Course Overview

The MSc Strategy, Innovation and People Management (SIPM) is a one-year, broad-based programme integrated around the three meta-factors critical for success in the digital, knowledge-based, global economy – all organisations need to think strategically, have the capability to innovate and the ability to realise their ambitions through the development of their people.

The MSc SIPM is accredited at the Advanced Standards Level (the highest achievable) by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the largest professional HR body globally. The MSc SIPM fosters critical thinking, develops long-term career capabilities and equips graduates to work in a wide variety of roles in a broad range of industry settings.

The programme is distinguished by its small class size, allowing close contact with lecturers, alumni and the business community. We emphasise applied learning, giving you the opportunity to develop and practise the skills you will use in your future career.

Students will have the opportunity to apply for an internship with an Irish or multinational organisation. Students can alternatively work on an applied consultancy project and a summer school of optional modules that will allow you to customise your masters towards your own particular focused career path.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System. 

Who Teaches this Course

Shona Linehan

Dr. Rachel Hilliard
BComm, MA, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of Management
Top Floor, St. Anthony's
NUI Galway
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Dr Majella Giblin
B.Comm, M.Econ.Sc, PhD, PG Dip.
Senior Lecturer, Associate Head of External Engagement & Alumni Relations
J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics
University of Galway
Galway. Ireland
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Prof Jonathan Levie
Professor of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
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Prof Kate Kenny
Professor Of Business And Society
JE Cairnes School of Business an
NUI Galway
University Road
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Dr Fiona Sheridan
Lecturer Above The Bar
School of Business and Economics
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Dr Ann Torres
B.A., M.B.A., PhD.
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Requirements and Assessment

Semester One exams: December.
Semester Two exams: April/May.

A range of assessment methods are integrated and assessed throughout the programme. These include essays, projects, reports, presentations, case studies, computer games and 'away day' activities. A research project is also required.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Normally a H2.1 degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent). However, candidates with a H2.2 honours degree and who have a minimum of 2 years relevant work experience, will also be considered. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent, if applicable. Similar to any modern work environment, we welcome diverse academic backgrounds to apply for the programme and believe your experience will enrich the diversity of what this programme offers.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting



Course code


Course Outline

Course Outline

List of Modules for SIPM 2022

Two Pathways:

This programme offers a choice of learning pathway; the student gets to choose between:

  • Internship
  • Summer School

The Internship:

Our programme is among the first in the country to offer management internships at the postgraduate level.  All internships are paid and of five months duration. They may be longer if the student and company wish to extend the internship. Students may apply, when internship opportunities are posted.  The programme is designed to support the interviewee in preparing for the interview and the post.

Why an internship?  The internship offering demonstrates University of Galway’s focus on continuous improvement and commitment to providing students with an opportunity for work-based learning. It allows students to put their acquired learning to action, gain invaluable work experience and deepen their transferable skills such as leadership, communication, relationship-building and problem solving. It gives students an edge in the job market on completion of their programme.

What internships opportunities are available?  Students have successfully completed internships at multinational and Irish organisations, including Wayfair, Medtronic, Aergoen, and Boston Scientific.  Organisations range in size from large to micro, including start-ups.  Students have also worked in government departments, the Health Service Executive and for charities.

We have a dedicated placement officer to support the sourcing of internship opportunities, and student can also self-source an internship. Our placement officer identifies suitable internships given the learning objectives of each Masters programme. Each internship opportunity also has to promote analytical thinking, integration across subjects, critical reflection and professional development. Students can self-source an internship if they wish to do so.  The placement officer will ensure that the internship is suitable.

How does the process work for students? Students are encouraged to arrive at the University for the start of their Masters programme with a current CV.  During workshops and one-to-one meetings, our Placement Officer assists students in improving their CV and in preparing for interviews.

More information: For more information about the internships, please contact our Placement Officer Ms. Brid Connolly (

The Summer School:

The students undertaking this pathway will complete modules over the second semester and summer months. Students will study project management, and then choose from specialist modules in business negotiations, international HRM and international supply chain management.

In the Consultancy Project module students, as a team, with some individual assessment elements, will have the opportunity to investigate and diagnose ‘live’ business and management issues, to review and draw on best practice / academic literature, to further explore the issues, to collect and analyse relevant research data, derive logical conclusions and make recommendations. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

A large range of professional and management positions, in a wide variety of industry settings and in leading, blue-chip, global organisations. Positions include graduate management trainee programmes, financial services and business analysis, management consultancy, retail management, hotel management, human resource management, policy development, and research and academia. 

Employers of previous graduates of the programme include; Accenture, AIB Capital Markets, Aldi, Amazon, Bank of Ireland, Diageo, Dell, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland (New York), Google, IDA Ireland, Jumeirah Hotels, Mercer Consulting, Oracle, Qualtrics, Cambridge University (PhD), University of Galway and University of Limerick. 

New - Option of Internship Opportunity

Students have the option to pursue an internship opportunity (up to six months) incorporating an Applied Management Project. Internships are competitive and subject to the availability of suitable positions.

  • The internship for students completing an MSc SIPM can be in any area of business with the proviso that the internship contains an element of exposure to human resources. It is envisaged that the broad nature of the MSc SIPM will equip students to apply for a variety of positions.
  • The internships are typically suited to students with limited professional experience.
  • Whilst students will be supported by a Placement Officer, students may also self-source their own internship subject to the approval of the Placement Office.
  • We will source as many internship opportunities as possible but internships are usually not available for all students and are competitive. Further, it is at the discretion of employers whether they shortlist and offer a position to applicants.
  • In cases where a student prefers to pursue individual research or cannot secure an internship, they will complete the Research Dissertation.

The MSc (Strategy, Innovation and People Management) is approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) for accreditation at the advanced level. Students on this programme can achieve Associate Membership of CIPD. 

Associate membership of CIPD on graduation provides the platform for many initial positions (from which requisite experience is obtained leading to chartered, professional membership, usually within two years). Thereafter, strategy, innovation and organisational management programme dimensions satisfy the broader, value-contributing requirements of higher-level, business development roles, facilitating career progression and movement (including internationally). Programme graduates in recent years have a near full employment record.

CareerWise Recruitment’s award will be presented annually to the MSc Student on the basis of their Research Project (Dissertation) mark and nominated on the recommendation of the Head of Discipline.


The MSc SIPM is innovative in conception, as reflected in curriculum design. Six of the eight taught modules (two-thirds of the programme) are double-weighted (10 ECTS), each with 48 contact hours. There are 36 classroom hours on a weekly basis, and 12 hours dedicated to bespoke practical learning events such as skills workshops and company visits. This enables the integration of theoretical rigour in the knowledge domain with the application of knowledge through applied, experiential activities. This dual theory-applied dimension is also evident in the Research Project, where the intellectual rigour of a dissertation is combined with primary empirical data to validate and/or extend theoretical foundations.

Innovation characterises both classroom and event-based learning. A wide range of pedagogies is employed in weekly teaching, such as lectures, seminars, case studies and problem cases, and senior industry speakers. Similar variety pertains for bespoke applied events, which include skills workshops (psychometric testing MG6107), company visits (An Post Mails Processing Centre MG6110), “off-site war games” (MG6102) and hosted corporate innovation days (MG6111). Overall programme assessment is 50% examinations/50% continuous assessment. The latter is broad-ranging, including group projects, presentations, poster productions (MG6101), essays and industry panel ratings (MG6102 and MG6111). 

Programme modules make extensive use of formal and recurring top-level Industry links. The MG6110 project on An Post includes presentations by two Executive Directors (Brian McCormick, Adjunct Professor, and Pat Knight, HR Director). In MG6101 Paul Scully, Group VP and Regional HR Director, Intel, delivers a masterclass on Strategic HR. The MG6102 project involves student groups working on a company problem assignment and presenting analyses and solutions to management, including Home Instead CEO Suzanne Ryan. On the Innovation Day in MG6111, students participate in an intensive start-up workshop guided by industry mentors, and pitch ideas developed and tested to an industry panel with the winners awarded prizes. MG6111 participants include John Power, Aerogen founder and CEO.

Award of Nelipak Prize for Top Performing Student in the MSc SIPM 


Nelipak Prize Best Student MSc SIPM

The Nelipak Prize for Top Performing Student in the MSc Strategy, Innovation & People Management in 2021/22 was awarded to Martin Kelley. The award was presented by Joe Holland, CEO of Nelipak Healthcare Packaging, the award sponsors, also in attendance were Prof Alma McCarthy Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics and Professor of Public Sector Management at the University of Galway, Dr. Majella Giblin Senior Lecturer in the Management Discipline at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, Dr. Rachel Hilliard Senior Lecturer Dept. of Managementand at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and Patricia Walsh External Engagement & Alumni Relations Manager at University of Galway.



Nelipak award

At a recent online event, the Nelipak Prize of €1,000 for the Top Performing Student in the MSc in Strategy, Innovation & People Management (SIPM) in 2019/20 was awarded to Callum Farrell. The award was presented by Joe Holland, CEO of Nelipak Healthcare Packaging, the award sponsors.


Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the programme you will be able to:

(i) Demonstrate understanding and practical application of critical, evidence-based, analytical and evaluative thinking in strategy, innovation and people management. 

(ii) Show intellectual curiosity, creativity, self-reliance, teamwork skills and entrepreneurial thinking in approaching challenges.  

(iii) Develop the attributes of a professional, ethical and respectful leader ready for a global workplace.  

(iv) Apply effective decision making to global business problems 

(v) Identify, analyse and solve applied problems in individual and team-based settings. 

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€10,290 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€10,150 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€17,990 p.a. 2023/24

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

What Our Students Say


Mary Queen Tugap |   Current Scholar MSc SIPM

I chose the MSc in Strategy, Innovation, and People Management because it does not solely focus on HR; instead, it allows me to learn how to develop business strategies and think more innovatively, giving me a better competitive edge internationally. The internship part of this program also greatly influenced my decision, hopefully giving me a head start in breaking into the Irish market. Moreover, I love how diverse my cohort is from all over the world, and our Dublin trip to a start-up company gave us a new perspective on building a business that matters. Furthermore, I couldn’t be more proud of being the only Filipino recipient of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics scholarship for this year, which has allowed me to put less emphasis on my education finances and more on concentrating on my studies as I transition from working to being a full-time student.

Olivia Finnerty |   Current Scholar MSc SIPM

The MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management has allowed me to develop my people management skills and learn how leading businesses triumph in the ever competitive and constantly changing market. The scholarship has enabled me to commit to my studies and further myself. The options I have in front of me are numerous and whichever path I choose I have the confidence, skills and motivation to succeed with a strong education behind me.   I am honoured to receive a scholarship from NUI Galway. It has had a positive impact in both my academic and person life and this change has been made possible through the kindness of J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics. I am so thankful to have received this scholarship and I look forward to my bright future after I have completed my masters.

Mairead Long |   MSc Strategy, Innovation People Management Scholar 2020-21

During my time working in a technical role, I had the opportunity to get involved in more business-oriented projects and developed an interest in innovation and business strategy. The MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management was a natural choice to allow me to further develop my areas of interest while also gaining proficiencies in human resources. The CIPD accreditation will stand to me in whatever path I choose. Despite the challenges we all faced studying during a pandemic, the lecturers made a marked effort to adapt to online delivery and made the course as accessible as possible for us. I was lucky enough to be with a cohort of supportive students who have provided that much needed interaction and camaraderie. I’ve had a very positive experience on this course, and I’m excited to see how I can apply it in my career going forward.

Ally Whyte |   MSc Strategy, Innovation People Management Scholar 2020-21

I would highly recommend the Strategy, Innovation and People Management course as the course is very well rounded, offering a wide range of modules in the areas of strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship and HR, as well as an opportunity to go on placement in second semester. Although the course has been taught completely online this year, all of the lecturers have been extremely approachable, helpful and accommodating to the students which has made the year much easier. The assignments are mainly real world, team-based tasks which has helped me to meet lots of new people and develop my communication skills and confidence through taking part in presentations. Coming from a psychology background, I have especially enjoyed the people management modules! The course has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed for the working world and I look forward to starting my work placement as HR Officer with Ryanair in April.

What Our Graduates Say


Tara O'Carroll |   People Operations at Google

This masters allowed me to hone in on my people management skills and learn how leading businesses triumph in the ever competitive and constantly changing market. On reflection of the last year, it was really a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone to apply as you get a grounding in human resources aspect which has the CIPD accreditation and also all facets of strategy & innovation management.

Áine McHugh |   Manager, Strategy & Advisory at Azur Digital (UAE)

The knowledge gained through completing the MSc SIPM has allowed me in practice to support our clients with the challenges they are facing today. Graduates from MSc SIPM at NUIG are equipped with the methodologies, tools and problem-solving skills to help solve our clients’ complex problems.

Lorenz Köppel |   Junior Consultant at DZ BANK AG

The MSc in Strategy, Innovation & People Management teaches a deep understanding in the areas most relevant for future leaders. Consequently, graduates are not only flexible when looking for jobs, they also start off with great knowledge in these key areas. Moreover, they are enabled to bring in sophisticated insights into daily business life. The profound competencies equal an outstanding competitive advantage. Holding such a degree opens many doors to an interesting career.

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Internship Opportunity


Higher Education Awards 2019

Gradireland best business

CIPD Accredited

Nelipak Award

Nelipak Healthcare Packaging: Thermoformed Medical Packaging

Award of €1,000 annually for the top student in the class.


  • Business Postgraduate Programmes 2023

    Business Postgraduate Programmes 2023 PDF (4.7 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)