MSc Food Business Strategy

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

This comprehensive course offers a sound training in business concepts and practice, as well as a wider understanding of the unique environment within which food businesses operate.

The curriculum has been co-devised by UCD Smurfit School and UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science in order to offer a unique opportunity to receive the highest quality business training as well as to gain a deep understanding of the food sector.

  • Insight into the core business concepts that graduates from the course will need to master with a view to a future career in the sector
  • Advanced knowledge of the factors specific to food affecting the sustainability of food production and the role that innovation can play in the sector
  • An appreciation of the increasingly complex and global environment in which the food business currently operates and the uncertainties and risks attached to food production

Careers & Employability

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will be open to an array of national and international employment opportunities within a rapidly growing industry or related sectors. Graduates from this and similar courses are employed across a selection of many national and international organisations.


Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

This course is open to a wide range of undergraduate profiles, but is especially suitable for those with a background in agriculture-based or other science degrees seeking to develop their business expertise and those with more business-focused degrees and an interest in moving into the food sector.

The MSc Food Business Strategy programme is open to a wide range of undergraduate profiles, but is especially suitable for those with agriculture, science and business focused degrees and an interest in specialising in the food sector. The programme aims to provide students with core knowledge for management and strategy development of food businesses, which also includes understanding of the role and importance of sustainability and innovation. Graduates will be competent to apply critical and analytical judgement of the increasingly complex and global environment in which food businesses operate.  The curriculum has been co-developed by the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School and the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and offers a unique opportunity to receive the highest quality business training as well as to gain a deep understanding of the food sector. The theory-practice blend to the curriculum content, as well as the strong emphasis placed upon recent developments within the industry, makes this the ideal preparation for a career in the food business sector.  Graduates will be encouraged to apply and act upon their core food business knowledge and will have the ambition and courage to solve problems, work in a team and significantly contribute to the success of food businesses in their future career. We encourage critical thinking and motivation and foster ambition of students to continually work on their capacities. This is achieved by providing a diversity of learning environments (classroom, off campus and guest speakers) and methods (lectures, group work, case studies, presentations) that ensures a stimulating learning experience. This equips graduates with the skills necessary to provide professional leadership in food businesses. 

  • Analyse industries, markets and competitors to design and implement appropriate competitive strategies (PG4)
  • Communicate clearly within various business settings using appropriate media (PG4)
  • Critically assess global perspectives in which food businesses operate, including the influence of economic, political, social and cultural factors (PG2)
  • Critically assess the economics of food businesses within the concept of sustainability (PG3)
  • Devise and develop plans, strategies and organizational structures for food businesses operating in the global market (PG2)
  • Employ suitable theoretical and practical models to assist the innovation process (PG3)
  • Show ambition and courage for action and contribution to their future career and professional development (PG5)
  • Understand the theory and practice of management and strategy development in food businesses (PG1)

View All Modules Here

You will complete seven modules, an optional module and a research project in the Summer Term. Features of the course include site visits, regular invited industry speakers and the development of a business strategy for a real food company as part of the research project. Previous participating companies include Cully and Sully, Strong Roots and East-Coast Bakehouse.

MSc Food Business Strategy (D042) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 15760
nonEU    fee per year - € 22730

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

  • A minimum second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in Agricultural Science, Science, Business, Commerce, Business Administration, Economics or related degree, or
  • An honours Graduate Diploma in Business Studies or related subject, or
  • A primary degree with a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience

Graduate Profile - Gillian Wlliis, Small Business Manager, Bord Bia

My experience as a Food Business Strategy student at the Michael Smurfit Business School was one of huge growth and development both at an academic and personal level. I wanted to further my knowledge of not only the Irish food industry but also of the global one. The lecturers on our programme were top class with an extensive knowledge of both the domestic and international food industry.

Since graduating I have held global positions at Burger King and Tim Hortons, returning to Ireland to join Bord Bia. There is no doubt that the skills and knowledge I gained during the programme played a role in me securing my graduate level job and I continue to implement this knowledge on a daily basis in my working environment.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Food Business Strategy FT (D042)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised