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As the only Irish MBA to hold ‘triple crown’ EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB accreditation and top world rankings, we attract applications from an international, innovative, and driven cohort of students from a wide range of professional backgrounds each year.

  • A university degree or equivalent professional qualification.*
  • A minimum of three years’ professional experience (excluding summer placements, part-time or temporary work experience).  
  • A valid score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT):
    Full-Time MBA: minimum score 600 required
    Executive MBA: minimum score 520 required.
    Alternatively, candidates can submit a valid GRE Test Score. For indicative equivalencies please contact MBA Admissions directly (mba@ucd.ie). 
    NB: Please note that scholarship competitions may require earlier submission of a GMAT score, which may vary from those noted above. View our Scholarships page for more details.
  • All applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in English language. If English is not your first language you must present with the minimum standard in a recognised English language test, as outlined below. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in a majority English speaking country.**
    An average IELTS score of 7.0 over all components and a minimum of 6.5 in each band on the Academic Version.         
    OR
    A minimum score of 100 is required in the Internet based TOEFL (iTB) with minimum score 24 in Writing, and minimum score 20 in Reading, Listening and Speaking components.
    For all proficiency tests the results must normally have been issued within two years prior to the start of your programme.

Through our rigorous selection process we endeavour to manage expectations so that the candidate’s aspirations for the programme and career objectives are aligned with what the programme can deliver.

*If you do not hold a university degree equivalent to NFQ Level 8 please contact Admissions for further advice on the non-standard admissions process.

**List of majority English speaking countries:
Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Guyana.

Candidates are required to Apply Online via the UCD applications system. The application fee is €50.

Candidates are required to complete four essay questions online:

  • Beyond what is outlined in your curriculum vitae, what will be your unique contribution to your MBA class? (Max. 300 words)
  • What in your opinion is UCD Smurfit Schools' responsibility to you as an MBA student and what is your responsibility to the school? (Max. 300 words)
  • What makes the UCD MBA programme your first choice MBA? (Max. 300 words)
  • What are your career expectations in the 3 years post MBA? (Max. 300 words)

The following supporting documentation should be uploaded to your online application account:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • GMAT official score report or confirmation of scheduled GMAT test date
  • IELTS/TOEFL official test report or confirmation of IELTS/TOEFL scheduled test date (if applicable)
  • Copies of official final transcripts of degrees and /or professional qualifications (degree certificates are not normally required but may be requested)
  • Two completed recommendation forms (Note to granite: downloadable document link) from current or former employers or clients, if you are self-employed. For authenticity these must be signed by hand and scanned prior to submission. Your referee may choose to email the completed recommendation form to mba@ucd.ie

We operate a rolling admissions process; submitted applications are assessed on an on-going basis. The normal decision turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.

All eligible candidates deemed suitable to be considered for the MBA programme will be interviewed. Candidates are interviewed by one or in some cases more of the following:
MBA Programme Director, Head of Admissions, Careers Manager, Alumni.

International candidates are normally interviewed via telephone or Skype.

Following the Admissions interview, a final application review takes place. Candidates will be notified of the decision within ten days.

We encourage all interested candidates to submit their applications as early as possible in order to be best placed for any scholarship offers and to avoid disappointment. We receive a high volume of applications and competition for places on the MBA programme is intense.  

For MBA programmes commencing in August 2017, applications will be accepted and reviewed on an on-going basis. The normal closing date is 15 July 2017.

International candidates are advised to apply as early as possible to ensure sufficient time for processing visa applications, and no later than 15 June.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is a four-hour test which examines writing skills, mathematical reasoning, and integrated and verbal reasoning. The test is marked out of 800 points.

Applications can be submitted without GMAT results. Any offer arising will be conditional, pending receipt of official GMAT score report.

Full-Time MBA Tuition Fee: €34,500* (academic year 2017/2018)

Full-time MBA tuition fees can be paid in three instalments: September, January and May.  

Executive MBA Tuition Fee: €15,950* per year (academic year 2017/2018)

EMBA participants pay fees on an annual (per academic year) basis, with fees split into three instalments per year.  The Year 2 fees can also be paid in three instalments for that year. So, over the two years, the full fees can be paid and split into six spread out instalments.  

MBA candidates must pay a non-refundable deposit of €1,000 at the time of acceptance, to secure a place on the programme. This deposit will be deducted from Semester 1 tuition fees. You can find further information on payment methods, schedules and fee payment deadlines online at www.ucd.ie/fees.

 Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year. Read more

For additional fees information from UCD, including likely rises in fees from Year 1 to Year 2 of the EMBA Programme, please visit the UCD Graduate Taught Fees webpage.

Investment Cost calculated for 12 months
(Full-Time MBA)
On Campus Off Campus
School Fees (2017/2018) €34,500 €34,500
Accommodation €6,600 €7,200
Food/Utilities €4,800 €4,800
Textbooks €1,200 €1,200
Travel/Entertainment €4,200 €4,200
Laptop Computer €800 €800
Total €52,100 €52,700


Please be advised that these costs are indicative only

*same fee applies to EU and Non-EU students

For detailed information on financing options available to you visit our Fees and Financing Options information page.

Are you seeking corporate sponsorship from your employer to undertake the MBA? The following document outlines the steps to take when preparing your business case for funding.

Business Case for Corporate Investment in MBA Training 

International students may require a student visa to study here in Ireland.  Please review the section on Visa Information

We offer a wide range of scholarships to MBA participants each year.  Please visit our MBA Scholarships page for more information and to see for which scholarships you may be eligible.

What is the GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is a four-hour test which examines writing skills, mathematical reasoning, integrated and verbal reasoning. The test is marked out of 800 points.

Successfully preparing for the GMAT usually takes studying a number of hours a week for six-eight weeks.

  • 100 hours needed to score 650 plus – Scholarship candidates take note!
  • 70+ hours needed to score 600 plus – Full-time MBA minimum
  • 50+ hours needed to score 520 plus – Executive MBA minimum

The GMAT is designed to assess aptitude for business school, although no prior business knowledge is necessary. It is required for entry to MBAs across the world. The GMAT is compulsory for entry to UCD Smurfit School’s Full-time and Executive MBAs. It provides the School with a quantitative measure to assess candidates from across a wide variety of educational, national and professional backgrounds.

The GMAT is a computer adaptive test. The first question is always of medium standard. Depending on your performance, the questions will get easier or more difficult.

The test score is valid for five years. The test may be taken more than once – the highest score will be accepted by UCD Smurfit School regardless of when taken. However, re-sits are only permitted after a 16 calendar day break, therefore it is wise to take the test well before the start date of your MBA to allow for a re-sit if necessary.

A number of GMAT prep sessions will be held in UCD Smurfit School from late October, details will be published on the website, once dates and times have been finalised. The sessions are free but you will be required to register online to secure a place. Please check back periodically for updates.

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