AACSB International (AACSB) — the world’s largest business education alliance — has announced DCU Business School among 25 business schools highlighted in its Innovations That Inspire member spotlight programme.


Each year, AACSB recognizes institutions around the world that are creating relevant, impactful, and visionary business schools for tomorrow.  This year DCU Business School’s BSc Digital Business and Innovation has been recognized with an Innovations That Inspire award.

As a critical part of the DCU Futures initiative, the BSc in Digital Business and Innovation was co-created with industry partners who are also involved in its delivery and evaluation. It aims to transform the learning of undergraduate students by reconceptualizing teaching; introducing exciting, new areas of study; and embedding digital literacies, disciplinary competencies, and transferable skills.

A critical cornerstone to the success of the degree is ongoing engagement with industry partners. As noted by DCU alum Brian Smyth, global innovation director at Accenture,

Accenture is delighted to partner with DCU to co-create DCU Futures—a groundbreaking initiative to transform the student learning experience. We passionately believe that traditional approaches to higher education need to be disrupted to prepare the next generation for an exciting but uncertain future.”

Caryn Beck-Dudley, AACSB president and CEO said

New demands from stakeholders require reimagined business school initiatives, and DCU Business School demonstrates a fresh way forward for business education. By leveraging innovation for knowledge co-creation, new methods of learning, and expanded educational access, business schools are meeting market expectations and increasing value for businesses, learners, and society.

About AACSB International

Established in 1916, AACSB International (AACSB) is the world’s largest business education alliance, connecting educators, learners, and business to create the next generation of great leaders. With a presence in more than 100 countries and territories, AACSB fosters engagement, accelerates innovation, and amplifies impact in business education. Learn how AACSB is transforming business education for a better society at aacsb.edu.


Find out more about the BSc in Digital Business and Innovation here.

On Thursday 13th April, we welcomed Applegreen to DCU Business School to present the inaugural DCU-Applegreen Innovation Challenge Award to a group of first-year students in the Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module.

Using design-thinking techniques, students were tasked with developing a service innovation focused on enhancing Applegreen’s customer service.

Students worked in groups and visited Applegreen stores across Ireland to gain first-hand market research insights to assist them in developing innovative solutions.

The winning team presented their innovation in the boardroom to Applegreen’s Head of Innovation, Maria Cassidy, Early Careers Manager, Katie Dunne, as well as the Dean of DCU Business School, Professor Dominic Elliott, and module lecturers, Dr Catherine Faherty and Dr Orlagh Reynolds. We would like to thank Applegreen for their ongoing partnership on the award-winning LIFE module.

Congratulations to Emma Jones, Andrew Keegan, Conor Jones, Wojciech Karatysz, Bianca Iepureanu, Tomas Hegarty and Ryan Holmes.

Katie Dunne (Applegreen), Bianca Iepureanu (LIFE student), Maria Cassidy (Applegreen)

From March 27th- 30th 2023, the DCU Social Innovation Hackathon – Hack4Change – took place in DCU’s U building. Approximately 700 first year business school students and first years from the Climate and Environmental Sustainability Futures programme took part in one of the 6 sessions run over these 4 days. We also welcomed 13 speakers, approximately 50 mentors and several key sponsors.



Part of the Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module, the hackathon enabled students to work collectively in groups to develop innovative solutions for circular economy-related issues. Students developed Problem Definition Statements before their hackathon session, while during the session they worked through a number of ideation techniques and completed their Hack Impact canvases. Sessions began with lightning talks and speakers included social entrepreneurs and industry experts representing a variety of prominent institutions such as the Rediscovery Centre, Dublin City Council, PWC and GreenFridays4Future. Mentors from companies such as Deloitte, an Taisce, Mastercard, and many generous DCU staff offered their feedback and insights on proposed solutions. For the final activity of the hackathon sessions, students were asked to post their problems and solutions in visually compelling Instagram posts to receive some further feedback from peers. A total of 87 posts and 37 stories were posted to the DCUHack4Change Instagram account.


 The students focused on a wide variety of circular economy innovations such as an appliance repair education service to reduce overconsumption caused by designing for obsolescence, a system for upcycling and recycling materials from disposable vapes, and a service redirecting textiles from landfill towards the creation of personalised items with a story. Student-led engagement on Instagram led to a sharp increase in metrics for our account with over 2000 people engaged with the Instagram posts generating thousands of likes, highlighting the success of the event.

The students also won DCC and DCU Business School sponsored goodie bags for winning the circular economy table quiz at each session, One4All vouchers for the most innovative idea and the most reach for their Instagram posts, a DCC sponsored bike from the Social Enterprise Frontline Bikes for the most engaged students, a ticket to the Circular Economy Hotspot event worth 300euro, a 50euro voucher for the circular enterprise Kopper Kreation, as well as some further goodie bags and a hamper for engagement and teamwork.

