Certificate in Business and English Language

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



Since 2004, the Certificate in Business & English Language is a pathway programme that ensures international students make a successful transition from overseas education to higher level education in Ireland. The programme prepares students for the language, academic and cultural skills demanded in business education. This programme is accredited by Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI), a statutory body of the Irish Department of Education. 

This certificate is a third-level qualification. It is recognised as level 6 in the National Framework of Awards which is linked to the European Credit Transfer System.

Our lecturers and teachers are internationally experienced, highly qualified and nurture students to realise their ambition of pursuing an undergraduate education in Ireland at DBS. 

Aims and Objectives

The objective of the programme is:

Develop learner autonomy, confidence, resilience and self-esteem to overcome challenges.
Further develop the learners’ English language skills for successful academic participation.
Engender skills for lifelong learning that is immediate and enduring.
Support international learners as they gain self-efficacy skills in achieving programme and personal goals.
Introduce discipline-area specific knowledge, skills and culture. 
Aid learners to relate their sense of self within a new national and academic culture.
Help learners negotiate interactions with library, administrative and support staff and faculty


Each module is assessed separately through a combination of integrated continuous assessment and/or end of semester examination. Continuous assessment varies in style and purpose from subject to subject depending upon the nature of the subject material and the teaching and learning objectives of the subject. Both individual and group assessments are used. Various continuous assessment methods are deployed throughout the programme.

These will include:

  • Website design

  • Research-based projects 

  • Response Pieces

  • Academic essays

  • Oral interviews

  • Presentations

  • Learner Portfolio

  • Listening Tests

  • Closed-book tests

End of semester examinations are in the traditional, time constrained, closed book style.

Admission Requirements

The target group for this programme are international learners whose first language is not English and who wish to pursue study in a business and/or related subject at a higher level, through the medium of English language. 
• Applicants are required to have completed the NARIC equivalent High School Diploma (equivalent to the Leaving Certificate).
• The language proficiency required to access this programme is B1+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

Target learners will achieve competency in academic English language skills to a CEFRL level of B2+ and be eligible to apply to access, ab initio, a programme located at a higher level on the NFQ (or equivalent) framework.


There will be three intake dates each year for this programme*:

January - Leading to commencement of a further academic programme in our autumn intake 
September - Leading to commencement of a further academic programme in our autumn intake
*These intake dates are subject to enrolments/demand.


Course Content


The curriculum is structured by themes. These themes are:

• English language skills for successful academic participation 
• Learning skills 
• Self-efficacy skills 
• Discipline-area specific knowledge, skills and culture 
• Cultural understanding

The four language skills form the basis of the programme. The Reading component and Writing component form one language module - General English Language Skills and Writing Skills for Academic Purposes and the Speaking component and Listening component form the second language subject – Communication for Business and Enterprise and Communication. These are the underpinning modules in both Semester one and Semester two. These modules are delivered in lecture and tutorial format with small class-sizes of 12-15 learners. English language acquisition underpins the course. The skills developed in these language modules are practised in the other subjects.

In addition to language skills, students acquire business research and information technology skills which are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions in the modules Information Technology and Research Skills for Business.  

The cultural element of the course is addressed in Self & Society. This module examines issues pertaining to the individual living in a foreign environment and explores the historical, economic and social context of their new environment. Business Functions comprises an introduction to the business environment concentrating on the four integrated and interrelated business functions of accounting, marketing, economics, and management.



This is a two semester 25-week programme and the modules amd subjects studied are:

  • Information Technology

  • Research Skills for Business

  • General English Language Skills

  • Business Functions

  • Communication for Business

  • Self and Society

  • Writing Skills for Academic Purposes

  • Enterprise and Communication


Career Opportunities

Upon successful completion of the programme, students will possess a level of English equivalent to at least IELTS 6.0 and are awarded a Certificate in Business & English Language by Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) - formerly Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC). Graduates automatically meet the language requirements for entry to all professional and undergraduate programmes at DBS. As a QQI (HETAC) award this qualification is nationally and internationally recognised.



    The fee for the Certificate in Business and English Language is €6,200.

    View all DBS International Fees here

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    • Course fees are quoted for the academic year 2019/ 2020 only. Course fees for subsequent academic years may be subject to price increases.

    • Students who fail examinations are required to repeat their full academic year and pay full tuition fees

    • Tuition fees are not refundable. However, 

    • For International Students resident overseas fees will only be refunded if the visa application has been refused as outlined in the DBS Terms and Conditions section 5.7

    • For International Students already resident in Ireland, fees will not be refunded under any circumstances after commencement of the course. Where a visa is required to be renewed during the DBS programme of study it is the responsibility of the student to check with the relevant authorities that the renewal application will be approved.

    • Course commencement and start date is subject to student numbers.

    • All students for whom English is not a first language will be required to sit an English language test prior to commencement of their course. Students whose level of English does not meet the required standard will be redirected to an English language programme appropriate to their English language standard. Tuition fees for this additional English language tuition will be charged to the student. Upon successful completion of exams students may be allowed to commence their original first choice programme, subject to availability.

    Next Steps

    Apply Today 

    Making an application online is the quickest and easiest way of applying for your chosen course. As part of your application process the College needs to receive the following supporting documentation from you:

    • A completed application form, either submitted online or in paper

    • All academic qualifications & transcripts to date

    • Evidence of your English level (usually IELTS/TOEFL or Cambridge)

    • Curriculum Vitae/Resume

    • An academic or employer reference

    • Statement of Purpose - i.e. an introduction letter explaining your CV and also detailing why you would want to come to Ireland and DBS to study and how you think it would benefit you when you return home

    • Photocopy of the first page of your passport

    • If you are currently resident in Ireland a photocopy of your current GNIB card is also required

    Please note that all of this documentation can be sent to us by email initially however we will need to receive the official notarised translated copies of all academic documentation prior to issuing a formal confirmed offer.
    Decisions can normally be made within 5 working days as long as we have received all of the necessary documentation and within 48 hours if you are applying through an approved agent.
    If you meet the entry requirements of the course you will be notified by email and issued a provisional offer. Formal confirmed offers can only be issued to applicants who have met the conditions of their offer, and once the fees have been received by us and cleared by the bank.

    Once you meet the entry requirements and have paid your fees you should then apply for a study visa.  
    Please note that not all countries are visa requiring and some students can get a visa after their arrival in Ireland. To check whether or not you require a visa to enter Ireland please visit the following website:http://www.inis.gov.ie/

    • Full-time Degrees/ Certificates
    • IntlOnly
    • International
    • Full-Time
    • Business & Management
    • Accounting & Finance
    • 6

    Course overview


    Awarding Body: 
    Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
    Duration: 26 weeks
    Course Start Date:
    September 2019
    Admission Requirements:
    See Overview
    Award Type: 
    Special Purpose Award

    Contact Us

    We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2020. Contact our admissions team for more information

    Email: admissions@dbs.ie
    Phone: 01 417 7500
    Opening times:
    Monday to Friday
    8:45am to 5:15pm