Executive MBA (MBA)


Programme Description

The Cork University Business School (CUBS) Executive MBA at UCC is designed to prepare our participants to become organisational managers, innovators, and leaders.

Our aim is to not only provide a strong understanding of core organisational functions and disciplines but to move beyond that to facilitate an integrative, critical understanding of the foundations and practice of management and leadership. 

Accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) our MBA provides you with an internationally recognised qualification on graduation.

Logo for AMBA - the Association of MBAs, written in dark and light blue text alongside a colourful diamond-shaped image.

Our MBA 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

On this programme you will 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; this often requires an understanding of functions and disciplines outside of your existing professional competence and our MBA will help you formalise this learning.

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. To this end, we place considerable emphasis on creating an environment that is conducive to the peer-to-peer learning that we believe is vital to the UCC CUBS Executive MBA experience.

The Leadership Development Framework

We deliver the programme via a Leadership Development Framework across all four parts of the MBA.

Part 1

In Part 1, Year 1 students attend a Leadership Development Framework (Introduction) workshop.

Part 2

In Part 2, Year 1 students attend a Leadership Development Framework (Business Research Methods & Consultancy Skills) workshop. 

Leadership Development Framework learning in Year 1 is captured through a 50-mark, individual Reflective Learning Log assessment in the 10-credit module BU6511 Managing Change in an International Context.

Parts 3 & 4

In Part 3, Year 2 students attend a Leadership Development Framework (Sustainable Leadership) workshop. Thematics from the workshop will also be covered in the Part 4, Year 2, 10-credit module BU6504 Leadership Project.

Leadership Development Framework learning in Year 2 is captured through a 50-mark, individual Reflective Learning Log assessment in the 10-credit module BU6504 Leadership Project.


Part 1 (20 credits)

  • AC6505 Managerial Control and Performance (5 credits)
  • EC6505 Economics for Strategic Business Development (5 credits)
  • MG6508 Organisational Behaviour (5 credits)
  • MG6509 Managing Human Resources (5 credits)

Part 2 (25 credits)

  • AC6506 Financial Investment and Analysis (5 credits)
  • BU6500 Operations and Supply Chain Management (5 credits)
  • BU6511 Managing Change in an International Context (10 credits)
  • BU6515 Strategic Decision Making and Governance (5 credits)

Part 3 (20 credits)

  • BU6516 Ethics and Sustainability (5 credits)
  • EC6506 Economics & Competitiveness for Global Business (5 credits)
  • IS6502 Leading Responsible Innovation & Digital Transformation (5 credits)
  • MG6510 Strategic Marketing (5 credits)

Part 4 (25 credits)

  • 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)

See the College Calendar (MBA) for full details.

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, and 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 mindset 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.

Scholarship Opportunities

See our College of Business and Law Scholarship page for information on available scholarships.

Skills and Careers Information

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

However, to take 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 our participants with the required learning and knowledge, allowing our graduates to progress in their careers.

In addition, the UCC Career Services, and our team at the UCC CUBS Executive MBA Programme Office, cooperate in delivering relevant and appropriate career support advice and tools to our students.

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Practicalities & Assessment

  • The Executive MBA programme is a part-time, two-year, course taken over four teaching periods.
  • Each year is made up of two teaching periods and each teaching period is made up of 12 lecture weeks.
  • Lectures are held in the UCC Centre for Executive Education, Lapp's Quay, Cork.
  • Lecture delivery is structured to allow you to work full-time while pursuing your MBA studies. Contact [email protected] for more detail.


Students attend orientation sessions at the start of Part 1, Year 1.


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

Who teaches this course

The course utilises the expertise of many industry practitioners, guest lecturers, and UCC CUBS Executive MBA partners. In addition, our teaching team includes staff from across the Cork University Business School (CUBS) and the School of Law, representing the following subject areas:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Information Systems
  • Economics
  • Food Business & Development
  • Government
  • Law
  • Management & Marketing 

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), or
  • A primary ordinary degree + satisfactory GMAT or satisfactory GRE General Test Score* or
  • An appropriate professional qualification


  • At least three years of significant managerial experience/responsibility** or
  • Significant senior managerial/professional work experience plus satisfactory GMAT score or satisfactory GRE General Text Score*

Plus two referees’ reports.

Note applicants may be required to attend an interview.

*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 fewer 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. 

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:

  • 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 addresses of 2 referees.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. As we deliberately keep our class size small (30 to 35 students), we strongly recommend early application. Typically, once all documents are received you can expect to get feedback within 10 working days. 


Note deferrals are not permitted on this course.

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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