Business Studies

The BBS (Hons) (Accounting) is a four-year, part-time programme. It provides a comprehensive examination and analysis of the subjects critical to contemporary business life, focusing on accounting principles and techniques. It includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level. 

Bachelor of Business Studies (HONS) – Accounting

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Key Facts

Delivery Method

The programme is delivered through a student-friendly blended learning model. Students attend three in-person weekend seminars at the IPA and attend eight weeknight webinars per module. They are supported in their studies with extensive course material and online resources.

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a Leaving Certificate with a minimum grade C in two higher level papers and grade D in four other subjects. The papers passed must include Irish, English and a third language. Students applying for the BBS (Hons) must have passed the Mathematics paper.


Mature students (students over 21 on January 1 of the calendar year of entry) may enter a programme without the above qualifications. 


Four years of part-time study

Interim Awards

  • Year One: Certificate in Business Studies.
  • Year Two: Diploma in Business Studies.



Place on NFQ

Level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degree) what is this?


September 2023

Application Deadline

September 2023


The cost of the programme is €3,400 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees), payable in one or two instalments. 

Employers and Fees

Where employers are paying fees, students, when enrolling, must provide a PO number and employer authorisation on the applicaiton form OR submit a letter from their employer confirming that fees will be paid directly. 

Students Paying their own Fees

Fees can be paid by:

  • Electronic transfer (contact the Undergraduate Office).
  • Debit/credit card (contact the Undergraduate Office).
  • Cheque (payable to the Institute of Public Administration).
  • Bank draft.

Note: Fees may increase slightly from year to year. Where this occurs, students will be charged the increased fee.


Students can progress to the MSc in Business and Management and other graduate programmes.

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The Programme

The BBS (Hons) (Accounting) is a four-year, part-time programme. It provides a comprehensive examination and analysis of the subjects critical to contemporary business life, focusing on accounting principles and techniques. It includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level. 

Is This Programme for you?

This honours degree attracts students who want to analyse and critique business issues and obtain the specific skills required for standard accounting procedures. Graduates can apply for substantial exemptions from the examinations of a number of professional accounting bodies: 

  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) 
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) 
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA)

Year One – Certificate in Business Studies

The first year is both a stand-alone qualification – Certificate in Business Studies – and part of the four-year degree programme.

Financial Accounting

This course explains the key principles and techniques of financial accounting. Students will learn about different accounting systems, the purpose of accounting records, the preparation and analysis of profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and income and expenditure accounts.

Quantitative Methods

All organisations, whether operating commercially or otherwise, must undertake research and analyse relevant data. This course explains the principles of business research and the mathematical techniques used when examining the results of that research. Among the specific topics addressed are the preparation of surveys, population samples and linear regression and correlation.

Managing IT/Managing Human Resources

This course explores the proper management of two of the most crucial components in an organisation. The first part of the course considers such topics as the role of IT in the workplace and the appraisal of investment in new IT systems. The second part turns to human resources, examining the responsibilities of the HR manager in today’s workplace.

Business Administration and Marketing

This course describes and assesses the proper organisation and control of a business unit and examines one especially vital business function: marketing. It covers, among other things, financial and administrative controls, best practice in day-to-day operations and marketing strategies.

Year Two – Diploma in Business Studies (Accounting) 

The second year is both a stand-alone qualification – Diploma in Business Studies – and the second stage of the BBS (Hons) degree.

Cost Accounting

Cost accounting helps managers see the cost of business operations and thus make informed decisions. This course explores the main principles and processes of cost accounting, including budgeting, absorption and marginal costing and basic standard costing.

Financial Accounting

This course examines the core elements of financial accounting, a branch of accounting that prepares financial statements for interested parties outside the organisation. Students examine the financial accounts of limited companies, tangible and intangible assets, taxation, cash flow, postbalance sheet events and earnings per share.


This introductory-level course explains the main theories and principles of economics. It covers both micro and macroeconomics and addresses such topics as the laws of supply and demand, how market prices are reached, monopolies and competition and monetary policy.

Business and Company Law

All transactions in the State, whether public or private, are governed by commercial law. In this course, students will examine the laws that pertain to the creation, performance and dissolution of contracts, the formation of companies, the acquisition of shares and the liquidation of businesses.

Year Three 

Financial Accounting

This course extends student’s understanding of the principles and methods in the preparation of accounts, covering such topics as company accounting, consolidated accounts, the interpretation of accounts and company reorganisations.

Management Accounting

Management accounting provides vital information to managers within an organisation. This course explores its key components: budgeting, advanced variance analysis, activitybased costing, pricing and divisional performance appraisal.

Financial Management

This course explores the crucial elements in financial decisionmaking, including financial mathematics, the sources of organisational finance, financial risk, investment decisions, the proper management of working capital and mergers and acquisitions.

Enterprise and Project Management

This course addresses enterprise and the management of business relationships. Among the specific topics covered are the enterprise cycle, branding, the stages of project management and the e-commerce infrastructure.

Year Four


This course provides a comprehensive explanation of what a financial audit is. It examines the different types of audit, the planning that precedes an audit, the substantive testing an auditor undertakes, the stages in the completion of an audit and the principles of corporate governance.

Business Policy

The primary aim of this course is to explain the pivotal importance of strategic thinking and policy development to modern management. It considers, among other things, the factors that shape an organisation’s strategy, the business environment, the causes of corporate decline and how to choose between strategy alternatives.

Management Accounting Applications and Control

This course applies quantitative methods to accounting principles and processes. It explores, among other topics, the integration of cost data in management, how to establish operational variances, linear programming and regression analysis.


Any coherent analysis of an organisation’s accounts must encompass taxation issues. This course explains tax law in Ireland, examining income tax, corporation tax, capital gains, stamp duty, VAT, capital acquisitions tax and capital gains tax. 


The programme is assessed by means of assignments and final examinations.

How To Apply
  1. Download this Application Form  page and complete it (if your fees are being paid by your employer, be sure to include all the relevant details on the form).
  2. The form MUST be accompanied by: (a) proof of ID (copy of passport, birth cert, or driving licence), (b) a passport photo, (c) the programme fee (see section on Fees).

Send the completed application form and the above items to

You may also apply by post.


Programme Delivery and Applications

IPA programmes are part time and generally delivered through a blended learning model.  To apply, see the How to Apply section on the relevant programme and download the application form below.

Undergraduate Application Form 2023


Enquiry Form


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