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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.

Interested in learning more - check out these two articles 'Why Good Arguments Make Better Strategy' and 'A User's Guide to Open Strategy'.

Key Details

Thursday 14th November 2024

Next Intake

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


9 Months


6 X 2 day modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

Module Dates

Module Title

Module Faculty

Module Dates

Module 1: Strategic Leadership 

Professor Patrick Gibbons and Associate Professor Ciaran Heavey 

Thurs 14th November 2024 
(1:30- 5pm), Fri 15th & Sat 16th November 2024 

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

Prof. Karan Sonpar

Fri 10th & Sat 11th January 2025 

Module 3: Market Position and Competitive Advantage 

Associate Prof. Andrew Keating and Associate Prof. Marius Claudy

Wed 26th & Thurs 27th February 

Module 4: Business Model Innovation 

Prof. Raomal Perera

Wed 26th & Thurs 27th February 

Module 5Leading Innovation and Change 

Professor David Loree - live virtual 

Wed 21st, Thurs 22nd & Fri 23rd  
May 2025 - live virtual module 
from approximately 1pm to 5pm 

Module 6: Top Management Teams and Strategic Decision Making 

Professor Patrick Gibbons

Fri 27th & Sat 28th June 2025 

Please note - 100% attendance is required at all modules. Should you miss a module due to unexpected circumstances, there is no longer an option to take that module with another intake of the programme. 
Timing:  Typically, 9.00am to 5.00pm on both days

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).

FT Global Rankings confirm UCD as leading Irish provider of Executive Education

UCD Smurfit Executive Development has been ranked in the global top 50 and EU top 25 in both the Open Enrolment and Custom Executive Education in the 2024 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings continuing its place as Ireland’s leading provider of Executive Education. 

The School is ranked 33rd in the world in the Custom Executive Education Rankings. Within the ranking criteria, the School ranked an impressive 4th globally for Growth reflecting year-on-year revenue growth and repeat business and 27th for Programme Design which ensures flexibility of the curriculum and cutting-edge expert lecturers. Overall, Client Satisfaction is highest in Ireland and ranks 23rd globally.

In the Open Enrolment Ranking, Smurfit Executive Development ranked 46th globally and first in Ireland marking the 7th year in the global top 50. Among the criteria used to assess the categories, the School scored in the global top 50 in 12 out of 14 categories. Find out more here

The ranking demonstrates consistency at the highest standard in the delivery of world-class executive education programmes and places UCD Smurfit Executive Development with an elite group of business institutions that are among the most recognised in the world.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations