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University College Cork (UCC) Executive MBA Programme

The UCC Executive MBA Programme

Our MBA programme is designed to help our students simultaneously contribute more effectively to their organisations, and enhance their career prospects. The programme offers a broad understanding of all the important functions of an organisation: accounting, finance, strategy, human resources, IT, marketing, and operations.

The programme is more than just a collection of functional disciplines, however. General managers need to integrate different organisation functions. This requires an integrative approach to leadership, entrepreneurship, the ability to reflect on and implement strategy, and the ability to work with different people of different temperaments and different professional and personal backgrounds.Our unique difference is that the UCC Executive MBA programme is explicitly focused on the integration of personal, professional and organisational development – a theme that runs right through our approach to programme design and delivery. The programme is demanding, and requires an intensive commitment of time and effort over both years. We believe the payoff will be large: you will learn to think and act about management and leadership in new and valuable ways, in an enjoyable, supportive and stimulating learning environment.

The MBA programme is held in high regard by its students, its graduates, their employers and the wider business community. We are pleased by the career success and personal and professional development of our MBA graduates. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the programme to create a better and more valuable experience for our students.


The UCC Difference


The UCC Executive MBA adopts a distinctively different approach to that of many standardised offerings. Most importantly, the programme has a strong focus on developing the whole person. In addition to delivering the technical skills expected of managers in dealing with the day-to-day challenges facing business, there is a pronounced and unique emphasis over the entire two-year programme on developing the holistic leadership skills of the participants.

What does the programme deliver for the individual and the organisation?



• The discovery of innate preferences in key personal leadership areas, e.g. analysis, decision-making, judgment.
• A practical and supported process for understanding and overcoming our own ‘change immunities’.
• Assessing personal leadership approaches against a tried and tested framework of leadership development.
• Acquiring greater fluency and confidence in the new domain of developmental leadership – based on an enhanced capability for leading personal and organisational change.


• 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 in emphasis to a ‘future focus’ and a broader strategic emphasis
• Development of more innovative approaches to problem-solving, with a strong emphasis on effective team-based approaches.


UCC’s Executive MBA programme is built on three key themes: development, integration, acceleration.

We are explicitly DEVELOPMENTAL in our use of leading-edge frameworks in personal, professional and organisational development in our programme design and delivery – wherein ideas and evidence from leading international researchers in Business are not just programme materials to be learned but instead become ‘thought-frameworks’ to be used and practiced in day-to-day professional life.

The programme adopts an INTEGRATIVE approach to the diverse challenges of business and organisational life by encouraging participants to ‘see across’ the various functional and divisional structures that dominate many traditional organisations, rather than only ‘seeing within’ their functional specialisations or roles.

Participants ACCELERATE their thinking, decision-making and judgment capabilities by progressing through a connected sequence of analytical, action-based and reflective challenges – from the historical case study through the live case study to the personal case study – a learning journey deliberately designed to promote a different way of ‘seeing’ oneself, one’s role and values, change possibilities and leadership potential.


What Our Graduates Say

"The UCC Executive MBA programme offers the perfect opportunity for one to accelerate and deepen their understanding of leadership challenges in both society and organisations. The integrative approach to leadership development allows one to work closely with both lecturers and class colleagues, which in turn creates a stimulating learning environment.

The programme provides the necessary platform to broaden the intellectual horizon. The numerous challenging facets to the lecture series are designed to ensure participants experience a heightened sense of self awareness. This is the first step on the important journey towards reaching a more advanced plateau of mental complexity that will allow one to enhance their decision making capabilities and ultimately add to their suite of leadership attributes.

The Executive MBA provided both personal and professional growth as well as access to an invaluable alumni network. In challenging times, it is important to differentiate from the competition. Therefore I would recommend the UCC Executive MBA Programme as top tier executive learning that will allow the discerning leaders of tomorrow an opportunity to enhance their leadership credentials today."

Ronan Murray
Assistant Director, Restructuring / Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
Class of 09/10 and winner of the Deloitte UCC MBA Student Award, 2011

"The MBA program at UCC is simply an outstanding quality program from start to finish. It offers far more than a way to help progress one’s own professional career. There is a huge focus on this program on a developmental journey that is extremely rewarding and insightful.

In addition, the Leadership Development Framework provides a way of understanding how a leader or manager is likely to interpret situations and thus how they may act. The Framework offers a chance for participants on the course to reach a deep personal understanding and the option to identify unique developmental challenges. The LDP describes crucial sense-making processes by which people interpret and give meaning to their experiences and then structure them into more-or less coherent worldviews and characteristic patterns of action.

All of the tutors on the course are experts in their subject matter and are willing to give up their time to provide any extra assistance where necessary. You also get the opportunity each semester to work in a different group which is fantastic. This ensures you can learn from and share experiences with new and different class mates throughout the course.

The UCC program is also extremely well run and organised and there is a huge effort made to bring in a blend of experienced guest lectures and speakers. The trips to both Finland and Belfast are also excellent. They provide you the unique opportunity to test your wisdom and managerial skills in the company you visit which is both hugely challenging and fulfilling.

Overall, I would highly recommend this course to those who are serious about enhancing their leadership skills, working with like minded individuals and of course developing long term friendships. There is ultimately no question however, but for those participants that are willing to engage and put the work in, the transformation in oneself is far greater than you could ever possibly realise."

Shane Horan
I.T Manager – Axios International
Class of 09/10

"In these turbulent times have you ever wondered why some companies and more importantly managers, seem to be able to "weather the storm", whilst others falter and fail? If so, then you should enrol for the UCC Executive MBA. Not only will it equip you with the core skills to manage your business, but it will also open the door to a whole new way of thinking regarding how you and your company develop in the coming years.

