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Executive MBA (MBA)

Programme Description

The UCC 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 Executive MBA experience.

The curriculum and module offerings for the cycle commencing January 2021 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 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 Executive MBA provides such learning and knowledge, allowing our graduates to progress their careers accordingly.

The UCC Careers Service and the UCC 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 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 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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Part 1 - Management Foundations

  • Managerial Control and Performance

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Managerial Control and Performance (AC6505)

    This module aims to provide participants with an understanding of the use of accounting information in planning, control and business decision-making and the value of an accounting system as a strategic resource.

    More Information
  • Economics for Strategic Business Development

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Economics for Strategic Business Development (EC6505)

    This module explores the role of firms, market competition, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the knowledge economy.

    More Information
  • Business Analytics

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Business Analytics (IS6503)

    In this module students will learn how to approach, analyse and solve complex classification and business decision problems in a structured way.

    More Information
  • Organisational Behavior

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Organisational Behavior (MG6508)

    This module provides students with advanced knowledge of key management and organsiational principles for the 21st century. A key focus is the application of theory to practice and the critical analysis of current practice.

    More Information
  • Managing Human Resources

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Managing Human Resources (MG6509)

    This module is designed to provide students with a conceptual appreciation and practical understanding of managing human resources (HR) in organisations. There is a strong focus on integrating HR activities with the range of policies and systems enacted by organisations and on perceiving HR management as a strategic organisational activity. The lectures are designed to provide students with a framework for evaluating the contribution that HR can make to organisational functioning and for reflecting on the role that the HR practitioner plays in this scenario.

    More Information
  • Leadership Development Framework Stage 1

    Part 1 - Management Foundations

    Leadership Development Framework Stage 1 (LDF 1)

    Personal Learning and Leadership Development is an important element of the UCC Executive MBA experience.

    More Information

Part 2 - Practice of Management

  • Managing Change in Context

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Managing Change in Context (BU6501)

    This module introduces methods of and approaches to, leadership, management and change, within an international context.

    More Information
  • Economics for Global Business

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Economics for Global Business (EC6506)

    Building on the micro-foundations introduced in an earlier module, the sources of productivity, profitability and prosperity are investigated within an integrating micro-macro framework to consider how they relate to global business performance and development and uncertainties of the economic environment.

    More Information
  • Strategic Marketing

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Strategic Marketing (MG6510)

    The aim of the module is to develop the specialised skills, competence and knowledge to become a successful marketing leader. The module draws on the areas of marketing analysis, marketing strategy and marketing implementation. Teaching methods are geared toward encouraging participation, self-development and team working.

    More Information
  • Leadership Development Framework Stage 2

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Leadership Development Framework Stage 2 (LDF 2)

    Personal Learning and Leadership Development is an important element of the UCC Executive MBA experience.

    More Information
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Operations and Supply Chain Management (BU6500)

    To examine, apply and critique the main elements of Operations and Supply Management.

    More Information
  • Financial Investment and Analysis

    Part 2 - Practice of Management

    Financial Investment and Analysis (AC6506)

    This module introduces concepts and applications of modern financial analysis and corporate finance from a managerial decision-making perspective. Having completed this module, students will be able to evaluate the financial performance of firms, appraise investments and assess various approaches to the management of risk in multinational settings.

    More Information

Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

  • Leading Innovation

    Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

    Leading Innovation (BU6502)

    To provide students with an understanding of the need to link innovation and strategy and embed innovation into the fabric of the firm's strategy.

    More Information
  • Ethics and Sustainability

    Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

    Ethics and Sustainability (MG6507)

    This module provides students with the ability to anticipate, critically analyze, and respond to the challenges that emerge from the social, ethical and political operations of contemporary business in a global environment.

    More Information
  • Leading Digital Transformation

    Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

    Leading Digital Transformation (IS6502)

    This module looks at the way in which IT can be used to help gain competitive advantage and to strengthen the linkages with suppliers and customer, and the role of leadership in that context.

    More Information
  • Strategic Decision Making and Governance

    Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

    Strategic Decision Making and Governance (BU6503)

    To enable students to strengthen their strategic-thinking abilities; to be able to evaluate strategic options; to anticipate and execute strategic change.

    More Information
  • Leadership Development Framework Stage 3

    Part 3 - Leadership Foundations

    Leadership Development Framework Stage 3 (LDF 3)

    The Leadership Development Framework is an important part of the UCC Executive MBA.

    More Information

Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

  • Leadership Project

    Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

    Leadership Project (BU6504)

    This integrative module provides students with a practical experience of undertaking an applied research project in collaboration with an industry partner, charitable group or civic organisation. The objective of the module is to give students an opportunity to apply skills and theories acquired on the programme to real issues and make practical recommendations from the perspective of a business leader.

    More Information
  • Integrated Strategy Project

    Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

    Integrated Strategy Project (MG6504)

    The aim of this module is to consolidate learning of the programme in the context of current issues facing organizations and their people.

    More Information
  • Business Law

    Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

    Business Law (LW6503)

    Glimpses of the Legal System and Laws pertaining to business are shown throughout the course. Consideration is given to how business administrators should handle legal affairs. The course is as much about managing lawyers and legal affairs as it is about law. Particular emphasis is given to handling legal disputes and managing legal costs, as well as to the general administration of legal affairs.

    More Information
  • People and Talent Management

    Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

    People and Talent Management (BU6505)

    This module is designed to explore the increasing important role of talent management and development in contemporary organisations and the implications of this for HRM and HRD along with employees.

    More Information
  • Public Sector Elective

    Part 4 - Practice of Leadership

    Public Sector Elective (GV6503)

    This module aims to introduce the theories and ideas of public sector management and new public management and apply them in a meaningful way to the workings of the public service in Ireland.

    More Information

For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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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

Information on the GRE test can be found here 


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 Executive MBA 2021/22 programme for one successful female applicant.



Contact Us to Learn More

Find out more about the UCC EXECUTIVE MBA and what it offers to you and your career.