland’s first and only, accredited online third-level institution.

An online education model

Hibernia College has developed a model of online education that is successful because it is dedicated to helping professionals meet their current work challenges and by continually building on the interactions of students and faculty.
We educate professionals around the world who want access to the very best online education available.


In October 2016, Hibernia College was awarded the Erasmus+ Charter.

View our Erasmus Policy here.

Awards and recognition

  • Digital Media Awards “Best in Digital Learning” Finalist 2016

  • Eircom Spider e-Learning and Education Award 2013

  • UK e-Learning awards: Gold and Bronze 2010

  • Selected to partner with five UK universities to solve the shortages of Science and Mathematics teachers in England in 2010

  • UK e-Learning awards: Silver and Bronze 2009

  • Hibernia College founder Dr Seán Rowland named one of the ‘100 greatest self-made Irish entrepreneurs’, Irish Entrepreneur Magazine 2009

  • Endorsed by Becta as an exemplar of ‘next education learning’, winning in 2009

  • UK e-Learning awards: Silver 2008

  • Hibernia College founder Dr Seán Rowland, named ‘Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2008’

  • ‘Best e-Learning Company’ title at the Digital Media awards 2007

Hibernia College Quality Framework


Hibernia College offers a range of degree programmes validated and awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Professional teaching qualifications are accredited by The Teaching Council of Ireland, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for Teachers are approved by the Department of Education and Skills. The standards of these programmes, as well as the learner experience, are assured through the implementation of the policies and procedures published in the Hibernia College Quality Framework.

The Hibernia College Quality Framework reflects the College’s ongoing commitment to international best practice through a range of mechanisms that seek to continually monitor, review, and enhance our programmes and our College.   The Quality Framework is regularly reviewed for its effectiveness. Input from external experts including key stakeholders such as students, staff, employers and faculty is an important dimension of our Framework. This ongoing involvement of all internal and external stakeholders is emphasised throughout the policy and procedure documents.

The College is committed to publishing quality assurance reports summarising findings and identifying specific recommendations.  For reports from recent QQI-led and other quality assurance reviews, please click here.

Feedback on the policies and procedures contained within the Quality Framework is welcome and should be forwarded by email to



Policies are documented statements of principles covering specific areas of the Quality Framework.

They set out what the college says about a topic  and in general what to do.



Procedures are the documented broad actions that are taken to implement policy.

They set out how to carry out a policy.



Resources are less formal documents that support how policy and procedure are implemented.

They could be tools or templates, handbooks or checklists. Anything that supports the successful implementation of the HCQF.



Strategies are documents that set out the college's goals and objectives in a particular area.

These goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Strategy tells us what success looks like.

AHEAD Charter

Hibernia College fully adopts the AHEAD Charter for Inclusive Teaching and Learning. In line with the Charter, the College’s quality assurance procedures incorporate the voice, and reflect the requirements, of all students including students with disabilities and those from other minority groups.  The College actively encourages feedback and welcomes any recommendations and suggestions for further enhancement in this regard.

Digital Education Learning Services

Hibernia College’s Digital Learning Department (DLD) offers a range of pedagogical services designed to enable the delivery of flexible, online and blended learning programmes. The DLD comprises learning designers, multimedia designers, A/V technicians, QA editors and VLE administrators, who work closely with academic teams to plan, design, develop and deliver media-rich materials for online and blended education programmes. The team has extensive experience creating videos, multimedia presentations, graphics, animation and text to create an engaging educational experience designed in accordance with research-informed pedagogical principles.

Recognising the importance of social learning, the DLD ensures that course designs feature collaborative activities and built-in student interaction as a core design principle of all group-based programmes.  For those activities that require real-time interaction, the DLD supports the planning and delivery of live online tutorials using virtual classroom technology, and offers full technical support to both students and lecturers. Our learning designers can integrate online elements with bespoke or pre-existing classroom sessions to create a holistic blended learning experience for students.

The DLD team has provided eLearning solutions to both National and International institutes over the last 15 years.

If you would like more information on these services, please email

Dr. Seán M. Rowland, President

Dr. Seán M. Rowland, President of Hibernia College, was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland. Having attended St. Patrick’s College in Dublin, he taught at primary school level for five years before travelling to the US to attend Boston College. Here he was awarded a Masters Degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Administration. He then pursued and completed his Ph.D. in Curriculum Instruction and Administration (CIA) with a focus on educational finance within the CIA programme. Dr. Rowland was also awarded a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

While at Boston College, Dr. Rowland established and was appointed Executive Director of the Centre for Irish Management. His goals in creating the centre were to encourage economic development and create employment in Ireland through education, executive development and relationship building. Dr. Rowland also established the Irish Institute at Boston College, and, as Executive Director, worked extensively with young Irish professionals, political leaders and educators to promote Irish/US relations, provide upskilling in a variety of professional areas and contribute to job creation in Ireland.

In 2000, Dr. Rowland brought together his colleagues from the corporate, education and technological communities to create Hibernia College, Ireland’s first and only, accredited online third-level institution. The programmes for which the college is best known are its initial teacher education courses. Graduates from these courses are now highly sought after by schools around Ireland.

Dr. Rowland has served as President of the Harvard Club of Ireland and a member of Harvard University’s Littauer Society. He also served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Leadership Council at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He is a member of the Harvard Faculty Club and an active alumnus of Boston College. In addition, Dr. Rowland is a member of the Institute of Directors, Ireland and of the Royal Dublin Society.

