Higher Diploma in Business

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps



The Higher Diploma in Business is a conversion course for non-business graduates who wish to acquire core business skills which will enable graduates play an active role in the management, sustainability and development of commercial enterprise. Graduates will, upon completion of this programme, enter the business world and/or progress to a management role within a general or specific field or sub-field of business. Throughout the course learners will have acquired the necessary skills and business acumen to strategically appraise business opportunities and challenges and effectively integrate into decision-making roles with an organisation. The Higher Diploma in Business will see graduates being capable of dealing with diverse intrinsic and extrinsic opportunities and challenges in the business world and do so in a creative fashion promoting business sustainability and growth. Graduates will be also be in a position take up further Level 9 postgraduate studies. 

Aims of the Programme

The specific programme objectives are to: 

  • Equip learners with an understanding of the theory and principles underlying business function(s) and administration.

  • Advance in learners an appropriate expertise in the major aspects of business, and an awareness of core disciplines.

  • Develop a range of key interpersonal skills, characteristics and attitudes to learners to work professionally, individually and in a team.

  • Cultivate in learners a range of key skills, personal qualities and attitudes essential to 
    support progression to a career in business or to further academic study.

  • Develop learner capacity to organise diverse information, arguments, and conclusions and present them in a clear coherent way.

  • Relate business principles, concepts and theories and frameworks to a wide range of 
    business and industry settings.

  • Understand the various functions of business and demonstrate this awareness by producing a multi-faceted and innovative business strategy.

  • Enable learners to apply their learning through in their professional lives reflecting their professional and personal development. 


Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the Higher Diploma in Business are:

  • A Level 8 primary undergraduate honours degree with a minimum Pass classification from a recognised third level institution in a non-cognate area.

  • For applicants whose first language is not English and who have not previously undertaken a degree taught through English, evidence must be provided of proficiency in English language equivalent to B2+ or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). This must be evidenced through a recognised English Language test such as IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, PTE or DBS English Assessment. Test certificates should be dated within the last two years to be considered valid.


Applicants who do not have a Level 8 qualification at a pass award level and who have at least 3 years’ work experience may also be considered through the college’s normal RPL procedures.  Relevant professional experience may be taken into account and individuals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis through DBS RPL procedures.


Student Testimonial

"I was looking for a post grad in Dublin, that wasn’t as specialized as a masters and I found a course in DBS. I didn’t do business as my undergrad so I wanted to choose a post grad that gave me a taste of what the business world had to offer.

I liked the small classes, it gave me the opportunity to get to know everyone. I felt that my lecturers were fantastic and they really encouraged me and gave me good feedback, which allowed me to excel in the course.

Before I began the course, I felt quite lost, not knowing what I wanted to do, whereas now I have more of an idea in the direction I want to go with my career. I’m hoping to either be working in a marketing firm or set up my own business. Having finished my course, I feel a lot more confident in myself. When I go to interviews, I feel like the employer can see I have the knowledge to back everything up that I’m saying.”

Laoise Grennan
Higher Diploma in Business


Course Content


Core Modules

Management and Organisational Behaviour 


Business ICT

Legal Issues for Business 


Professional Skills for Personal

Human Capital Management 

Strategic Marketing 

Business Finance 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Business Strategy (Capstone) 


Student assessment will be based on a combination of continuous assessment and end of semester examinations. Continuous assessment will involve a number of assessment methods, including research essays, analysis of case studies, practical assessments and projects. For the purpose of continuous assessment students will be required to work individually and in groups. End of semester examinations will usually be closed book, timed constrained written examinations, which will feature a range of question styles.


The Higher Diploma in Business programme comprises 60 ECTS. The programme has ten 5 ECTS module and one 10 ECTS module with the latter acting as a capstone. In the full-time mode, 60 ECTS will be delivered in one academic year over two academic semesters. In part-time mode, 60 ECTS be delivered over eighteen months, three academic semesters. 
Semester one lays the groundwork for the programme. This semester encompasses foundational modules such as Management and Organisational Behaviour and Marketing as well as Business ICT and focuses on providing a solid and comprehensive understanding of the relevant concepts, such as a proficiency in the use of ICT and the interpretation of the Legal Issues in Business and the economic backdrop to the business environment. 
Semester two builds on this by covering Human Capital Management, Strategic Marketing, Business Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as Business Strategy in which the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the first semester can be employed. Soft skill or competency based modules are found in Semester 1 namely Professional Skills for Personal Development, specifically from a business-oriented perspective. The modules when taken together provide key skills for enabling the execution of strategic changes based on insights from interdisciplinary outputs such as marketing or ICT to ensure agility within the market. 
Business Strategy is proposed as a Capstone module capture the learning acquired in semester one as well as previous learning and experience. To synthesise learning into a strategic report is a key graduate attribute and ensures the diversity of modules on the programme are linked and interrelated as they would be in a contemporary business organisation within a global business environment. 
Taken together these skills will enable graduates to secure job positions in industry in the diverse field of business. 


