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Strategic Growth - Food Industry

Designed to address the specific opportunities presented to the Irish food, drink and horticulture sectors, this programme will arm you with best practice strategies and frameworks to develop business in 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, it enables you to build your leadership capabilities for strategic growth.

Programme Overview

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, IMD Business School Switzerland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It provides an ideal platform for food industry professionals looking to enhance their abilities, accelerate their career, and improve the success of their company.

What will I get from this programme?
•This programme provides an ideal platform for food industry professionals looking to enhance their abilities, accelerate their career, and improve the success of their company.

•Each module is oriented towards the specific challenges of the food sector, providing participants and their companies with best practice strategies and frameworks to develop business in key international markets.

•Participants will also gain from invaluable, up-to-the-minute insights in the context of the Irish and international food business; food sector skills development; networking opportunities; and contact with like-minded managers in the food industry.

Is this Course for me?
•The programme is intended for those seeking to enhance their abilities as executives, leaders and innovators in the food, drink and horticulture sectors.

•It is also an excellent way for specialists such as agricultural science graduates to develop their business skills and knowledge

•It is particularly suitable for those with responsibilities in:

Account management;
New product development;
Sales/business development;
Food production;
Retail buying;
Food Retailing;
Market research
Entrepreneurs will find the programme particularly beneficial

The course typically attracts:
•Individuals with a minimum of three years professional experience, of which a minimum of one year has been in the food industry.

•Those with management and leadership ambitions in the food and agribusiness industry.

•Executives and managers seeking to enhance their ability to grow their organisation in international markets through more effective strategic contributions and decision-making.

Objectives of Course:
•Extend your expertise in the strategic leadership aspects of your role – working with people, driving growth and innovation, executing and delivering results

•Gain in-depth knowledge of business functions and key skills to integrate these functions across the organization

•Examine new techniques and technologies for driving results throughout the company

•Formulate a holistic approach to identifying problems, formulating solutions and adapting to change

•Build skills for effective decision making, strategy development and implementation

•Expand your capacity to lead cross-functional initiatives and corporate projects

•Develop a personal leadership philosophy and personal leadership plan that reflects greater knowledge, capabilities and insight.

Entry requirements

Participants should hold a primary degree or equivalent professional qualification. Consideration will be given to applicants who do not hold a primary degree but whose depth of industry and organisational experience, qualifies them as suitable participants.


12 days over 5 modules

The programme is delivered over a series of 5 two or three-day workshops within a 9–month period. 100% attendance is required.

Dates for 2016 intake

Seminar Dates 2016/17 Delivered By Days

Strategy in Global Food and Agribusiness 20th & 21st Jan 2017 Prof. Damien McLoughlin, UCD Smurfit 2

Strategic Growth: Creating Advantage 23rd, 24th & 25th Jan 2017 Prof. Kamran Kashani, IMD 3

Managing Sustainable Supply Chains 18th & 19th April 2017 Dr. Edgar Blanco, MIT 2

Leadership Themes in Food & Agribusiness 20th, 21st & 22nd April 2017 Prof. Mary Shelman, Harvard 3

Strategic Leadership 15th & 16th June 2017 Prof. Pat Gibbons, UCD Smurfit 2

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.

Subjects taught

Strategy in Global Food and Agribusiness
Strategic Growth: Creating Advantage
Managing Sustainable Supply Chains
Leadership Themes in Food & Agribusiness
Strategic Leadership


Accredited: NFQ Level 9 & Credit: 30 ECTS

Application date

For application forms and further information, please contact

Lyndsey Jones
Programme Manager
Tel: +353 1 716 8049

Application Procedure
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.

Please note: A telephone or personal interview with the Programme Director may form part of the admission process. The interview helps determine whether the programme is the most appropriate educational solution for the applicant

Course fee

The fee of €7,750 or €7,363 (UCD Business Alumni discount) is a comprehensive cost that includes your tuition, all course related materials, lunches and refreshments while on campus, library access etc. There are no additional overheads. Tax relief is available on fees. For details visit

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 20th - 21st January 2017

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