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Programme Overview

Central to the long-term success of any organisation, strategy defines direction and creates scope to gain competitive advantage. It is what elevates truly extraordinary leaders above merely ordinary ones by enabling them to develop and implement effective business strategies while maintaining motivation, innovation and vision in their people.

Knowledge gained, skills learned and links established on the programme will enhance career potential and directly benefit the organisations that participants work with. The programme provides participants with the insight and understanding needed to lead organisations in a complex global business environment.

The focus on Strategy, Development and Innovation provides the knowledge and skills required to reach the highest level, whether in a commercial or public sector context. It offers business managers and directors with a versatile, strategic toolkit to bring coherence and direction to the actions and decisions of the organisation.

Key Details

March 2020

Next Intake

€7,945 & €7,547*


9 Months


6 X 2 day modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

The Smurfit Experience



Mercury Engineering



Skoda Ireland



Isambard Associates Limited

March 2020 Schedule





Module 1 (half day) 

Prof. Patrick Gibbons

Thurs 19th March 2020
(1pm networking lunch and 2pm-5pm session)

Module 1 - Strategic Leadership

Prof. Patrick Gibbons & Associate Prof. Ciaran Heavey

Fri 20th & Sat 21st March 2020

Module 2 - Strategy in a Turbulent Environment: The New Normal

Prof. Karan Sonpar


Fri 8th & Sat 9th May 2020

Module 3 - Market Position and Competitive Advantage

Associate Prof. Andrew Keating 

Fri 12th & Sat 13th June 2020

Module 4 - Top Management Teams and Strategic Decision Making

Prof. Patrick Gibbons & Assistant Prof. Dorota Piaskowska

Fri 4th & Sat 5th September 2020

Module 5 - Business Model Innovation

Prof. Raomal Perera

Fri 30th & 31st October 2020 

Module 6 - Leading Innovation and Change

Prof. David Loree

Fri 4th & Sat 5th December 2020 

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