A study of the relationship between entry qualifications and achievement of third level business studies students in Ireland, with particular reference to Cork Institute of Technology in the period 1996-2000

Rigney, Thomas J.

January 2002

Thesis or dissertation

© 2002 Thomas J Rigney. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This research focused on the study of entry qualifications and Third Level achievement of Business Studies Students. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were undertaken to investigate the findings.Quantitative studies of over two hundred students were analysed over a period of four years.This tracked students through the NCBS for two years, plus the NDBS for one year and the BBS degree for one year. Qualitative research involved interviewing over one hundred students in Third Level Business Studies courses,from both sectors of the higher education binary system in Ireland. What follows includes some of the principal findings of the research study.

The findings showed that there was a positive but not perfect association between LCE points achievement and subsequent achievement in Third Level Business Studies. A study of the mandatory qualification requirement of Mathematics and English found that higher achievers in Mathematics had a better achievement rate in Third Level. However, the subject of English did not appear to provide a reasonable correlation with Third Level achievement.

The research studied the three second level Business Studies subjects available on the senior cycle curriculum; Accounting, Business Organisation and Economics. Accounting was shown to be the most beneficial subject to study for achievement. Study of the subject at second level was shown to have inherent advantages for students compared to their counterparts who had not studied it.

Students with poor academic achievement in their LCE can attain higher achievement academically in Third Level Business Studies than higher achievers in the LCE with the principal reasons for this including their commitment to studies in Third Level education.

The thesis remedies a gap in the research literature. Consequently the findings will be of significant benefit to stakeholders including students, teachers, parents,career counsellors and curriculum developers.

Institute for Learning, The University of Hull
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