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A key milestone has been reached for the cross-border collaboration between Ulster University (UU) and Atlantic Technological University (ATU), with the first cohort of 15 students graduating from Ireland’s newest technological university.

The two-year Masters programme is jointly delivered and awarded by Ulster University Business School at Magee and ATU (formerly Letterkenny Institute of Technology - LYIT). ATU was formed by a merger earlier this year between Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, LYIT and IT Sligo, making UU and ATU students among the first to graduate under the newly-established university.

The Masters course, which has been running for nearly 20 years, has been designed for senior public servants. The course aims to empower participants to develop their knowledge, understanding, and applied leadership skills to successfully implement transformational change within public services through leadership and innovation.

Both the Office of An Taoiseach and the Department of Finance have been consulted on programme design, with a focus on delivering strategic, transformational change initiatives in the Northwest region and beyond.

Speaking about the partnership, Professor Sandra Moffett, Head of Department of Global Business and Enterprise at Ulster University said:

“Ulster University has a long history of cross-border collaboration and partnership working through teaching and research activities. Along with ATU, we are committed to enhancing the leadership and innovation skills base, and the MSc Leadership and Innovation in the Public Sector course has been a real success story, enabling many past participants to successfully deliver on the reform agenda in the public sector in NI and ROI.

“The joint expertise and unique perspectives delivered through this course contributes to an enhanced learning experience and we’re looking forward to progressing this partnership under the newly-established ATU.”

Gavin Quinn, Head of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Branch, Department of Health, commented:

‘The MSc Leadership and Innovation in the Public Sector provided a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop my understanding across a broad range of contemporary topics relevant to my role within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. The quality of teaching and resources provided were exceptional and were complemented well by the spread of quality guest speakers that provided subject matter expert input to various topics. As a result of the course, I have developed both personally and professionally, most notably improving my ability to self-reflect on my own practice as a leader and expanding my knowledge of organisational theory and practice.”

Alan Fenton of Police Service of Northern Ireland, said:

“I underestimated the learning and growth, both personal and professional, that I would gain from the course. Action learning workshops helped me to face workplace challenges in a different way, and proved I was not in isolation from other current and future leaders. The learning environment created by university staff has enhanced my workplace capability, coincided with increased collaboration through collective networking from all those involved, both North and South. The course is truly unique!”

How to apply:

Applications are now open for the 2023 cohort and will close on Friday 16 December 2022.

For more information on the programme, or to apply, please contact Dr Emer Gallagher, Course Director of the MSc Leadership and Innovation in the Public Sector by email to: