Strategic Learning & Development

The programme is aimed at those working across the full breadth of the people development arena: professionals who are working with their organisations, or with clients, to support the advancement of organisational performance through people. It’s for people in learning and development roles, those working on the agenda of organisational change and transformation and people committed to ensuring the talent pipeline is strong to support the organisation’s achievement of its ambitions for the future.

Designed in conjunction with both leading industry and academic experts, subject matter incorporates both professional and applied L&D business material as well as an analytics component. Lectures are delivered by experienced experts from academia, industry and practice, facilitating graduates with the most up-to-date theory and practice.

This flexible, blended learning programme aims to provide students with an opportunity to complete a programme of study focused on the theory and practice of learning and development in contemporary organisational contexts. Students will also develop an advanced understanding of research methodologies and reflective and critical problem solving skills. Aimed at professionals with significant work experience, the part-time nature of the course enables students to consider how their learning and knowledge impacts professional practice, and ensure that the acquired knowledge and understanding gained through their MSc journey supports their development in their specific working context.

This MSc in Strategic Learning and Development is designed in conjunction with both leading industry and academic experts in order to help participants to actively develop their own knowledge, expertise, and behavioural competencies so that they can fulfil their L&D roles effectively. Specifically, the programme sets out to enable participants to:

Display an understanding of the role of an L&D Director/Manager.
Demonstrate an identifiable set of key L&D leader competencies.
Display high autonomy and demonstrate expertise in their L&D roles.
Understand how L&D programmes translate into learning impact outcomes for their organisation.
Build engagement strategies with internal and external stakeholders.
Develop strategies for leading L&D programmes effectively through organisational change.
Develop creative solutions to exploit the opportunities and surmount challenges facing L&D teams.
Leverage digital tools and methods to enhance L&D and support organisational transformation.
Motivate and empower colleagues and external stakeholders to stimulate L&D activity and innovation to achieve organisational goals.

Subjects taught

Year 1

Semester 1 - Core Modules
MT5808 Strategy, Organisation and Innovation
HR5022 Learning & Development: Design to Evaluation

Semester 2 - Core Modules
HR5012A Personal Leadership & Management Skills
HR5135 Leadership and Change
HR5014 Digital Learning Design & Tools
HR5016 Research Methodology

Year 2
Semester 1 - Core Modules
HR5015 Strategic Learning & Development, Organisational Development

HR5011 HR Analytics & Storytelling

Semester 2 - Core Modules
HR5013 Contemporary Issues & The Future of Learning

Autumn Semester - Core Modules
HR5012B Personal Leadership & Management Skills
HR5017 Strategic Consultancy Project II

Entry requirements

• A 2:1 Honours degree in a related discipline (Business, Management, HRM, and Psychology) and a minimum of three years’ work experience.

• Applicants who have achieved a 2.2 Honours degree may still obtain a place. This will depend on availability of places and on obtaining high grades in relevant modules on their undergraduate programme.

• Alternatively, candidates with relevant Professional qualifications and at least 3 years’ relevant work experience in the domain of training, learning and development may be considered for entry subject to interview.

• If an applicant does not hold a primary degree, but has sufficient and relevant working experience (more than 5 years in the domain of training, learning and development) a case for acceptance will be submitted. This will be assessed using DCU (2019) Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme.

Application dates

Application Deadlines
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until:
Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024.
Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024.
Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are
advised to apply as early as possible.

To apply for this programme:
All applicants should apply via the website - See Application weblink above.

• Provide Level 8 Academic Transcripts in a relevant discipline (Finance, Business, Information Technology or equivalent) from a recognised higher education institution for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
• Provide Level 8 qualification in a non-relevant discipline along with a detailed CV detailing at least two years relevant finance work experience.
• Provide Level 7 qualification in a subject in a relevant discipline or non-chartered membership of a professional body, along with a detailed CV detailing at least three years relevant managerial work experience.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link


2 years Part-time.

Enrolment dates

The programme commences in September 2024.

Post Course Info

The MSc in Strategic Learning and Development combines elements from L&D Design and Strategy to Organisational Transformation, Leadership and Change, Digital Learning Tools, the Future of L&D and Data Analytics.

This programme is an excellent way to accelerate your career. Upon graduation, you will have the analytical and practical skills you’ll need to develop and implement strategies. You will also be positioned to contribute to decision-making and policy discussions at a senior level. This programme will prepare you for a role in L&D departments of large or multinational organisations.

Being one of a very few people in the market with this unique qualification will position you very strongly and open up a range of exciting career opportunities. Not only will you have the support of DCU and the IITD with building your knowledge and expertise, as well as keeping ahead of the latest L&D trends with global research and whitepapers, you will build a strong professional network of like-minded learning and development professionals which will endure long after you have graduated from the programme.

Graduates of the MSc in Strategic Learning and Development will progress their careers in Strategic Learning & Development, Leadership, Talent & HR, Organisation Change & Transformation, People and Culture. They will be attractive to L&D Departments with a strategic emphasis towards skills development, both indigenous and multinational organisations seeking to recruit graduates who can make significant contributions to discussions and decisions at boardroom level.

Graduates will be highly sought after for a variety of positions, including:
• Change and Development Manager
• Head of Leadership Development
• Talent Business Partner
• Senior Talent Management Specialist
• Head of Organisational Learning
• Transformative Leadership Specialist
• Learning & HR Technology Business Partner
• People Development Manager
• Skills Development Leader
• L&D Director
• Head/Director of Talent Management
• Organisational Transformation Manager/Director
• People & Culture Partner/Director

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider