Higher Certificate in Arts Business, Enterprise and Community Development


Course Overview

  • 2

    Years P/T

  • 6


Why take this course?

This programme is run in conjunction with Equal Ireland and is intended for second-chance learners who may have no formal education or are returning to education after an extended period out of formal education and/or training.

This is stage 1 of the 3 stage BA (Hons) in Business, Social Enterprise, Leadership and Management and is delivered part-time in a blended format, utilising workshops and online learning. It is designed to provide learners with the opportunity to achieve a Level 6 award via flexible delivery methodologies and incorporating Work and Community based learning.

This is the first two years of a four year BA (Hons) in Business, in Social Enterprise, Leadership & Management. It is a part-time Distance Learning Programme Accredited by Athlone Institute of Technology.

What will I experience?

Learners will have the opportunity to explore and develop their interest in the fields of business, enterprise and community development and to enhance their competencies towards becoming effective managers/administrators/programme leaders in these areas. A particular objective of EQUAL Ireland is the development of our participants so that they become accomplished self-directed, independent learners.

What opportunities might it lead to?

“What kind of a job will I get with this qualification?” is one of the most frequent and persistent questions asked at EQUAL Ireland Information Sessions.

The first thing to be said in response to this question has to be that this qualification imparts generic business, leadership and management skills to the learner. It is, for example, not a Law, Nursing or Engineering Degree, so the type of work, which can be successfully competed for is of a broader nature and includes a wider range of job types. Our programmes are aimed at developing your skills and knowledge so that you can compete effectively for the available jobs, whether they be in leadership and management roles in business, social enterprise or the community or voluntary sectors.

The need for good business and entrepreneurial practices to serve as the basis of business and community development initiatives is critical. Indeed most community development initiatives have or will have a social/community enterprise dimension. These programmes prepare graduates for career opportunities in planning, supervision and business development, administration, management and leadership within business, and in the social/community enterprise sector.

Some examples of career options that graduates work in include:

  • Regional Youth Worker
  • Accounts Manager
  • Programme worker
  • Development worker
  • Case management officer
  • Fundraising officer
  • Job coach
  • HR officer
  • Programme coordinator
  • Marketing officer
  • Project development officer
  • Operations coordinator
  • Office manager/coordinator
  • Project administrator
  • Director of services
  • Project leader
  • Services administrator
  • Supervisor/manager
  • MABS money adviser
  • Team leader
  • Family support adviser
  • Trainer

All international and local research shows higher levels of education increase your employability as well as your salary so the higher your standard of education, the more chance you have of getting a job and of being paid well in it. That’s a very strong argument in favour of continuing your educational journey. Business (and increasingly Social Enterprise) education, health and welfare programmes show very high levels of employment.

Additional Information

Completion of this programme will be of particular interest to you if you are:

  • Graduates of EQUAL Ireland’s Essential Skills Certificate programme
  • Learners who would like to attain a BA (Hons) in Business, Social Enterprise, Leadership and Management
  • Business Manager/Owner
  • Community Activists or Workplace Representatives
  • Entrepreneurs or Innovators who want to establish a successful private or social enterprise
  • Volunteers in Community Groups or Organisations whose prospects for employment within these organisations would be enhanced through acquiring this qualification

If you think you are eligible but are unsure why not text ‘HELP’ to EQUAL Ireland - 0872237231 and one of their staff will get directly in touch with you to discuss your concerns.

Assessment Information

This programme is assessed through continuous applied projects, both group and individual.

Course Details

Course Duration:
2 Years P/T
Registration Closing Date:

​Varies by cohort. Please contact Equal Ireland to confirm.

Course Commencement Date:

Usually September, contact Equal Ireland to confirm

Course Award:
Higher Certificate in Arts
Course NFQ Level:
Level 6
Dept of Accounting & Business Computing
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Any mature applicant, with substantial life experience either in the home, the workplace or in the community, demonstrating the essential basic literacy and numeracy skills deemed necessary to succeed on the programme will be eligible for admission.

Course Structure

Year 1

  • Learning & Development for Higher Education (10 Credits)
  • Community Development (15 Credits)
  • Communications (15 Credits)
  • Information & Communication Technology (10 Credits)
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Market Orientation (15 Credits)

Year 2

  • Ireland & EU Governance (15 Credits)
  • Campaigning & Media Skills (10 Credits)
  • Office & Financial Management (10 Credits)
  • Organisation Management (10 Credits)
  • Psychology in the Workplace Elective (10 Credits)
  • Applied Sociology Elective (10 Credits )

Careers & Opportunities

Further Study

Progression from this programme is to a BA in Business, Enterprise & Community Development and subsequently to a BA ( Hons) in Social Enteprrise Leadership and Management.

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