University – DCU



Denis McCaul in DCU Lecture Theatre

Hi, this page is about the Dublin City University DCU course I completed and is a helpful guide to anyone considering taking it, or to employers / recruitment consultants looking for information on its content.

I have split it into various sections and hyperlinked the headings below for each part. At the end of each section I have placed the text “Back To Headings” that when clicked on, will return you to this list.

I left work in August 2011 to study a level 9 Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Marketing in Dublin City University (DCU) in September. It is a part-time course with a mammoth full-time reading and project workload. The picture above I took late one night when writing the last report. If you graduate from DCU you will have earned it, trust me!

DCU Business School Helix Library

Dublin City University (DCU) is a relatively young University, opened in 1980 and awarded University status in 1989. Situated on an 85 acre campus 3 miles from the city centre it has in excess of 11,000 students. It is the only Irish university featured in the prestigious QS World University Rankings of colleges less than 50 years old and is ranked 46th for 2012.

It has always been at the centre of innovation being the first Irish University to embrace work placement for degree students and introduced Interdisciplinary degrees where for example Science students also study Business modules.

Duration of the course officially was 26 weeks split over 2 Semesters of 13 weeks each but in reality project work ran non-stop from mid September 2011 to mid May 2012, about 35 weeks.

Lectures were 5pm-9pm Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday mornings. All lectures are conducted on site in college in a classroom setting. I attended 12 elective Techspectations lectures on Wednesday evenings 6pm-8pm and 3 more on an intensive weekend. I also attended 4 Techspectations conferences. Tables listing all lectures and conferences are listed below.

Delivery was almost entirely through lectures rather than workshops. It is specifically academically orientated rather than a training course.

Back to Headings…

Aims and Objectives of the course were;

  1. An understanding of consumer behaviour in a digital context,
  2. The range of skills necessary to successfully craft, operate and manage digital marketing campaigns and e-commerce processes,
  3. The analytical, conceptual and practical tools necessary for digital marketing decision-making,
  4. The opportunity to diagnose, develop and apply digital marketing solutions for real clients,
  5. Insights into the ways in which leading international organisations craft and execute strategic digital marketing decisions.

Back to Headings…

Modules – The course was 1 year in duration and covered 6 topics;

  1. Digital Communications
  2. Digital Marketing Management
  3. Understanding The Digital Consumer
  4. Mechanics of Digital Campaign Management
  5. Digital Marketing Insights & Foresights
  6. Applied Digital Marketing

All assessment was based on 12 Project Reports from the 6 Modules. Projects were split between one third Individual and two thirds Team assignments. After Semester 1 all teams personnel were changed to maximize experience and interaction within the class of 28 Students.

DCU Digital Marketing Projects Completed

Digital Communications

  1. Press release for Social Media conference + Online Dissemination
  2. Digital Marketing Agency Presentation on Client reputation defence
  3. Twitter account campaign to promote an Online Tv Channel

Digital Marketing Management

  1. Digital Marketing Plan for Online Directory / Booking start-up client

Understanding The Digital Consumer

  1. Report using Primary & Secondary research on differences in Online / Offline TV Viewers
  2. CMC Online Community – Reflective Diary, 8 weeks on involvement / engagement with an Online Community / Forum

Mechanics of Digital Campaign Management

  1.  SEO Report for a new eCommerce online retail store
  2.  Digital Mechanics Portfolio – Google Analytics, WordPress, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, Klout + Peer Index, Hootsuite, Google Adwords, SEO Reporting using SeoMoz, Open Site Explorer, Google Keyword Research Tool, Sitemaps
  3. Reflective Journal on Digital Marketing – SEO, Digital Analytics, Blogging, Social Media, Online Advertising, Web Design & Usability, Digital Marketing & Planning

Digital Marketing Insights & Foresights

  1. Website User Experience & Design Report

Applied Digital Marketing

  1. Digital Marketing Plan for an Aviation software supplier
  2. Google Adwords Campaign for an Aviation Software Supplier – GOMCHA 2012 – Global top 10% result in Google competition


Lectures were delivered in the main during Semester 1. Each topic represents a 2 hour lecture. Techspectations lectures were 2 hours in duration on Wednesday evenings 6 to 8pm and are open to attendance by Business owners.

