Bachelor of Business (Hons) in International Business

Bachelor of Business (Honours) International Business

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


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  • AL859

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

The world’s economy is increasingly global. As a result, demand continues to grow for individuals who understand the global context of business: from the logistics of international trade and cross-border investments to the cultural and ethical issues that are imbued in the practice of business around the world.

By studying international business in AIT, students will have the opportunity to:

  • learn about world cultures and societies, and be challenged to approach issues from different perspectives
  • gain a solid understanding of core business areas during the first two years of the programme with specific emphasis on global issues in years three and four
  • benefit from a one-semester work placement (in Ireland or abroad)
  • gain experience of an applied international consultancy project as part of their final year studies
  • increase their employability and earning potential as a result of the language element of this programme
  • experience a range of learning approaches including practical workshops, group work and team based learning (TBL) in addition to lectures and relevant guest speakers
  • have the opportunity to take an optional study semester abroad as part of the programme

The competencies gained as part of this programme are increasingly valuable to employers faced with the challenge of opening and integrating multiple markets and achieving cohesion and collegiality in increasingly diverse workforces. The opportunities for a career in business with languages continue to increase, in a globalized environment. The need for multilingual graduates with a business qualification is clear with increasing opportunities in areas such as sales, marketing and supply chain management. The fact that Ireland’s top ten trading partners include Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, China, Spain & Japan supports the statement by the Irish Business Employers Confederation (Ibec) that :

“in short, Ireland needs an all-encompassing ‘vision for the future’ for modern languages. This requires a clear policy position on the place and role of languages in Irish society which is linked to national aspirations for international engagement in business, education and culture “.(Ibec, Submission on Foreign Languages in Education, 2014, p45).

It is clear that the third level sector should be encouraged and supported to equip all students with strong language skills as well as intercultural awareness. The sector should be persuaded to develop programmes for students to pursue language learning options which, while most probably outside their specialist area of study, may well be of huge benefit.

The European Commission’s Foreign Languages Advisory Group sets out a number of recommendations with regard to the teaching of languages and develops options to put language skills in context. The report states:

“companies who are looking for language skills are generally in search of recruits with the ability to apply those skills to a variety of different work situations. They are also looking for good communicators regardless of language and for people with cultural competence, ability to work in multilingual and multicultural teams, flexibility and international experience. In some Member States the discussion about partial skills and job specific language competences is considered as stating the obvious, but not everywhere .” (European Commission, Languages for Jobs, n.d., p19).

Ibec (2014) has argued that a lack of language competence is leading to a scenario of ‘unquantifiable missed opportunities’ for Irish exporters and that many ‘tend not to even consider markets where they perceive language and cultural differences are an entry barrier’ (p5). It is abundantly clear that the learning of a foreign language is no longer a luxury for the minority but a necessity for the majority. It is It is an international calling card which results in many opportunities for those who choose to embrace the challenge.

What will I experience?

The programme intends to deliberately align the planned learning activities and learning outcomes. This is a conscious effort to provide the learner with a clearly specified goal, well designed learning activities that are appropriate for the task, and well designed assessment criteria for giving feedback to the learning alignments. A further focus will be placed on encouraging students to become engaged in the content and commence on a pathway to independent learning. The learning objectives of the syllabi will be achieved by a range of teaching and learning methods, which will include, though may not be limited to:

  • Lectures will be designed to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge of the given module;
  • Practical Workshops will provide the student with the opportunity to apply the theory, concepts and principles in practice;
  • Group work such as discussions, group exercises will facilitate peer-supported learning, team-working and creativity;
  • Projects and case-studies will provide the student with an understanding of the practical application of theory in a cross-functional setting;
  • Learning Management system used in AIT is the Moodle platform, which is an online resource that will be used to facilitate access to class notes, resources, discussion forums, sharing resources etc., as well as using the platform as a means of communication via e-mail, notices.
  • Flipped Classrooms will be used to help students learn more deeply, participate actively in their learning while also learning from one another.
  • Team Based Learning can develop problem solving and interpersonal skills as it helps students to learn, work, interact and collaborate in teams which is essential for success in any business environment.

Additional Information

After the recent sharp global recession and as Ireland move into recovery, skills shortages are now emerging in certain areas and occupations. Global trends and drivers of change such as changing consumption patterns and shifting power structures are shaping international markets and emerging enterprise sectors. Other core or transversal skills like languages and entrepreneurship will also underpin Ireland’s use of its talent offering as a global differentiator (National Skills Strategy, 2025).

The National Skills Bulletin (2018) highlights Ireland’s current skills shortages by occupation. These include: multilingual skills for associate professionals in ICT, sales & marketing, administrative staff in financial service, freight transport, distribution & logistics, customer service representatives and product/account managers. Foreign language and cultural awareness languages is in high demand for businesses. Languages of interest include: German, French Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and the Nordic languages.

Preliminary figures for 2018 show that goods exports were valued at €140,835 million in 2018, the highest total on record. This is an increase of €18,123 million (+15%) over 2017. The largest category of exports was Medical and pharmaceutical products. Exports of these goods accounted for a third (33%) of all exports.

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
Course Commencement Date:

September 2021

CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Business (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Business & Management
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate

Grade H5 in two subjects, plus Grade O6/H7 in four other subjects.

Two of these subjects must be mathematics and a language (English or Irish).

French, German, Spanish and Chinese languages will be offered at ab initio level. There are no prerequisites for the

languages offered.


QQI Level 5

Full award with a minimum of eight modules. Distinctions required in three modules.

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

Enterprise development and job creation in the regions of Ireland is a key policy priority of Government. In the Irish Midlands, this cascades to ground through the Midlands Regional Action Plan For Jobs (2015). To this end, this programme aims to produce a capable and competent graduate with the ability to work , operate and manage in an internationally focussed business environment. This aim aligns with the core graduate competencies and content of the programme. In addition to core business subjects in the early semesters, the international dimension is bolstered by compulsory language modules in all eight semesters. This is further built upon from semester 5 onwards, with modules such as International business negotiation (S5); Contemporary issues in international business (S5); cultural diversity and employability (S7); The applied international research project (S8). Given the current policy direction of IDA Ireland as outlined in its annual report of 2017 to locate more multinational projects outside the Dublin area into the regions, it is imperative that a pool of graduates with relevant international skills and experience be available in the Midlands region. Having regard to the indigenous sector, the need for an internationally focussed workforce is no less urgent in light of Enterprise Ireland’s focus on increasing export sales in its client companies and the focus on a national macro level focus on export led economic growth. The latter being particularly acute in light of the ongoing Brexit debate.

The students will also undertake a professional Microsoft accreditation certification on Excel in semester three, as a suggestion from a recent employer industry panel.

The course design team collaborated with industry in the region and beyond to determine what qualities they, as potential employers, would like to see in graduates of this programme.

Work Placement

Students will undertake a one-semester placement in Year 3 of the programme. This placement may be completed in a suitable organisation in Ireland or overseas.

Further Study

On completion of this programme students will be eligible to apply for a place on either the Master of Business or the MSc in Digital Marketing programme in AIT. Both of these Level 9 programmes require one year of full-time study. Alternatively, students will be eligible to apply for a range of Level 9 programmes in other colleges.

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