Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (IT Infrastructure & Networking) - Part-time

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Eligibility
  • Next Steps
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*This programme is at full capacity and we are not currently accepting applications.*


Dublin Business School (DBS) in conjunction with Springboard+, 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 (IT Infrastructure & Networking). 

Programme Aims & Objectives

Recent work carried out by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and as outlined in the National Skills Bulletin (2013) has identified ICT skills demand for Network Specialists & Engineers. In order to address and respond to this ICT skill shortage, DBS have developed a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (IT Infrastructure and Networking). Specific skills include Server Message Block, Wireless sensor testing, collaboration functions, router configuration and management, experience with scripting language Java, C+ and network configurations.

Closely linked with this specialist stream, is the increasing demand for ICT security technologies and skills. As outlined in the EGFSN/Forfas report (Nov 2013), it is estimated that spending on IT security products in 2013 was around €25 billion globally and growing at more than 7% over the next three years. The move towards cloud solutions have strengthened the growing need to invest in security as sensitive information may no longer reside on dedicated hardware and the mode of access changes. The ‘Computer Security’ module embedded on the IT Infrastructure stream with the core concepts of computer security includes various tools and techniques for vulnerability discovery and threat analysis. Participants also develop best practice tools and techniques, standards and trends related to computer security.

Following completion of the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (IT Infrastructure & Networking) participants will be able to:

• Design, configure & manage a switched network. Implementing a hierarchical structure, loop avoidance, switch convergence and VLANS.

• Design & Implement an IP addressing scheme for a network.

• Understand and describe the operations & functions of a router & its critical role within networking.

• Demonstrate in-depth understanding of WAN technologies, from Frame Relays to MPLS to Metro Ethernet.

• Demonstrate basic system administration tasks such as user management & modifying file permissions.

• Write & execute UNIX/Linux bash scripts which perform common system administration tasks.

• Demonstrate advanced knowledge in the area of virtualization & how underlying virtualization technologies function.

• Identify & analyse several security threats to given computer applications.

• Specify and apply security requirements to counter security problems for given applications.

• Identify several security tools and techniques to develop appropriate security mechanisms for the protection of computer systems.

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. Applications without this will be considered on the basis of approved prior experience and learning (RPL).

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


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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

• IT Project Management

• 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 IT Infrastructure & Networking. 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:

• Cloud Infrastructure and Virtualisation

• System Administration

• Advanced Networks and Security

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, 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:

• Network Specialists

• Security Experts/Administrators

• IT support Engineer

• Project Manager

• Applications Support

• Technical Consultant

• Software Support Technician

• Network Engineer/Administrator

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. 

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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.

Please also note the following new eligibility requirements for all Springboard+ 2017 courses:

Those who have completed a Springboard+ course within the past two years (i.e. graduated from a 2015 or 2016 Springboard+ call course ) are not eligible to apply in 2017 (unless the participant is seeking to progress their qualification level in the same discipline, e.g. Level 7 to Level 8). 
Participants who enrolled in more than one Springboard+ course since the inception of Springboard+ in 2011, and did not complete any course, are not eligible to apply in 2017. 
Participants who enrolled in just one course, since the inception of Springboard+ in 2011, but did not complete, are eligible to apply in 2017, but will be required to meet all eligibility criteria as outlined below.

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. The process is implemented within the relevant school, by the relevant Head of School/Department or nominee, and is overseen by The Registrar. 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.

Apply online via the Springboard portal.

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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: 
Course Commenc​ement Date: 
​​​Spring 2018
Award Level: 
Level 8 NFQ
Award Type: Major
ECTS Credits: 

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    We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2018. 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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