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

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Eligibility
  • Next Steps
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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 (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

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

• 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

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. 

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People in the following categories are eligible to apply for courses in the 2018/19 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+ 2018/19 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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Next Steps

Application Procedure

Apply online via the Springboard portal here.

  • Part-Time
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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 2019
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 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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