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Bachelor of Business Studies

Bachelor of Business Studies
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

CAO points:
Course code:
4 Years

Course leader:
Jonathan Lavelle
Email: Tel:

Tel: 00 353 61 202015
Queries: www.ul.ie/admissions-askus


About You

If you are interested in gaining expertise in a specific business discipline, the BBS (Hons) degree offers you a broad choice of options which will enhance your employability upon graduation.

Why Study Business Studies at UL?

If you are interested in gaining expertise in a specific business discipline, the Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) (Hons) degree offers you a broad choice of options which will enhance your employability on graduation. The BBS degree at UL is among the most popular business courses in Ireland and is accredited by both national and international bodies including EPAS which is the prestigious programme approval standard for the European Foundation for Management Development and is a globally recognised accreditation body for high-quality, international management education programmes.

The Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) programme will provide you with a broad business education. You will study the core business principles of accounting, economics, risk management and insurance, human resource management and marketing - specialising in one area as your “major” in the second semester of Year 2. Theory will be brought to life through work on practical business projects in addition to an eight month work placement in industry.

The BBS suite of programmes also includes;

1. Bachelor of Business Studies

This option does not include the study of a language. 

Upon entry, students who meet additional language requirements could elect to study one BBS with Modern Language programmes. They are;

2. Bachelor of Business Studies with French
Students taking BBS with French will study the French language stream throughout the four years of the programme, along with their regular Business subjects. Find out more,

3. Bachelor of Business Studies with German
Students taking BBS with German will study the German language stream throughout the four years of the programme, along with their regular Business subjects. Find out more  

4. Bachelor of Business Studies with Japanese
Students taking BBS with Japanese will study the Japanese language stream throughout the four years of the programme, along with their regular Business subjects. Find out more 

5. Bachelor of Business Studies with Spanish (Beginners or Advanced)

Students taking BBS with Spanish (Beginners or Advanced) will study the Spanish language stream throughout the four years of the programme, along with their regular Business subjects. Find out more

What you will study

A blend of core business disciplines and management functions is integrated into the innovative design of the BBS, allowing insights to be reached early in the programme. The programme provides a strong foundation in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, Risk Management and Business Mathematics, which run throughout the first three semesters. You will choose your major option in the second semester of year 2. This consists of 2 modules per semester from second through to the fourth year, with an intervening cooperative education placement.

A choice of five “major” options is available, of which you will choose one;

(1) Accounting and Finance;

The Accounting and Finance major option consists of four main areas: financial accounting and auditing, management accounting, finance and taxation. You will learn about the theory and practice of current accounting standards and their implications for financial reporting, along with practical skills in advanced accounts preparation, financial statement analysis, decision making, investment analysis, performance measurement, costing and cost management systems, portfolio selection, personal and corporate taxation. Graduates of this major option pursue accountancy and/or taxation careers in professional practice or industry.

All of the main accountancy accrediting bodies in Ireland may give some exemptions to UL students who hold an Honours BBS Degree. For further information click here.

(2) Economics and Finance;

The modules contained in the Economics and Finance major option follow a logical and progressive sequence that emphasise three inter-related components: a strong monetary and financial component Corporate Finance, Applied Economic Analysis, and Monetary Economics; an international dimension International Economics, Economics of Integration; and an applied dimension Managerial Economics, Industrial Economics and Public Finance. Extensive use of quantitative techniques and an emphasis on the importance of analytical thinking instills transferable skills in Economics & Finance students that they can use and develop in a wide range of careers.

(3) Marketing;

The suite of modules that comprise the Marketing major has been designed to explore marketing theory and practice, whilst simultaneously developing a diverse skills-set that will be immediately transferable to the workplace. Subject include - Consumption and Consumer Culture, Marketing Communications, Marketing Research, Digital Marketing; Marketing Intelligence; Strategic Brand Management; Marketing Leadership and Marketing Relationships and Networks. Graduates are likely to pursue careers in product and brand management, marketing research, advertising, sales and general marketing.

(4) Human Resource Management

A number of key practice-based modules are integral to this major option which include Human Resource Practice, Employment Relations Practice and Management Consulting. Overall, there is a balance between theoretical and practical modules in this option. Graduates of the HRM major option will have acquired a comprehensive set of work-related skills in the areas of organisational behaviour analysis, interviewing, conflict management, consulting and performance management and will be ideally placed to pursue careers in human resource management, training and development, management consultancy, employment relations, industrial relations, recruitment and selection and academic research.

