Course Overview

**Business Conversion Programme Available to Non-Business and Business Graduates**

This Higher Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) programme is designed to provide you as a non-business graduate with a well-rounded understanding of business. It is a skills conversion graduate programme for individuals who hold a primary degree in another discipline (e.g. Arts, Engineering, Science) and would like to enter into business-related career or progress into a postgraduate business programme. You will be educated in the fundamental skills of business administration, enabling you to play an active role in the management and development of business enterprises. All modules assume no previous knowledge of the subject.

This programme provides you with the fundamental skills to work in business, and will complement your existing degree. It also provides you with an opportunity for further postgraduate study, with exemptions provided from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) exams.

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

This conversion programme can be the first step to a postgraduate business degree programme, such as the MSc in Human Resource Management, MSc (International Marketing and Enterpreneurship) or standalone qualification in its own right, and is highly valued by employers. It can also provide an opportunity if you didn’t feel you reached your full potential at undergraduate level to redress the balance.



Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System. 

Who Teaches this Course

DBS Lecturers Semester 1& 2 2020/21

Semester 1

AY5123 Accounting & Financial Analysis - Natasha Caulfield

AY872 Financial Management - Cathal O’Curraoin

EC5133 Principles of Economics for Business - Breda Lally

MG524 Management - Geraldine Grady

MK204 Marketing Principles - Tina Flaherty

MS873 Management Information Systems - Lorraine Morgan

Semester 2

Compulsory Module

Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise - Johanna Clancy/Michael Campion

Optional Modules

AY209 International Financial Reporting - Mary Barrett

AY874 Accounting for Management Decisions - John Currie

AY875 Financial Management II - Cathal O’Curraoin

EC2101 Macroeconomics and the Business Environment - Ger Turley/Jason Harold

LW190 Business Law I - Nicola Murphy

LW428 EU Law - Anna-Louise Hinds

MG2101 Entrepreneurial Venture Development - Jonathon Levie

MG3102 Work in a Global Context - Maria Batischeva

MG325 Employment Relations - Deirdre Curran

MK203 Buyer Behaviour - Maura O’Connell

MK303 Global Marketing - Sheila Malone

MK341 Brand Management - Tina Flaherty

MS2100 Cybersecurity - Michael Lang

MS319 Enterprise Systems - Murray Scott

MS4101 Implementing Digital Innovation - David Kreps/Lorraine Morgan

Requirements and Assessment

Semester One exams: December.
Semester Two exams: April/May. A range of assessment methods are applied throughout the programme. These include essays, projects, reports, presentations and case studies.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The programme is open to degree holders from a university or other recognised degree-awarding body. Applicants should hold an NFQ Level 8 qualification or equivalent; IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent, if applicable.

Additional Requirements


1 academic year (September–May)

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

This programme includes core modules on Accounting, Financial Management, Economics, Management, Marketing Principles, Management Information Systems, and Communications in Organisations. A wide range of optional modules (may be subject to change) are also available to students in Semester Two, which include Accounting for Management Decisions, Macroeconomics, Employment Relations, Global Marketing, Cybersecurity, and Business Law. The range of modules available allows students to either specialise in a particular discipline or to study a broad range of business subjects.

Students will enjoy these modules alongside other business students in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics.



Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates get jobs in a diverse range of industries, such as marketing, financial services, information systems and human resources. Graduates have been employed by Allied Irish Banks (Credit Management), First Derivatives and Zurich Treasury Services. Every year a number of graduates pursue further postgraduate study at Master’s level, such as the MSc Marketing, MSc Industrial Relations and HR Management programmes.



Who’s Suited to This Course

The Higher Diploma in Business studies is suitable for you if you:

  • have an interest in business
  • would like to pursue a career in business
  • wish to pursue a Masters degree in business and you do not have a business undergraduate degree
  • wish to complement your undergraduate degree with a business qualification
  • like working in teams
  • wish to develop your communication skills

Learning Outcomes

The Higher Diploma in Business equips students with knowledge of the fundamentals of business that can be applied in any organisational setting. Upon graduation you will:

  • have acquired skills in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Economics and Information Systems
  • be able to work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multi-disciplinary settings together with the capacity to undertake lifelong learning
  • display mature literacy and comprehension of business subject matter
  • be able to apply the concepts and skills learnt in a variety of business contexts
  • identify, analyse and solve business problems
  • be able to communicate effectively using written, oral or presentation skills


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,246 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,106 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€13,166 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

What Our Students Say


Mark Towey |   MSc in Business Analytics student

What I really enjoyed about the programme was that it gives you a great introduction to all aspects of business. In the first semester you study the core modules, and in the second semester you can branch off into the subjects and modules that you found most interesting or were best at. I found the programme very well laid out, there was a clear structure for every module. A lot of the modules had tutorials which I found very helpful. The lecturers for each module were also very helpful and accessible. I found the course gave me great clarity as to what path I wanted to take in my career. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it.

Michelle Murray |   Buyer/Planner at Medtronic

The DBS came at the perfect time as I wanted a career change from the education sector and business was something I really wanted to try my hand at. This course gave me the opportunity to completely change my path, challenge myself and excel in an area I hadn't worked in before.

Kevin Armstrong |   Principal Consultant at Morgan McKinley

Graduating from an undergraduate degree at NUI Galway, the HDip in Business Studies program was an easy choice for me. Like many others, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Geography but was unsure of what to do next. The HDip in Business Studies provides an accessible route into the world of Business for non-business graduates, it also qualifies graduates to go on and pursue the vast majority of Business Masters programs. My favourite aspect of the program was the wide array of Business areas that are covered, it provides a solid grounding in disciplines such as Marketing, Economics, Management and much more. I believe this course is invaluable preparation for working in any sector, not just Business. It would furnish any undergraduate degree to provide a well-rounded education, as well as opening doors to new areas.

Damien Gunning |   Regional Sales Manager at Land O'Lakes, Inc. Connect Messag

I feel that the DBS will be a stepping stone in my academic life and firmly believe it will help contribute greatly to my study of another strand of the business learning curve.

Sarah Gilchrist |   Analyst, Investor Services

I have gained invaluable experience in working as part of a team and communicating effectively. The size of the class is relatively small (approx. 50 students) so we all got to know one another quite well, which made the course and year even more enjoyable. The focus on group assignments and team work has provided invaluable experience and developed my ability to work as part of a team, a skill which is valued highly by all potential employers.

Mark Naughton |   Business Development Associate at Salesforce

I chose NUIG because of my love for Galway city accompanied by the great experience I had here throughout my undergraduate degree. This degree appealed to me because I wanted to gain a broad knowledge of the various aspects of business and increase my overall business acumen.

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