Two Irish universities score highly in global rankings for executive education

UCD and Trinity score highly in customised executive education

Two Irish universities have scored highly for the further education they offer business executives, according to global rankings published on Monday.

Trinity College Dublin is at 27 globally in the Financial Times Custom Executive Education 2024 Rankings, while University College Dublin’s (UCD) Smurfit Executive Development rates 33rd. This was Trinity’s first time to feature in the ranking, while the UCD Smurfit improved its position from 35th last year.

Both institutions have higher scores in different categories within the Financial Times rankings, the figures show.

UCD’s Smurfit school comes fourth overall for growth, which the college says reflects year-on-year revenue increases and repeat business, while it is 27th for programme design, which rates curricula and expert lecturers.


The university is 46th globally for open enrolment, marking its seventh year in the global top 50. The Smurfit school scores in the global top 50 in 12 out of 14 different category rankings.

Trinity is seventh for international clients, 12th for faculty diversity, 14th for overseas programmes, 16th for partner schools and 29th for growth, among other categories.

The Financial Times Custom Executive Education rankings rate the world’s top 75 business schools that offer businesses customised education programmes for executives.

Michael Flynn, director of executive education at Trinity Business School, said the 2024 rankings were a “testament to the hard work of our team and faculty” and their relationship with partners.

“We are pleased to see this work recognised in the Financial Times global rankings,” he added.

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Prof Laurent Muzellec, dean of Trinity Business School, said the institution emphasises the role it must play for customers while meeting challenges including climate change and inequality.

“We attempt to integrate cutting-edge tech skills, including AI, business analytics, and digitalisation, to empower people to make an impact,” he explained.

Prof Anthony Brabazon, dean of the UCD College of Business, said the rankings showed that it remained the “standard bearer” in executive and graduate business education in the Republic.

“We look forward to working with key corporate partners in the creation of new and exciting customised programmes with significant personal and organisational impact,” he said.

According to Tim Wray, director of UCD Smurfit executive development, the school intends to strengthen its position as the Republic’s leading provider of executive development. “The latest Financial Times rankings represent significant progress towards this goal,” he added.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas