Supports and scholarships

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Read more about our programmes which qualify for IFS Skillnet financial support.

Who is eligible to win the TK Whitaker scholarship?

The TK Whitaker scholarship is to a UCD graduate programme (Diploma in Advanced Management Performance or equivalent programme to be decided by the Institute) and it is awarded to the top candidate on the Institute of Banking programme, the Professional Diploma in Banking,more >

Who is IFS Skillnet?

IFS Skillnet is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. It’s aim is to support the International Financial Sector in maintaining Ireland’s position as a top international financial services centre, through ongoing investment in the development of the skills and expertise of this workforce.more >

Funding available through IFS Skillnet

Companies operating within the international financial services sector, or providing services to the sector, can join IFS Skillnet in order for their employees to participate in training which is jointly funded by the companies and the network’s Finuas funding. Grant funding of up to 30% is available to eligible companies.

About IFS Skillnet

IFS Skillnet is dedicated to providing training and networking opportunities for the international financial services sector.

The Network aims to support the sector in maintaining Ireland's position as a top international financial services centre through investment in the specialist skills and expertise of its workforce. The Network is led by a steering group which includes member companies and the leading financial services industry associations: Financial Services Ireland (FSI); Irish Funds (if); Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI); Insurance Ireland; and the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM).

Network activity

The IFS Skillnet was established in mid-2009. Since then we have delivered over 500 courses to over 8,000 participants from 300 companies operating in the international financial services sector in Ireland. Courses have ranged from specialist workshops in Solvency II and Basel III, Certified programmes in Financial Regulation and Complex Financial Instruments up to postgraduate/Masters level i.e. MSc in Compliance and the Professional Diploma in Applied Alternative Investments.

Programme availability

Professional programmes:

Postgraduate programmes:

Open Enrolment Programme:


Dr. TK Whitaker was one of Ireland’s greatest living Irish people. He was widely considered to be the architect of the modern Irish economy and his seminal 1958 publication Economic Development, known as 'The Grey Book', is widely accepted as a landmark in Irish economic history because of its thought leadership and bold ideas. He was appointed Secretary to the Department of Finance when he was 39 (at that time an exceptionally young age) and went on to become Governor of the Central Bank. Based on the blueprint he had set out, Dr. Whitaker subsequently steered Ireland’s programme of trade liberalisation and structural reform in the 1960s. Economic growth accelerated as a result. In 1973, Ireland acceded to the EU in a process to which he played an instrumental role as Governor of the Central Bank.

Dr. Whitaker had considerable involvement in the fields of education and the arts. He served as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland from 1976 to 1996. He was President of the Royal Irish Academy and a member of the Board of Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland, from 1985 to 1987. He also served as first Chairman of the Scholarship Board of the O'Reilly Foundation and first Chairman of the Agency for Personal Service Overseas.

Dr. Whitaker was a member of the Institute of Banking since 1985.

Dr. Whitaker was elected as an Honorary Fellow of The Institute of Banking by the Council of the Institute on 4 November 2014.

The scholarship

The Institute, with the agreement of Dr. Whitaker, created an annual TK Whitaker Scholarship in recognition of his immense contribution to the state. The Scholarship to a UCD graduate programme (Professional Diploma in Advanced Management Performance or equivalent programme to be decided by the Institute) is awarded to the top candidate on the Professional Diploma in Banking, which leads to the Chartered Banker professional designation (for details on the programme click here).

A “TK Whitaker Medal” is also awarded to the candidate. The award is related to the academic year in which the candidate completes the programme.

The Scholarship recognises outstanding academic achievement and the mission of the Scholarship is to develop further the management and leadership capabilities of a future leader in banking. It is awarded at the Institute’s graduation ceremony each year.


Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Be a current professional member of the Institute of Banking.

  2. Have graduated from the Professional Diploma in Banking (leading to the Chartered Banker professional designation) as follows:

  • Passed each module on first attempt

  • Completed the programme in two consecutive semesters (programme scheduling permitting)

  • Attained an award Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 4.0

  • Not having any exemptions

Selection criteria

The Scholarship is awarded to the candidate who achieves the highest award GPA subject to the following:

  • Where there are candidates with the same Award GPA the top place goes to the candidate with the highest number of Modules at a GPA of 4.2 (A+), if still tied then the candidate with highest number of modules at a GPA of 4.0 (A), and if tied the candidate with the highest number of modules at the next highest grade and so on.

