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 Digital Marketing, MSc Marketing Practice or a 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 University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System. 

Who Teaches this Course

MG3102 Work in a Global Context—Maria Batischeva

Miss Natasha Louise Caulfield
B.Comm., ACA
Lecturer Above The Bar
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Dip, MSc., PhD.
Senior Lecturer
J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics
University of Galway
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Dr Johanna Clancy
B.Comm, MBS, Ph.D
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Mr Michael Campion
B.E., M.Eng.Sc, M.B.A.
J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics
Newcastle Road
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Ms Mary Barrett
Dip.B.A, ACCA, M.B.S.
Dept. of Accountancy & Finance
Room 362
Cairne's Building
University of Galway
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Mr John Austin Currie
B.Comm., M.B.S.,
Lecturer Bar/College Lecturer
Dept. of Accountancy & Finance
Room 377
Cairnes Building
University of Galway
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Dr. Gerard Turley
Lecturer Above The Bar
Dept. of Economics
First Floor, St. Anthony's
NUI Galway
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Dr Jason Harold
Lecturer Above The Bar
School of Business & Economics
University of Galway
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Ms. Nicola Murphy
Dept. of Law
Tower 2, Arts/Science Building
NUI Galway
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Ms. Anna-Louise Hinds
B.Corp Law, LLB, LLM
Dept. of Law
Tower 2, Arts/Science Building
NUI Galway
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Prof Jonathan Levie
Professor of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
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Dr Deirdre Curran
B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD.
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B.Comm, H.Dip in Ed, MBS
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Dr Sheila Malone
Lecturer Above The Bar
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Dr Murray Scott
B.A., M.A., H.Dip Sys Anl., M.Comm, PhD
Lecturer (Above the Bar)
J.E.Cairnes School of Business & Economics
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Dr David Kreps
PhD, MA (Phil), MA, BA(Hons)
Senior Lecturer
Business & Economics
University of Galway
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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

Normally a degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent). IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent, if applicable.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


1 academic year (September–May)

Next start date

September 2024

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.



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'.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required AY3103: Introduction to Financial Management - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required EC5133: Principles of Economics for Business - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required AY5123: Accounting and Financial Analysis - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required MG524: Management - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required MK204: Marketing Principles - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required MS873: Management Information Systems I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional SBE5116: Global Studies - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional SBE5115: Global Studies - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional SBE3114: Global Studies - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL060: Recognised Prior Learning - 60 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL045: Recognised Prior Learning - 45 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL040: Recognised Prior Learning - 40 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL035: Recognised Prior Learning - 35 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL030: Recognised Prior Learning - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL025: Recognised Prior Learning - 25 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL020: Recognised Prior Learning - 20 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL015: Recognised Prior Learning - 15 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL010: Recognised Prior Learning - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL005: Recognised Prior Learning - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional MG3118: HRM & Decent Work - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MK341: Brand Management - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MK303: Global Marketing - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MK203: Buyer Behaviour Analysis - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional LW190: Business Law 1 - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional AY209: International Financial Reporting I - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional LW428: European Union Law II - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional AY874: Accounting For Management Decisions - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional AY875: Financial Management II - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MG2101: Entrepreneurial Venture Development - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional EC2101: Macroeconomics and the Business Environment - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MS2100: Cybersecurity - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MS4101: Implementing Digital Innovation - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MS319: Enterprise Systems - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MG3102: Work in a Global Context - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required MG3109: Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MS203: Information Systems Management - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional MS412: Information Systems Innovation - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional AY206: Financial Accounting I - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional LW160.DB: Business Law - 5 Credits - Semester 2

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 Bank, Bank of Ireland, HSE, Medtronic, AVIVA, Salesforce and Morgan McKinley. Every year a number of graduates pursue further postgraduate study at master’s level, such as the MSc Marketing Practice, MSc Information Systems Management, MSc International Management and MSc Human Resources Management. 



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

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,140 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€7,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€14,500 p.a. (€14,640 including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2024/25).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  A P1 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

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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