(5) Risk Management and Insurance

The Risk Management and Insurance major option modules are designed to explore risk management theory as well as the practice of risk management. In Insurance Law and Claims students are introduced to the legal system as it relates to the operation of insurance contracts and insurance claims. Many aspects of insurance law are unique to the insurance system and deal effectively with issues such as fraud. In Life Insurance, students learn about the important role of the insurance industry in assessing and pricing risks such as illness and/or death. Risk management functions are directly addressed in modules such as Risk Control and Underwriting and Risk Analysis. An understanding of how decisions are made at management level is provided in Insurance Organisations and Markets. Graduates are well placed to take up opportunities in the insurance industry and the wider financial services sector.

Minor Options

In year 3, you will also take a minor option which consists of one module per semester over the final two years. The following Minor Options are currently offered:

  • Business Informatics
  • Business Research Methods and Final Year Project
  • Globalisation – An Economic Perspective
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Services
  • Law
  • Management
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Supply Change Management

Students taking BBS with a Modern Language do not take a minor option; instead, they continue their language studies over the final two years of the programme. 

Cooperative Education

A distinctive and integral part of the BBS in UL is the innovative Cooperative Education Programme. This programme places you in employment in an appropriate business environment for an eight-month period in 3rd year. You will earn the going rate for the job while on placement and have an opportunity to apply your business education in a real work environment.

The BBS programme offers you the opportunity to study abroad as part of the EU Socrates/ERASMUS programme. The University has links with premier business schools and universities in a wide range of European countries. These exchanges are open to both language and non-language students as many of our partner institutions provide courses in English. Study abroad is an integral part of the programme and you will gain full credit for participation in such placements. To find out more, go to www.ul.ie/courses/ LM050 or www.ul.ie/business or find Kemmy Business School on Facebook.

Erasmus/International Exchange

The BBS programme offers you the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at any of our exchange partners across the world. The Kemmy Business School currently has over 80 highly ranked academic exchange partners in over 35 countries. These exchanges are open to both language and non-language students as the vast majority of our partner institutions provide courses taught through English. An exchange placement provides a unique opportunity for you to study at another international institution and the academic, social, personal and cultural benefits of studying abroad are enormous.

Transfer Opportunities for Institute of Technology Graduates

The University of Limerick operates a streamlined transfer system for Institute of Technology graduates. Currently 100 students are admitted each year to relevant degree programmes. Whether you expect to graduate in the current year at Higher Certificate or Ordinary Bachelor’s level or have already graduated and wish to return to pursue a degree programme at the University, applications are welcome. Transferees should hold at least a Merit (2nd Class honours equivalent) Grade and relevant work experience will be an added advantage.

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
EC4101 Microeconomics EC4102 Macroeconomics Vacation
MG4031 Management Principles PM4022 Principles of Organisational Behaviour  
AC4001 Principles of Accounting AC4002 Managerial Accounting  
MI4007 Business Information Management MK4002 Marketing  
CM4203 Communications or Language      
      Language or Elective – Choose Min 1 Max 1  
    BR4001 Broadening: Social and Civic Engagement  
    BR4031 Broadening by Understanding and Confronting Crisis and Risk  
    BR4041 Broadening: Social Media for Social Good  
    BR4051 Broadening through Creativity and Proactivity  
    BR4061 Broadening through Awareness, Activism and the Arts (undergraduate)  
    BR4071 Broadening: Exploring the Brain and Understanding Behaviour  
    BR4081 Broadening: Active Body, Active Mind  
    BR4091 Broadening through Sustainable Development  


Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
IN4003 Principles of Risk Management EP4003 Entrepreneurship and Innovation or Language Vacation
PM4013 Principles of Human Resource Management      
FI4003 Finance PM4064 Employment Relations or Language  
EC4004 Economics for Business      
    MA4114 Applied Business Statistics  
MA4113 Applied Business Mathematics or Language   Major Option 1  
      Major Option 2  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
MG4035 International Management CO4320 Cooperative Education 1 CO4330 Cooperation
Education 2
AC4305 Financial Information Analysis      
  Major Option 3      
  Major Option 4      
  Minor Option 1 or Language      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
EC4437 International Political Economy MG4037 Strategic Management  
LA4005 Legal Environment of Business LA4008 Company & Partnership Law  
  Major Option 5   Major Option 7  
  Major Option 6   Major Option 8  
  Minor Option2 or Language   Minor Option 3 or Language  

Accounting & Finance Major Option

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
    AC4034 Auditing and Accounting Frameworks   
    AC4024 Financial Accounting and Reporting  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
FI4015 Corporate Finance      
TX4305 Taxation Theory & Practice       


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
AC4417 Management Accounting 1 AC4418 Management Accounting 2   
AC4007 Advanced Financial Reporting TX4407 Corporate Taxation  

Economics & Finance Major Option

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
    EC4014 International Economics  
    EC4044 Applied Economic Analysis  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
FI4015 Corporate Finance       
EC4307 Econometrics      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
EC4417 Industrial Economics EC4408 Public Finance  
EC4427 Managerial Economics EC4018 Monetary Economics  

Human Resource Management Major Option

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
    PM4014 Human Resource Development  
    PM4054 Applied Organizational Behaviour  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
PM4017 Human Resource Practice      
PM4055 Critical Perspectives on Employment Relations      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
PM4067 Contemporary Issues in Organizational Behaviour PM4098 Contemporary Human Resource Management: Context and Strategy  
PM4077 HR Analytics PM4008 Employment Relations Practice  

Marketing Major Option

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
    MK4004 Consumption & Consumer Culture  
    MK4025 Marketing Communication  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
MK4035 Marketing Research      
MK4045 Digital Marketing      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
MK4005 Marketing Intelligence MK4017 Marketing Leadership  
MK4027 Strategic Brand Management MK4038 Marketing Relationships and Networks  

Risk Management & Insurance Major Option

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
    IN4004 Insurance Law & Claims  
    IN4014 Life Insurance  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
IN4015 Risk & Insurance      
IN4005 Risk Analysis      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
IN4427 Insurance Organisations and Markets IN4008 Reinsurance/ART  
IN4007 Governance & Risk IN4418 Risk Control & Underwriting  

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

In addition, applicants must hold at least an O4/H7 grade in Mathematics. Students wishing to take a language option must have a H4 in that language, with the exception of Japanese or Beginners Spanish where a H4 in a language other than English is required.

We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.

Employment opportunities for BBS graduates have been excellent, as the degree provides a general business education as well as an opportunity to combine specialist options.The latest survey of BBS graduates revealed that only two per cent of BBS graduates were seeking employment. Students who complete the BBS may choose from a wide range of careers in the public and private sectors. The precise job titles will depend upon the student's special interests and abilities together with the nature of their employer's business (www.ul.ie/careers)

Typical Careers include:

  • Tax Consultant
  • Banking, Insurance and Financial Services
  • Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Pensions and Insurance
  • Administrator
  • Risk Analyst
  • Economist
  • Marketing Brand Manager
  • Advertising Account Manager
  • PR Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • HR Manager
  • HR Recruitment and Training
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Social Researcher

Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here

Follow-On Study

Related postgraduate options at UL include:

  • MSc in Financial Services
  • MSc in Computational Finance
  • Masters of Taxation
  • MSc in Human Resource 
  • MA in Business Management
  • MSc in Economics & Policy Analysis
  • MSc in International Management and Global Business
  • MSc in Work & Organisational Psychology/Behaviour
  • MSc in Marketing, Consumption & Society

Gearoid Hegarty

Having graduated with a Business degree, I stayed on at UL to study a Postgrad Masters in Education (PME) to become a Business Studies teacher. Through the PME, you will develop valuable classroom skills including communication and organisation. Although the course was initially challenging, it will provide you with the tools, values and knowledge that will prepare you to shape what may be the next generation of business leaders.

Becoming a teacher was something that always interested me. I saw teaching as a rewarding career, where you can really make a difference. Every day and every class is different. You get to make real use of everything you learned during your degree. I enjoy working with young people and bringing positivity into the classroom. One of the most important elements of teaching is building relationships with the students - you have the opportunity to make an impact and really get the best out of people.

Studying in UL prepared me very well for my career - I learned the importance of preparation, planning and effort. Overall, my experience has helped me to develop a growth mindset – an important and valuable trait as an educator of young people, I feel. Along with developing a career, I’ve also developed as a person. As I prepared to teach my first class in school, I was completely confident in the skills and knowledge I had learned at UL.

Gearoid is a graduate of both the Business and  Education faculties at UL. He is currently employed as a Business Studies teacher.

Student Profile

Alice Carroll

The BBS degree will open up your mind to areas of the business world that you might not otherwise have thought you were interested in. You will have the opportunity to try every avenue of business before specializing in your chosen field (your “major”). You learn skills that you can actually apply in the real world.

Coop is one of the greatest things UL has to offer. I completed my placement in New York for eight months in third year with the international fashion house FENDI. Based in Manhattan, I was working in their PR and Marketing Department and the opportunities it presented me with were endless. From dressing Mila Kunis for the cover of Allure magazine to assisting with Cara Delevingne’s Fall/Winter campaign, the experience was incredible.

I appreciate Coop so much for all it taught me and I realize how much of an advantage it gives you when applying for jobs after college. I recently secured a marketing position with Jameson and I honestly believe my Coop experience hugely assisted in this. In today’s competitive climate, a university that offers work placement within its course structure makes all the difference.

Student Profile

Marian Hogan
I chose this course because of its esteemed reputation - I was also aware that UL graduates have a higher than average employment rate. For Co-op, I was placed with Swiss Financial Services (Ireland). Because of the industry knowledge and experience I developed during this work experience, I regained employment with them after graduation.

