Course Overview

IMPORTANT: please note this course is not on offer for entry 2023.

Have you studied some economics, but wish to do more, and perhaps go on to a Masters degree? Or, if you haven’t studied economics but have a degree, would you like to begin? The Higher Diploma in Economic Science may be the programme for you

The Higher Diploma in Economic Science is an intensive and challenging two-semester taught programme in core economic theory and methods. In addition, a variety of specialist options are provided. It is mainly intended for those aiming for entry to a Master’s degree programme but who have not yet studied economics in sufficient depth for direct entry. It is attractive to those with scientific and engineering backgrounds, as well as humanities, business and social sciences graduates.

Did you know?

A combined fee arrangement applies to those students who complete this programme and subsequently are admitted to one of the three Masters in Economics at NUI Galway (i.e., MEconSc International Finance, MSc Health Economics, and MSc Global Environmental economics). In these cases, the Higher Diploma is treated as the first year of a two-year programme, with the second (Masters) year involving a lower fee. Non-EU students can apply for concessions of up to €3,000 off the fees of the Masters in Economics programmes. Contact the programme director for details.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is typically by way of a combination of end-of-semester written examinations and continuous assessment components, in particular, term papers and project work.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate honours degree (NFQ Level 8) or equivalent with some economics modules or modules of a quantitative/mathematical/statistical nature. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent, if applicable.

Additional Requirements


Two semesters

Next start date

NOTE: this course is not on offer for entry 2023.

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

NOTE: this course is not on offer for entry 2023.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting



Course code


Course Outline


Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates, who typically go on to take a Master’s in Economics degree, build a variety of careers in private and public sectors, ranging from analyst work in financial services and health sectors, to public sector and consulting roles in economic analysis.

Graduates have found employment in such companies as Sustainable Energy Ireland; KPMG, AIB and PayPal and in government departments and agencies. 

Economics Graduates

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,490 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€6,350 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€13,690 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


Radhika Sharma |   Current Master in Health Economics Science Student

"The Higher Diploma in Economics Science course provided me with the opportunity to participate in various research projects. Coming from a BA in political science background the Higher Diploma in Economics Science was a great foundation. The program was very intensive, but the lecturers were very helpful and accommodating. I would highly recommend this course as it prepared me for MSc in Health Economics, and it allowed me to explore new directions."

Ally Couchman |   MSc in Global Environmetal Economics Science Student

The HDip Economics was a great foundation for the MSc Global Environmental Economics that I am studying for now. The mix of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year undergraduate modules is well structured and enabled me, as someone who has never studied economics before, to get a good handle on the subject and be well prepared for the Masters program. The combination of general economics with more specialised areas gave me a great insight into how broad and diverse economics is, and I would highly recommend this course.

Conan Shine |   Economist at Department of Health, Ireland

I highly recommend this course coming from a background in Mathematics the course is diverse and has multiple choices to gain experience within different types of Economics. This course has left me feeling prepared to begin a Masters in Health Economics in September.

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