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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.

Watch our recent webinar - Biotech and Pharma and The Fourth Revolution with Prof. Jan Rosier - Watch here

The life sciences industry is fast moving and complex. Now more than ever, the world is looking on with anticipation. The pandemic has put a focus on drug development and we have put our faith in the pharmaceutical industry to come up with a vaccine. In this webinar, Professor Jan Rosier discusses the changing landscape of the life science industry and argues that the pharmaceutical industry is at a turning point in its history both from digitalization and CoVID-19. Watch here.




Key Details

March 2022

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 - to be announced soon





Module 1 



March 2022 

The Changing Dynamics of the Life Sciences Landscape with Prof. Jan Rosier


Module 2

April 2022

Leading and Strategizing in Pharma & Biotech Organisations with Prof. Karan Sonpar 

Module 3

June 2022

Managing the BioPharma Supply Chain with Dr. Gearoid Hardy

Module 4

September 2022

Leading the Innovative Enterprise with Dr. Brian Harrison / Prof. Jan Rosier

Module 5

October 2022

Venture Dynamics in Life Sciences with Dan Maher

Module 6

November 2022

Health Economics and the price of Biotechnology with Prof. Lieven Annemans & Prof. Jan Rosier

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, 27th in Europe and 42nd the world for its Open Enrolment programmes according to the prestigious 2020 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings. In securing the 42nd place, it is the fourth consecutive year that Smurfit Executive Development has achieved a global top 50 ranking. 

This year is our first year participating in the Customised programmes ranking, and we are delighted to announce we placed 85th globally and 47th in the European top 50. By offering a world-class range of customised, diploma and open enrolment programmes, Smurfit Executive Development helps executives and their organisations create new opportunities to drive growth and create value. 


Discover our Rankings and Accreditations