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Programme Overview

As your management career develops, you face the challenges of general management. The range of problems and opportunities at this level calls on you to work with and manage diverse teams and people, to tackle issues you’re not specialised in, and to contribute to your organisation’s broader strategy and goals. The Diploma in Management Excellence gives you the skills to grow confidently as a manager and a leader in your business.

The programme develops your insight into the leadership of people and provides you with a toolkit for confidently developing the relationships that are the hallmark of strong leaders. You will be equipped with a broader perspective on the interconnected elements of business strategy and operations, and a deeper understanding of how to create lasting success for your organisation. And you will explore how to maximise your personal impact in a way that is authentic to you and your strengths.

It will give executives the solid foundation to be able to go back to work able to ask the right questions and challenge your teams to think differently. The combination of theory and real-world application with an immersive learning experience makes this a very practical programme. Participants will return to their organisation with the necessary analytical skills and strategic toolkit for improving both short-term and long-term performance.

Key Details

Wednesday 9th October 2024

Next Intake

€8,670 or €8,260*(*UCD Business Alumni)


12 Months


6 x 2 Days


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

Module Dates

Module Title Module Faculty Module Dates 
Module 1: The Manager as Leader 

Stephen Boyle

Kathleen Halligan 

Thursday 17th, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 2024 
Module 2: Competitive Advantage through Operations  Dr. Brian Mc Grath Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November 2024
Module 3: Marketing Strategy for Profitable Growth (In Digital Era)  Associate Prof. Andrew Keating & Dr. Marius Claudy Friday 17th and Saturday 18th January 2025
Module 4: Improving Business Profitability  Associate Professor Paul Ryan Friday 28th February and Saturday 1st March 2025
Module 5: Collaborative Communication  John Fitzsimons
& Glenn Treacy
Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April 2025 
Module 6: Personal Impact and Presence Stephen Boyle Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th May 2025

Please note - 100% attendance is required at all modules. Timing:  Typically 9.00am to 5.00pm on Friday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday


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

MSc Pathway

This standalone diploma also forms part of the optional MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) Pathway. The pathway framework is comprised of ten diploma programmes. If participants successfully complete any three of these ten 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