In 2008 Dr. Rowland won the Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award and in 2009 was named as one of the “100 greatest self-made Irish entrepreneurs” by Irish Entrepreneur magazine.

In 2013 Dr. Rowland was appointed to the Hewlett Packard (HP) Global Strategic Advisory Council for the HP National Education Technology Assessment project. In 2014 he was appointed to the Expert Group to examine future funding for higher education by the Minister of Education in Ireland, The Cassells Group, reporting to Government in 2016.


Seán Corkery, Chairman

Seán Corkery, non-executive director, is an IT and Telecoms veteran with more than 35 years of experience in the industry.  Mr. Corkery is currently Chairman and CEO of Actavo, a leading infrastructure and utility support services company operating in various markets with particular specialization in Telecommunication and Oil and Gas industries.. Before joining Actavo, he held numerous senior positions including Vice President, Global Supply Chain Operations for Dell Inc ,Chief Operations Officer at Esat Telecom , Vice President of Global Operations at AST Computer/Samsung, and, director of Pacific Region Operations at Apple.

He was a member of the Information Society Commission of Ireland, an independent advisory body to the Government, reporting directly to the Taoiseach (PM).  Mr. Corkery was a Director of Seabrook Research from 1997 to 2004(Software) and is currently a Director of Nualtra(medical nutrition), Topaz Energy Group(retail/fuel) and Digicel(Telecoms). Mr Corkery became Chairman of Hibernia College in February 2015.

David Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer

David Carpenter has held a number of senior positions in the vocational certifications industry including the position of Chief Executive of the ECDL Foundation, which he held for almost a decade and during which time he oversaw the development and growth of the ICDL programme from inception to global status. He has a wealth of experience in the certification industry and in the development of global partnerships at governmental and NGO level. He also has significant experience in the development aid (education and vocational training) sector having previously worked with the World Bank on a variety of infrastructural, educational and capacity building programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

David is a business graduate (BBS) of Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (FCA) and previously worked with KPMG and has held a number of senior finance and leadership positions with Swedish Telecom, in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and more recently in the Middle East.

Denis Cummins, Academic Dean

Denis Cummins is an Irish higher education expert who has held positions of lecturer in Computer Science and senior academic management roles including President/CEO at Dundalk Institute of Technology. In January 2016 he was appointed Academic Dean at Hibernia College, Dublin.

Working collaboratively with regional stakeholders he firmly established DKIT as the number one college destination for school leavers in the North East. As a performance-oriented leader he oversaw the enhancement of the Institute’s standing by improving results, improving its research metrics and increasing interaction with industry. As the “accountable officer” he had a strong ethical awareness and worked closely with DKIT’s Governing Body to foster a culture of accountability and transparency. Given his personal experience as the first member of his family to enter higher education, Denis believes strongly in equity of access to education. During his period as President he introduced scholarships to traveller students, mature students and for sporting achievement.

Holding a National Certificate in Data Processing with Distinction (DkIT), a B.Sc. Computer Systems with first class honours (UL) and a M.Sc. by research (Trinity College Dublin) he has built his successful academic career on his own strong academic record. His experience as a lecturer in Computer Science gave him a love for enquiry-based learning and a thorough understanding of the pedagogical, assessment and academic administration issues that would prepare him well for the senior roles he would later hold.

Denis was appointed President of DKIT in 2006. He led major developments such as the redevelopment of the Carroll Building, the acquisition of DKIT Sport and the establishment of the DCU DKIT Graduate School.

Denis brings a wealth of experience in quality assurance, academic leadership and strategic planning to his role as Academic Dean at Hibernia College.

Dr. Tara A. Ryan, Registrar

Tara is a higher education leader who has worked in a variety of tertiary institutions in Ireland and abroad.  In her career to date, she has had a particular focus on academic policy development and its implementation, as well as the development and articulation of quality assurance principles and processes from both the internal and external perspectives.  She has successfully led organisational teams through establishment phases in two different types of higher education institution; has worked in universities, institutes of technology and in Ireland’s awarding body for the non-university sector (formerly the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC)).

Currently serving as a review panellist with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Tara has a particular interest in the areas of collaborative and  transnational quality assurance.  She also acts as a review secretary for Lithuania’s Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) (2012- date).   She has participated in, or conducted, various reviews in Tanzania, Germany, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.  Her doctoral studies at the University of Bristol were on the area of policy-making and implementation.  She has an interest in the emergence of diverse forms of higher education provision in the contemporary, boundary-less  HE landscape and their contribution to the public good.

Robert O'Neill, Head of IT

Rob has worked in senior IT Management and Operational roles for many years across a wide range of sectors.  Focusing on the application of technology to meet and exceed business and organisational requirements has enabled Rob to successfully lead multi-discipline teams in operations, technology, sales and marketing. Currently managing the College’s technical administration, support and development teams to provide a world class, 24×7 service to students, faculty and staff.

A graduate of TCD with a BSc. In Information Systems and DCU with a Masters in Internet Technology, Rob adds certifications in Project Management, ITIL and networking to a broad range of management and technical skills.

A former board member of the Association of Information Managers Ireland and a current member of the Irish Computer Society, Rob has a keen interest in information design, security, ethics and usability.