Semester 1 –  DCU Post Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing

30/09/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Course Introduction Prof. Darach Turley-DCU Consumer Behaviour Refresher
01/10/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Online Reputation Management  Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Blogging
07/10/2011 Kantar Media Kantar Media – Market Research Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Introduction to SEO
08/10/2011 Jack Hyland-DCU Library Session – Harvard Citation Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Twitter & Hootsuite
14/10/2011 Prof. Mike Solomon-University of Manchester The Digital Consumer  Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Email Marketing
15/10/2011 Niall Kiely-Carr Communications Writing for Media Niall Kelly-Carr Communications Writing for Media
21/10/2011 Kevin Tunney-Google Google Tools for Marketing Kevin Tunney- Google Google Tools for Marketing
22/10/2011 Sean Donnelly-DCU Social Network Marketing  Alan Harrison-DCU Social Network Marketing
28/10/2011 Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop
29/10/2011 Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop
04/11/2011 Mark Congiusta-Cisco Digital Marketing Management Basics Mark Conguista-Cisco Digital Marketing Management Basics
05/11/2011 Mark Congiusta-Cisco The Brand / Agency Partnership Mark Conguista-Cisco The Brand / Agency Partnership
18/11/2011 Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop
19/11/2011 Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop Eric Weaver-Mediabrands Consumer Behaviour Workshop
25/11/2011 Edelman PR Trust & Public Relations Dr. Theo Lynn eMail Marketing
26/11/2011 Brendan Barrett-Carr Communications Online Crisis Management Workshop Brendan Barrett-Carr Communications Online Crisis Management Workshop
02/12/2011 Mark Congiusta-Cisco User + Customer Experience Mark Congiusta-Cisco User + Customer Experience
03/12/2011 Mark Congiusta-Cisco Evaluation, Measurement & ROI Mark Congiusta-Cisco Evaluation, Measurement & ROI
09/12/2011  Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Digital Marketing Metrics Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Digital Marketing Metrics
10/12/2011 Colm Bennett-DCU Mobile Marketing & Apps Colm Bennett-DCU Mobile Marketing & Apps


Semester 2 –  dcu Post Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing  

10/02/2012 Prof. Alan Smeaton-DCU User Design & Experience Prof. Alan Smeaton-DCU User Design & Experience
17/02/2012 Dr. Cathal Gurrin-DCU Search Engines Dr. Cathal Gurrin-DCU Search Engines
02/03/2012 Prof. Alan Smeaton-DCU Next Generation Sensing Prof. Alan Smeaton-DCU Next Generation Sensing
23/03/2012 Dr. Cathal Gurrin-DCU Lifelogging Dr. Cathal Gurrin-DCU Lifelogging
14/04/2012 Prof. Alan Smeaton-DCU Physical & Digital Worlds Shumin Cao SEO Search Engine Optimisation

Back to Headings…

Techspectations Lectures 2011

28/09/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Getting Started in Digital Marketing
05/10/2011  Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Introduction to SEO
12/10/2011  Sean Donnelly-DCU Introduction to Blogging with WordPress
19/10/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Twitter & Hootsuite
26/10/2011 Laura Farrell-DCU Facebook Marketing
02/11/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn -DCU LinkedIn Marketing
09/11/2011 Kevin Tunney-Google Introduction to Google Marketing Tools
16/11/2011 Microsoft Introduction to Microsoft Marketing Tools
23/11/2011 Sean Donnelly-DCU Social Bookmarking – Marketing Through Media Aggregators
30/11/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Introduction To Location Based Marketing
07/12/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Email Marketing
14/12/2011 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU Monitoring & Metrics


Techspectations Lecture Weekend

25/02/2012 Aine Murphy-Encore Business Services eBay
26/02/2012 Dr. Theo Lynn-DCU SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
26/02/2012  DCU Html for Non Technical Users


