Master of Science
Ulster University Business School
Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing
This is the only course in Ireland which combines postgraduate study in management and corporate governance with an in-demand ICSA qualification.
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Due to the great demand in Ireland for the professional qualification as Associate of the ICSA (ACIS), Ulster University offers this course with face-to-face tuition to help you achieve a demanding professional and academic qualification. This course leads to graduate membership of ICSA, the international membership and qualifying body for chartered secretaries and other governance professionals. The course has been developed in close collaboration with the Institute and is fully accredited by them.
Due to its success rate in graduate recruitment and its links with employers, this course was awarded the PostGrad Ireland Postgraduate Course of the Year – Business in 2012. Graduates from the course go on to work for organisations such as Deloitte, KPMG, Eversheds, Citi and PWC. Such is the demand for students who are qualified in management and corporate governance over the past few years that over 90% of successful students have gained graduate level jobs.
This course content is structured to ensure that students gain essential, current knowledge and skills in a variety of subject areas as well as meeting the professional requirements of ICSA. The course is flexible: students can choose to leave with GradICSA and a Postgraduate Diploma (essentially two thirds of the Master's course). Those with the relevant work experience can apply for chartered secretary status and use the post nominal: ACIS.
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The MSc Management and Corporate Governance course will provide you with the knowledge, professional and transferable skills that will equip you for senior appointments in industry, the social economy, voluntary, charitable and public sectors.
The course equips students to enter employment in roles such as corporate secretary, corporate administrator and head of compliance. These are the professionals who ensure that organisations operate within financial and legal good practice guidelines. Further information on jobs and careers related to this course can be found at www.icsa.org.uk.
The course equips students for a career in professional services through:
• Development of transferable intellectual skills necessary for senior management roles;
• Application of corporate governance to the organisation;
• Study of management and organisational behaviour;
• Management of the finances of the organisation;
• Management of the legal environment of the organisation.
ICSA is the international membership and qualifying body for chartered secretaries and other governance professionals and is a world-leading authority on governance, risk and compliance. Chartered secretaries are professionals qualified in company law, accounting, corporate governance, administration, company secretarial practice and management. They are trained to chart a course through regulation, legislation and best practice, and to deliver effective operations. Chartered secretaries work as company secretaries and/or in other senior management and administrative positions in companies, charities, local government, educational institutions and trade bodies. The Institute has 36,000 members and students in over 70 countries. Further information is available at www.icsa.org.uk.
The part-time MSc Management and Corporate Governance course is usually taught over 2 years. In semesters 1 and 2 the lectures take place during the afternoon and evening of one day per week. As well as weekly lectures some subjects are taught on a "block" basis - meaning that the modules are taught over four days; one module in semester 1.
Students completing the Master's qualification will be required to take three modules in semester 3, these are usually taught on a 4 day "block" basis between May and July.
Students are assessed via a combination of formal written examinations, individual assignments, group assignments and innovative practical exercises such as contributing to running a company Annual General Meeting (AGM). Assignments can be made relevant to your current role should this be suitable to make the course as practical as possible.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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The module provides a firm understanding of the concepts underpinning corporate financial reporting, particularly group financial reports, the requisite knowledge to apply these concepts to practical examples and provides a framework which enables students to appraise current reporting requirements.
This module aims to enable participants to develop knowledge and understanding of organisational theory and individual and group behaviour within organisations, and to be able to apply this knowledge in a manner which maximises organisational effectiveness.
In any activity involving the development and running of an organisation or where action is taken in a related managerial or consultative capacity then knowledge of the law is essential. The primary aim of this module is to provide students with access to a wide-ranging programme of study which will examine the fundamental aspects of applied business law in relation to the Company Secretary.
This module introduces students to the body of rules and principles of law which regulate public and private companies in the United Kingdom. It is of practical significance to all those who wish to make a career in, or have dealings with, such companies and in particular those seeking a career in Company Secretaryship.
This module provides the student with the knowledge qualifications and understanding that is required to fulfil the role of an effective Company Secretary.
Leadership and management involve making decisions that inevitably have a major impact on the organisation. This module introduces participants to the importance of Financial Management and its linkage with corporate strategy. It aims to build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the study of previous accounting related modules. Emphasis will be on integration of theory and practice. Learning will be by teaching, practice, reflection and independent study. Assessment is by coursework and end of semester examination.
