Business Administration - MBA

Experiential. Transformational. International. The globally-ranked Smurfit MBA provides an unequalled opportunity to unlock and develop your leadership potential, accelerate your career and build your global network.

The Smurfit MBA is designed to develop global leaders. On average, 65% of the MBA class is international and the programme is delivered by an international faculty.

A member of the Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM) network of 32 business schools including Yale, INSEAD, Oxford and Said Business School, UCD Smurfit School will offer you a global perspective through international study trips and exchanges, action learning via global collaboration, exposure to thought leaders on global issues and problem-solving in international settings.

Accredited for more than 20 years, we are one of an elite group of schools worldwide to hold the 'triple crown' of accreditation from the three centres of business and academic excellence, EQUIS (Europe), AACSB (US) and AMBA (UK). Our accreditations are a signal of quality from international independent peers and are your guarantee that you will receive a top quality, internationally recognised degree.

UCD Smurfit is also the only Irish business school consistently featured in global rankings over the last ten years (most recently climbing to No.67 in The Economist Full-time MBA Ranking). Learn more about our rankings and accreditations.

MBA participants engage in action learning throughout the programme. From case studies to business simulations to international consultancy, you will learn by doing.

The major Capstone project will task you, as part of a team, to develop a solution to an actual problem faced by an organisation. You will master real-life challenges by applying the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme, demonstrating your skills of analysis, problem-solving and strategy.

Empowering you to become a self-aware, insightful and influential leader, Smurfit's Leadership Development Programme helps you to communicate more effectively, better understand your motivations and behaviour, develop your personal strengths and lead others through persuasion and influence.

This innovative and highly interactive programme includes understanding personality and preferences, mastering communication and team building. One-to-one coaching provides a private space during the programme for you to reflect on key learnings and insights.

Curriculum & Learning
As an MBA student, you will build on your previous experience and gain practical skills in emerging business topics, Finance, Strategy, Marketing, Accounting, Economics, Human Resources and Leadership among other disciplines. The programme is structured over 3 semesters during which time you will complete 15 core modules, 2 option modules, a major project and the opportunity to take modules in locations across the globe. Optional modules can be taken in autumn, spring and the summer term. The list of options evolves over time based on student feedback and the identification of new areas of interest.

Curriculum Overview
Please note that the table below is for indicative purposes only as modules are sometimes moved or replaced for academic reasons.

Subjects taught

Autumn Trimester:
Foundation Week:
Preparing the Ground
Introduction to Finance, Marketing and Strategy
Case study workshops
Communication Skills
Team work

Understanding the firm and looking to the market:
Financial Reporting
Corporate Finance
Performance Driven Marketing
Leadership & Organisational Behaviour
Competitive Strategy
Business Economics

Option Modules
Global Network Immersion Week

Spring Trimester:
Building Strategies & Specialising for Future Growth:
Financial Statement Analysis
Operations, Innovation & Management
Management Accounting
Doing Business in International Markets
Digital Transformation

Option Modules
1 x option modules which may include:
Managing the Negotiations Process
Strategy Execution
Corporate Governance

Summer Trimester:
Global Strategy, Consulting and Field Work:
Strategies for Human Resources
Global & Corporate Strategy
MBA Consulting Project (Capstone)
International Consulting Project

Option Modules
1 x option modules which may include:
Executive Decision Making
Data Analytics
Business & Society

MBA Leadership Development Programme - planned series of seminars, workshops, psychometric assessment and optional executive coaching

MBA Careers Development – planned series of seminars, workshops, employer events, speaker events and career mentoring

Extracurricular Activities - MBA Clubs, MBA Blog, Networking Events

** Please note that the content is subject to change yearly

*Note that on-campus teaching is delivered under prevailing public health guidelines. In the event of a required change to planned delivery, further information about alternative delivery methods (including online delivery) will be confirmed with prospective and incoming students.

Entry requirements

•A university degree*
•A minimum of three years' quality professional experience (excluding summer placements, part-time or temporary work experience).

