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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

25th November 2021

Next Intake

€7,945 & €7,547*


9 Months


6 X 2 day modules


NFQ Level 9 / 30 ECTS

Accredited / Credits

The Smurfit Experience



World Rugby






Graduate of the Diploma in Strategy Development and Innovation

Module Title Faculty Dates    
Module 1: Strategic Leadership (SBUS41760) Prof. Patrick Gibbons
Associate Prof. Ciaran Heavey

Thurs 25th Nov 2021 (1:30 - 5pm)
Fri & Sat Nov 26th & 27th 2021

Module 2: Strategy in a Turbulent Environment: The New Normal (SBUS41770) Prof. Karan Sonpar

Fri 21st & Sat 22nd January 2022

Module 3: Market Position and Competitive Advantage (SBUS41050)

Associate Prof. Andrew Keating & Associate Prof. Marius Claudy

Fri 25th & Sat 26th February 2022

Module 4: Business Model Innovation (SBUS41020)

Prof. Raomal Perera

Fri 1st & Sat 2nd April 2022

Module 5: Top Management Teams and Strategic Decision Making  (SBUS41060)

Prof. Patrick Gibbons & Associate Prof. Dorota Piaskowska

Fri 13th & Sat 14th May 2022

Module 6: Leading Innovation and Change (SBUS41750) Prof. David Loree

Fri 24th & Sat 25th June 2022


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