I currently work as a Fund Administrator with SFS – our clients are located in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and USA. My typical day involves liaising with various overseas investors and processing their trades. I am responsible for the cash accounts on various funds and must monitor their cash movements on a regular basis to ensure all monies are in order while adhering to the deadlines. Since graduating with my Business degree from UL, much of what I have learned is applied to my job on a daily basis.

Student Profile

Eimear Glynn
The BBS programme has an extremely handson approach to learning with highly interactive lectures and tutorials. Group projects are an important part of the course and something I always enjoy. ItÕs a great way of meeting new people and sharing ideas. Team work has allowed me to develop my personal skills in a fun and exciting way. I have always been really impressed by guest speakers from the business industry, sharing their life experiences and successes. This has encouraged me to become more career driven and really think about my life on completion of my degree.

The course provides a strong foundation in a range of core business modules including Accounting, HR, Economics, Finance, Insurance, Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship. These core (compulsory) subjects are studied during the first three semesters before choosing a major option to specialise in, until completion of your degree. Cooperative Education (work experience) is completed in Semester 6 and normally runs over the summer for 9 months in total. This gives you an opportunity to experience the business world and sets you on your career path, making you more focused on return for your final year.

Graduate Profile

Ciara Halliday 

A Day in the Life Of.......a Business Development Executive

I always knew I wanted to travel and it was for this reason I chose BBS with French at UL as the university provides the opportunity to both study and complete a work placement abroad. I spent a semester in second year in the South of France and I did my coop work placement in Paris in third year. They were both unforgettable experiences.

In my job, no two days are ever the same. My work involves compiling market research reports for client companies or organising the next big event we are running, which can involve bringing Irish clients to Canada for market study visits or bringing Canadian buyers to Ireland and introducing them to relevant Irish companies. Work experience I gained on coop in Paris was also very useful for the event management part of my job. I am in charge of several portfolios like Education, Consumer Retail, Agri-Tech and Equine so my work can vary greatly from one day to the next.

Ciara’s tip: 
Ask lots of questions! Make sure to ask your teachers, guidance counsellors and parents for advice if you are unsure as to what you want to study.

Ciara is currently employed as a Business Development Executive with Enterprise Ireland, based in Toronto, Canada.

Graduate Profile

Marian Kennedy
Since graduating from UL, I have been working as a trainee tax accountant with Deloitte in Dublin. I was assigned to the corporation tax department and work with an allocation of specific clients. Corporation tax is a very challenging department, as it is always quite busy but this enables me to learn very quickly. There is a lot of direct client contact on a daily basis where I would try to answer any tax queries that the companies may have.

Having a UL qualification has benefitted me greatly and went a long way in securing my position with Deloitte. There is an acknowledgement that UL produces graduates of a very high standard with the added advantage they have high quality work experience to compliment a high quality qualification. During job interviews, there was always a lot of interest in my co-op placement from UL, which was in a tax department also. Prospective employers always show great enthusiasm for any UL qualification, acknowledging that it is a very high calibre qualification from a reputable institution.

Graduate Profile

Cormac Phelan
Whether it’s Marketing, Economics or Accounting, UL’s Business Studies degree offers a variety of interesting areas to study and is a perfect start for anyone with dreams of a career in business or management. UL provided me with a sound business education. My involvement in a multitude of group projects, particularly the ‘live’ marketing project in 4th year, was essential in developing time management, interpersonal and planning skills that I now use on a day-to-day basis.

My role as Brand Advisor involves the implementation, guardianship and development of the Auckland Council brand and identity. I work alongside the council’s brand manager, graphic designers, marketing advisors and advertising agency to ensure the Auckland Council brand identity is correctly implemented across all marketing material (e.g. signage, brochures, posters, etc.)

Other day-to-day duties include booking advertising in local and national papers, managing the council’s online brand asset management system (photography, logos, etc) and arranging photo shoots to support the council’s marketing campaigns.

Cormac currently works as a Brand Advisor with Auckland Council in New Zealand.

Graduate Profile

Fionnuala O'Reilly

While studying here at UL, I represented the Kemmy Business School in France, Germany, Latvia and Luxembourg. Since graduating with a BBS degree, I now work in Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering, which is an area of increasing importance within the financial services industry. We conduct detailed checks on investors to ensure all money, which comes through us, has originated from a legitimate source, before accepting the investment.

Fionnuala's tip: Don't panic if you are not 100% sure of your career path. The BBS programme will open new doors and help steer you in the right direction with regard to your career. In the meantime, you can enjoy UL's versatile learning environment and its ever-expanding, glorious campus.

Fionnuala currently works as an Administrator with SEI Investments in Dublin.