As an EMBA participant, you will build on your previous experience and gain practical skills in Finance, Strategy, Marketing, Accounting, Economics, Human Resources and Leadership among other disciplines. Our core academic programme adapts in tandem with the most up-to-date business and organisational thinking, enabled by research and consultative collaboration between faculty and industry

The programme is structured over two years during which time you will complete core modules, a major project and the opportunity to take modules in locations across the globe. We place particular emphasis on developing your leadership skills through our bespoke ‘Leadership & Employability Advancement Programme (LEAP)’ which wraps around your academic learning. The Executive LEAP programme promotes the development of skills and competencies required by business leaders. 

Delivered part-time over two years with classes on campus once a month, Friday and Saturday 8.30am – 6.30pm during term time and with a number of week-long modules. Dates are locked in and modules are typically spread out evenly over the course of the two year programme.

On Campus Class Hours


Friday and Saturday

(with a number of week-long modules)

8.30am - 6.30pm


Programme Structure Summary

Year One Year Two
  • 6 days Foundation Week (2 days orientation & 4 academic days)
  • 2 additional days Executive LEAP (December and May)
  • 8 core modules (160 hours face to face classroom hours) 
  • 32 online hours (4hours per module)
  • 1-week optional travel summer module (additional cost for this module)
  • Ongoing dedicated MBA careers support
  • 4 days Foundation
  • 2 additional days Executive LEAP (December and May)
  • 7 core modules (140 hours face to face classroom hours) 
  • 28 online hours (4 hours per module)
  • 1 optional travel module  (additional cost for this module)
  • 1 optional GNAM Network week travel module
  • 1 final Capstone Project – live company project
  • Ongoing dedicated MBA careers support


Curriculum Overview

Year One 2023/2024

 Year Two 2024/2025


Leadership and Employability Advancement Programme (LEAP)

Global in focus, Executive LEAP is designed to support managers and senior specialists to make successful career transitions to executive roles, 
building their capability to lead diverse teams inclusively, and sustainably as the business world faces the leadership demands of the coming decades.

Extracurricular Activities

MBA Alumni Events • UCD Sports Clubs • MBA Blog • MBA Clubs • Networking Events • Thought Leadership Events

Please be advised that the above reflects the 2023/2024 curriculum structure and is subject to change each year.  Option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years and are also subject to change.


Dates Year One 2023/2024

 Provisional Dates Year Two 2024/2025


  • Aug 23-26 Foundation Week (4 days)
  • Sept 15-16
  • Oct 12,13,14
  • Nov 10,11
  • Nov 30, Dec 1,2
  • Jan 19-20
  • Feb 22,23,24
  • Mar 22,23
  • Apr 19,20
  • May 16,17,18
  • Jun 2-9 TBC (optional module for credit)

  • Aug 23,24 Foundation Block
  • Sept 13,14
  • Oct 11,12
  • Nov 8,9
  • Dec 5,6,7
  • Jan 17,18
  • Feb 7,8
  • Mar 9-16 TBC (Study trip optional for credit)
  • Apr 4,5
  • May 15,16,17
  • June 9-13 TBC (GNAM optional non credit module)
  • June-August (Capstone Project)

The purpose of the International Consultancy Project Trip is to develop research knowledge and skills to solve live business problems faced by companies operating in international markets. Key topics include organisational diagnosis, data collection, data analysis, a foundational overview on the strategic and cultural nuances of operating in a specific market, strategic planning tools, project feasibility, and collaboration with clients. The overall module involves classroom learning and a live consulting project in an international location.  In this video, our 2017 MBA participants share their experience of the International Consulting Trip to Iceland.

"Our experience working with the MBA Students from UCD Smurfit School as part of the International Consulting Project 2019 was nothing short of what I would expect from a paid consultancy company. They dug deep to understand our challenges as a company and in the industry at large, and leveraged their personal skillsets and networks to add additional value in areas outside of the scope of work. The international growth strategy they presented us was concise, concrete, and actionable, with all the steps along the way clearly defined and considered."