Career Opportunities

Graduates, upon completion of this programme, will be able to enter the business world and/or progress to a management role within a general or specific field or subfield of business. Throughout the course learners, acquire the necessary skills and business acumen to strategically appraise business opportunities and challenges and effectively integrate into decision-making roles with an organisation. The Higher Diploma in Business produces graduates capable of dealing with diverse intrinsic and extrinsic opportunities and challenges in the business world and do so in a creative fashion promoting business and commercial enterprise sustainability and growth. Graduates therefore, are in a position take up further Level 9 postgraduate studies as well as enter the field of business professionally. 

graduates will have the skills necessary to move into a management role within a variety of business functions such as marketing, people management or management of a department such as ICT within an organisations. They will have the business expertise to take a strategic view of business opportunities and challenges, and graduates will effectively integrate cutting edge analytics into decision-making in their company. In this way, the Higher Diploma in Business offers a consolidated and emphasised focus on strategic business decision-making fully integrated with personal and professional skills development as an effective means to improve business performance, productivity and efficiency. 



The course fees for the next academic year are €6,400 full-time, and €6,400 for 16 months for EU students. This covers the cost of tuition, registration and examinations.

Click here to view international fees. 

Click here to view EU fees.

You can also contact our admissions team who would be happy to discuss the options available for you.

Please note also that there is tax relief for Irish income tax payers at the standard rate of 20% on all fees exceeding €1,000 and up to €7,000. 

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS (https://www.dbs.ie/terms-and-conditions) and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

Improve your employability

All of our postgraduate courses offer strong links with industry and the professional world and often carry accreditation from professional bodies. By choosing to study at postgraduate level, not only do you gain valuable skills and experience but you also demonstrate your determination to succeed in a chosen career. Far from being a postponement to employment, postgraduate study can help you progress further and faster in your chosen career. And, if you're not certain what direction you would like your future to take, further study can provide a secure and structured space to help you find out through exploring your strengths and interests. 

Gain skills for success

During your undergraduate degree you will have developed a strong foundation of transferable skills. Postgraduate study will build on this base, giving you the opportunity to put these highly valuable skills in to practice. You will also gain invaluable practical working examples that you can go on to use at interview to set you apart from other candidates.

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about DBS and learn more about the Higher Diploma in Business. As well as experiencing our outstanding facilities, you'll have the opportunity to receive personalised advice from academics from your subject area, meet current postgraduate students and also have your questions answered on general subjects such as entry requirements, student support and the admissions process.

EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation:

  • Academic Transcripts (Original & Official English Translation where issued in another language). Applicants who have previously attended DBS need not provide this documentation. 

  • Proof of Identification (Birth Certificate, Drivers Licence or Passport)  

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent) where full time study has been conducted in a language other than English or applicants whose first language is not English.

Please see programme content for any course-specific additional application procedures.

In addition to the above, in the instance of Non-EU applicants who have residency in Ireland:

  • A copy of your GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) Card, Work permit (if applicable) & Passport.

  • The letter that was issued to you by the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform stating why you were provided with the above documentation 

International Students/ Non EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation: 

  • Academic documents

  • Academic transcripts

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent)

  • A Curriculum Vitae

  • A copy of your passport

Please note that copies of all documentation must be submitted, and that it must be translated into English where issued in another language. Please do not send original documents as these will not be returned.

Dublin Business School has a number of overseas offices and representatives worldwide. Please contact us if you wish to receive further details on your closest DBS representative.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Postgraduate Diploma
NFQ Level: 
Level 8
Award Title: 
Higher Diploma in Business
Award Type:
Duration: Full-Time: 1 Year
Part-Time: 2 Years
Next Intake: September 2023

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2023. Contact our admissions team for more information

Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm