International Sustainable Business (MSc) (Credits: 90)


Programme Description

The MSc International Sustainable Business is a new innovative course, offered by the College of Business & Law at UCC. This unique course will equip business and non-business graduates with in-depth, practical knowledge of global business disciplines, combining managerial and strategic skills to influence and lead sustainable global businesses. We envisage that graduates of our International Sustainable Business programme will be future drivers of positive change.

As an MSc student, you will learn the tools, knowledge, and frameworks to carefully reflect on, and better manage, the tensions between profit, people, and planet for decision-making within international businesses. You will do this through your choice of a focussed pathway either Sustainable International Management and Strategy or Sustainable Business.

In this course, you will assess business cases within complex and multidimensional global business markets and environments learning how to help businesses develop strategic responses across a range of activities and markets.

Our modules are designed to equip you with the skills to be a positive force within business and society to contribute to a resilient and inclusive future for all and to align business strategies with ethical responsibilities, including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). We achieve this by examining, formulating, and shaping global business solutions for a sustainable future.

The MSc course is designed in the context of UCC’s Connected Curriculum. Opportunities for leadership, industry engagement, and professional development are integrated within the curriculum. This is an excellent opportunity for those of you who want to complement your degree with business skills, broadening your skillset in a way that adds value to global organisations, and who are interested in developing innovative strategies and business models that answer our global sustainability challenges.


Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I (60 credits)

  • BU6012 Business Professional Skills (5 credits)
  • BU6013 Responsible Leadership for a Global World (5 credits)
  • BU6014 Global Markets and Trade (5 credits)
  • BU6015 Research Methods Module (5 credits)
  • BU6016 Quantitative Research Methods (5 credits)
  • MG6415 Ethics and Sustainability (5 credits)
  • FE6305 Contemporary Socio-Economic and Environmental Issues (5 credits)
  • EC6621 Strategy for Global Business (5 credits)

Elective Modules (20 credits from one of the following pathways)

Pathway 1 - Sustainable International Management and Strategy (20 credits)

  • MG6833 International Market Entry Strategies (5 credits)
  • MG6834 International Business and Strategy (5 credits)
  • MG6337 International Human Resources Management (5 credits)
  • MG6407 International Marketing and Practice (5 credits)

Pathway 2 - Sustainable Business (20 credits)

  • EC6077 Ecological Economics and Sustainability Policies (5 credits)
  • EC6078 Business Practices for a Circular Economies (5 credits)
  • EC6079 Green Investment Strategies (5 credits)
  • EC6080 Environmental Regulation and Compliance Management (5 credits)

Part II (30 credits)

  • BU6017 International Sustainable Business Report (ISBR) (30 credits)

For a detailed description of the modules, click here.

Exit award: Postgraduate Diploma in International Sustainable Business. (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

Students who pass taught modules to the value of 60 credits in Part I, may opt to exit the course and be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in International Sustainable Business.

Why Choose This Course

This innovative course aims to develop your skills for employment as a responsible business leader, as well as provide the foundations for undertaking further study. You will work in teams on real business challenges with a sustainability focus developed with global business players.

Our students can choose between two focussed pathways: one that emphasises internalisation and responsible business leadership, and another that equips students to lead in the development of sustainable business models to address the climate change agenda.

You will learn from expert academics and leading industry professionals on how to better embed sustainability into international businesses.

Ultimately the MSc International Sustainable Business endeavours to create a cohort of business-ready graduates. A strong emphasis is placed on employment and career search via workshops on interview techniques, skills analysis, CV presentation, and job applications. We will provide our students with key skills in sustainable business management – skills that are in high demand in today's job market.

Skills and Careers Information

MSc International Sustainable Business embraces the importance of sustainability, responsibility, and an ethical approach to international business.

The skills developed on the MSc course include:

  • Leadership, organisational, interpersonal, team-working and strategic decision-making skills
  • Competencies in sustainable business practices
  • Working to deadlines producing analyses, reports, and presentations to professional standards
  • Ability to interpret and analyse data
  • Application of frameworks and concepts to the global business world
  • Research project design, implementation and management

Examples of jobs our graduates are expected to gain employment in include Global Business Strategists, Business Consultants, Sustainability Managers, CSR managers, ESG Analysts, Regulators, and Policymakers.


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Additional Information


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Practicalities & Assessment

The MSc International Sustainable Business may be taken full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme.

The course culminates in the writing of an International Sustainable Business Report where you will demonstrate an application of concepts and frameworks to an actual business situation facing an international business. This approach will demonstrate how you can translate your learning into practice to develop responsible, sustainable, and ethical solutions. An academic advisor from your pathway will provide guidance and advice in developing your report.

We have a dedicated expert teaching team drawn from across the business school. We adopt where possible the principles of universal design to learning. We emphasise the connection between students, learning, research, global business, and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff from the College of Business and Law are at the forefront of these integrative approaches to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as business, economics, management and marketing, food business, information systems, and finance. Our learning approach combines lectures, projects, real-life case studies, seminars, group discussions, and presentations along with individual and group reports. Seminars are also provided by visiting speakers from global public and private sector organisations.


A significant proportion of the course is assessed by coursework.

See the Book of Modules for individual module examination and assessment information. Note that you must present all elements of the assessment by the third Friday in August in the academic year, following completion of the MSc Part I.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (GPA 3.25 out of 4.0) in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any discipline or equivalent.

Applicants who achieve a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) but meet all other requirements will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on a case-by-case basis.

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. 

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

The closing date for non-EU applications is This course is now closed for international applications.

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.

Apply Now

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