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Strategic Growth - Food Industry

Programme Overview
Designed to address the specific opportunities presented to the Irish food, drink and horticulture sectors, the diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry) will equip participants with best practice strategies and frameworks to develop business in domestic and key international markets. It recognises the opportunity for employment and wealth creation within the industry as well as the need for ongoing competitiveness. With global economic uncertainty an ongoing concern and retail consolidation engendering an even more competitive marketplace, this programme enables the participant to build their leadership capabilities for strategic growth.

The programme is highly participative to ensure that the collective experience of the entire class group is harnessed. Emphasis is placed on participant-centred action learning using a combination of real-life problems and case studies.

UCD Smurfit School has assembled a world-class faculty to deliver the Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry). The modules are taught by a blended team of instructors from UCD Smurfit School, Harvard Business School (US) and IMD Business School (Switzerland). It provides an ideal platform for food industry professionals looking to enhance their abilities, accelerate their career, and improve the success of their company.

Key Benefits
Upon completion of this programme, participants will be equipped to:
• Address the challenges facing individuals in the food sector;
• Apply practical, original insights drawn from the faculty's wide experience of the Irish and international food business industry;
• Gain invaluable, current insights in the context of the Irish and international food business, food sector skills development, networking opportunities and contact with like-minded professionals in the food industry.

MSc Pathway
How Does It Work?
Our MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) is made up of 3 steps:
Step 1
• Successfully complete one of our ten selected 30 credit diploma programmes in the pathway framework.

Step 2
• Successfully complete a second diploma in the pathway.

Step 3
• Successfully complete a third diploma in the pathway.

This standalone diploma also forms part of the optional MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) Pathway. The pathway framework is comprised of ten diploma programmes. If participants successfully complete any three of these ten diplomas within a recommended 5-year timeframe, they are awarded with the MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice).

Diplomas in Pathway
The diplomas within the MSc pathway are as follows:
1. Professional Diploma in Advanced Management Performance
2. Professional Diploma in Business & Executive Coaching
3. Professional Diploma in Business Finance
4. Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance
5. Professional Diploma in High Performance Sales & Business Development
6. Professional Diploma in Leadership Development
7. Professional Diploma in Organisational Change & Transformation
8. Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry)
9. Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Biotech & Pharma)
Professional Diploma in Strategy Development and Innovation

Key Benefits
Our portfolio of pathway diplomas build on your existing skill set and add relevant value to your business needs. From corporate governance to leadership development, our diplomas deepen your understanding of contemporary business issues and will help you become a stronger leader who can deal with complex issues in rapidly-changing environments. Our unique teaching method, immersive learning environment and world-class faculty combine to produce an educational experience like no other.

Structure and Flexibility
The majority of our diploma programmes are delivered over a series of 6 two-day workshops within a 10-12 month period. Workshops are typically held on Fridays and Saturdays to minimise interference with busy work schedules. The majority of our diploma programmes are assessed on a module-by-module basis through a variety of practical assignments. There are no examinations (excluding the Diploma in Corporate Governance).

Entry requirements

Participants should have at least 5 years management experience and hold a primary degree or equivalent professional qualification. Consideration will also be given to applicants who do not hold a primary degree but whose depth of industry/organisational experience, deems them suitable participants.


9 months, 12 days X 5 modules.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Pathway to the MSc. in Business (Leadership and Management Practice) (MSc. LMP)

Successful participants will be awarded a Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Food Industry). The qualification is accredited and awarded by UCD and is valued at 30 credits at NFQ Level 9. The diploma programme also feeds into our pathway to the MSc Business (Leadership and Management Practice).

MSc Business (Leadership and Management Practice)
The MSc in Business (Leadership & Management Practice) is based around a framework of six select diploma programmes. By completing any three of these six diplomas within a 5-year timeframe, you will earn 90 credits (the national standard for a Masters Qualification) and will be conferred with the qualification of MSc Business (Leadership & Management Practice) accredited and awarded by UCD at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Further enquiries

To apply for this programme, please contact a member of our team on +353 1 716 8889, email

Subjects taught

Module 1: Strategy in Global Food and Agribusiness
Module 2: Strategic Growth: Creating Advantage
Module 3: Leadership Themes in Food and Agribusiness
Module 4: Managing Sustainable Supply Chains
Module 5: Strategic Leadership


Accredited: NFQ Level 9 & Credit: 30 ECTS

On successful completion of the programme, participants will be awarded the Professional Diploma in Strategic Growth (Biotech & Pharma) by UCD Smurfit Executive Development (30 credits at NFQ Level 9). This diploma forms part of the MSc in Business (Leadership and Management Practice) Pathway.

Application date

To apply for this programme, please contact a member of our team on +353 1 716 8889, email

A completed application form, digital photograph and copy of transcripts for all university-level degrees (if applicable and excluding those taken at UCD) will be required. A telephone interview with the Programme Director will form part of the application process. The interview helps determine whether the programme is the most appropriate educational solution for the applicant.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: TBC

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