Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development) - Part-time

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Eligibility
  • Next Steps
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N.B: This programme is now full. Applications are still open for our full-time ICT Skills programmes commencing in April 2017 Contact springboard@dbs.ie for more information.


Dublin Business School (DBS) in conjunction with Microsoft Ireland, their Partner Network and other relevant industry partners have developed an intensive Full and Part-Time Level 8 conversion award for a Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development). This programme is specifically designed to address the demand for graduates with ICT skills in areas including Software Development and Software Engineering.

Programme Aims & Objectives

According to the National Skills Bulletin (2013) and as outlined in the Forfas/EGFSN (2013) report ‘Addressing Future Demand for High-level ICT Skills’, research findings indicate that the immediate skills recruitment difficulties being experienced relate primarily to positions requiring high level ICT skills at Level 8 or above.  The demand in terms of positions includes Software Engineers for the design and development of applications and systems. Specific skillsets required include: Programming languages – Java, JavaScript, C#, C++, Visual Basic, .Net, Objective-Orientated Programming (OOP). Web Development – Understanding of Web 2.0 development, XML, Microsoft ASP.Net, Personal homepage Tools (PHP), Microsoft SharePoint family of software products and other web page development skills (HTML, CSS, XHHTML).

Following completion of the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development), participants will be able to:

• Design and build mobile applications using Google’s Android open-source platform

• Design, implement, test & document advanced Object-Oriented Programs

• Apply advanced data structures

• Construct event-driven Graphical User Interfaces

• Evaluate platforms in order to create, design and develop a server side web application with database integration

• Demonstrate proficiency in document mark-up languages particularly XML

• Develop Web-based applications using .NET framework and specifically ASP.NET

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS (http://www.dbs.ie/terms-and-conditions) and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

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Course Content

This course will run over two academic years, with four semesters. Over these four semesters the course content will include:

• Principles of Programming 

• Database Design and Development

• Information Systems Development & Management

• Object Oriented Programming

• Web Design and Development

• Operating Systems & Networks

Students will be provided with a significant grounding in core computing modules. Students will pursue a specialisation stream in Software Development. This element is a focused set of modules and project work designed to bring candidates quickly to the industry entry standard for graduates in their chosen field of specialisation.

Specialised core modules include:

• Advanced Programming

• Web and Cloud Application Development

• Mobile Application Development

• Project

Upon completion of the above students will complete an industry based credit bearing project.

Personal Development Programme

To complement the academic programme, learners will follow a skills based Personal Development Programme (PDP). The programme has been designed in collaboration with industry to ensure that graduates are able to demonstrate the personal skills and aptitudes employers have highlighted as requirements and to assist graduates of the programme to integrate effectively into the work place. The PDP will be delivered across all ​four semesters.

Teaching & Assessment

DBS teaching and learning strategies are intended to facilitate students to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their own learning in partnership with the academic faculty.  A wide range of teaching and learning methods are used in the programme to ensure all learning styles are accommodated. Methods will include formal lectures, seminars, workshops, lab tutorials, on-line video demonstrations, and presentations that will emphasise student participation and application to case studies and relevant computing and business issues.  

The focus of the programme is on the application of learning to the real-life environment and therefore a significant proportion of this programme is computer based. Learners will be required to practice taught skills and elements of the course via self directed learning. Intellectual skills are developed through project work, tutorial work and coursework assignments. In addition to the accredited modules learners will be timetabled to participate in personal development activities. Learners will therefore gain the necessary additional applied skills in order to expedite their integration into the workplace.

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The programme contains a deliberate mix of professional certification in relevant industry skills, personal development and academic content. The part-time programme will run over 2 academic years,and typically students will attend 2 evenings per week with some weekends per semester . 

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Career Opportunities/Progression to Further Study

Upon completion of the programme, graduates would typically take up roles as: 

• Software Engineer/Developers/Programmers/testers

• Net Developer

• Web Developer

• Mobile App Developer

• Trainee Programme Analyst

• Project Support Engineer

• Technical Support Engineer

• Database designer and developer

• CRM Developer

• IT Consultant

DBS fully recognises the importance of job readiness to the ICT Skills programme participant and has put in place an integrated and comprehensive Personal and Professional Development Service for ICT participants entitled "Jump Start Your Career". This intensive programme covers every aspect of the job procurement process and has greatly assisted ICT skills programme participants with their job search activities and preparation for employment. 

A suite of careers motivation, self-confidence and job ready workshops will be delivered and timetabled for programme participants. Additional sessions will be scheduled to include:
- CV Preparation, Interview Skills & Techniques & Job searching tools,
- One-to-One sessions,
- Individual coaching & feedback, Review of experience and progress & candidate/employment matching process.

Out of hours one-to-one consultations, with evening appointments, will also be offered to programme participants who are unable to attend during the day.

DBS will offer strong assessment processes and feedback tools to assist in one-to-one sessions in training on behavioural competencies style, career match aptitudes that will enhance significantly the career guidance, personal development, employer engagement and interview skills in order to maximize the work placement and employment opportunities. Significant emphasis will be placed on building communication and interpersonal confidence and skills to demonstrate participants values to employers. Each participant will have access to a careers coach/mentor to support the candidate/placement matching and placement process with potential employers.

DBS also has extensive engagement with industry and in addition to companies who have pledged interests of placements; it has over 1,150 employers on its database and active engagement with 2,727 DBS Alumni all of whom have engaged in the creation for placement/employment opportunities for ICT Students.

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For the one-year full-time ICT Conversion courses you may be eligible irrespective of your employment status (i.e. whether you are employed or unemployed) and regardless of whether you are in receipt of income support from the Department of Social Protection.

For the two year part-time ICT Conversion courses you may be eligible if you are employed. If you are unemployed and in receipt of a jobseekers payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you are not eligible for the two year ICT Conversion courses. However, if you are in receipt of other social protection payments, e.g. One Parent Family or Disability Allowance, you may be eligible for the two year part-time Conversion programmes.

Entry Requirements

To be considered for admission to this programme, applicants must hold a Primary Honours Degree (Level 8) in a cognate discipline from a recognised third level institution or equivalent qualification. In addition, an IELTS score of a minimum 6.0 or equivalent is required, where full-time study has been conducted in a language other than English or for applicants whose first language is not English.

Candidates will ideally be able to demonstrate technical or mathematical problem solving skills as part of previous programme learning. Typically holders of more technical, numerate degrees are likely to gain a higher ranking in any order of merit in selection for the programme.

Typical disciplines which would fall into this category would be:

• Engineering

• Architecture

• Mathematics

• Physics

Some candidates will also have gained a Level 8 qualification in a programme with a significant IT component and/or significant numerate element. Such programmes vary greatly in mathematical and information technology content and assessment would be by detailed examination of subject content, assessments and syllabi.

Typical programmes which would fall into this category could include:

• Management Information Systems

• Accounting

• Business

• Management

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Learners may also access this course on the basis of recognition of prior learning or by assessment of prior experiential learning/informal learning. For this particular programme applicants will be considered on a case by case basis based upon their educational record, work experience, their ability to demonstrate technical or mathematical problem solving skills and a capacity to successfully participate in the programme.

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Next Steps

Application Procedure

Apply online via the Springboard portal ​here.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
2 Academic Years (September-May)
Study Mode: 
Part-time, 2 Evenings Per Week
Course Commenc​ement Date: 
​​​April 2017
Award Level: 
Level 8 NFQ
Award Type: Major
ECTS Credits: 

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    We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2017. Contact our admissions team for more information

    Email: admissions@dbs.ie
    Phone: 01 417 7500
    Opening times:
    Monday to Friday: 8:45am to 5:15pm

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