City scape

Business Development & Innovation

Business development and innovation are key to business growth and economic recovery, especially in challenging times. This course will provide you with in-depth knowledge and understanding of a range of businessrelated disciplines so you can help solve the challenges of the future.

With links with the world-renowned Harvard Business School and Babson College and using the considerable research and professional expertise of the course team, you can expect an academically challenging and intellectually stimulating course that educates, develops and enhances your professional competence.

Studying topics that have a relevant practical application in the current and future world of business you will study topics such as Strategy, Global Business, Competitiveness, Management Research, Entrepreneurship, and Digitising Marketing.

Whether you want to move from a technical discipline to a wider management role, are a recent graduate wanting to hone in on specific skills or have ambitions to set up your own business this course will enhance your knowledge of up to date and innovative organisational practice.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2:2 Honours standard or equivalent.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not possess academic qualifications at the appropriate level but have substantial relevant work experience may be considered for admittance in accordance with the Faculty's Accreditation of Prior Learning policy.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.



One of the distinctive features of the PgDip/MSc in Business Development and Innovation is that each of the eight taught modules is delivered using Block Intensive Learning. Thus each module is delivered over three full days, with a follow-up day, as opposed to the traditional weekly lecture/seminar format. Block Intensive Learning has been a worldwide established learning practice within business and management topics and business schools.

During the three days (plus the follow-up) students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, case studies and guest speakers. These are described below. In addition to this block intensive format, self directed learning is also expected of students.

Careers or further progression

Career options

The course provides opportunities for a wide range of career options across a range of areas. These include, for example, business development, strategy, innovation, business analysis, research, and consultancy.

The course also helps develop competencies for career change/progression, while also providing the necessary tools to enable participants to set up their own business.

Further enquiries

Ruth McKeegan
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6309

Keith Millar
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6662

Nick Read
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8880

Subjects taught

Year one

Strategy for Business Development
Strategy consists of the analysis and decisions an organisation undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantage. Understanding these interrelated processes is crucial for creating and developing organisations. This module explores these decisions areas from a range of contemporary perspectives and contexts.

Creativity and Innovation
This module introduces students to an exploration of creativity and innovation within the discipline of business and management. The changing understanding of creativity is explored as well as personal approaches to creative problem solving. The broad nature of Innovation is examined - especially in terms of organizational culture / climate and new business models. The role of innovation in gaining strategic advantage is introduced.

Innovation in Practice
The module covers Innovation in Practice through a Business Process Innovation from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It introduces students to the crucial value creating processes within organisations. Moreover, the nature of business models is examined and creative approaches to new business models explored. Business Process Innovation is evaluated in different organisational contexts - both large and small organisations as well as in different sectors of the economy.

Global Business
This module seeks to provide students with an appreciation of the processes of firm internationalisation and the key issues that affect marketing decisions in an international and global context. Firm level processes and activities are considered within the context of the global business environment. Students will be given the opportunity to assess opportunities for internationalisation and the barriers that must be addressed.

Year two

This module has been developed in association with Harvard Business School and is closely based on the Harvard Business School "Microeconomics of Competitiveness" (MOC) adapted to include a regional focus. The module explores not only theory and policy, but also the organisational structures, institutional structures, and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness from a range of perspectives on a regional, national and international basis.

Management Research
The module seeks to expose students of business development and innovation to the range of research methods, consultancy skills, and project management techniques available. Students will acquire appropriate knowledge and understanding of the various research and project management methodologies for the purposes of developing an applied management project proposal and project plan in preparation for undertaking a postgraduate management project.

Building on extant knowledge of the entrepreneurial process this module examines key aspects of entrepreneurial business development in theory and practice. The module builds on the knowledge gained in the earlier modules.

Digitising Marketing
This module examines the digital marketing context. When the tools of marketing change, marketing strategies must change too. The focus of this module is on small firms as they attempt to navigate the digital transition from offline to online marketing.

Management Project
The Management Project enables students to develop research, consultancy and project management skills developed in the research and consultancy skills module. The research and consultancy skills module provides the learning and foundation students require in order to apply the practical and theoretical concepts encountered on the business development and innovation programme to a "live" management issue. In doing so they choose appropriate research methodologies, gather data and make conclusions and resource-based recommendations to the host organisation in a reliable and valid manner.

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2020/21

Postgraduate Information Session 20 February 2020
Register at:

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!