Techspectations Seminars 2011 / 2012

17/11/2011 Get Mobile John O’Shea-Zamano, Joe Drumgoole-Feedhenry, David Fitzgerald-Microsoft, Brendan Kenney-Geodelic, Gary Twohig-Samsung, Shane Quinlan-National Irish Bank
09/12/2011 Get Social Rick Mans-Capgemeni, Azeem Azhar-PeerIndex, Stephen Jio-Dell, James Ainsworth-Alterian, Julius Solaris-RS Components, Josh Holmes-Microsoft, Eric Weaver-Mediabrands
02/03/2012 Get Creative Nigel Newman-Edward De Bono Foundation UK
04/04/2012 Get Started Andrew Jenkinson-Vstream, Nicola Byrne-11890, Gavin Duffy-Dorland, Caroline Casey-Kanchi

A comprehensive blog was written by some other DCU students about the four seminars above and can be read here… Techspectations Seminars

Back to Headings…

DCU Dublin City University Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Readings ListReadings – DCU Post Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing

For this course there is an immense amount of publications and academic papers to be read. 54 or more of them to be Harvard style referenced in the assignment reports.

They range in length from 3 pages to over 100. Pictured to the left they are printed off and responsible for killing a whole tree!


In light of saving the environment below I have hyperlinked to the papers that are freely available online for you. Those that are not hyperlinked are not available for free.


The Wisdom of Consumer Crowds: Collective Innovation in the age of Networked Marketing Kozinets 2008 Consumer Behaviour
Netnography: Rich Insights from Online Research Beckman & Langer 2005 Consumer Behaviour
A critical comparison of Offline focus groups, Edelphi and Online focus groups  Bruggen 2009 Consumer Behaviour
Online Focus Groups: An in depth comparison of Computer-Mediated and Conventional Focus Groups Reid 2005  Consumer Behaviour
Detecting Professional versus Personal Closeness using an Enterprise Social Network Site Wu 2010  Consumer Behaviour
Constructing Opportunities for Contribution Locke 1997 Consumer Behaviour
The Wisdom of Consumer Crowds Cova 2008 Consumer Behaviour
Tribal Marketing: The Tribalisation of Society and its impact on the Conduct of Marketing Cova 2001 Consumer Behaviour
The Field Behind The Screen: Using Netnography for Market Research in Online Communities Kozinets 2001 Consumer Behaviour
Ethnography as Participant Listening Forsey 2010 Consumer Behaviour
The Shape of Marketing Research in 2021 Micu et al 2011 Consumer Behaviour
That’s interesting! Towards a Phenomenology of Sociology and a Sociology of Phenomenology Davis 1971 Consumer Behaviour
Working Consumers: The next step in Marketing Theory? Cova Dalli 2009 Consumer Behaviour
Branding in the Digital Age Edelman 2010 Digital Marketing Management
Can You Measure The ROI of your Social Media Marketing?  Hoffman Fodor 2010 Digital Marketing Management
MII Innovation Report (Marketing Institute of Ireland) Irelands Innovation Strategy – Time to make it happen MII 2010 Digital Marketing Management
Possessions and the Extended Self Belk 1988 Digital Marketing Management
An Analysis of the importance of the Long Tail in Search Engine Marketing  Skiera et al 2010 Search Engine Optimisation
Brand Positioning Strategy using Search Engine Marketing Dou et al 2010 Search Engine Optimisation
Google SEO Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide – Google Webmaster Tools Google Search Engine Optimisation
Google’s SEO Search Engine Optimisation Report Card – Google Webmaster Tools  Google Search Engine Optimisation
The Beginners Guide to SEO Search Engine Optimisation SEOMOZ Search Engine Optimisation
Friends, Fans and Followers: Do Ads work on Social Networks? How Gender and Age shape Receptivity Taylor et al 2011 Social Media
Following the Fashionable Friend: The Power of Social Media. Publicity effectiveness of Blogs v Online Mags Colliander 2011 Social Media
Innovation Impacts of Social Bookmarking Systems Gray et al 2011 Social Media
Twitter: a Viable Marketing Tool for SME’s?  Bulearca 2010 Social Media
On Network Theory Steve Borgatti 2011 Social Media
Social Networks and Social Information Filtering on Digg Lerman 2006 Social Media
The Social Media Revolution Tom Smith 2009 Social Media
Twitter Usage in the Fortune 50: A Marketing Opportunity? Case 2011 Social Media
Users of the World Unite: The challenges and opportunities of Social Media  Kaplan, Haenlein 2009 Social Media
Using Twitter for Promotion and Branding: A content analysis of Local Television Twitter Sites Greer et al 2011 Social Media
How to get your Messages Retweeted Malhotra et al 2011
The Diverging Effects of Social Networking Sites on receiving job info. for students and prof. Rienties et al 2010 Social Network Marketing
What do people ask their their Social Networks, and Why? A survey study of Status Message Q&A Morris et al 2010 Social Network Marketing
From Cattle and Coke to Charlie: Meeting the challenge of Self Marketing and Personal Branding Shepherd 2005 Social Network Marketing
Classifying Business Marketing Messages on Facebook  Yu et al 2011 Social Network Marketing
One Cafe Chain’s Facebook Experiment  Dholakia Durham 2010 Social Network Marketing
Handbook of Strategic PR and Communications Carr Communications Media Communications
Evaluation Metrics for Persuasive NLP with Google AdWords  Guerini et al 2010 Search Engine Marketing
Estimating Click Through Rates for Adwords using Public Data Budinich 2011 Search Engine Marketing
Prediction of Advertiser Churn for Google Adwords Yoon et al 2010 Search Engine Marketing
Brand Positioning Strategy Using Search Engine Marketing  Dou et al 2010 Search Engine Marketing
Can Social Bookmarking Improve Web Search? Heyman et al 2007 Social Bookmarking
Analyzing Social Bookmarking Systems: A Cookbook Wetzker et al 2008 Social Bookmarking
Categorising Social Tags to improve Folksonomy based Recommendations Cantador et al 2011 Social Bookmarking
Evaluating Tagging Behaviour in Social Bookmarking Systems – Metrics and Design Heurisitcs Farooq et al 2007 Social Bookmarking
The One Number You Need to Grow (Net Promoter Score) F. Reichheld 2003 Digital Marketing Metrics
A Holistic Examination of Net Promoter Keiningham et al 2008 Digital Marketing Metrics
Social Media Measurement: It’s not impossible Murdough 2009 Digital Marketing Metrics
The Effects of the Social Structure of Digital Networks on Viral Marketing Performance Bampo et al 2008 Digital Marketing Metrics
Analytics: The Widening Divide Kiron et al 2011 Digital Marketing Metrics
What’s Your Personal Social Media Strategy?  Dutta 2010 Online Reputation Management
Journal Writing As An Adult Learning Tool Kerka 2002 Digital Mechanics