Each hackathon session ended with pizza for the students and our speakers and mentors availed of a Dublin City Council sponsored lunch provided by the Social Enterprise Loaf catering each day. Overall the event was an effective means of providing students with some ideation experience in the circular economy space as well as the opportunity to engage with industry members.

Find out more about the LIFE module here:

LIFE module wins 7th Innovation & Entrepreneurship Teaching Excellence Awards

LIFE module wins European Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

March 21st & 22nd: The DCU Social Innovation Hackathon – Hack4Change – took place on campus in the U building, a welcome return to the in-person format since pre-Covid.  Over 600 students along with 11 speakers, 30 mentors and several volunteers participated in the hackathon.  Part of the Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module, the hackathon was focused on encouraging students to work collectively in groups to develop potential solutions for a sustainability-related problem.  The students were also encouraged to map their problem statements with one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Four half-day sessions were organized over two days.  Students were divided into groups, the size of which ranged from four to seven members.  The session began with lightning talks by speakers.  The speakers included entrepreneurs, industry experts and academics and represented a variety of prominent institutions such as MasterCard, Dublin City Council, Pure Clothing and Accenture.  Group activity followed the lightning talks, wherein the student teams worked on defining their problem statement.  After finalising the problem statement, the students started working on a potential solution.  This activity also involved a deliberation between the student teams and the mentors.  The mentors offered their feedback and insights on the proposed solution.  The final activity of the hackathon involved a solution validation exercise, where the teams presented their final solution to the mentors and incorporated their feedback into the final output.

As the final output of the Hackathon, students were asked to post a couple of images (one for the problem and the other for the proposed solution) on Instagram.  A total of 66 resulting Instagram posts were shared on the DCUHack4Change Instagram account.  The students focused on a wide variety of societal problems ranging from sustainable fashion, affordable housing, mental health, waste disposal, air pollution, food security and sustainable farming among others.  The students actively shared their solutions in their wider community and engaged with the Instagram posts of other teams.  This student-led engagement led to a sharp increase in the engagement metrics.  Over 1360 people engaged with the Instagram posts generating thousands of likes over the two days, highlighting the success of the event.  The students also won special prizes for the table quiz in each hackathon session.

Each hackathon session ended with a pizza party.  Overall, the students enjoyed the session and saw it as a fun learning activity.

Author: Anish Tiwari, Marie S. Curie Fellow & PhD. Candidate, DCU Business School

Find out more about the LIFE module here:

LIFE module wins 7th Innovation & Entrepreneurship Teaching Excellence Awards

LIFE module wins European Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

DCU Podcast: Innovation in programme design & assessment with Prof Brian Harney

January 17, 2022

This podcast shares Brian’s insights into the innovative design of the B.Sc in Digital Business & Innovation programme, one of the new Futures modules that has been developed at DCU. It explores new assessment approaches, tracking the student learning journey, and colloborating with industry.

Listen Here >

Known for its diversity and multiculturalism, DCU is a one-stop destination for international students looking to grow in their personal and professional lives. The inclusivity at DCU makes interaction with different races and cultures more interesting by organizing events such as movie nights, Arctic Disco, Christmas markets, and many more. The wide range of clubs and societies enables international students to connect with like-minded individuals who share the same interests. DCU has also designed an International Faith Centre for international students coming from different religions to get together and find solace within their surroundings. 

Here are some highlights of what a few International Students have to say when asked about their favourite thing about studying at DCU: 

One of my favourite things about DCU, coming from a non-English background is that I get to interact with my peers from all across the globe, which enables me to improve my spoken English, benefiting me in my future career. Students like me, for whom English is a second language, are taken into consideration by the professors to deliver the content of the class, making it easy for the non-local students to understand the content of the module. – Wen from China, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

My favourite thing about DCU is the vast and magnificent campus. The sports complex, the cafes on campus, the student restaurant, and Nubar are some of the treasured spots on campus. This has helped me get to know my peers outside of the classroom and build connections over and above the academics. After a long day, I love spending time with my friends in and around such a vibrant campus. – Shams from London, pursuing a PhD. In Computing. 

At DCU, there are many international students, and even though we come from different parts of the world, the one thing that connects us is that we are away from home. This brings us together, and in that process, we find our home on-campus. Interacting with so many talented individuals from different cultures has cherished my social life and grown me personally. – Mann Maheshwari from India, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

An interview with Romal Thakkar, one of our International students from Mumbai, India, pursuing an MSc. in Business Management, gave us quite an insight into the life of an International student at DCU. Let’s take a look at what he had to say. 

