Business Studies Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Business is what fuels economies around the world and it affects just about every aspect of our lives. Broadly speaking, Business Studies courses are concerned with providing students with training in the core functions involved in the exchange of goods, services and information. These include elements such as management, HR, advertising and marketing, economics, finance and e-business management.

Business Studies courses have traditionally enjoyed great popularity among students due to their wide-ranging nature, the versatility they offer and the wealth of options they provide for specialisation in a specific area. This popularity is likely bolstered by the fact that graduates of Business Studies courses and programmes are not only highly employable and much sought after; they are generally awarded good salaries too.

What does it involve

Business methods have changed over the last number of years with the advent of the internet and digital and mobile technologies. Naturally, college courses have also changed in an effort to adapt to industry demands and prepare the next wave of entrepreneurs and innovators for future success.

Due to the ongoing relevance of, and demand for, business studies courses and programmes, prospective students have a wide array of study options available to them. Certificate-level courses, for instance, are often a good place for newcomers to the area to get started. A Certificate in Business Studies will provide students with a systematic introduction to modern business theory and practice. While course participants will be given training in such crucial topics as accounting techniques, research and quantitative methods, the HRM function in modern organisations and marketing strategies, they will also learn to develop their awareness of companies economic, social, cultural and ethical environments.

Those wishing to supplement their existing skills and training may also consider enrolling on a Diploma/Higher Diploma in Business Studies. These conversion courses are specifically designed to introduce student to the basic principles of business theory and practise through modules in business law, research methods, economics and integrated marketing communications. Such courses will likewise enable students to develop the necessary skills in respect of recording, summarising and interpreting. They will also learn to appreciate the role of accounting in planning, decision-making and control. In addition, many course providers also offer students the opportunity to gain practical work experience on a four-month placement, with the possibility of full-time employment.

The most popular entry route into the business world, however, is via the Degree in Business a qualification offered at numerous colleges and institutions around the country. All BA in Business programmes feature a wide array of subject choices and specialist streams that will enable students to effectively contribute to the resolution of business problems and prepare them for the challenges posed by the modern business environment. Some of the key disciplines that will be tackled on a degree course include ICT, law, psychology, finance and marketing. In each of these, students will be encouraged to develop their analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills through project work, presentations and assignments all of which are designed to prepare them for employment in the private and public sectors, or for further education.

Online courses in Business Studies are also an excellent option for those who are unable for whatever reasons to attend a course in person. These allow students to learn at their own pace as they can upload assignments, perform online assessments and use online discussion forums to interact with both students and tutors.

Why do it

Businesses of all sizes and types will always need qualified business personnel if they are to achieve success and growth. Naturally, this means that obtaining employees with a strong understanding of business concepts, ideas and methodologies will be a priority for employers. A qualification in Business Studies will prepare graduates to meet this need and will provide them with a wide skills base that can be transferred to almost any working environment.

In addition to this, part-time courses in Business Studies will also equip learners with the knowledge and insight they need to realise their entrepreneurial goals as they will teach students how to come up with a business plan and go about setting up their own business.

What comes next

Graduates of business studies courses with a Business qualification have gone into a wide range of careers including accountancy, financial services, sales and marketing, public relations, events management, information systems management, teaching, hospitality and tourism,, and manufacturing.

Others wishing to pursue further qualifications can proceed to post-graduate programmes up to PhD level.

At a glance

Distance learning Business courses typically take 6 to 12 months to complete. Certificate and diploma programmes normally run for one year. Degree-level Business programmes will be of 3 to 4 years duration.


Frank Bolger

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