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

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

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Eligibility
  • Next Steps
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The Springboard 2019/20 brochure is available here for download.


Dublin Business School (DBS) in conjunction with Springboard+, Microsoft Ireland, their Partner Network and other relevant industry partners have developed an intensive 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

The primary objective of the programme is to address ICT Skills gaps through the successful conversion of talented learners from non-computing/IT disciplines to meet identified skills needs in the economy. According to Mary Mitchell O'Connor,  Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and as outlined in the recently published ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ 2017 report, the ICT sector is of strategic importance to Ireland, both in terms of the numbers of high skilled professionals employed and its significant contribution to Ireland’s export performance, accounting for €70 billion in exports per annum.

 As outlined in the Forfas/EGFSN (2013) report ‘Addressing Future Demand for High-Level ICT Skills’, results from this study indicate that Ireland is likely to face an average increase in demand for high-level ICT skills of around 5% a year out to 2018 with the employment of ICT professionals anticipated to rise to just over 91,000. Employment growth is strong for programmers and software developers and in strong demand across all economic sectors as also referenced in the National Skills Bulletin 2017.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide graduates with the underpinning academic knowledge to enhance their educational and employment opportunities and to achieve the award of a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing. A feature of the part-time programme is the opportunity for the learner to engage in an industry related project.  In addition to acquiring new skills, learners will apply and reinforce the knowledge and practical skills they have acquired during the taught element of the programme.

As part of the objectives of the ICT Action Plan 2014-2018, National Skills Strategy 2025 and Action Plan for Education 2016-2019, the aim is to increase the domestic supply of ICT graduates to meet demand from 57% to 74% by 2018. This programme has been running since 2012 and aims to meet that objective in providing skilled graduates in the relevant ICT area. In Ireland in general software developers are among the most in-demand roles in the tech sector. Key skills common to all streams of the programme and acquired throughout semester one of the taught programme will include the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the core IT skills of software development, database design & development, web application, networking and operating systems. Design, develop, test and document software.

Specific Skills that the proposed specialist software development stream is preparing participants for:

- Competent knowledge with Object-Oriented Programming concepts & ability to implement these concepts to produce well designed Object-Oriented programs

- Ability to design, implement, test and document Advanced Object-Oriented Programs

- In-depth knowledge of unit testing and system testing

- Ability to construct event-driven Graphical User Interfaces

- Proficiency in programming languages such as C#.NET and Java

- Competency to create & maintain a Database using SQL

- Expertise to develop relational and XML databases including native and Hybrid XML databases

- Proficiency in current database & web application development languages and frameworks

- Competency in document mark-up languages particularly HTML5, XHTML and XML

- Ability to develop Web-based applications using .Net framework & specifically ASP.NET

- Expertise to manipulate a database from a web application using ADO.NET

- Proficiency in using advanced Web development tools and techniques such as DHTML and AJAX

- Designing and Developing a server side web application with database integration

- Integrate social media features using API’s

- Application of current & emerging technologies to enhance the functionality of web application components.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for Higher Diploma in Science in Computing are:

  • A Level 8 primary undergraduate honours degree with a minimum Pass classification from a recognised third level institution in any discipline.

  • 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 like to gain a higher ranking in any order of merit in selection for the programme.

  • For applicants whose first language is not English and who have not previously undertaken a degree taught through English, evidence must be provided of proficiency in English language equivalent to B2+ or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). This must be evidenced through a recognised English Language test such as IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, PTE or DBS English Assessment. Test certificates should be dated within the last two years to be considered valid.

    Applicants who do not have a Level 8 qualification at a 2.2 award level and who have at least 3 years’ work experience may also be considered through the college’s normal RPL procedures.  Relevant professional experience may be taken into account and individuals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis through DBS RPL procedures.


    Corporate Services

    Did you know? DBS would love to meet with you and your company to discuss the Springboard+ Government funded programmes initiative.

    DBS offers a range of Springboard+ programmes designed to meet the skills need of employers and the country. These programmes could provide your employees with the relevant skills to grow and develop into the next few years and beyond.

    For more information on this new service or to arrange a meeting, please contact our Corporate Services Team on admissions@dbs.ie or by telephone 01 417 7500.

Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

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Course Content

This course will run over two academic years, with four semesters. Modules within this programme include:

• Information Systems Development & Management  

• Principles of Programming 

• Database Design and Development

• Operating Systems & Networks 

• Web Design and Development

• Object Oriented Programming

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

Upon completion of the above students will complete either a project or a work placement. 

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

• 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. 

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People in the following categories are eligible to apply for courses in the 2019/20 academic year (subject to the applicant meeting all residency and nationality/visa requirements and any academic requirements):

  • People in employment

    Please note that under the Springboard+ 2019/20 initiative, 90% of the fees are covered by HEA and 10% of the fees are payable to the college for this category of applicants. They may apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria. These fees can be paid by either the applicant or their employer, should the employer sponsor the applicant. Should you require a company sponsorship form for invoicing please let us know.

    Therefore the below fees will be applied to your application, should your application be successful, for this course:

    Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development) - Part-time - Course fee is €7,250, of which you pay 10% = €725

    NOTE: These fees must be paid prior to enrolling on your Springboard+ programme.

  • Returners (Formerly referred to as Homemakers)

    Courses are fully funded for these applicants. They may apply to all courses if they meet the nationality/visa requirement and residency criteria. Course specific criteria may also apply.

Please note, these two-year part-time ICT conversion courses are not open to those in receipt of Jobseekers-related payments. 

All applications must be submitted online via the Springboard+ website. Please note that documentation supporting the applicants status will be required as part of the application process.

Please visit the Springboard+ website for further information on participant eligibility and funding eligibility requirements.

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. Such applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis. 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.

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Application Procedure

Apply online via the Springboard portal here.

Corporate Services

Did you know? DBS now can meet with you and your company to discuss the Springboard+ Government funded programmes, to see if it could work as a learning & development solution for your organisation.

This is ideal for any size organisation in any industry based in Dublin and the surrounding counties, that may want to invest in employees' professional development.

For more information on this new service or to arrange a meeting, please contact our Corporate Services Team on admissions@dbs.ie or by telephone 01 417 7500.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
2 Academic Years 
Study Mode: 
Part-time, 2 Evenings Per Week
Course Commencement Date: 
March 2020
Award Level: 
Level 8 NFQ
Award Type: Major
ECTS Credits: 

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  • Contact

    We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2020. 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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