Course Overview

The Diploma in Critical Business Skills aims to enable those with non-business backgrounds, to fulfil their potential and progress to middle management roles. The course is designed to develop critical business skills required to contribute to economic development and productivity within their organisation or elsewhere.

The syllabus will use methods of self-reflection to evaluate personal performance and professional development. Participants will assess personal strengths, characteristics and skills that impact on workplace performance. They will design strategies to enhance personal and organisational strengths and manage weaknesses. Graduates will develop valuable leadership and management skills required to maximise their team's contribution to the organisation. Negotiation skills are a key skill in a wide range of business contexts, such as contracts, deal-making, employment discussions, team building, and disputes. This course will enable graduates to understand, accommodate and manage individual differences through constructive negotiations.

Engineers Ireland 2020 logo

The Diploma in Critical Business Skills is approved by Engineers Ireland as a CPD learning opportunity for engineers.

Visit our Business Students Launchpad for sample learning material, tips for online learning & time management and further information on getting started with NUI Galway as a part-time learner.

 

Applications and Selections

Apply Online*

*This course is now full & is no longer taking applications for 2020.

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

NB: Applicants must have a level 7 award in any discipline of no less than 90 ECTS.

This course is also available through Springboard, find out more here.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of written assignments, online activities and a block release workshop in semester 2 for the module Negotiation Skills.

Notice: with the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have decided to move classroom-based courses and blended learning seminars to a fully online teaching mode for Semester 1 of the academic year 2020/21. The Semester 2 teaching schedule will be reviewed over the coming months in line with government restrictions and social distancing guidelines. This decision has been made to ensure the safety of students & staff and our desire to continue to provide upskilling and professional development opportunities for all. If you have any queries regarding the format of online delivery mode, please contact your course administrator for further details.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a level 7 award in any discipline of no less than 90 ECTS. Three years of industry experience is desirable, but not essential. General entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, English language requirements etc.).


Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, part-time

Next start date

September

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

25

Closing Date

Closed

NFQ level

8

Mode of study

Online

ECTS weighting

30

Award

Diploma

CAO

Course code

Course Outline

The modules in this Diploma are as follows:
 
Semester 1
Business Law 1
Organisation Psychology and Analysis
Leading and Managing People
 
Semester 2
Management Skills
Critical Thinking
Negotiation Skills

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

Credits
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.
Module
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.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (30 Credits)

Required MG1111: Critical Thinking


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The module will introduce learners to the concept of critical thinking and its associated skills and applications. Participants will learn about the basic concepts of critical thinking, what it means to think critically, how to think critically and why critical thinking competence is valuable. It will endeavour to build the necessary critical thinking skills required for academic research.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe skills and dispositions associated with critical thinking
  2. Evaluate the structure, strengths and weaknesses of arguments, with respect to their credibility, relevance, logical strength, balance and bias
  3. Draw reasonable conclusions through the gathering of credible, relevant, logical and unbiased information
  4. Apply critical thinking skills to real-world tasks such as: argumentation, verbal reasoning, hypothesis testing, judging likelihood and uncertainty, and problem-solving
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Critical thinking skills. New York:" by Cottrell
    ISBN: ISBN023028529.
    Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
The above information outlines module MG1111: "Critical Thinking " and is valid from 2020 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MG8103: Organisational Psychology and Analysis


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

The behaviour of individuals is the workplace is affected by a range of individual, group, and organisational factors which in turn impact on a range of outcomes at different levels. The purpose of this module is to provide students with an understanding of why people behave the way they do in organisations and at work to give students the knowledge of how human behaviour affects organisational functioning.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify the major behavioural science disciplines that contribute to OB while identifying the challenges and opportunities managers have in applying OB concepts.
  2. Recognise and describe how organisations manage diversity effectively.
  3. Identify early theories of motivation and evaluate their applicability today
  4. Give examples of various motivation models and evaluate how these can measure motivation.
  5. Define the stages of group development and demonstrate how groups exert influence on individual behaviour.
  6. Contrast groups and teams and analyse the growing popularity of teams in organisations.
  7. Describe the communication process and distinguish between formal and informal communication.
  8. Define the characteristics that create and sustain an organisation's culture.
  9. Describe the communication process and distinguish between formal and informal communication.
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Organisational Behaviour" by Christine Cross,Ronan Carbery
    ISBN: 1137429445.
    Publisher: Red Globe Press
The above information outlines module MG8103: "Organisational Psychology and Analysis" and is valid from 2020 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MG7102: Leading and Managing People


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This course provides a solid foundation to the study of Leading and Managing People. The material delivered and presented highlights the practicality of the issues involved in work and employment, and specifically in managing and leading people. People management is essentially about leading and managing people in a way that both maximises and rewards the contribution each individual makes in the organisation. This course introduces content such as recruitment and selection of employees, how to reward, employment terms and conditions, leading and developing talent, international HRM, and other facets of managing the employment relationship.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the main functions of the People Management function, including identification of the key activities and theoretical basis of HRM
  2. Discuss employee resourcing and development, including planning, recruitment and selection, and rewarding employees
  3. Evaluate the employment relationship, including equality in the workplace, learning and development, and employee wellbeing.
  4. Develop understanding of leading people in an international context, and the corporate social responsibility of the organisation.
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Human Resource Management: A Concise Introduction" by Carbery, R., & Cross, C.,
    ISBN: 9781137009395.
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
The above information outlines module MG7102: "Leading and Managing People" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MK8104: Negotiation Skills


