Course Overview

The Higher Diploma in Business Studies is a part-time postgraduate course designed to provide non-business graduates with a well-rounded understanding of business to advance their careers in a business setting. This course provides training in the fundamental skills of business administration which enables graduates to play an active role in the development and management of business enterprises. Emphasis is placed on individual and group assignments, focusing on developing both applied skills and key interpersonal skills.

This course also provides a pathway for graduates to progress to level 9 postgraduate studies in business.

For engineering graduates, the course is approved as part of the Engineers Ireland’s Registered Training Providers Programme.

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Mode of Study: Online Learning*

*While this course is delivered fully online, students are required to attend campus for accountancy examinations. Students domiciled overseas should contact the Course Administrator regarding exam arrangements in advance of applying for the course.

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This course has been approved by both Next Level Skillnet and Galway Executive Skillnet for a fees subsidy of up to 40% for students whose company is a member of their networks. For more information, contact:
Next Level Skillnet – Sue Davies at:
Galway Executive Skillnet – Eamonn Molloy at:

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning Undergraduate\Postgraduate, CPD, Micro-credentials & Summer School Applications.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.

Applicants require a Level 8 honours degree of H2.2 standard or above to meet entry requirements. This course is open to graduates of any discipline who wish to acquire a grounding in business practices.
Applicants should also possess a good level of computer literacy as this course is taught online.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Students are required to participate in online discussions and activities throughout the year. All modules are individually assessed. Typically, assessments consist of assignments and end of year/end-of-semester examinations. Accountancy exams are held on-campus*. Assessments may include: online activities, essays, written reports, presentations, individual and group projects. Written examinations are required in a limited number of numeracy modules (which take place at the University of Galway).

*Students domiciled overseas should contact the Course Administrator regarding exam arrangements in advance of applying for the course.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a Level 8 honours degree of H2.2 standard or above. This course is open to graduates of any discipline who wish to acquire a grounding in business practices. Applicants are expected to possess a good level of computer literacy.  

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found here (i.e. age, English language requirements etc.). 

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2025

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date
NFQ level


Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting



Higher Diploma


Course code

Course Outline

Course Delivery

This course is delivered online through:

  • Live online lectures
  • Podcasts and presentations (recorded spoken lectures with presentation slides)
  • Screencasts (video recordings, e.g.: a demonstration of how to solve an equation)
  • Reading material, assignments and online discussions

Module Lists

Year 1

  • Information Management for Business I
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Contemporary Management Thought
  • Introduction to Management Accounting
  • Leading and Managing People

Year 2

  • Foundations of Marketing Thought
  • Marketing Management

And select 4 modules from the following options

  • Organisational Psychology and Analysis
  • Business Law I
  • Management of Organisational Change
  • Applied Microeconomics for Business
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Negotiation Skills 
  • Management Skills
  • Implementing Digital Innovation
  • Cases in Marketing Strategy

*The syllabus is subject to change on a cyclical basis. 

Further Education

Graduates may go on to select from a range of level 9 postgraduate courses at the University of Galway or further afield.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates can progress in a diverse range of industries, such as marketing, financial services, information systems and human resources. Graduates can also pursue further postgraduate study at Master’s level, such as the MSc Marketing, MSc Industrial Relations and HR Management courses.


Who’s Suited to This Course

The Higher Diploma in Business studies is suitable if you:

  • Have an interest in business
  • Would like to pursue a career in business
  • Wish to pursue a Master’s degree in business and you do not have a business undergraduate degree
  • Wish to complement your undergraduate degree with a business qualification

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,500 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,430 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees for this course are collected directly by the Centre, please see our staff listing

*Next Level Skillnet and Galway Executive Skillnet funding (40% fee subsidy) is available for this course. You also may be eligible for the Adult Learning Tuition Scholarship, find out more here.

Find out More

Course Administrator
Tel: 091 495786

What Our Students Say


Eric Corcoran |   Student

I decided to choose this course because I was already working as a full-time teacher abroad in the UAE and my time was quite limited. However, this course was very flexible and I was able to study and work around my timetable. Another pull factor for this course was the opportunity to complete a level 8 course from a highly reputable university which would only add to my employability and open further doors for me in terms of my teaching career. Access to the online lectures, podcasts and other learning materials around the clock made it an easy decision to enrol for this course. All lectures were made available via live online sessions. They were then saved and could be re-watched later. This was very convenient and was important to me as sometimes I was not free to attend live lectures due to time-zone constraints. Assessments were also flexible and I even managed to sit a Financial Accounting exam online from a hotel room in Istanbul! Again, the adaptability of Louise and the lecturers made this possible. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone. It is highly flexible and the course is organised fantastically well. The lecturers are very accessible and professional.