This module develops the concept of strategy by examining its role and importance in enabling all organisations to identify, evaluate and respond to the forces and influences that impact upon their ability to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Fundamental issues will be examined, such as key strategic concepts and the nature of strategy, strategic context and purpose and strategic choices and implementation. Contemporary perspectives, models and frameworks will be explored and will underpin the module, with the core focus on rigorous theoretical underpinning and meaningful practical application.
The module informs and equips students to effectively respond to the governance challenges organisations face today. In particular, consideration is given to the key ingredients necessary for securing the highest standards of effective corporate governance, encompassing topics such as the values and principles that underpin corporate governance; the central role of the board in decision-making; board effectiveness in corporate governance; the accountability and regulatory framework within which corporate governance operates; business ethics; corporate social responsibility; risk management; shareholder, and stakeholder, engagement; international corporate governance comparators and corporate governance in other sectors.
The Operations function is that part of an organisation that focuses on the economic, efficient and effective use of resources to provide a quality of customer service as the basis for creating business profitability and/or value-for-money. The module is concerned with the design, planning and control of a range of operating systems and to raise awareness of the need for integration with other functional areas to achieve business excellence and completely satisfy customer needs.
The module aims to enable students to acquire a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of Human Resource Management and to be able to apply these in a range of organisational settings. Teaching is through lectures, tutor supported group work and presentations. Lecture material will develop students' understanding of key concepts. Presentations will be for students to apply their understanding. Use will be made of case studies, to give students the opportunity to formulate solutions to HR problems.
The core aim of the management project is that students should investigate an important, contemporary and relevant management issue for their organisation or profession. It is expected that students will demonstrate an understanding of practical, ethical and strategic issues within their chosen research area. The research should be work-based and it is expected that the subject and design will be such that students will normally be working with primary, as well as secondary data. The total process seeks to develop and test students' conceptual and analytical abilities to enhance both their work-related capabilities and to prepare students for further research studies.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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You should have an honours degree in any subject from a recognised institution or have obtained an equivalent standard in a professional or other qualification recognised by the University for this purpose, for example, the ICSA Diploma in Business Practice.
If you do not meet the above requirements, you may be admitted at the discretion of the Course Committee. In this case, normally you will be interviewed to assess your capability to undertake a rigorous course of study. The award of GradICSA will depend on whether you meet the ICSA entry criteria.
Students who have achieved relevant professional or postgraduate qualifications MAY be granted exemptions from modules on the course, in accordance with the University's accreditation of prior learning (APL) policy.
If you do not meet the above requirements, you may be admitted at the discretion of the Course Committee and in accordance with the University's APL policy. In this case, normally you will be interviewed to assess your capability to undertake a rigorous course of study. The award of GradICSA will depend on whether you meet the ICSA entry criteria.
Conditions of claiming graduate status of ICSA
• You must have registered with ICSA as a collaborative student and pay the fee to become a registered student member of ICSA.
• Those with the relevant work experience can apply for chartered secretary status and use the post nominal ACIS.
English language requirements for international applicants
International students will be required to have achieved IELTS 7 (with no contributing band at less than 6.0) or equivalent.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Students who have achieved relevant professional or postgraduate qualifications MAY be granted exemptions from modules on the course, in accordance with the University's accreditation of prior learning (APL) policy. Students should contact the Course Director if they wish to apply for exemptions.
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Students who study the part-time route through this course may be able to seek promotion within their own organisation. There is a great demand for graduates from this course who have both a valuable academic qualification and a professional qualification from ICSA.
A number of organisations recruit directly from this course each year and the course can boast an employment rate of over 90% over the past few years with successful students being appointed to graduate level positions in organisations such as the following:
Maples Finance, BDO Ireland, Mason Hayes and Curran, FBD Holdings, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Lex Tray, Eversheds (Manchester), Mazars, Citi, A & L Goodbody, Bank of Ireland, Action Aid, KPMG, William Fry, PWC, Blackrock, Maples Finance and Deloitte.
Chartered secretaries are high-ranking professionals with a diverse set of skills unique amongst many professions. Trained in corporate law, finance, governance and corporate secretarial practice, Chartered secretaries are the focal point for independent advice about the conduct of business, governance and compliance. They can also offer legal and accounting advice and manage the development of strategy and corporate planning.
A great deal more information on the job, opportunities and salaries of such skilled individuals can be found at www.icsa.org.uk
Accredited by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.
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There are a number of sponsored prizes and awards presented to outstanding students of this course.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
For further Information please contact:
Postgraduate Programmes Manager: Nick Read
Course Director (Jordanstown): Edel O’Neill
“After completing my undergraduate degree in Law I was working in the administrative centre for Ulster Bank in and was primarily involved in a large risk management project.
I wanted to complete a course that would compliment my Law degree but also gave a holistic overview of the running of a business or organisation that was varied but also focused.
The MSc Management and Corporate Governance course on offer was fairly new but had an already stellar reputation and seemed the course that fitted my need. Furthermore, there were known to be interesting job opportunities available after graduation which subsequently allowed me to live and work in some very differing countries.
The teaching on the course blended the practical aspects of management and corporate governance with the theoretical and academic. Also, we had continuous feedback from lecturers and staff at the University who were always more than willing to assist, I found the Ulster University Business School very accommodating. My previous experience of higher education was of being one of a very large class where I found it difficult to get interaction with academic, at the Ulster University Business School I was able to have first hand contact with academic staff and explore ideas discussed.
The course showed that I could manage a large and very challenging workload that was incredibly varied, whilst either working as part of a group or on individual assignments. It has helped me greatly on taking advantage of many opportunities far and wide, and is viewed by employers as definite 'positive' on my CV. It also comes with a recognised and respected professional qualification that is prized by many employers looking for someone who has shown dedication and ability to deal with heavy workloads.
I would recommend the course to anyone, it's very worthwhile, it gives you a very good fundamental background on the running of an organisation, whether as a business or part of government. It allows you to see how each function of an organisation; human resources, organisation behaviour and company law (for example) interact and complement each other and how you navigate your way through matters that would appear at first sight to be quite daunting.”
“Prior to the MSc I studied at the University of Ulster in Coleraine between 2007 -2010 graduating with a BSc in Business with Accountancy
As a business graduate the content of the MSc course appealed to me as the modules included law, accounts, governance strategy and human resource management, to name but a few complemented by undergraduate study. My brother is a graduate of the course and is successfully forging a career in Jersey and my sister was studying the MSc Human Resource Management course.
The course is very demanding and high paced; but very worthwhile because of the excellent career prospects with the added advantage of jobs worldwide.
As well as taking away the academic learning from the course I also learned determination to succeed and the focus and fortitude to do so and to ensure a successful outcome.
For those who are thinking of taking the course I would say that that the Course Director and teaching staff are there to help, work with them, asking any pertinent questions to gain maximum support. The opportunities the course offers are extensive with the Course Director keeping in touch with his students worldwide, therefore maximising all contacts.
I have high expectations for the future. This course will enable me to diversify into such areas as wealth management, trust work, or the field of corporate governance. I am travelling to Canada in March 2012 on a six month visa to pursue the possibility of eventually emigrating and my masters course will significantly improve my chances of employment as corporate governance has become such an important issue. The opportunities are endless and I intend to grab life and career by the scruff of the neck.”
“I studied Law and Economics prior to the MSc Management and Corporate Governance and chose to do the course because of the breadth of subject areas covered and its links to employers.
The residential was fantastic – it sets you up for the rest of the course and I would recommend it to anyone. You meet people who become more than your classmates, I stay in contact with a lot of them even after finishing the course.
Studying on the course requires commitment and organisation. Your time has to be used efficiently to meet deadlines and making an early start on projects is advantageous. I’d recommend that students take full advantage of all the opportunities offered by the course including networking and social events to get the most from it. In addition to the academic knowledge I got from the course, it has definitely improved my confidence and organisational skills.
One of the reasons I chose the course was because of its employment prospects and links to employers, it helped to secure my job with Citi and I was one of the first in my year to secure employment.
I found the masters to be broad ranging it the type of modules you study, in my current role at Citi most of the modules have proved extremely useful – the learning from the accounting and law modules I use daily when drafting investment contracts and legal documents; and as I work in a team other modules such as HRM and Organisation Behaviour are useful as is the understanding I have of team dynamics.
I did not know a lot about the ICSA before the course, but it is a real added bonus and is sought after by employers”