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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

*Classes will run until 8.30pm 

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

*Classes will run until 8pm

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, 10th, 17th and 24th February 2025

Module 8:

Internal Control and the Role of the Audit Committee

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

Module 9:

Risk Governance and the Role of the Board/Risk Committee

Professor Niamh Brennan 21st and 28th January, 5th 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.

FT Global Rankings confirm UCD as leading Irish provider of Executive Education

UCD Smurfit Executive Development has been ranked in the global top 50 and EU top 25 in both the Open Enrolment and Custom Executive Education in the 2024 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings continuing its place as Ireland’s leading provider of Executive Education. 

The School is ranked 33rd in the world in the Custom Executive Education Rankings. Within the ranking criteria, the School ranked an impressive 4th globally for Growth reflecting year-on-year revenue growth and repeat business and 27th for Programme Design which ensures flexibility of the curriculum and cutting-edge expert lecturers. Overall, Client Satisfaction is highest in Ireland and ranks 23rd globally.

In the Open Enrolment Ranking, Smurfit Executive Development ranked 46th globally and first in Ireland marking the 7th year in the global top 50. Among the criteria used to assess the categories, the School scored in the global top 50 in 12 out of 14 categories. Find out more here

The ranking demonstrates consistency at the highest standard in the delivery of world-class executive education programmes and places UCD Smurfit Executive Development with an elite group of business institutions that are among the most recognised in the world.

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