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Programme Overview

Designed to address the specific opportunities presented to the Irish food, drink and horticulture sectors, the diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry) will equip participants with best practice strategies and frameworks to develop business in domestic and key international markets. It recognises the opportunity for employment and wealth creation within the industry as well as the need for ongoing competitiveness. With global economic uncertainty an ongoing concern and retail consolidation engendering an even more competitive marketplace, this programme enables the participant to build their leadership capabilities for strategic growth.

The programme is highly participative to ensure that the collective experience of the entire class group is harnessed. Emphasis is placed on participant-centred action learning using a combination of real-life problems and case studies.

UCD Smurfit School has assembled a world-class faculty to deliver the Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry). The modules are taught by a blended team of instructors from UCD Smurfit School, Harvard Business School (US) and IMD Business School (Switzerland). It provides an ideal platform for food industry professionals looking to enhance their abilities, accelerate their career, and improve the success of their company.

Key Details


Next Intake

€7,750 & €7,363*


9 Months


12 Days x 5 Modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

The Smurfit Experience



Glanbia Agrifood



Skelligs Chocolate



Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Irish Sea fisheries)

Module Dates




Module 1


Strategy in Global Food and Agribusiness

Module 2


Strategic Growth: Creating Advantage

Module 3


Managing Sustainable Supply Chains

Module 4


Leadership Themes in Food & Agribusiness

Module 5


Strategic Leadership


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

We are currently ranked in the world’s top 50 open enrolment executive education programmes in the highly prestigious Financial Times rankings. In jumping 21 places to 48th in the world, and 26th in Europe, we achieved the highest rankings increase year-on-year.  We are the only provider in Ireland to feature in the highly respected Financial Times executive education open enrolment ranking, with only eight business schools in the UK making the list

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations