MBA Options 2021: Spotlight on courses around the country

A selection of popular MBA courses in universities and colleges

Trinity College Dublin – Trinity MBA

This is offered as a 12-month, full-time MBA or part-time Executive MBA that takes place over two years. The course is an intensive project-based programme for those who want to accelerate their career path or transition into a new industry. The MBA offers a critical mass of learning in all functional areas of business and extensive live-action learning through three company projects across a range of industries and organisations: (1) a multinational or large Irish player; (2) a social enterprise; and (3) an SME that aspires to scale. These projects provide an opportunity to tackle real-world business problems and apply the in-class learnings to conduct problem analysis, create strategies and deliver solutions direct to senior stakeholders.

Trinity MBA participants can choose from a range of nine taught electives and two international residency weeks in South Africa and Belgium to ensure their MBA is aligned with their career goals. Classes are delivered over three terms in one calendar year for the full-time cohort and in the same format over two years on a part-time basis. The course is EQUIS and Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredited, putting it among the top 1 per cent of business schools globally.

Class size: 50


Fees: Full-time – €35,800; part-time – €17,900 per year


University of Limerick – UL MBA

Designed to develop confident, strategic and internationally focused leaders, UL’s MBA equips students with essential skills to navigate successfully in today’s uncertain world. This two-year, part-time course is structured to challenge strategic thinking processes, improve critical thinking and enhance communication skills. The course is delivered in the format of monthly three-day blocks, which are scheduled in advance, and is a popular choice with busy professionals.

Five key themes shape the programme: internationalisation; managerial vision and competencies; entrepreneurship and innovation; strategic thinking; and leadership. Specialist elective modules further tailor the course to participants’ career goals. Challenging content, high-calibre lecturers and accomplished peers combine to help participants learn, reflect, debate and grow. The course is AMBA and AACSB accredited, putting it in the top 2 per cent of business schools globally.

Class size: 30-35

Fees: €14,622 per year


University College Cork – UCC Executive MBA

This is an AMBA-accredited, two-year, part-time Executive MBA for working managers and professionals and prepares its participants to become organisational managers, innovators and leaders. It provides a strong understanding of the core organisational functions and disciplines, but moves beyond that to provide an integrative, critical understanding of the foundations and practice of management and leadership.

Participants learn how all aspects of a complex organisation interconnect. For most people, this requires an understanding of functions and disciplines outside of their existing professional competence. This results in a shift to a broader strategic emphasis, with a focus on becoming innovative leaders, adaptive to change. Through the leadership development framework, students explore the nature of their decision-making and define learning patterns that they use throughout their career. This MBA qualification benefits career paths by identifying its students as individuals with a high level of leadership ability.

Class size: 30

Fees: €13,500 per year


University College Dublin – UCD Smurfit MBA

The Smurfit MBA is the only Irish MBA to hold the "triple crown" of EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB accreditation. The full-time MBA is highly regarded worldwide, being the first MBA offered in Ireland and one of the first in Europe. The full-time MBA has been in the Financial Times rankings of the world's top 100 for more than 20 years and the Executive MBA (part-time) is ranked 62nd in the world. Candidates will be challenged and stimulated by an academic curriculum including global case studies, action-learning via global collaboration and international study trips and exchanges. This MBA offers a Leadership Development Programme that focuses on building the necessary skills to communicate effectively, helping students understand themselves better and lead diverse teams and organisations.

A new two year part-time Modular Executive MBA is on offer from this September, requiring just two days on campus per month along with online delivery. This EMBA offers greater flexibility for busy professionals.

Class size: 30-40

Fees: Full-time – €34,500; Part-time – €15,950 per year


NUI Galway – NUI Galway MBA

This AMBA-accredited course is a two-year, part-time programme delivered in a block release format (blocks will be of two or three days’ duration and generally occur at intervals of every three weeks during the semester). The programme is structured around three pillars of transformational leadership, innovating success and business for society. Driven by an experienced and dedicated faculty, the university’s MBA integrates an academically rigorous and challenging real-world business education with industry engagement and global learning. The MBA provides graduates with the knowledge, transferable skills and leadership acumen required to lead innovative success and graduates have a proven track record of accelerated career progression. The NUI Galway MBA will be celebrating 50 years next year and is planning a number of events and masterclasses with alumni and industry partners, of which NUIG’s MBA students will have priority opportunities to attend.

Class size: Between 20-25

Fees: €13,850 a year


Dublin City University – DCU Executive MBA

This two-year, part-time programme takes place on a Thursday afternoon and evening, which helps participants to balance the demands of work and their personal lives while completing the MBA. As an Executive MBA, the majority of participants have 10 years’ management experience. The programme benefits hugely from the scale and depth of professional experience among participants, who come from a variety of sectors. This is an applied MBA bringing huge benefit to employers as participants can directly use their learnings to the real-life challenges encountered in participant organisations. In addition to advanced study in the business fields of marketing, accounting, finance, technology and economics, the MBA also has a leadership development strand running through the two years to enhance participants’ personal leadership style. Additional features of the course include a Strategic Consultancy Project and an international study trip (under review in line with current coronavirus travel regulations). The outcome is ultimately to prepare executives for significant career growth and corresponding responsibility. The course is AMBA accredited, putting it in top 2 per cent of business schools globally.

Class size: 30

Fees: €12,750 per year


Waterford IT –WIT Executive MBA

This is a two-year, part-time programme delivered on Thursdays and Saturdays – and for the 2020/2021 academic year, all classes are delivered online through Zoom. Going forward to 2021/2022, WIT sees its MBA being delivered as a combination of face-to-face sessions and online sessions. The programme exposes students to all functional areas of business with a strong emphasis on peer learning, leadership, personal development and action-based research.

A total of 16 modules are covered, during which students will develop their personal and organisational skills to become more effective managers while the research-led teaching with many practice-based assignments will develop thinking professionals with an ability to see multiple perspectives. An international study trip to Boston allows students to see an international context and develops cultural awareness while its organisational change research project gives students an opportunity to experience live-action learning in real company projects.

Class size: Between 15-20 students

Fees: €8,950 per year


Munster Technological University – Master of Business Administration (Strategy)

This is a two-year, four-semester, part-time programme delivered online and on-campus. Students take modules such as research methods; exploring corporate strategy; applied business finance; leadership and organisational behaviour; economics of global markets; international business strategy; contemporary issues in marketing; data analytics; strategic corporate finance; organisational change management; research dissertation; and an international business field trip.

The programme delivery incorporates lectures, site visits, live case studies and guest speakers, ensuring it is applied and relevant to industry. Learners can expect to benefit from individual, professional and personal development. The programme allows students to develop their interpersonal, conceptual and decision-making skills and enhanced management and leadership ability, confidence and critical self-awareness. It also enables students to develop the required skills and abilities to assist in navigating their chosen career path, while their organisation will benefit from the skills and confidence of the learner who will bring an added value to their workplace and colleagues. Assessment methods include examinations, individual and group projects and presentations. Classes are delivered on Wednesday, 6-10pm and Fridays, 3-9pm, for each semester.

Class size: 20 students

Fees: €6,250 per year


TU Dublin – TU Dublin MBA

This part-time Executive MBA equips participants with the leadership skills and strategic mindset needed to drive their careers and their organisations forward. Accredited by AMBA, placing it in the top 2 per cent of business schools globally, this programme is internationally benchmarked, and an approach to continuous improvement has seen several new modules and features added recently.

Key highlights include a week-long Silicon Valley immersion and a personalised leadership development programme. Modules are taught by experienced TU Dublin faculty who are at the forefront of their disciplines and deeply engaged in executive education and research, supported by expert guest speakers. A new postgraduate seminar series allows MBA students to engage with expert speakers from around the world on topics such as emerging technologies, sustainability and cultural intelligence. The programme is delivered over two years and runs on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings in Aungier Street.

Class size: About 25

Fees: €10,500 per annum


Dublin Business School – DBS MBA

This MBA is offered as a full-time or two-year part-time option. As an organisation needs to be flexible in diverse business environments and to change direction at speed, this MBA develops these sets of abilities with a particular focus on a thorough understanding of business management. It offers the opportunity to study advanced theory and practice relating to management, and to develop an appreciation of the causes and significance of managing strategy.

The programme also allows students to study the pure MBA, or choose a specialist route for an MBA award within the following programmes: HRM; project management; finance; information systems; cloud computing or marketing. Included in the programme are lectures and assessment methods that apply the business knowledge required for students to perform as an effective manager in any organisation alongside knowledge and understanding of global business.

Class size: Part-time: 30-40. Size of full-time classes can vary

Fees: Full-time – €12,500; part-time – €6,250 a year


Irish Management Institute – Management Bootcamp

The Irish Management Institute offers a five-day mini-MBA programme multiple times a year. This highly interactive programme is designed to challenge and expand participants’ business knowledge and learn to master the essentials of business practice.

Class size: 10-15

Fees: Non-member fee – €3,445; member fee – €2,845


Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe is an Audience Editor with The Irish Times