Bachelor of Business FAQs: QQI and NFQ Levels explained

Undergraduate courses

Bachelor of Business FAQs

Posted 28 September

Bachelor of Business FAQs: QQI and NFQ Levels explained

What is QQI and NFQ?

What is a third level qualification in Ireland?

What is a level 7 business qualification in Ireland?

What is a level 8 business qualification in Ireland?

Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business FAQs: Entry requirements and application

What are the entry requirements for the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business?

What are ECTS credits?

If I’m not a native speaker of English, how good must my English be to enter the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business?

Can I apply to the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business as a mature student?

Do I have to apply through CAO?

I studied bank management for 4 years in Mongolia. Currently I am living and studying English in Ireland. I would like to study on the Level 8 degree. Will I be accepted?

My previous qualifications are a Leaving Certificate ITEC beauty therapy. Can I do this course?

Can I join a level 8 business degree course with a BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business Studies?

I have a leaving certificate. I am interested in Bachelor of Business Honours degree. Can I joint the top-up year?

My IELTS exam score was 5.5. Will you accept this score?

What is the deadline for submitting an application for the BA Business course?

I am an international student. Can I study part-time?

Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business - FAQs: Course requirements and classes

I studied a long time ago and I’m afraid I will not manage

As I work full time, I would be interested in completing this as a part time course. Could you give me some more information on this?

What are the classes like? Is it a good atmosphere for students?

How will the Bachelor of Business course be delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Bachelor of Business FAQs: QQI and NFQ Levels explained

What is QQI and NFQ?

QQI stands for Quality and Qualifications Ireland, and it is a national awarding body which has the power to give you a formal qualification for your learning. There are other national awarding bodies, but QQI is focussed on making awards for further and higher education and training.

NFQ is the National Framework of Qualifications for Ireland which provides a way of ensuring standards of knowledge, skill and competence which can be shared and understood. Ireland’s NFQ also aligns with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA) which means your qualification gained in Ireland will be understood elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

What is a third level qualification in Ireland?

In Ireland, the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) classifies qualifications according to ten levels. Third level qualifications are any qualifications between levels 6-10, which constitute Higher Education Awards.

More precisely:

  • A Higher Certificate in Ireland is an NFQ Level 6 qualification
  • An Ordinary Bachelor Degree is an NFQ Level 7 qualification
  • An Honours Bachelor Degree or a Higher Diploma is an NFQ Level 8 qualification
  • A Masters Degree or a Post-Graduate Diploma is an NFQ Level 9 qualification
  • A Doctoral Degree or a Higher Doctorate is an NFQ Level 10 qualification

What is a level 7 business qualification in Ireland?

A level 7 business qualification would be, for example, the Bachelor of Business, which is a three-year degree.

What is a level 8 business qualification in Ireland?

A level 8 business qualification would be, for example, the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business. This would take four years to complete from the start of your undergraduate studies. If you have a relevant* level 7 degree qualification already (including the Level 7 Bachelor of Business degree), you can study one further year of Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business to upgrade your level 7 qualification to a level 8 qualification.

*If you are unsure whether your first level 7 degree is relevant, please contact us to find out. We’ll be more than happy to advise you according to your personal circumstances.

Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business FAQs: Entry requirements and application

What are the entry requirements for the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business?

All learners must have already completed an ordinary or pass degree in a related or relevant field of study, at level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications. You should already have 180 ECTS credits (see below) from a previous degree.

If you don’t hold a level 7 degree or the equivalent number of credits from a relevant course of work or study, you cannot gain entry onto the Bachelor of Business (Hons) with International Business. A better starting point for you might be our Bachelor of Business ordinary degree, level 7.

What are ECTS credits?

ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. This is a way of helping people to move between countries and have their academic qualifications recognised.

ECTS credits are given based on the amount of formal learning you’ve undertaken. 60 ECTS credits are the equivalent of a full year of study or work. 180 ECTS credits is the usual minimum equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.

If I’m not a native speaker of English, how good must my English be to enter the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business?

As a non-native speaker, your English level must be at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. IELTS 6.5 is at the top of B2 or the start of C1 Advanced of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), and corresponds to a total score of about 945 in the TOEIC (Reading and Listening papers) and around 180 on the Cambridge English Scale.

Can I apply to the Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business as a mature student?

Yes, of course. Your application will be very welcome.

A mature applicant is someone who is 23 years or older by January 1st in the year of entry to the programme. Galway Business School welcomes applicants from mature students (23+). We currently have students who range in age from 23 to 56, and there is no upper age limit. Every year we welcome approximately 150 new mature students to Galway Business School.

As a mature applicant, you must have prior academic qualifications and experience deemed equivalent by the College’s QQI approved Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy. All RPL evaluations are made by the admissions department.

Do I have to apply through CAO?

CAO is the Central Applications Office which processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. However to enrol on the Bachelor of Business degree programme, you should apply direction to us at Galway Business School.

I studied bank management for 4 years in Mongolia. Currently I am living and studying English in Ireland. I would like to study on the Level 8 degree. Will I be accepted?

We need you to have already obtained a degree in a cognate discipline (a closely related branch of study) equivalent to a Level 7 on the NFQ framework before enrolling on the Bachelor of Business course with us.

You would have to submit your original degree documentation and certified translated copies of your academic transcripts so we can assess and evaluate your suitability for advanced entry into this programme.

Also, we’d need confirmation that your English is at least at IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. That sound like a lot of procedure, but it’s worth going through the process, and we help you as much as possible.

My previous qualifications are a Leaving Certificate ITEC beauty therapy. Can I do this course?

It is likely that you would need to start by completing the QQI Bachelor of Business (Level 7) Degree programme commencing in September before you’re able to progress onto the Level 8 qualification.

The programme is available on both a full-time and part-time basis for Irish students.

Can I join a level 8 business degree course with a BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business Studies?

BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Business Studies is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6.

If you have you studied anything else since then, we would review those studies and the awards system to consider whether there is any opportunity for you to enjoy advanced entry to our Level 8 programme.

Otherwise, you could join Year 3 of the Bachelor of Business at level 7 and progress onwards to the Level 8 Honours degree.

I have a leaving certificate. I am interested in Bachelor of Business Honours degree. Can I joint the top-up year?

You can only join the level 8 top up degree programme if you already have an academic qualification at level 7, i.e. an ordinary degree in a closely related discipline.

Therefore we think the most likely route for you will be to start with the QQI Bachelor of Business (Level 7) Degree programme first and on completion of this programme, you can progress onto our level 8 top-up degree.

My IELTS exam score was 5.5. Will you accept this score?

As a non-native speaker of English we really want you to be comfortable and enjoy the content of the course. For this reason, you really must have an English language level of IELTS 6.5+ or its equivalent for this degree programme.

As our sister school (in the same building here in Galway, Ireland) provides English language training, we really have everything you need under one roof. We can assess your level easily and recommend the best course for you to get up to the level you need.

Additionally, all international learners must complete a 4-week Pre-Sessional Business English course prior to the beginning of all Galway Business School academic programmes.

Please contact us for more information.

What is the deadline for submitting an application for the BA Business course?

Our business degree programme will start on 27th September 2021 and you should apply directly at the school. The academic team is very responsive and your application will be processed promptly.

The deadline for applications is late August and it is advisable to apply as quickly as possible as sometimes there are limited places available.

Also, early booking might qualify you for a discounted fee, you might contact the admission team to find out if they have any early booking discount fees or bursary in place for new applications.

I am an international student. Can I study part-time?

If you are currently not based in Ireland (and you plan to come to Ireland to complete the degree programme), as an international student, you can only apply for this programme on a full-time basis, in order to meet the Irish government’s visa status requirements.

If you are already based in Ireland (but you’re simply from another country), please get in touch with us and we will give you specific information relating to your case

Bachelor of Business (Honours) with International Business - FAQs: Course requirements and classes

I studied a long time ago and I’m afraid I will not manage

If you’re a mature learner who has been out of formal education for some time, you’ll benefit hugely from Galway Business School’s small class sizes.

We give you additional support and resources before the commencement of the programme to help you perform well in attaining the required grades.

Also, don’t forget that many of your peers might feel the same way as you do and everybody is there with the main goal to get a degree.

We’ve written a whole article about the Things to consider before you start your Bachelor of Business degree as a mature student, so make sure you take a look at that.

As I work full time, I would be interested in completing this as a part time course. Could you give me some more information on this?

Here are the details on how the part-time version of the Bachelor of Business Level 8 course works here in Galway, Ireland.

You study for two evenings each week, over two semesters. Workshops, tutorials, company visits and guest speakers will be introduced throughout the course to enrich your learning experience.

In more detail, part-time classes are timetabled twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursday, from 18.30 to 21.30, so in the evenings. The timetable offers you a lot of flexibility.

At Galway Business School (GBS), we’ll also give you information and support on how to create a study schedule and how to organise yourself (if you need that help!).

You can access study materials anytime via GBS Moodle, our e-learning platform, thus giving time for family, work, study and also giving time for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed by it all.

What are the classes like? Is it a good atmosphere for students?

Much better that we share with you what our students have said about us.

“The smaller classes mean you always have input and the lectures are both interesting and informative”

Patrick Coyle

“As an international student, what I liked most about GBS was the fact that the classes are small so I wouldn’t feel embarrassed or shy entering a big hall with other hundreds of students”

Lisiane Memlak
Read Lisiane’s story about how she came from Southern Brazil to a Bachelor of Business at Galway Business School

“In my opinion, the small and interactive class structure was a beneficial setting for our part-time studies, which took place on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

This allowed students to have open discussions with lecturers, to ask questions and to properly engage with one-another.

I felt that the hours offered were ideal and the price of the tuition fees were very reasonable and competitive. Our lecturers were kind, patient, insightful and created enjoyable, interactive classes"

Amber Doyle

“Small class sizes is a key differentiator for GBS which enabled me to ask questions, challenge opinions and take part in great class discussions.

Make no mistake, you’ll work hard for your qualification in GBS but you will do so in the knowledge that they are right there alongside you to guide you all the way”

James Frost

How will the Bachelor of Business course be delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic?

We remain confident that we can resume to face-to-face classes in our Galway campus for the September 2021 to summer 2022 academic year.

We have to keep following the government guidelines and protocols in relation to the Covod-19 pandemic and we will liaise regularly with you if the situation changes.

Either way be reassured that we have extensive experience of delivering online classes, so if we do need to switch back into that mode of delivery, it really won’t be a problem. As ever, we’ll do everything we can to make it work for you.

Whatever your questions about the Bachelor of Business, we urge you to get in touch with us, as we pride ourselves in the individual support and care we provide to get you where you’re trying to go. Contact us today by email, drop in for a chat, or phone us on +353 091 529 000.