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Programme Overview

The Diploma in Strategic Growth (Biotech & Pharma) is designed to equip executives in the field of life sciences with the knowledge, skills, tools, techniques and strategic perspective required to effectively analyse and manage complex problems. Led by an esteemed group of academics and experts, the programme reflects the critical belief that companies who succeed in the face of challenges will do so by placing renewed emphasis on innovation.




Key Details

12th March 2020

Next Intake

€7,945 & €7,547*


12 Months


6 X 2 day modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

Gene Russell, Plant Engineering Lead, Pfizer and Alumnus Diploma in Strategic Growth (Biotech & Pharma)

Module Dates




Module 1

12th March 2020 (1-5pm Thurs)

13th & 14th March 2020 (Fri & Sat)

The Changing Dynamics of the Life Sciences Landscape

Module 2

24th & 25th April 2020 (Fri & Sat) 

Leading and Strategizing in Pharma & Biotech Organisations

Module 3

12th & 13th June 2020 (Fri & Sat)

Managing the BioPharma Supply Chain

Module 4

4th & 5th September 2020 (Fri & Sat)

Leading the Innovative Enterprise

Module 5

16th & 17th October 2020 (Fri & Sat)

Venture Dynamics in Life Sciences

Module 6

27th & 28th November 2020 (Fri & Sat)

Health Economics and the price of Biotechnology


The Smurfit Experience



Kuehne + Nagel



UDG Healthcare plc



Life Biosciences (US)

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).

Top 50 Global Ranking

UCD Smurfit Executive Development has been ranked 1st in Ireland, 24th in Europe and 43rd in the world for its Open Enrolment programmes according to the prestigious 2019 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings. In securing the 43rd place, it is the third consecutive year that Smurfit Executive Development has achieved a global top 50 ranking, rising five places from the 2018 ranking of 48th. By securing a top 25 ranking amongst European peers, UCD Smurfit Executive Development is one of only 10 business schools in the UK and Ireland to feature in the ranking.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations