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Programme Overview

Corporate Governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. Creating an effective system of governance supports the strategic direction, evolution and longevity of any organisation. The UCD Diploma in Corporate Governance will impart the technical competence and support the critical thinking necessary to execute governance roles in an ever-changing world.

Graduates are informed, agile, critical thinkers and doers, with a capacity to cope with complexity and uncertainty. The programme supports a collaborative learning environment that encourages participants to actively draw on their own professional experiences and the collective experiences of their fellow participants, so they can develop their own and others’ knowledge and insights into the theory and practice of governance in modern real-world situations.

Key Details

September 9th 2024

Next Intake

€15,940& €15,140*


9 Months


2 x 12 Week Semesters


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

Module Dates

This is a part-time programme which takes place over 9 months in two x twelve-week semesters. 


Module Title Faculty Dates 

Module 1:

Introduction to Corporate Governance Paradigms and Practice

Dr. Margaret Cullen  9th and 10th September 2024

Module 2:

Regulatory Framework for Directors

Dr. Noel McGrath 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th September 2024

Module 3:

Legal Duties and Responsibilities of Companies and Directors 

Associate Professor Brian Hutchinson 30th September and 1st, 7th and 8th October 2024

Module 4:

Role and Responsibilities of Boards in Practice

Dr. Margaret Cullen 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd October 2024

Module 5:

(i) Business Ethics, Corporate Culture and the Board

(ii) Board Composition, Succession and Behavioural Aspects of Boards

Ms. Ros O'Shea


Dr. Margaret Cullen

4th and 5th November 2024

11th and 12th November 2024

Module 6:

Technology Governance

Dr. Joe Peppard (TBC) 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th November 2024

Autumn Trimester Exams 

  Monday 9th December 2024 

Module 7:

Financial Control: The Annual Report/The Annual Financial Statements


Mr. Ken O'Sullivan 20th and 27th January and 4th (TBC) 10th,17th and 24th February 2024 

Module 8:

Internal Control and the Role of the Audit Committee

Professor Niamh Brennan 1st and 28th January, 5th (TBC) and 11th February 2025.

Module 9:

Risk Governance and the Role of the Board/Risk Committee

Professor Niamh Brennan 21st and 28th January, 5th (TBC) and 11th February 2025.

Module 10:

Executive Remuneration 
and Incentives and the 
Role of the 

Dr. Margaret Cullen 
4th, 10th and 11th March 2025

Module 11:

Business Strategy and 
the Board 

Associate Professor 
Ciaran Heavey 
24th, 25th, 31st March and 1st April 2025 

Module 12:
Improving Business 

Dr. Gearóid Hardy
7th, 8th, 14th and 15th
April 2025 

Spring Trimester Exams

  Monday 12th May 2025


Lectures typically run Monday & Tuesdays 16.30 to 19.30. 

Please note - 100% attendance is required at all modules.  Should you miss a module due to unexpected circumstances, there is no longer an option to take that module with another intake of the programme - visit FAQ's | UCD Smurfit School for full details.



Alumni Testimonials

Want to find out more? Watch the videos below to gain deeper insight into this diploma.

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.

MSc Pathway

This standalone diploma also forms part of the optional MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) Pathway. The pathway framework is comprised of eleven diploma programmes. If participants successfully complete any three of these eleven 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 learning method, immersive environment and world-class faculty all come together to deliver a learning experience unlike any 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 other than our UCD Diploma in Corporate Governance.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations