If you have x and y co-ordinate information in a text file it is normally quite straight forward to convert that data into a points layer within a desktop GIS. Sometimes, you may also have data created with a GPS in degree format. This kind of data is not as straight forward to convert into a points layer as you have to ensure that the text file is in exactly the correct format. The following example shows how to import degree data into QGIS in a comma separated text file format.
With QGIS, the first stage is to ensure that you have your information in the degree (DMS) format of Degrees, Minutes and Seconds. You may have your file in this format already and in this case you should be able to proceed to import it into QGIS. If the process fails completely or if you have your point layer not loading correctly there could be one of the following factors at play.
Joe Short BSc has been involved with various mapping solutions since 1993. If you are considering implementing a GIS or have ArcGIS, MapInfo or Quantum GIS training requirements I would be happy to be of assistance to your organisation.