Q. What is your favourite thing about studying at DCU?

A. The ideal learning environment which DCU provides through its academic staff, facilities, classmates, and location. All of these make for a successful and memorable study experience.

Q. How easy/hard do you find getting around on campus?

A. Getting around the campus is intuitive and straightforward, as there are plenty of signs and indications on the campus and academic buildings. And if someone is still confused, you can always ask the friendly staff or students at DCU for directions. At various spots on-campus, there are maps displayed, which further aids in finding the way around the campus.

I can recall my first day at the campus; I was a bit nervous seeing how huge the campus was. I had come in 30 minutes before the lecture time, as I thought it would take some time to find my way around. However, on getting down at the Helix bus stop, I quickly found my way to the Business building easily.  

Q. What impact has DCU had on your social life?

A. Coming abroad to study at DCU for a Master’s study has been a significant decision. When I met my classmates and started socializing with them, they were bright, social, and intellectual. Socializing with them daily keeps me engaged and motivated. We meet a couple of times every week to discuss classwork and other topics. Moreover, being social and extroverted has helped me make plenty of friends and valuable connections. I have also joined various clubs and societies, like the Debate club, Enactus, and volunteering society, to connect with people having similar interests and hobbies. Thus, DCU has had a significant positive impact on my social life, and it has been incredibly active and exciting.

Q. Do you think professors are accessible? 

A. All the professors in my program are highly knowledgeable in their field and skilled at teaching. The lectures are interactive and engaging, and the professors encourage students to ask questions and doubts in class, irrespective of how big or small the question is. Apart from this, professors also make time after class for any queries or concerns, and they also have office hours every week for any questions or issues regarding the subject. Furthermore, the professors are also considerate, and some of them go out of their way to solve a student’s query. The majority of the professors in my program are very accessible and open to discussions with the students at any point during the semester.

Q. What does a typical day look like in your life?

A. A typical day during the semester at DCU involves waking up early morning, taking a bath, cooking breakfast and catching, a bus for the university. Most days consist of multiple lectures, one of them being in the early morning. After attending a two-hour morning lecture, I would usually head for lunch with friends at one of the delicious restaurants at DCU. After grabbing lunch, we would sit outdoors and finish up on our food while discussing the materials covered in class. Most of the days, there is a gap of an hour or two between lectures, which gives us time for lunch and to prepare for the following lecture. 

Q. Name the most special thing about DCU, which makes DCU stand out from other universities.

A. I feel multiple aspects make DCU stand out from the rest of the universities.

Firstly, the vast campus and a wide array of academic buildings, offering an extensive catalogue of courses across varied disciplines. Connecting with people from different courses and backgrounds makes for interesting conversations and a great network.

Secondly, DCU offers widely reputed and competitively ranked programs. It provides an ideal learning environment for students and suitably prepares them for research and industry. While studying, there are also ample opportunities for business internships and networking, thereby allowing students to gain professional experience alongside studying. 

Lastly, the diverse teaching, a network of peers from different walks of life, and varied experiences from an international business school would also help me for my future career progression.

These are some aspects, on top of my mind, that make DCU special.

Q. How would you describe your fellow students?

A. My classmates in the MSBM course are dedicated and hardworking. Networking with able, like-minded, and ambitious peers makes for successful academic life at the university. Many of the students in the class come from different educational backgrounds, which makes for a diverse experience. Academically, the majority of my classmates strive for high scores and work intensely towards achieving them. Socially, it has been a delight meeting and conversing with motivated & experienced classmates. Even when it comes to class participation, a very high proportion of students actively participate. Thus, my classmates are driven and high achievers.

Q. How has the academic life been treating you? Are you getting the required help with your assignments? 

A. Academic life at DCU has been going very well. The teachers are proficient, great at teaching, and always open to questions in person or email. The teaching assistants for various subjects have also been invaluable. They are guiding on assignments, providing feedback on projects & presentations, answering queries, and promptly uploading essential materials on Loop (student portal). Apart from the academic staff, other resources such as Library workshops, writing centre, and subject experts helping with assignments have also been of immense help. Career planning provided by experts at DCU has also been beneficial. I have utilized most of these resources and found them to be very resourceful.

Author:  , Current Student of the MSc Management Strategy

Check out our Postgraduate Offering: https://business.dcu.ie/post-graduate/


DCU Business School’s Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module has won 1st place at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Teaching Excellence Awards at ECIE 2022.

The competition showcases new ideas and new approaches for teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions and in the organisational environment.

