Executive MBA (MBA)

Programme Description

Next Programme starts January 2023 and applications are being invited now.
The UCC CUBS Executive MBA is designed to prepare its participants to become organisational managers, innovators and leaders.
It provides a strong understanding of the core organisational functions and disciplines, but moves beyond that to provide an integrative, critical understanding of the foundations and practice of management and leadership. 
Programme participants develop an understanding of the core disciplines by exploring:
  • Organisational decision making and strategy
  • Operations management
  • Human resource management 
  • Financial analysis and performance
  • Business innovation and transformation
  • Sustainability and governance
  • Leadership development

Participants develop an appreciation of how all aspects of a complex organisation interconnect, and an appreciation of the role each function must play in delivering on organisational goals.

For most participants, this requires an understanding of functions and disciplines outside of their existing professional competence.

Central to the development of this understanding of the complexity of organisations is our careful approach to class composition, intended to ensure that class participants are exposed to a variety of professional expertise and career backgrounds.

Considerable emphasis is placed on creating an environment conducive to the peer-to-peer learning that we believe is vital to the UCC CUBS Executive MBA experience.

The curriculum and module offerings for the cycle commencing January 2023 is outlined below:

Orientation and Introduction to the Leadership Development Framework
Students are required to attend the Orientation & Introduction to the Leadership Development Framework programme prior to the commencement of Part One - Management Foundations. The Leadership Development Framework allows students to reflect upon their achievements, performance and learning through three structured reflective stages.

Students take 100 credits as follows:

Part 1 - Management Foundations
Students take 25 credits as follows:
AC6505 Managerial Control and Performance (5 credits)
EC6505 Economics for Strategic Business Development (5 credits)
IS6503 Business Analytics (5 credits)
MG6508 Organisational Behaviour (5 credits)
MG6509 Managing Human Resources (5 credits)
Leadership Development Framework Stage 1

Part 2 - Practice of Management
Students take 25 credits as follows:
AC6506 Financial Investment and Analysis (5 credits)
BU6500 Operations and Supply Chain Management (5 credits)
BU6501 Managing Change in Context (5 credits)
EC6506 Economics for Global Business (5 credits)
MG6510 Strategic Marketing (5 credits)
Leadership Development Framework Stage 2

Module Semester Information may be found here. Module descriptions may be found here.

Part 3 - Leadership Foundations
Students take 25 credits as follows:
BU6502 Leading Innovation (5 credits)
BU6503 Strategic Decision Making and Governance (10 credits)
IS6502 Leading Digital Transformation (5 credits)
MG6507 Ethics and Sustainability (5 credits)
Leadership Development Framework Stage 3

Part 4 - Practice of Leadership
Students take 25 credits as follows:
BU6504 Leadership Project (10 credits)
MG6504 Integrated Strategy Project (10 credits)

And choose one elective module from the following:
BU6505 People and Talent Management (5 credits)
GV6503 Public Sector Elective (5 credits)
LW6503 Business Law (5 credits)




Further details may be found on College Calendar

Why Choose This Course

Personal Benefits

  • A comprehensive understanding of the core organisational functions.
  • The discovery of innate preferences in key personal leadership areas, e.g. analysis, decision-making, relationship building.
  • Developing skills in communication, negotiation and team building.
  • The UCC Executive MBA qualification will benefit your career by identifying you as an individual with a high level of leadership ability.

Organisational Benefits

  • A two-year investment in key managerial and leadership talent, resulting in a more dynamic approach to personal effectiveness, decision-making and judgment.
  • Increased capacity for critical thinking and mind-set change.
  • A shift to a broader strategic emphasis, allied with a focus on leading innovation within organisations.
  • Development of more agile approaches to problem solving, with a strong emphasis on effective team-based approaches.




Skills and Careers Information

Many of our UCC CUBS Executive MBA students come from specific professional backgrounds – engineering, sciences, ICT and finance, to name but a few. Their education and professional expertise has brought them to an advanced level in their organisations.

In order to make the next step up the managerial ladder, they need to develop their knowledge of how the wider organisation operates and what strategic and operational frameworks are used by top level management teams.

The UCC CUBS Executive MBA provides such learning and knowledge, allowing our graduates to progress their careers accordingly.

The UCC Careers Service and the UCC CUBS Executive MBA Programme Office co-operate in delivering relevant and appropriate career support advice and tools to our students.

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Practicalities & Assessment

The UCC CUBS Executive MBA is a part-time, two-year, four teaching period course.

Each year is made up of two teaching periods (January to April and September to December) and each teaching period is made up of 12 lecture weeks.

Each lecture week is made up of 10 lecture hours, delivered on Fridays 9am - 4.30pm and

Saturdays 9am-1.30pm.

Lectures are held in The UCC Centre for Executive Education, Lapp's Quay, Cork.


Continuous assessment of individual and group assignments is the most commonly used form of assessment on the course.

Who teaches this course

Our teaching team is drawn from Departments within the Cork University Business School (CUBS), UCC and the School of Law, UCC.

Accounting & Finance

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Food Business & Development
  • Government
  • Law
  • Management & Marketing
  • UCC CUBS Executive MBA partners

The course also utilises the expertise of many industry practitioners and guest lecturers.


Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Entry Requirements

To apply for this course, you will have:

a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8),


a primary ordinary degree + satisfactory GMAT or satisfactory GRE General Test Score*


an appropriate professional qualification


at least 3 years’ significant managerial experience/responsibility**


Significant senior managerial/professional work experience plus satisfactory GMAT score or satisfactory GRE General Text Score*


2 referees’ reports 

Applicants may be required to attend for interviews

*If you feel the skills covered by the GMAT or GRE General Test can be demonstrated elsewhere in your application then you may request a waiver – this may be granted at the discretion of the Director of the Executive MBA.

** If you feel that you possess significant managerial experience/responsibility, achieved in a period of less than 3 years, and this can be demonstrated elsewhere in your application, then you may request a waiver - this may be granted at the discretion of the Director of the Executive MBA.

The GMAT test can be taken at any time and the results generally are valid for three years.  To arrange a test contact the Graduate Management Admissions Test at www.mba.com

Information on the GRE test can be found here https://www.ets.org/gre 


View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.



Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • What is your current occupation/speciality?
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme. (Min 500 words - Max 1000 words)
  • Please enter the name and email address of 2 referees.

Applications to the programme are considered and offers of places on the programme are made on an on-going basis.

As the number of places on the programme are limited we encourage early applications.


Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not currently open to Non EU applicants

Non-EU Applications

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

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30% Club Scholarship

New Scholarship to promote women in business

Cork University Business School in association with the 30% Club, has established this scholarship to help promote women in taking on leadership roles within companies and organisations

The scholarship consists of 100% of tuition fees for the UCC CUBS Executive MBA 2021/22 programme for one successful female applicant.