Bruno Gavino, CEO Codedesign, Lisbon

EMBA participants can undertake the ‘Doing Business in International Markets’ option module in semester 2 of year 2 at an additional cost.  The tour combines high-level company visits, presentations and panel discussions from leading executives, government officials and entrepreneurs, all relevant to the core management disciplines. Key themes are developed from which to learn about the country's business and cultural landscape. Importantly, the Study Tour provides a fantastic opportunity for participants to spend time together and lay the foundation for strong future relationships. Previous destinations have included Argentina, Scandinavia, Germany, and Italy.

The Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM) is a network of 32 of the world’s leading business schools.  GNAM week provides an opportunity for faculty and students to exchange ideas through short, one-week immersion programmes. The dedicated EMBA GIW currently takes place in June and is open to year 2 EMBA students.  Participants travel to a host institution for project work such as data collection, sharing case studies, and networking as part of a global team. Network institutions can also nominate high-achieving students for consideration in the highly selective Masters of Advanced Management programme at the Yale School of Management.

In 2019, Smurfit MBA students Grace Bergin, Ken Power and Siun Tobin created a Video Blog to document their experience at UC Berkeley as part of GNAM week. Watch the video to share in their experience on the programme, themed 'Innovation and Enterprise'. 

By developing a solution to a real problem faced by an organisation, students have the opportunity to improve their analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. The Capstone project helps students master the real challenge of applying diverse streams of knowledge acquired during their studies, combined with practical, real-world application. Prior to the start date, participants take part in various workshops to support the project process. 

This is a group project and is typically sourced from within a company or from an organisation to which one of the team members belongs. Assistance is provided to groups who cannot source a project themselves.

MBA participants can further enhance their learning and networking by becoming involved in a range of extracurricular activities. This includes MBA events, MBA sports competitions, MBA Clubs (e.g. Entrepreneurship Club, Thought Leadership Club) and MBA Blog posting.

By utilising a range of methods including lectures, seminars, guest speakers, practical projects, and case studies, the Smurfit MBA faculty encourage participants to draw on their own professional experience as they broaden their knowledge.  Assessment for the MBA is based on a combined grade for group assignments and presentations, individual projects, class participation and written examinations. The exact assessment strategy varies by module at the discretion of the faculty member delivering it. Graduates are given a GPA and level result.

The purpose of the MBA programme is to offer students with a well-rounded approach on business and management from the perspective of a general manager (Purpose).

The programme equips students with the skills and techniques required by a general manager from various business disciplines. The intention is to develop both within, and across functional discipline, knowledge (education and subject/discipline/professional values).

The Programme promotes an environment where: the material focuses on contemporary topics and challenges; students are encouraged to take ownership for their learning journey; learning is rooted in rigorous management research; and application of knowledge is encouraged (the nature of the learning environment for students).

In addition to lectures, students work individually and in small groups on business cases and assignments. Students are also exposed to skills training sessions, and presentations by visiting lecturers and practitioners. They are also required to undertake an international study trip (key approaches to teaching, learning and assessment).

On successful completion of the programme students should be able to:

Programme Goals:

Programme Learning Outcomes:

Programme Goal 1: To provide functional knowledge in the main areas of business and management  

Demonstrate and apply functional knowledge that is academically rigorous and practically relevant.

Demonstrate and apply cross-functional knowledge.

Programme Goal 2: To develop leadership capacity in our graduates  

Display strategic and interpersonal skills that are required for leadership positions in business or society.

Demonstrate social, ethical and cultural awareness.

Programme Goal 3: To develop a global mind-set  

Display the capacity to understand the opportunities and challenges of doing business across national boundaries.

Display an understanding of the latest business, social and technological trends from across the globe.

Programme Goal 4: To enable learning through practice  

Display the ability to solve real-world business problems and defend their choices among peers.

Demonstrate an ability to be effective in collaborative settings that are characterized by ambiguity and conflict.


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