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Negotiation is a dialogue to discover common ground among parties with differing aims, needs and perspectives in order to achieve a solution that as far as possible meets people's interests. It is a process by which parties pursue a mutually acceptable outcome, which typically involves elements of creativity and compromise. Negotiation Skills explore how two or more parties with competing interests discuss and manage issues so as to attain an agreement, settle a matter of mutual concern, or resolve a conflict. Negotiation is a valuable leadership and management skill, which is employed in a wide range of business contexts, such as contracts, deal-making, employment discussions, team building and disputes. Negotiations occur in commercial, non-profit and governmental organisations.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Comparing distributive and integrative negotiations, as well as identifying the sub-process of negotiations.
  2. Distinguishing between interests and positions, as well as outlining the elements of principled negotiations.
  3. Applying active listening techniques and investigating the joint outcome space through BATNA, ZOPA and anchoring.
  4. Exploring the agent-client dynamics in negotiations and crafting solutions via standards and persuasion.
  5. Managing hardball tactics and non-engagement, as well as identifying ethical issues in negotiations.
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In." by Fisher, R & Ury, W.
    ISBN: 13: 978-18479.
    Publisher: Random House Business.
  2. "Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most" by Stone, D, Patton, B & Heen, S.
    ISBN: 13: 978-06709.
    Publisher: Viking Reissue
The above information outlines module MK8104: "Negotiation Skills" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MG8101: Management Skills


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Management Skills is a module designed to help you to apply the knowledge that you are developing through your other modules. It is based on the premise that how you act in a business setting is often as important as what you know. Because management requires such a wide range of skills, all managers need to regularly assess their skill competency. Through self-assessment exercises and a learning journal, this module will encourage you to begin a process of selfevaluation that should continue throughout your career. Although they are called ‘management’ skills, many of these are ‘social’ skills. To be a good manager, you need to work well with colleagues at various levels within your organisation. This module will encourage you to evaluate your behaviour, to change your behaviour and to assess the impact of that change. Management skills can be developed in a variety of ways. Within work, you may seek additional training or changes to your job so that you can acquire and practise different skills. Further education provides opportunities to improve your analytical, communication and team skills, to name but a few. Outside of work, you may pursue voluntary activities that require skills that you do not use on your job. This module will encourage you to design strategies that you can use to develop your skills inside and outside of work.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Use methods of self-reflection to evaluate personal performance and professional development
  2. Assess personal strengths, characteristics and skills that impact on workplace performance
  3. Design strategies to build on strengths and continue skill development
  4. Use skills to resolve real and case-study problems
  5. Constructively engage with classroom colleagues to understand, accommodate and manage individual differences
  6. Demonstrate your progress through the assignments developed by your tutor
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Developing management skills" by Whetten, D. & Cameron, K.
    Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall
The above information outlines module MG8101: "Management Skills" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional MG440.4: Management of Organisational Change


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

The aim of this module is to understand and recognise the various levels of change within an organisation, and to appreciate the impact change can have on staff and on the motivation and productivity of a group. Students will be required to engage and reflect on events happening in the business world around them, and produce creative solutions to challenges emerging.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss and analyse the impact of Change Management as a key contemporary business skill.
  2. Define organisational change, and discuss change levers and interventions.
  3. Apply change models and frameworks to different situations and contexts.
  4. Identify the most appropriate style of management when faced with a set of circumstances.
  5. Improve decision making and communication skills as a manager for dynamic situations.
  6. Interpret attitudes and behaviours towards organisational change.
  7. Identify problems facing change agents.
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Organization Development and Change" by Thomas G. Cummings,Christopher G. Worley
    ISBN: 9781133190455.
    Publisher: Cengage Learning
The above information outlines module MG440.4: "Management of Organisational Change" and is valid from 2020 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional LW3118: Business Law I


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

The overall aim of the module is to introduce students to fundamental principles of business law and elements of the legal framework within which enterprises operate.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Give an overview of the Irish legal system and the various sources of law in Ireland
  2. Explain the fundamentals of contract law
  3. Outline the legal framework concerning contracts for the sale of goods
  4. Outline the legal framework concerning employment contracts
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
  • Department-based Assessment (70%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Essentials of Irish Business Law" by Aine Keenan
    ISBN: 9780717152612.
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
  2. "Essentials of Irish Business Law" by Vaeni Mac Donnell
    ISBN: 9781910374337.
    Publisher: Chartered Accountants of Ireland
The above information outlines module LW3118: "Business Law I" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Further Education

Graduates may go on to select from a range of level 8 and 9 postgraduate courses at NUI 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.

Who’s Suited to This Course

This course is suitable for those with non-business backgrounds. This course is designed to develop digital, transversal, management and leadership skills within graduates. Graduates should also develop the fundamental skills necessary to adapt to market trends and prepare for the future.

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates should be able to: 

  • Understand the relevant business regulations and legislation
  • Achieve key analytical, critical thinking, negotiating and leadership skills required for business success
  • Critically examine the national and global business environments to identifying market needs and trends

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,400 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€2,288 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€112 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€2,900 p.a. 2020/21

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2020_21 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Louise Coyle
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
Nuns’ Island, NUI Galway, Galway
Tel: + 353 91 495786
Email: louise.coyle@nuigalway.ie

 

Downloads

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