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 Logo 2022

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

Mode of Study: Online Learning

Galway Executive Skillnet Logo

Applicants to this course may be eligible for a fees subsidy from Galway Executive Skillnet. For more information, contact: 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.

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

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.

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 here (i.e. age, English language requirements etc.).

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1 year, part-time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date
NFQ level


Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting





Course code

Course Outline

Modules are as follows:

Semester 1
Business Law I
Organisational Psychology and Analysis
Leading and Managing People

Semester 2
Management Skills
Critical Thinking
Negotiation Skills

Further Education

Graduates may go on to select from a range of level 8 and 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 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

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,500 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,430 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€3,000 2024/25

*Galway Executive Skillnet funding 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


Kevin Fitzgerald |   Graduate

Engaging in the diploma has helped me develop a grounding in business skills. The course is challenging but well-paced over two semesters. Overall the experience was immensely enjoyable and practical. I developed skills & knowledge in the areas of management & personal development, business law & contracts, negotiation, HR practices & critical thinking which I could apply in my job immediately. There was a good mix of live lectures & discussions, lots of preloaded material and up-to-date knowledge on key business topics. Being part-time allowed me to manage this workload outside of work & family. Personally the course has benefited me by gaining a recognized business qualification. It has given me transferrable skills to self-reflect on my management style, approach business decisions with fresh eyes and fresh inputs. I listen more – seek to understand and be understood – and skills learnt started to bring more value in my day-to-day projects and activities. Professionally I have used this course to fill a gap in my resume around business education, this has provided me new tools, techniques and skills to approach my job in a different way.