Strategic Management

Our innovative MSc in Strategic Management will equip you to lead an organisation in today’s increasingly complex and digitised world, one characterised by change and disruption. The programme has been designed to serve the needs of companies operating in innovative, international, and entrepreneurial markets. The curriculum includes modules taught by internationally reputable academics and industry practitioners, such as competitive strategy, behavioural strategy and leadership, technology and innovation strategy, resource allocation. In the summer term, students may also have the option to work directly with companies through a company-oriented practical module or to complete a dissertation.

The programme is ideal for students seeking to acquire strategic competencies and who wish to work in leading international companies or to develop their own entrepreneurial business. Our typical students tend to have an undergraduate degree in Business, Economics, Engineering or related areas, postgraduate business diplomas, or degrees with a significant proportion of business subjects. Strong applications from graduates of other disciplines are also considered.

What will I learn?
The MSc in Strategic Management is intellectually challenging as it requires students to learn and implement strategies during a range of selected courses taught by reputable international academics and practitioners. The course content equips students with some of the most relevant competences to formulate and implement strategies in global markets facing radical innovations.

This involves:
1. A comprehension of management theory and practice in order to strengthen a company’s competitive position and boost its profitability.
2. Insight into the strategies used by companies across various sectors and the factors contributing to their success or failure.
3. The knowledge required to make accurate appraisals of the planning and controlling systems of firms, and design alternative ones where necessary.
4. The frameworks and critical skills required to acquire and allocate financial and non-financial resources within the context of a strategic initiative.

How will I benefit?
1. Learn to identify the key market and non-market factors impacting the success of a company.

2. Expand your knowledge of the analytical tools and critical skills needed to evaluate, design and implement company-level strategies with a focus on increasing profitability.

3. Hone your understanding of the challenges managers face in designing and implementing strategies and ability to recommend solutions through reports, presentations and discussions.

4. Development of a network of capable colleagues working in operational and strategic positions in a wide range of industries.

5. Students on the programme are eligible to apply for Graduate Membership of the IMCA (Institute of Management Consultants & Advisors in Ireland).

6. Upon graduation, choose from a range of sectors and positions, from strategic management consulting and financial services through to regulation and government services and graduate positions.

This programme is exciting and demanding. It offers theoretically rigorous and practically relevant business competencies needed by major international companies. The wide nature of the Curriculum offers access to a vast range of career opportunities.

In the Autumn and Spring Trimesters, students must complete 5 core modules plus 1 option module.

In the Summer Trimester, students complete 1 core module plus a choice of 2 pathways.

If students have a particular interest in research, an opportunity exists to work on a dissertation project in place of the final summer modules. In a small number of cases, students may apply for a limited number of possible internships. With any possible internship opportunity students have to go through a competitive recruitment process, including interviews with employers, to be selected.

Subjects taught

Autumn Trimester
Core Modules:
- Competitive and Corporate Strategy
- Technology and Innovation Strategy
- Decision Making Strategies and Techniques

Spring Trimester
Core Modules:
- Strategic Resource Allocation
- Behavioural Strategy and Leadership

plus 1 option module:
- Entrepreneurship
- Creativity Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Mindfulness & Resilience at Work
- Leadership, Organisations & Me
- Sustainable Production & Consumption

Summer Trimester
Choose a Pathway:
Pathway A
- Managing the Negotiation Process

plus 2 option modules:
- The Science of Teams
- Cross-Cultural Management
- Creative Problem Solving
- Leadership and Team Management
- Innovation: Disruption and Design

Pathway B
- Managing the Negotiation Process

plus 1 option module
- International Business Consultancy Project
- Internship

Pathway C
- SM Dissertation

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. Summer taught modules are delivered in blocks over one or two weeks.

Entry requirements

Please review the entry requirements below. The UCD Smurfit Admissions Office staff have expertise in reviewing international qualifications from around the world and will be able to assess your application's comparability to the Irish entry requirement.

A minimum second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in any discipline or a primary degree with a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience.

Information & Requirements:
English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our programmes. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country.

Visa Requirements
Some students might have to get a student visa in order to come and study in Ireland. Please check the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services website to see if you require a visa.

Application dates

How To Apply?
Step 1: Collating Documentation:
The first step is to collate the required documentation needed to assess your application. Please ensure that you have clearly scanned, titled and collated your documents in numerical order.

These can include but are not limited to:

Step 2: The Application Process:
Once you have collated the required documentation and reviewed the entry requirements for your programme of interest, you can now apply online at:

Apply Online:
You must apply online using our dedicated student information portal. You will be required to enter contact details, upload your documents and answer two essay questions (each approximately 300 words). We would ask that you seriously consider both essays and answer these in the context of the programme you are applying to. Try to not replicate your CV and demonstrate what makes you different from other applicants. There are no right or wrong ways to complete these essays.

Application Deadlines:
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and courses will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please note certain scholarships may require you to apply before a certain date – please refer to our scholarship page here. If you have any questions in relation to deadlines or availability please email

Application Fee:
You will then be asked to submit your application and pay the €50 application fee. No application can be assessed until the fee has been paid. You can apply for multiple programmes with the one application fee, but please be sure to mark your preferred course.

Application Review:
Once submitted, it usually takes 2-3 weeks before a decision is made on fully completed applications. This time period can sometimes be longer and can vary at different times in the year and in different regions. We may offer you a conditional place based on the completion of a number of criteria, such as degree, English test, or another qualification. This reserves you a place on the course and once you have fulfilled this criteria we will issue you a full offer.

Acceptance is completed by paying a non-refundable deposit (varies from either €500 or €1000 depending on the programme. Most of our programmes require a €500 deposit). Your offer email will detail the exact deposit amount required. Once you have accepted you will then be supported by the Programme Office who will contact you with further course and start details.


12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: September 2024.

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Career Opportunities
Graduates of this course are equipped with an excellent foundation for a career in strategic consultancy, general management, business analysis and project management.

All students on the MSc in Strategic Management are eligible to apply for Graduate Membership of the IMCA (Institute of Management Consultants & Advisors in Ireland).

100% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. Source: Latest Graduate Outcomes Survey, published in December 2022.

Potential careers for our graduates include:
Management Consultant
Project Management
Business Analyst
General Management
Credit Analyst
Commercial Banking
Entrepreneur in Residence

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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