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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.

One of the world's most vibrant capital cities, Dublin is a hub of business, finance and innovation, and provides a culturally diverse home for our MBA. Benefit from an outstanding and challenging academic curriculum, delivered by an international faculty within an intimate classroom setting. Immerse yourself in case studies, action learning, international study trips, integrated projects and global virtual teamwork. Expand your horizons with a dedicated careers service and an active network of 3,800 MBA Alumni worldwide. Engage in Smurfit's MBA Leadership Development programme, and focus on the skills necessary to communicate effectively, understand yourself better, and lead diverse teams and organisations anywhere in the world.

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 13 core modules, 3 option modules, a major project and the opportunity to take modules in locations across the globe. Optional modules are usually taken in semester 2 and the summer term. The list of options evolves over time based on student feedback and the identification of new areas of interest.

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. The current average EA score for our EMBA class is 151/200.

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

NB: Please note that scholarship competitions may require earlier submission of a GMAT score, which may vary from those noted above. View our Scholarships page for more details.

•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.

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.

UCD MEM graduates can apply to our EMBA or the full-time MBA. If offered a place, they must take the programme in full (two years in the case of the EMBA) so all credits in the EMBA / MBA full-time from entry 2018/19 onwards and must meet our GMAT requirements.

*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.


1 year full-time

Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
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, Accenture, Microsoft, AIB, Kellogg's, EY, Workday, Deloitte, Aer Lingus, ABB, Grant Thornton, WebSummit, Hilti, PwC, Amazon, Oxfam and Bank of Ireland.

Further enquiries

Susie O'Reilly
MBA Admissions
Telephone: +353 1 716 8862

Subjects taught

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

•Financial Reporting
•Corporate Finance
•Performance Driven Marketing
•Leadership & Organisational Behaviour
•Competitive Strategy
•Business Economics

Option Modules
Global Network Immersion Week

Spring Trimester:
•Financial Statement Analysis
•Operations & Supply Chain Management
•Management Accounting
•Business & Society
•Doing Business in International Markets

Option Modules
3 x option modules which may include:
•Managing the Negotiations Process
•Strategy Execution
•Managing Sales Relations
•Corporate Governance
•Executive Decision Making

Summer Trimester:
•Strategies for Human Resources
•Global & Corporate Strategy
•MBA Consulting Project (Capstone)

Occasional option modules


MBA Extra
Engaging beyond the classroom is integral to experiencing the Smurfit MBA, and many of the events, networking opportunities, and creative engagements that you will experience bolster the vitality of the course.

The Extras
International Study Trip 
MBA participants are expected to participate in the one-week study trip as part of the Doing Business in Emerging Markets module. The trip takes place in March each year and consists of university visits, seminars, business meetings, networking opportunities and cultural activities. The cost is included in the course fee. For the last two years, the participants have chosen either Brazil or China as their destination.

Exchange Programme 
Full-time MBA participants have the possibility of completing their MBA by undertaking an exchange period at one of our exchange partners abroad, and each semester sees incoming students from exchange partners on campus. We have partners in Asia, India, South Africa, North America and South America (subject to availability).

Global Network for Advanced Management 
This network of 22 of the world's leading business schools provides opportunities for faculty and students to exchange ideas through short, one-week immersion programmes. 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.

Case Study Competitions 
UCD Smurfit School has competed on both the national and international level against fellow MBAs. Presented with a business problem that is currently being faced by a company, teams have a number of hours to create a solution and present their findings to a panel of judges. Competitions also provide an opportunity to network with future business leaders of international companies.

Attracting diverse students to the MBA courses, campus life is abundant with club activities, events, workshops, and seminar opportunities. With many of the full-time MBA participants living on or near campus, participants tie their career and personal interests together through the many extracurricular activities. Finance Club events, Rugby Club matches, the MBA Blog, and regular fundraisers for causes such as Movember are just a few of the regular goings-on that feed our student population.

MBA Alumni Network
We aim to maintain a lifelong relationship with our graduates and foster a culture of their giving back to the current generation of course participants through one-on-one mentoring. With a growing network of 3,500 MBA graduates, becoming a Smurfit MBA participant means that you will be invited to join this diverse hub of excellence.

Assessment method

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.

Application date

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

Candidates are required to complete three or in some cases, four essay questions online:
•Beyond what is outlined in your Curriculum Vitae, what will be your unique contribution to your MBA class? (Max. 300 words).
•What in your opinion is UCD Smurfit Schools' responsibility to you as an MBA student and what is your responsibility to the School? (Max. 300 words). DO NOT exceed the word count available.
•What are your career expectations in the 3 years post MBA? (Max. 300 words). DO NOT exceed the word count available.
•Upon reflection have your career goals, opinion of UCD Smurfit and aspirations to pursue an MBA, changed since your last application? (Max. 300 words). To be completed by re-applicants only.

The following supporting documentation should be uploaded to your online application account:
•Curriculum Vitae
•GMAT official score report or confirmation of scheduled GMAT test date
•IELTS/TOEFL official test report or confirmation of IELTS/TOEFL 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 MBA 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.

Complete a short video appraisal section via the Kira platform through the UCD application portal (applicable to Full-time MBA only).

Applications are processed throughout the year and if you are granted an interview you will be notified via email.

Course fee

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.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!