A valid score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Full-Time MBA: preferred minimum score of 600. Please note that we look at applications on a holistic basis, and a high GMAT score does not guarantee admission. The average GMAT for our current MBA class is 646. If you have any questions in regards to your application we recommend that you contact the MBA Admissions team.

Executive MBA: GMAT score of 520 or above required.

GMAC Executive Assessment (EA): EA score of 149 and above required. More information on the EA available here. Please note the EA is accepted for EMBA applicants only.

For both the MBA full-time and EMBA, apart from meeting the minimum overall GMAT/EA score, candidates must also do reasonably well in the quantitative component of this test.

Alternatively to the above, candidates for both the full-time and EMBA can submit a valid GRE Test Score. Indicative equivalencies are available through GRE

English Language Requirements: All applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in English language. If English is not your first language you must present with the minimum standard in a recognised English language test, as outlined below. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in a majority English speaking country.**
An average IELTS score of 7.0 over all components and a minimum of 6.5 in each band on the Academic Version.
A minimum score of 100 is required in the Internet based TOEFL (iTB) with minimum score 24 in Writing, and minimum score 20 in Reading, Listening and Speaking components.
For all proficiency tests the results must normally have been issued within two years prior to the start of your programme.
UCD has approved the use of the Duolingo Test of English (DET) for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 intake. A DET score of 120 will be accepted with at least 100 in each subscore.
Through our rigorous selection process we endeavour to manage expectations so that the candidate's aspirations for the programme and career objectives are aligned with what the programme can deliver.

*If you do not hold a university degree equivalent to NFQ Level 8 please contact Admissions for further advice on the non-standard admissions process.

**List of majority English speaking countries:
Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Guyana.

Application dates

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis. We encourage all interested candidates to submit their applications as early as possible in order to be best placed for any scholarship offers and to avoid disappointment. We receive a high volume of applications and competition for places on the MBA programme is intense.

International candidates are also advised to apply as early as possible to ensure sufficient time for processing visa applications, booking flights etc.

Candidates are required to Apply Online via the UCD applications system. The application fee is €50.

Candidates are required to submit an online application form which asks for basic details and short questions on why you are applying for our MBA.

The following supporting documentation should be uploaded to your online application account:

Curriculum Vitae
GMAT/EA official score report or confirmation of scheduled GMAT test date
English language official test report or confirmation of scheduled test date (if applicable)
Copies of official final transcripts of degrees and /or professional qualifications (degree certificates are not normally required but may be requested)
Two completed Recommendation Forms from current or former employers or clients if you are self-employed. For authenticity these must be signed by hand and scanned prior to submission. Please scan and upload these along with your application.

All eligible candidates deemed suitable to be considered for the MBA or EMBA programme will be interviewed. Candidates are interviewed by one or in some cases more of the following:
MBA Programme Director, Head of Admissions, Careers Manager, Alumni.

International candidates are normally interviewed via telephone or Skype.

Following the Admissions interview, a final application review takes place and candidates will be notified via telephone and email.

Assessment Info

Assessment for the MBA is based on a combined grade for group assignments and presentations, individual projects, class participation and written examinations. Graduates are given a GPA and level result.


1 year full-time.


Full-time MBA tuition fees can be paid in three instalments: September, January and May.

Executive MBA Tuition Fee: €15,950* per year (academic year 2019/2020)

EMBA participants pay fees on an annual (per academic year) basis, with fees split into three instalments per year. The Year 2 fees can also be paid in three instalments for that year. So, over the two years, the full fees can be paid and split into six spread out instalments.

MBA candidates must pay a non-refundable deposit of €1,000 at the time of acceptance, to secure a place on the programme. This deposit will be deducted from Semester 1 tuition fees. You can find further information on payment methods, schedules and fee payment deadlines online at

Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year.

Post Course Info

Graduates of the Smurfit MBA are highly sought after to take up roles across all types of organisations. They are hired into a variety of commercial roles in Ireland and abroad.

Over the past few years, our Full Time MBA class have secured roles in a large number of organisations, including: McKinsey, Google, Kellogg's, EY, Grant Thornton, PwC, Amazon, Hubspot, Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Mainstream Renewable Power, KPMG, Novartis, Accenture, Roche, CRH and Glanbia.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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