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Business Sustainability

Programme Overview
UCD Smurfit School and Bord Bia are now seeking applications from ambitious executives with a minimum of 4 years experience who come from a broad range of specialist areas and who want to hone their skills in the area of business sustainability.

You will undertake overseas placements with some of the world's leading global brands, while gaining an internationally recognised Masters.

We have assembled the world's best food industry educators from business schools including Harvard, IMD, NYU Stern and UCD Smurfit School.

This is a full scholarship programme. All tuition fees are paid and, in addition, you receive a tax free bursary of €30,000 per 12 months.

Placements are overseas, at the headquarters of the world's leading brand-owning firms. These have included: Starbucks, Nestle, Danone, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Subway, Ahold, Costco, Sainsbury's, Five Guys, Diageo, Marks & Spencer, Mars, Tesco, Alibaba, Sodexo, Bidvest, Bunge, Pepsico, among others.

Programme Structure
•Overseas placements with the world's leading global brands
•Academic block release and professional skills training in Ireland
•Internationally-recognised Masters with UCD Smurfit Business School - MSc Business Sustainability
•Full tuition fees paid and bursary towards living expenses awarded
•Applications welcome from graduates with a minimum of 4 years' experience
•Outstanding career prospects and professional development

While it is intended to offer 70 scholarship places in total UCD Smurfit School and Bord Bia reserve the right to offer scholarship places to more or less than the target of 70 places. It is hoped that 10 of these places will be offered on the MSc Business Sustainability with the remainder on the other three Bord Bia scholarships.

Who is it for?
The MSc Business Sustainability is designed for individuals who come from a broad range of specialist areas and who want to develop their expertise in business sustainability in the global food & drink industry. This full-time, highly intensive programme will challenge participants to learn and develop leadership and management competencies. We look for participants who have four/five years work experience and can demonstrate an ability to manage academic requirements along with the flexibility to relocate internationally and a passion for pursuing a career in the food, drink and horticulture industry.

In particular, this programme is suitable for:
•High achievers with the potential to be effective industry leaders
•Candidates with a genuine interest in sustainability and the food/agribusiness sector
•Experienced functional or technical specialists in transition to a change management role
•Participants with key technical skills and experience in areas such as food, agricultural, environmental, social responsibility, sustainability, science, energy, among other areas.
•A strong passion for pursuing a career in the food, drink and horticulture industry.

Key Benefits
Designed to improve your expertise in business sustainability, this 18-month programme will help you gain fundamental expertise in the area of business sustainability. It allows participants to gain in-depth knowledge of the emerging issues and the key skills necessary to integrate them so that a genuine, realistic and practical sustainability agenda can be created within the organisation. The programme is unique in its ability to position participants in key placements at the headquarters of the world's leading organisations. The programme is unique in its ability to position participants in key placements with the world's leading organisations. During the programme, participants will meet and network with a wide range of industry leaders, sustainability experts and governmental agencies to help you foster real links in industry and the field of sustainability.

The programme focuses on building the business case for sustainability and participants develop a thorough understanding of how to position and help change an organisation so that they can adequately respond to the sustainability agenda.

Employment prospects are outstanding with numerous companies regularly recruiting directly including Kerry, Glanbia, Ornua, Dawn Meats, Dairygold, Kepak, Lidl, Google Food, Bunge, Diageo, Alibaba, Sainsbury's among many more.

The Origin Green Ambassador programme is just one of an innovative suite of Bord Bia scholarship talent development programmes run in conjunction with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School which also serve to support the growth of the Irish food, drink and horticultural industry on a global scale.

Entry requirements

Participants should hold a primary degree. Minimum 2.1 or 4/5 years professional experience.

Additional requirements
It is a requirement that the participants are willing/able to live in a foreign country, and travel in-market at relatively short notice.


18 months Full-Time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Employment prospects from these programmes are outstanding with numerous companies regularly recruiting directly from the programmes, including Kerry, Glanbia, Ornua, Teelings Whiskey, Keoghs Crisps, Dawn Farm Foods, Dairygold, among many more.

Further enquiries

Phone: +353 1 716 8889/8080/8050
Fax: +353 1 716 8997

Subjects taught

The programme delivery model is underpinned by experiential learning opportunities and is built around in-class modules, professional & career development, and placements with leading international food firms.

Taught Modules
Led by UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, the programme includes faculty from Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Each faculty member is a world-renowned expert in the field of sustainability, food and agri-business who delivers the latest thinking and practice in the area of sustainability.

In-class modules include:
Business Sustainability
Supply Chain Engagement for Sustainability
Sustainable Agribusiness Supply Chains
Sustainability as a Business Development Vehicle
Innovation & Marketing in the Organisation
Project Management & Negotiation
Environmental Policy
Leadership Themes in Food & Agribusiness


Successful participants will be awarded an MSc in Business Sustainability. The qualification is accredited and awarded by UCD and is valued at 110 credits at NFQ Level 9.

Application date

How to apply?
Applications are welcomed from graduates with a minimum of 4/5 years' work experience and an interest in business development, sustainability and the food industry. The programme aims to recruit high potential, ambitious and motivated professionals who have aspirations to become future leaders in the Irish food industry.

There are 10 places available on this programme and participants will be selected following a rigorous and exacting recruitment process. Interested participants must be available if selected to take part in the interview and assessment process around March/ April 2019 in Dublin (attendance on one day is required - exact dates to be confirmed) and if successful must be ready to commence the programme May/ June 2019. A second round interview will be necessary for short-listed candidates.

If you have any queries about this programme, please contact a member of our team on +35317168889, email

Application is now open online.

Successful entry onto the programme involves the completion of an application form, psychometric tests and an assessment centre. Upon completion of the application form, successful candidates are invited to complete each subsequent phase of the selection process.

Apply by 4th March 2019.

Course fee

Participants on the programme have their tuition fees paid in full and, in addition, receive a bursary of €30,000 per 12 months during their time on the programme.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: June 2019.

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