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Co-operative and Social Enterprise (MSc)

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Programme Description

If you are interested in pursuing or developing a professional or voluntary career in the co-operative or social enterprise field, the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is designed with you in mind.  It is a part-time course taken over one or two calendar years.

The main aims are:                   

  • to equip you for management careers and/or voluntary service at senior level in a wide range of co-operative and social enterprises
  • to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in the decision-making, management and entrepreneurial processes of co-operative and social enterprises
  • to develop your capacity to respond creatively to the needs and problems of the wider community and society, if you are either a voluntary or a salaried practitioner in a co-operative and social enterprise
  • to provide you with access to postgraduate and personal development opportunities whilst allowing you to combine family responsibilities and employment.

Video about the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise

The MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is delivered by distance learning and comprises eight taught modules and a dissertation.

View downloadable brochure: Co-operative and Social Enterprise

Learning outcomes

On successful completion, it is expected that you will be able to: 

  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in advanced application of frameworks and techniques in organizational settings;
  • Appraise self-practice;
  • Propose and conduct empirical research for organizational and academic audiences.

Core Modules (30 credits)

  • Co-operative and Social Enterprise
  • Research Methodology
  • Social and Co-operative Entrepreneurship
  • Co-operative and Social Enterprise Governance
  • Education and Marketing for Co-operatives and Social Enterprises

Optional modules (30 credits)

You will select any three of the following:

  • Innovation and Enterprise in Financial Co-operatives and Mutuals
  • Community Co-operatives and Social Enterprises
  • Worker Co-operative Strategies
  • Co-operative Food Processing and Supply
  • Social Enterprises and the Developing World
  • People Management in Member-Based Organisations
  • Leadership and Change Management in Co-operative and Social Enterprises

Dissertation in Co-operative and Social Enterprise (30 credits)

You will complete a 15,000–30,000-word Dissertation in Co-operative and Social Enterprise.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Details

Why Choose This Course

‌If you are interested in pursuing or developing a professional or voluntary career in the co-operative or social enterprise field, the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is designed with you in mind.  This course will suit a variety of people from different walks of life. It is flexible because it is delivered by distance learning and can be taken over one or two years. It is graded by continuous assessment and there are no written end-of-year examinations.

Video about the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise

"Why did you undertake the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise"
Video of one graduate's perspective:

Skills and Careers Information

This course is designed for you if you are interested in pursuing or developing a professional or voluntary career in the co-operative or social enterprise field. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in the decision-making, management and entrepreneurial processes of co-operative and social enterprises. Whether you are a voluntary or a salaried practitioner, this course will develop your capacity to respond creatively to the needs and problems of the wider community and society.

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Learning Outcomes

For MSc (Co-operative and Social Enterprise) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
On successful completion of this programme, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in advanced application of frameworks and techniques in organizational settings;
  • Reflect on self-practice;
  • Propose and conduct empirical research for organizational and academic audiences.

For Postgraduate Diploma in Co-operative and Social Enterprise (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
On successful completion of this programme, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
  • Engage in advanced application of frameworks and techniques in organizational settings;
  • Reflect on self-practice;
  • Propose and conduct empirical research for organizational and academic audiences.
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Additional Information

 

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Practicalities & Assessment

The MSc is a taught master’s course, with a research-based dissertation. Each module/course is delivered using a combination of text-based modules, academic text books, academic readings, web-based discussion and on-line lectures.

You will be assessed by way of continuous assessment, e.g. essays, group work, virtual contributions, etc. This means that there are no end-of-year written examinations for this course.

All our academic staff are experts in their field with PhDs and/or significant experience of working and researching in co-operative and social enterprises. Because we combine academic teaching and research into co-operative and social enterprises, with practical involvement with co-operative and social enterprises on the ground, we have unique insights into the key strategies, issues and problems they face. 

Full-time staff involved in the MSc include:

Dr Olive McCarthy
 (Course Director)

Noreen Byrne  
Bridget Carroll 
Dr Olive McCarthy 
Dr Mary O’Shaughnessy 
Dr Carol Power
Professor Michael Ward

Search here for the Research Profiles of the above

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

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Modules

Part 1

Part 1 - Elective

Part 2

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 must:

  • be at least 23 at time of enrolment
  • be able to access and use the Internet
  • possess two years’ experience in a voluntary or professional capacity in a co-operative or social enterprise,

and either

  • hold at least a 2.2 primary degree or an equivalent academic qualification

or

  • have at least five years’ extensive practical, professional or scholarly experience in the co-operative and social enterprise field as approved by the School of Business, have sat the MSc (Co-operative and Social enterprise) Qualifying Examination and attained at least a Second Class Honours Grade II therein, and present for interview (if required) by the Department of Food Business and Development at UCC.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

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 Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC 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 forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here:  CKL10 Suppl Form Part-time MSc(Co-Operative & Social Enterprise) (133kB) CKL42 - MSc (Co-Operative and Social Enterprise) FT (144kB)

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

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. 

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NOTS Funding Available

The MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is now a qualifying programme for Skillnet funding under the National Organic Training Skillnet (NOTS). NOTS will pay 20% of the course fee for qualifying applicants. The general conditions include:

  • To be eligible for the reduced training fee you must be either employed or self-employed (this can also include farming/ horticulture or other sectors). Credit unions are included in this.
  • You (sole trader etc) or your company must be a member of the network (NOTS) to gain funding, membership is free.
  • You must be resident in the Republic of Ireland.