The winning initiative titled Learning Innovation for Enterprise: Skills for the LIFE of an entrepreneurial student was selected by a panel of international adjudicators who judged it to show the most creative thinking with regards teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) 1st year enterprise module blends applied, experiential activities with theory in four main areas of enterprise:
Big (Corporate) Enterprise ; Own Enterprise (Entrepreneurship) ; Small & Family Enterprise ; Social Enterprise

The LIFE programme was launched in September 2019 as part of DCU Business School’s redesigned first year curriculum. The programme is based around business in all its forms and entrepreneurship. All first year DCU Business School students complete the LIFE module and it’s an integral, foundational part of our curriculum.

Students learn the A-Z of business in all its forms through Hackathons, online learning, conference seminars, applied projects, reflective writing and through getting out there and hearing directly from businesses. Over the course of one year, students understand and experience entrepreneurship as it applies to multiple business situations, including family businesses, startups and social enterprises, right through to large corporations.

Find out more about DCU Business School’s undergraduate courses.

TUESDAY APRIL 21ST 2020:  A DCU Business School initiative that saw all first year business students get involved in the Startup Week Dublin series of events in October 2019 has been recognised with an ‘Innovation that Inspires’ award for its innovative approach to business education by international accreditation body AACSB.

DCU Business School is among only 25 global business schools to receive this award in the ‘Innovations that Inspire’ challenge.  We are one of only three European business schools to be recognised, alongside our International Partnership of Business Schools colleagues at NEOMA Business School in France.

An annual initiative by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the challenge recognises institutions from around the world that serve as champions of change in the business education landscape. 

This year’s theme, “Catalysts for Innovation”, emphasises business education’s efforts to elevate entrepreneurial thinking and new business creation.

The Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE) module at DCU involves all first year Business students participating in a series of courses that enable them to appreciate business in all its forms, including startups, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), family-run businesses, social enterprises, global brands and multinationals. 

As part of this programme, students participated in Startup Week Dublin, a Dublin City Council week long event that brings together over 3,500 of Dublin’s entrepreneurs, innovators and local leaders over five days and 90 free events to build momentum and opportunity around Dublin’s entrepreneurial and innovative identity. 

Students were required to attend one Startup Week event reflecting on the experience as one of their module assignments. Dr Roisin Lyons, module coordinator for LIFE, also acted as university lead for Startup Week and used this role to support the creation of student-focused events.

Multiple student events were developed by collaboration among inter-institution entrepreneurship societies and partners. An estimated 900 students engaged in events during Startup Week Dublin as a result. Events curated for students saw a number of inspiring national and international entrepreneurs share stories of their journey, for example at a Student to StartUp panel event which discussed how starting a company during college years impacts students’ future careers.

Executive Dean of DCU Business School Professor Anne Sinnott said, “At DCU Business School we constantly review our academic programmes to ensure that students are learning the most relevant content and receiving the most innovative teaching. 

We do this by engaging with our industry partners and applying their feedback to develop modules that reflect the latest industry trends coupled with a sound theoretical base.

This ensures that our students develop the full set of  skills necessary for successful careers. We’re thrilled to see the students’ participation in Startup Week Dublin as part of the new LIFE programme recognised for its innovative approach to business education. 

We developed this programme to encourage students to learn in a very hands-on way, experiencing business from the perspectives of start-ups, social enterprises, family business and  large global brands. By participating in hackathons and initiatives like Startup Week Dublin, students’ teamwork, confidence, communication and creativity skills are honed right from the start of their university studies. Students begin to propose and develop their own solutions to business and social problems and they learn through reflection and active learning.

Business education must always strike a balance between hard and soft skills. Participation in Startup Week Dublin helps our students in both those respects while also helping students to hear directly from entrepreneurs on their startup experience.”

Dr Roisin Lyons, LIFE programme coordinator, commented,

“Our initiative aimed to give students these confidence-building opportunities at a scale that could not be achieved in the university alone. We knew that, by collaborating with the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem, we could provide more customized role models and opportunities for our students. 

In addition, the networking opportunities were everywhere for the industry-ready students. The impact of this initiative was palpable during the week itself, and ripple effects continue to be noted. 

During Startup Week, a number of the students won first place at a social innovation hackathon weekend. Others were offered mentorships and internships in the days following startup networking events. Both collaborating entrepreneurship and startup student societies noted a big increase in members following the week of events, with the majority signing up during the events themselves.”

In 2016, DCU Business School was awarded accreditation by AACSB International which is widely recognised as the hallmark of excellence in business education, and has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business schools including London Business School, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. DCU Business School is one of three Irish universities to hold this accreditation.