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Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

Qualification - Associate Diploma in Business

Course CodeVBS109
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma

Study a Business Diploma from Home

at your own pace.
Running a business is a day to day task - it will not run itself. Goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve these goals. In the daily operation of a business, some days will challenge you and some will inspire you. Most of them however will be just part of the daily routine of normal business operations.

The following are the three key areas in operating a small business:

  1. Management process – staff management; hiring the right people, training, how to get the best results from the people you hire. 
  2. Business strategy – defines your short and long term goals in relation to achieving targeted turnover and profit.
  3. Business operations – the means by which you achieve set goals i.e.  resources, tools, business plans and set procedures.




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Business.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Bookkeeping Foundations BBS103
 Business Studies BBS101
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Research Project I BGN102
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 10 of the following 17 modules.
 Cyber Security VIT103
 Ecommerce BIT100
 Financial (Money) Management BBS104
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Legal Systems and Terminology BWR108
 Marketing Psychology BPS107
 Personal Energy Management VRE105
 Personnel Management VBS107
 Supervision I VBS104
 Advertising and Promoting BBS202
 Bookkeeping - Applications BBS203
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Event Management BRE209
 Internet Marketing BIT204
 Business Coaching BBS304
 Business Planning BBS302

Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Business is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

LEARN MORE  (click below on courses or books of interest)
Courses offered by ACS Distance Education include-
Ebooks written by our academic faculty, may be purchased and immediately downloaded though our online store -
(Tips from our tutors)

Many people go into business because they want to work with something they love doing. Perhaps you are passionate about sport; and that is making you think about setting up a sporting business; or maybe you love cooking, and that has led you to seriously think about setting up a catering business.

Having knowledge of and passion for something is certainly an advantage, but only if that thing is also a good business prospect.

Consider Your Options
You need to decide:
1. The scale of business you wish to start.
2. Whether you will offer services or products (or both).
3. The amount of resources you want to invest.
4. The amount of risk you wish to take.
5. The industry you will operate in.
6. Your target market.

If you have come up with a simple sentence or one word answer to these points, you probably (or almost definitely) haven’t thought about this enough.  You need to think carefully about what you want to do.  You might think, well, I work, so I’m going to start this business in my spare time and see how it goes. That may be great, but what about all the time you are spending doing this, think about other things you should be doing, costs you might incur by not doing them and so on. You really need to sit down and consider in detail what exactly you want to do before you start. Take a simple example; you decide to spend every Saturday working on your business.  Because of this, you don’t have time to do decorating in your home, so you employ a decorator. This costs you £1000.  Your business never takes off, you never make any money, but it has already effectively cost you £1000 as you had to pay the decorator for what you didn’t have time to do.

This may sound like a really silly example to you, but many people set off into business without REALLY considering the costs financially, physically and emotionally to themselves of doing so.

Before starting your business, think seriously about the costs of this for your:


  • loss of time with family
  • loss of time to do other things  
    -work wise
    -house maintenance

Financial implications

  • the actual cost of the business itself
    - costs incurred by the business for advertising
    - additional costs incurred because you are spending time on the business eg. decorating, house maintenance, child

Costs in terms of relationships

  • the effect of stress on your behaviour
  • less time to spend with family and friends

Before doing anything else, you need to sit down and really consider all the implications of what you intend to do. If you have a busy life now, how are you going to do this?  We are not trying to say don’t set up your own business, just that you should be aware of what you are taking on. As we said above, passion is a good starting point, but it is not enough, the practicalities of starting a business also need to be considered.

So when you are ready and have thought more about what you want to do, also consider:

  • Things you are passionate about, have knowledge of, have experience with (either as an amateur or professional) and would be inclined to work with.
  • Resources you have at your disposal –time, money, expertise, physical facilities (equipment, property, buildings/rooms).

Scale of Business
Businesses that start slow and small, may never gain sufficient momentum to grow beyond anything small.

Businesses that start big can have greater potential to grow, and that growth is potentially faster.

If you start big, you risk losing more if a business fails; and you risk having a business that is moving faster than what you are able to keep up with.

If you start small and slow; you are more likely to notice problems that arise, and correct those problems before they threaten the viability of your business.

Some types of businesses are small, part time ventures, requiring little initial investment in time or money; but this type of business may never achieve the momentum to provide a significant income. A small scale business can generate extra income as a “side-line” to other work and that might be enough for what you want.  With the growth of eBay, Amazon and other similar sites, many people have set up small businesses “on the side” eg. The architect who also runs his own business selling books on Amazon. Or the childminder who also runs a business selling children’s clothing on eBay and so on.

Some of these businesses who start small like this can grow into large businesses.  The internet and magazines are full of people who started off small and their business took off. There are also obviously many many more who are not successful.

There may be less risk if you start slow and build a business gradually.

Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.


Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.




Meet some of our academics

David CrothersChartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA. Extensive international experience in business and finance.
Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
Denise Hodges Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for health and wellness. Denise has an Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip. Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing).
Kate GibsonKate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsExplore how to improve the management and profitability of an existing business. Businesses do not run themselves - goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve business goals. This book talks you through all of the different aspects involved in running a business from finance and forecasting to staffing changes and legal issues. Six chapters cover the daily challenges of running a business, people, the law, finance, product management, and risk management. 73 pages
LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.
Modern MarketingThis book explores new approaches to marketing, how to adapt to a continually changing world both through online marketing, and more. Some aspects of marketing never change; but many of the well established approaches used in the past simply do not work any more. This book lays a foundation for thinking about marketing in a different way
Professional Practice for ConsultantsExplore becoming a consultant. This ebook contains chapters on how to be a consultant, packaging your services, delivering the services, building your resources, finding the work and getting the job, planning and ethics.