  • If there is still a tie, i.e. the GPA and individual module grades for the programme for two or more candidates are the same, award of the Scholarship will be decided on the basis of submission of an application by each of the tied candidates. Each candidate's application must include:

    • Short essay (approximately 1,000 words) on how the Scholarship will support their educational, professional and personal development.

    • Information on any professional or non-work activities, awards or leadership roles (that support the candidate essay).

    • Two references that can support the submission.

The candidate’s essay should demonstrate:

  • The relation between the Scholarship’s mission and the candidate’s academic, career and personal goals.

  • How the candidate has achieved or plans to achieve their goals.

  • Engagement – activities (either professional or extracurricular) that add to their academic achievements.

  • Leadership – either in professional or non-work pursuits.

  • Sense of purpose – linking direction and career ambitions with understanding of how past experiences and decisions support that sense of purpose.

The selection of the winner will be made by an independent Scholarship Assessment Committee of at least three members drawn from the Institute’s Education Committee (excluding the candidates’ financial institution) and a senior academic (current or retired), who shall chair the committee.

The Scholarship Assessment Committee will consider:

  • How well the essay makes the connection between the mission of the Scholarship and the candidate’s academic, career, personal interests and/or goals.

  • How well the essay articulates the candidate’s plans to achieve those interests and/or goals.

Information on our Niall Gallagher scholarship (Professional Diploma in Compliance), and our membership of the 30% Club (Certified Bank Director and Level 9 Culture).

The Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship


The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI), are delighted to announce the opening of the fourth Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship competition which is open to ACOI members and the general public. The Scholarship promotes the importance of further education and recognition of professional certification in the advancement of an individual in their career in Compliance.

What is the Scholarship?

It provides the 1st place winner with registration onto the academic programme Professional Certificate and Diploma in Compliance (PDC), which is considered the benchmark qualification in Compliance and is delivered by our educational partner the Institute of Banking, a recognised college of UCD together with ACOI membership for two years. On the successful completion of this academic programme the graduate will be eligible to apply for the Licentiate of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (LCOI) designation from the ACOI.

How do you enter?

Submit an essay of up to 1,500 words on the following:

“Compliance in an age of rapid technological change and artificial intelligence: The challenges ahead.”

Your essay should demonstrate:

  • Originality of thought – which will count for a significant proportion of marks. Candidates should avoid the overuse of quotations and references and should use practical examples or illustrations as appropriate.

  • Be your own work - if work is plagiarised, the essay will not be considered for the purposes of the scholarship (see Guidance on plagiarism below).

  • Coherence and structure - it should have a logical flow from description of each key point or argument through to examples and conclusion.

How to submit your essay Please email your essay to: [email protected], with the subject line "The Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship".

What the scholarship includes

There are three prizes:

  • 1st Place: Registration on the PDC Programme & ACOI membership for 2 membership years.

  • 2nd Place: ACOI membership for 2 membership years.

  • 3rd Place: ACOI membership for 1 membership year.

The top three essays will also be published in Irish Compliance Quarterly (ICQ), the ACOI’s quarterly e-zine.

Important Dates

  • Closing Date to submit essay: 18 October 2019.

  • Programme Registration deadline: 21 February 2020.

  • Programme starts: 10 February 2020.

The prizes will be awarded to the winners at the ACOI Conferring Ceremony in December 2019.

Please read the full terms and conditions on the ACOI website.

30% Scholarship

The Institute of Banking is delighted to be partnering with the 30% Club Ireland to offer scholarships for two of our programmes. Each scholarship covers the full cost of registration for the programme. 

Certified Bank Director programme 

The Certified Bank Director programme is targeted at executive and non-executive directors of the main and subsidiary boards of banks. It will be highly beneficial, not only to individuals new to the roles and responsibilities of being a bank director, but also to experienced bank directors operating in a significantly changed regulatory landscape. This programme is also targeted at senior managers aspiring to be bank executive directors and/ or identified as potential future executive directors within their organisation. 

Professional Diploma in Leading Cultural Change and Ethical Behaviour in Financial Services 

The Professional Diploma in Leading Cultural Change and Ethical Behaviour in Financial Services is aimed at senior managers in financial services working across a range of roles and functions. The programme will provide senior managers with the knowledge and tools to lead and embed effective cultures in their organisations. 

Empowering your Future 

For information on applying for a scholarship through this initiative please contact  

Kate Walsh  Relationship Manager,   Executive Education  [email protected]