These new ideas, concepts and frameworks, cannot be gleaned from a text book, but instead are cultivated from the unique blend of people that you will meet over the 2 year period, i.e., fellow class members, lecturers, facilitators and invited contributors from education and business. Together you will develop a set of tools that will help chart a course through your personal, professional and organizational life.

This developmental journey is both unique and fulfilling. It will lift you above the present morass of negative culture and thinking and instead give you new insights to the real opportunities that exist in every facet of life. As testament to the course's value, the class of 07/08 (of which I was glad to be a part of) has created an action-learning group to continue this developmental process, where ideas, thoughts and perspectives are shared in a challenging and yet supportive environment. A truly memorable 2 years and one which I would strongly recommend to any person considering further personal and professional development opportunities. Like the class of 07/08, you will quickly find that the act of enrolment is just the start of this developmental journey."

Andrew Cromie, 
Class of 2007/08


The UCC Executive MBA programme modules are delivered by the teaching faculty of the Faculty of Commerce and its constituent departments

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

The Faculty of Law delivers the module Business Law.

Guest lecturers and industry practitioners from the business world are utilised throughout the four semester cycle of the programme.

Students undertake an induction and team building day prior to the commencement of Semester One.


Semester One Senester Two Senester Three Semester Four
Accounting & Financial Management Management Accounting & Control Corporate Finance 1 Corporate Finance 2
Economics of Strategy 1: Microeconomics of the Business Economy Economics of Strategy 2: Macroeconomics of the Business Economy Economics of Organisation & Business Development Economic Foundation for Strategic Thinking: 3 Orders for Decision Making & Judgment
Management Information Systems Business Law Management Information & Technology Professional Practice: Integrative Project
People, Organisations & Business Markets, Customers & Brands Projects, Processes & Innovation Leadership, Strategy & Business: Capstone Seminar Series
Study Visit 1 Professional Development Workshop 1 Study Visit 2 Professional Development Workshop 2
    Food Business Elective
Public Sector Elective


Developmental Workshops

The UCC Executive MBA Programme features two developmental workshops.

The first, in Year One, is based on the theme of Overcoming your Immunity to Change. Participants receive a comprehensive introduction to the current state of research in adult mental development and work through a series of practical exercises that assess their understanding of and approach to the management of change. Coaching sessions and reflective journal work support this process and are designed to accelerate awareness, insight and new, more focused change management behaviours and outcomes. 

The second workshop, in Year Two of the programme, focuses on the theme Transforming Leadership. In this workshop, participants take the Leadership Development Profile [LDP], a measure of leadership meaning-making - and receive extensive information and coaching to support an understanding of what the LDP reveals about their current approaches to leading. The workshop and its accompanying coaching session/s and reflective assignment/s are designed to accelerate awareness and insight about the possibilities and limitations of existing leadership approaches.


Study Visits


Two study visits are undertaken in the course of the Executive MBA Programme. While the precise details of venues and themes may change from programme to programme, the 2011/12 MBA class visited Helsinki – where the study visit theme was ‘Problem-based Learning’ and Belfast – where the theme was ‘Innovation in Action’.

The approach to both visits is similar – based on the theme of ‘serious fun’. The class is divided into consulting teams, and day-long visits to local companies/organisations arranged, employing a relevant analytical framework. Presentations based on the team’s assessment of the performance of the host organisation in terms of the ‘presenting problem’ and accompanying framework conclude the trip, usually attended by the manager/s who hosted the site visits. This makes for a focused, intensive, real-time and engaging study visit structure with lots to be learned by both project teams and the host organisations.

Careers Service

Executive MBA students have full access to the UCC Careers Service. Students will gain personal access to trained information staff and careers advisors who are available to help students focus their career planning as well as having access to a valuable information resource.

The Careers Service also delivers a Career Planning workshop to our Executive MBA students in the final semester of the cycle.


The UCC Executive MBA is delivered on a part-time basis over a four semester, two year cycle.


Lectures take place:

Fridays 9.00am - 4.30pm

Saturdays 9.00am - 1.30pm

Each Semester is made up of 12 lecture weeks.

• In Semester One an additional five days will be dedicated to the Study Visit 1
• In Semester Two an additional two days will be dedicated to the Professional Development Workshop 1
• In Semester Three an additional five days will be dedicated to the Study Visit 2
• In Semester Four an additional two days will be dedicated to the Professional Development Workshop 2

Please Note Some lecturers may require attendance at evening workshops. Such arrangements are normally discussed with the class prior to their scheduling.

Lectures are held in Room 2.55 of the O’ Rahilly Building on UCC’s main campus

Semester Dates for the 2013 – 2014 Cycle of the Programme

Year One
Semester 1   January 2013 – March 2013
Semester 2  September 2013 – December 2013
Year Two
Semester 3  January 2014 - March 2014
Semester 4  September 2014 - December 2014

Application Requirements

The threshold entry requirements for the Programme are as follows:

• An honours primary degree
• An appropriate professional qualification


• At least two years' significant managerial experience/responsibility
• Significant managerial/professional work experience plus satisfactory GMAT score

• Two referees' reports
• You may be required to attend for an interview.

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

Applications & Fees

Applications to the 2013/14 programme can be made via the website

PAC Course Code CKL11

EU Fees

Year 1 €13,500
Year 2 €13,500

Non EU Fees

Please note that Non EU applicants are not eligible to study part-time programmes.

For Non EU persons resident in Ireland please contact the Graduate Studies Office for more information

T: 00353-21-4902876


UCC Executive MBA Programme
Room 3.03C ,
College of Business & Law,
O’Rahilly Building,
University College Cork

Tel: +353 (0) 21 490 2394