Back to Headings…


The course lectures are delivered by a combination of DCU staff and guest lecturers. Click on any name below to hyperlink to their Linkedin profile.

The teaching cast (in order of appearance!)

The Lynn

Darach Turley        Michael Solomon

Dr. Theo Lynn                     Prof. Darach Turley              Prof. Mike Solomon

Niall Kiely      Kevin Tunney         Sean Donnelly

Niall Kiely                           Kevin Tunney                        Sean Donnelly

Alan Harrisson      Eric Weaver         Mark Congiusta

Alan Harrison                     Eric Weaver                          Mark Congiusta

Colm Bennett      Kevin O'Brien        Laura Farrell

Colm Bennett                     Kevin O’Brien                      Laura Farrell

Back to Headings…



Results for this course are calculated as follows.

Each of the six modules are equally weighted (have a total value of 100% each) towards your overall score, regardless of how many assignments that module has. Projects/Assignments within a module carry different weighting (some worth a higher percentage than others). At year end your percentage score is added up from all six modules with the sum total divided by six to give an average mark. This average mark is your overall grade for the year.

Grades – 40 to 59% is a Pass. 60 to 69% is a Credit. 70%+ is a Distinction. I did not hear of anyone in my class achieve a Disctinction, I got a Credit with 63% overall.

Here is how my results were broken down and calculated. The last column on the right denotes whether the assignment was completed my myself, or as part of a group. All group personnel were changed after Semester 1.

DCU Results Denis McCaul

Back to Headings…