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Strategic Management & Planning

The MSc in Strategic Management and Planning will equip you with the knowledge and skills to manage the strategic direction of a company. You will develop an understanding of the threats and opportunities facing companies in today's complex and fast-changing global environment and the activities involved in the formulation and implementation of strategic initiatives with a focus on strengthening a company's competitive position. The course will hone your teamwork and business communication skills by working on real-life business situations to identify and resolve strategic and operational business problems and offer recommendations.

This course is ideal for students with an undergraduate degree in business, economics or related areas, postgraduate business diplomas, or degrees with a significant proportion of business subjects. Applications from non-business graduates are also considered.

What will I learn?
The course content has been designed to equip students with the skills to devise and successfully implement strategic initiatives based upon detailed assessment of the internal and external environments of a company.

This involves:
A comprehension of management theory and practice in order to strengthen a company's competitive position and boost its profitability.

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. 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.

Students on the course must fulfil a range of core and option modules (4 + 2), as well as a dissertation or additional core module (Managing the Negotiation Process) + 2 further option modules in the final summer term.

The course is designed to offer students the theoretically rigorous and practically relevant business skills needed to succeed in today's business environment.

The versatile nature of the curriculum offers access to a wide range of career opportunities both nationally and internationally.

Vision/Values Statement +
Participants on the MSc in Strategic Management and Planning learn to identify the key factors that determine the success of a company taking into account both market and non-market strategies. They also expand their knowledge of the analytical tools and the skills needed both to design and implement firm level strategies (Purpose).

The programme exposes students to the skills and techniques needed to manage the strategic direction of a firm: strategy, management, leadership, critical thinking, negotiations and decision-making techniques (education and subject/discipline/professional values).

The programme promotes a positive environment where: students are encouraged to take ownership for their learning journey; learning is rooted in rigorous management research; and the unique contributions of students from various cultural backgrounds are valued and used as opportunities to challenge existing approaches (the nature of the learning environment for students).

In addition to lectures, students work individually and in small groups on business cases and assignments. Students are also exposed to skills training sessions, and presentations by visiting lecturers and practitioners. Students also receive training in analytical and research methods and have the option to write an individual thesis on a management topic of their choice (key approaches to teaching, learning and assessment).

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


• A primary degree with a minimum of three years' relevant work

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our courses. 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.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

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

Upon successful completion of this course, you will become a member of the Strategic Planning Society (SPS) - the leading professional strategy association. All students on the MSc in Strategic Management and Planning are eligible to apply for Graduate Membership of the IMCA (Institute of Management Consultants & Advisors in Ireland).

In 2015, 83% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. (Source: First Destination Report 2015

Career opportunities
The MSc in Strategic Management and Planning from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School gives you the specialised skills and knowledge you need for a career in a wide variety of business and finacial sectors.

In 2016, 77% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. (Source: First Destination Report 2016)

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

Further enquiries

The Admissions Office can be contacted at or phone (01) 716 8885

Subjects taught

Semester 1
• Economic Foundations of Strategy
• Planning and Decision Making Techniques

+ 1 option module
• Project Management - Open Elec
• New Venture Dynamics
• Leadership Development Skills
• Strategy & International Business

Semester 2
• Behavioral Foundations of Strategy, Planning and Control
• Strategic Resource Allocation

+ 1 option module
• Contemporary Issues in Strategy
• Economics of Entrpreneurship
• Creativity Innovation & Entrepreneurship
• Technology & Innovation Strategy
• Mindfulness & Resilience at Work
• International HRM

Summer Term
• Managing the Negotiation Process

+ 2 optional modules
• Technology & Innovation Strategy
• Managing Leading & Coach. Chng
• The Science of Teams
• Cross-Cultural Management
• Globalisation & Social Movement
• Financial Management
• Managing Leading & Coach. Chng

• SMP Dissertation

Note: option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years. What is offered each academic year is subject to change.

Application date

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.

Course fee

Fees Full-Time EU: €13,950 (academic year 2019/2020)
Full-Time Non-EU: €19,200 (academic year 2019/2020)
Fees Part-Time EU: €7,580 per year (academic year 2019/2020)
Part-Time Non-EU: €9,600 per year (academic year 2019/2020)

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

Enrolment and start dates

Starting: September 2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!