New online masters in co-op and social enterprise launched

A new online Masters Degree course in Co-operative and Social Enterprise has been launched today, Thursday, July 9, by ICOS Skillnet for the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) co-op members.

The course has been developed in conjunction with University College Cork UCC Business School and Institute of Co-operative Studies and will be delivered by UCC leading to a Master of Science qualification.

Billy Goodburn, head of learning and development, ICOS Skillnet, said:

This will be a two-year online programme with first enrollments starting now and the programme will start in September.

“The new Master of Science programme aims to equip participants with the skills to participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in cooperatives and social enterprises.”

Goodburn highlighted that the masters is, like ICOS’ other programmes, “designed to enhance leadership skills and capabilities” throughout the Irish cooperative sector, “which is a major contributor to the economy including Ireland’s essential renewal and recovery following from the current pandemic crisis”.

‘Leadership level’

According to the co-op organisation, the new programme works to develop the capacity of senior practitioners in cooperative enterprises to respond creatively to the development needs of their business and those of the wider community and society.

It is also beneficial as it “provides learners combining family responsibilities and full-time jobs with access to postgraduate and personal development opportunities”.

The specialist new course is highly practical and assignment based. It includes subjects such as cooperative and social enterprise governance, marketing, innovation, leadership and change management and other specialist subjects, and requires a research dissertation to be completed.

ICOS Skillnet also recently launched two free online training courses for management and employees which will help organisations and businesses to meet the requirements of the government’s Return to Work Safely Protocol.