Information Technology COURSES

Certificate in Fundamentals of Database & Cloud Technologies


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Awarding Body: 
 Higher Education & Training Awards Council  
 1 Academic Year (September – May),  2 evenings per week 
 Course commencing:  
 September 2012 
 Award Level:  
 Level 6 Special Purpose Award 
 ECTS Credits:  


Dublin Business School (DBS) has collaborated with Microsoft Ireland to develop a Level 6 Special Purpose Award for a Certificate in Fundamentals of Database and Cloud Technologies. This programme is specifically designed to assist Springboard participants in obtaining jobs in the areas of Database Administration, Database Development and Business Intelligence Development. 

A report published in January 2011 compiled by Goodbody for Microsoft Ireland, called “Ireland’s Competitiveness & Jobs Opportunity: Cloud Computing” suggests cloud computing could create €9.5bn in annual sales by 2014, supporting almost 9,000 jobs in Ireland. This programme understands that all IT roles will require cloud skills in the future. This Certificate will provide participants with the skills needed to understand database technology and how that interacts with cloud technologies; enabling participants to capitalise on new opportunities and on the growth expected in this industry.

Programme Aims and Objectives

According to the Global Knowledge TechRepublic 2010 Salary Survey one of the top 10 technical skills in demand in 2010 is Database Management. Databases are at the heart of key business systems. This Certificate in Fundamentals of Database and Cloud Technologies is designed for participants on the Springboard programme to take their first steps towards a career as an IT professional in Database Administration, Database Development or Business Intelligence Development. The Microsoft Technology Associate certification will also provide participants with an entry-level certification, specifically developed by Microsoft to provide the cloud computing skills targeting Platform as a Service (PaaS). Within PaaS this database certification is the first step in providing skills necessary to prepare participants to work equally in both a data-center and in a cloud environment.

This programme has two distinct elements; participants complete 3 modules: Database Design, Business Computing and Web Authoring & Design and can then successfully complete the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification in Database Administration Fundamentals. By partnering with Microsoft Ireland, DBS can provide a unique proposition for participants on the Springboard programme. Participants will not only earn a Level 6 Special Purpose Award, but they will also become a Microsoft Technology Associate upon completion of the Microsoft exam.

Programme Content

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  • Database Design
  • Business Computing
  • Web Authoring & Design
  • MTA Database Administration Fundamentals

Teaching & Assessment

The proposed teaching, learning and assessment methodologies are intended to facilitate springboard participants to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their own learning in partnership with the academic faculty. 

Specific methods adopted will include:
  • Conventional lectures
  • Lab practical sessions
  • E-Learning
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials 
  • Projects
  • Seminars
  • Assignments
  • Analysis of case studies
  • Group research and project work
  • Guest lectures
Students will be actively encouraged and assisted to manage their own studies outside of lectures. This is facilitated by the teaching styles and methods adopted and by placing greater emphasis on practically focused assessment. A particular focus of this programme will be for students to work in collaborative teams with their tutors on a variety of projects. Through this process they will learn key life skills of good teamwork towards achieving a common goal. In addition, the E-learning platform, Moodle, will also provide lecturers and students with a virtual learning environment to complement and enrich the more traditional learning environment. 

Assessment Methods

The programme assessment strategies have been developed in order to provide learners to demonstrate the opportunity to apply transferrable skills relevant to the workplace. These include working as part of a team, report writing, presentation skills etc.  These assessment methods will include:
  • Problem solving exercises 
  • Practical projects incorporating a variety of competencies and skills
  • Case studies
  • Research based projects
  • Individual assignments 
  • Management reports (e.g. Finance, Strategy)
  • Group projects
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Exams and other time constrained assessments (open and closed book)

Dedicated Programme Leader 

From the outset, students will be provided with an array of academic and IT supports to ensure that the varied academic and learning needs of participants are being attended to. All students will be informed of the support mechanisms available throughout their induction and will be provided with the relevant contact details of their dedicated programme leader and level manager.


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The course duration is one Academic Year (September – May). Typically students will attend classes on two evenings per week from 6pm. Course timetables will be available in due course.


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To be eligible for a place on a Springboard 2012 programme a person must be: 

  • Unemployed with a previous history of employment AND satisfy one of the following three criteria: 

1. Be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection: 
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
  • One Parent Family
  • Disability Allowance
  • Qualified Adults of Working Age
  • Carers Allowance
  • Farm Assist/Fish Assist
  • Widow(er)s Contributory or Non-contributory Pension
  • Blind Pension
  • Deserted Wives Allowance
There is no requirement to be in receipt of a payment for a particular period of time prior to the commencement of the programme. Participants in receipt of an eligible payment at the time the Springboard course commences are eligible to apply for a place on that course. However, providers will be required to give priority to applications from people who are long term unemployed. 


2. Be signing for social insurance contribution credits 


3. Be previously self-employed AND be actively seeking employment 

Entry Requirements

  • Holders of a Level 5 or Level 6 NFQ award or equivalent, or
  • If you are over 23 years of age at time of application and do not meet the minimum course entry requirements you may apply as a mature student. Mature students are assessed on the basis of age, work experience, general education standard, motivation and commitment to the programme.

Next Steps

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 Apply online via the Springboard portal on

Career Opportunities

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This Certificate programme has been designed jointly by Microsoft Ireland and Dublin Business School.  Microsoft is one of the leading software companies in the world and is one of the companies taking the lead in the cloud computing arena, by moving organisations from their existing operations and services to the cloud. Microsoft products include offerings for the three cloud service types: software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service. 

This programme has been developed to provide participants with the building blocks needed to begin a career working in the database and PaaS environment. Upon successful completion participants will be able to take their first steps towards a career as an IT professional in Database Administration, Database Development or Business Intelligence Development.

Industry specific guest speakers from the Digital Hub in Dublin, Microsoft Ireland and other companies have been secured to deliver in-class seminars to students on this course which will present an opportunity for students to network with professionals in the industry. In addition, DBS has engaged with a network of employers who regularly offer internship options to our students, and following preliminary discussions with these employers many are interested in participating with DBS on this programme. 


Contact us

Contact us

The Admissions Office
Dublin Business School
13/14 Aungier Street
Dublin 2, Ireland
T: + 353 (0) 1 4177500
F: + 353 (0) 1 4177543