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Programme Overview

This programme takes advantage of Smurfit’s position as the leading academic research and teaching hub for aviation leasing and finance in Ireland and globally. This combined with Ireland’s leading position as the number one hub for this sector in the world makes this programme truly unique.

The programme has been developed with input from the aviation finance and leasing sector to ensure it addresses the needs of the industry. Participants will acquire a detailed understanding of the financial processes associated with the aviation finance sector including suitable risk assessment and aircraft asset management, accounting issues, financing and credit enhancement, leasing developments and insurance applications. There will be a substantial focus on sustainability issues and how finance can support the sectors proposed Net Zero targets. They will also develop the necessary knowledge and skills to reach the highest level in the aircraft and airline financing industry.

Key Details

Autumn 2024 - Dates to be confirmed.

Next Intake

€14,540 & €13,850*(*UCD Business Alumni)


9 Months


6 X 2 day modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

Module Dates





Module 1: Introduction to Aviation Finance and


Wednesday & Thursday 8th & 9th May 2024


Prof John Cotter / Prof Tom Conlon 


Module 2: Aviation Markets and Assets

Wednesday & Thursday 19th & 20th June 2024

Prof John Cotter 

Module 3: Aircraft Finance and Leasing

Wednesday & Thursday 4th & 5th September 2024

Prof Tom Conlon

Module 4: Corporate Finance for Aviation

Wednesday & Thursday 9th & 10th  October 2024

Prof John Cotter

Module 5: Negotiation Strategies for Aviation Finance and Leasing

Wednesday & Thursday 13th & 14th November 2024

Stephen Boyle

Module 6: Advanced Aviation Financing

Wednesday & Thursday 11th & 12th December 2024

Prof Thomas Conlon 

MSc Pathway

This standalone diploma also forms part of the optional MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) Pathway. The pathway framework is comprised of nine diploma programmes. If participants successfully complete any three of these nine diplomas within a recommended 5-year timeframe, they are awarded with the MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice).

Our portfolio of pathway diplomas build on your existing skill set and add relevant value to your business needs. From corporate governance to leadership development, our diplomas deepen your understanding of contemporary business issues and will help you become a stronger leader who can deal with complex issues in rapidly-changing environments. Our unique teaching method, immersive learning environment and world-class faculty combine to produce an educational experience like no other.

The majority of our diploma programmes are delivered over a series of 6 two-day workshops within a 10-12 month period. Workshops are typically held on Fridays and Saturdays to minimise interference with busy work schedules. The majority of our diploma programmes are assessed on a module-by-module basis through a variety of practical assignments. There are no examinations (excluding the Diploma in Corporate Governance).

Smurfit Executive Development ranked 35th globally in latest 2023 Financial Times Rankings

UCD Smurfit Executive Development has been ranked 35th in the world in the 2023 Financial Times Executive Education Open Enrolment rankings. We are ranked 1st in Ireland and 21st in Europe with an increased overall participant satisfaction rating at 9.33/10.

The only Irish business school ranked in the Open Enrolment rankings, Smurfit Executive Development is globally ranked 25th place for New Skills and Learning, 28th place for Aims Achieved and 28th place for International Location which highlights the extent to which programmes are run off-site and outside the school’s base country and region bringing diversity of thought to the learning environment.

In addition, UCD Smurfit Executive Development ranked 34th for Teaching Methods and Materials, 35th for Course Design and 37th for Faculty. Find out more here.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations