(Online) Co-operative and Social Enterprise MSc

Fact File

Course Code: CKL10 Part-time

Course Title: Co-operative and Social Enterprise Online Course

College: Business and Law

Co-operative and Social Enterprise

Duration: 2 year Part-time

Course Delivery Method*: Online

Teaching Mode: Distance Learning

This programme will be taught online. 

Qualifications: MSc

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee €10,500 full-time. The part-time course fee is half the full-time fee in the particular year of study. 2017/2018 Non-EU fee Full-time: €10,500.

Entry Requirements: A primary degree or an equivalent academic qualification and have achieved at least second class honours level 8. See Detailed Entry Requirements.

Closing Date: Applications now closed for 2017/18

Next Intake: September 2018


If you are interested in pursuing or developing a professional or voluntary career in the co-operative or social enterprise field, the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is designed with you in mind.  It is a part-time course taken over one or two calendar years.

The main aims are:                   

  • to equip you for management careers and/or voluntary service at senior level in a wide range of co-operative and social enterprises
  • to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in the decision-making, management and entrepreneurial processes of co-operative and social enterprises
  • to develop your capacity to respond creatively to the needs and problems of the wider community and society, if you are either a voluntary or a salaried practitioner in a co-operative and social enterprise
  • to provide you with access to postgraduate and personal development opportunities whilst allowing you to combine family responsibilities and employment.

Video about the MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise

Course Details

‌The MSc in Co-operative and Social Enterprise is delivered by distance learning and comprises eight taught modules and a dissertation.

View downloadable brochure: MSc Brochure Co-operative and Social Enterprise MSc - CKL1 Information (1,565kB)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion, it is expected that you will be able to:

  • think critically about social and economic problems and have the confidence to propose organisational solutions
  • articulate the role of co-operatives and social enterprises in the creation of an alternative economic system to a wide range of audiences, including the public, private and third sectors, as well as to society in general
  • participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in the decision-making, management and entrepreneurial processes of co-operatives and social enterprises
  • apply the specific marketing, governance and management skills necessary in co-operatives and social enterprises
  • appraise critically the multiplicity of activities, strategies, skills and approaches in the co-operative and social enterprise field 
  • choose optimal courses of action for specific situations in co-operative and social enterprises
  • discuss and debate professional opinion on the functioning and roles of co-operatives and social enterprises
  • research and report analytically on different types of cooperative and social enterprise.

Core Modules (30 credits)

Co-operative and Social Enterprise

Research Methodology

Social and Co-operative Entrepreneurship

Co-operative and Social Enterprise Governance

Education and Marketing for Co-operatives and Social Enterprises


Optional modules (30 credits)

You will select any three of the following:

Innovation and Enterprise in Financial Co-operatives and Mutuals

Community Co-operatives and Social Enterprises

Worker Co-operative Strategies

Co-operative Food Processing and Supply

Social Enterprises and the Developing World

People Management in Member-Based Organisations

Leadership and Change Management in Co-operative and Social Enterprises


Dissertation in Co-operative and Social Enterprise (30 credits)

You will complete a 15,000–30,000-word Dissertation in Co-operative and Social Enterprise.

Further details on the content and modules are availabe on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Detailed Entry Requirements

To apply for this course you must:

  • be at least 23 at time of enrolment
  • be able to access and use the Internet
  • possess two years’ experience in a voluntary or professional capacity in a co-operative or social enterprise,

and either

  • hold at least a 2.2 primary degree or an equivalent academic qualification


  • have at least five years’ extensive practical, professional or scholarly experience in the co-operative and social enterprise field as approved by the School of Business, have sat the MSc (Co-operative and Social enterprise) Qualifying Examination and attained at least a Second Class Honours Grade II therein, and present for interview (if required) by the Department of Food Business and Development at UCC.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to Apply.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here:  CKL10 Suppl Form Part-time MSc(Co-Operative & Social Enterprise) (133kB) CKL42 - MSc (Co-Operative and Social Enterprise) FT (144kB)

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Course Practicalities

The MSc is a taught master’s course, with a research-based dissertation. Each module/course is delivered using a combination of text-based modules, academic text books, academic readings, web-based discussion and on-line lectures.


You will be assessed by way of continuous assessment, e.g. essays, group work, virtual contributions, etc. This means that there are no end-of-year written examinations for this course.

Who Teaches This Course

All our academic staff are experts in their field with PhDs and/or significant experience of working and researching in co-operative and social enterprises. Because we combine academic teaching and research into co-operative and social enterprises, with practical involvement with co-operative and social enterprises on the ground, we have unique insights into the key strategies, issues and problems they face. 

Full-time staff involved in the MSc include:

Dr Olive McCarthy
(Course Director)

Noreen Byrne 
Bridget Carroll
Dr Olive McCarthy
Dr Mary O’Shaughnessy
Dr Carol Power
Professor Michael Ward

Search here for the Research Profiles of the above

Further Contact Information

Dr Carol Power


T: +353 (0)21 490 3354

Close X