Higher Diploma Science in Computing
Level 8 About NFQ
School of Computing
The Springboard TeamEmail Phone
1800 221 721 (option 4)
National College of Ireland,
Blended/Online Delivery. This is an online/blended learning course. The majority of the programme will be delivered online. More information below under 'Delivery Notes'
Eligibility and Funding:
For the 1 year full time evening ICT Conversion courses if you are unemployed and in receipt of a DEASP payment you must be in receipt of this payment for 9 of the previous 12 months to be eligible for funding. If you secure a place on this course you will need to transfer to 'Back to Education Allowance' (BTEA). Even though this course is open to applicants irrespective of their employment status, places on Springboard+ courses are limited and applicants who are on a qualifying Social Welfare payment will take priority over others.
Fees: A student contribution fee of €540 is applicable if you are in employment. No fees are applicable if you are unemployed and in receipt of an eligible DEASP payment (this includes those in receipt of Working Family Payment). This amount must be paid in full no later than Friday 18th November 2022. If a student withdraws before the commencement of the course the full amount that they have paid is refundable. No refund will be processed once the student commences the course the week beginning 19th September 2022. Please see https://www.ncirl.ie/NewStudents for more details. Please note that this scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials
The course teaches students the computing fundamentals, complemented with detailed knowledge, problem-solving and specialised technical skills required for analysing, designing and developing technical software solutions. The second semester consists of a focused set of modules that are specific to the Blockchain specialisation. The course aims to impart awareness and appreciation of relevant topics that enable distributed ledger and blockchain technology, and knowledge and skills in developing blockchain-based applications.
Learners will also consolidate their knowledge and skills by carrying out a three-month work placement. In addition, the Career Bridge module will help the students to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is one of the most transformational technologies of our time. Business transactions are normally recorded and managed in ledgers which are inefficient, costly, error-prone, and non-transparent. This process is susceptible to fraud and data misuses. Blockchain-based solutions aim to solve these deficiencies. Their inherent immutability (unchangeable) ensures the integrity of data, bringing more trust to digital transactions; and its shared ownership nature makes it transparent and less vulnerable to cyberattacks. Blockchain is the technology behind virtual currencies (like bitcoin) but its applications go beyond that. Blockchain improves the way in which we can enact our vote, rent a car, buy a house, and even prove who we are.
For example, in the music industry, blockchain and smart contracts technology help to solve key problems such as ownership rights, transparency, and royal distribution by creating a decentralized blockchain ledger that enables transparency of artist royalties and allows players to be paid with cryptocurrency. In government affairs, the blockchain ledger can prevent the manipulation of elections as votes become encrypted improving the security of voting systems which could be hacked. At the same time, being blockchain a public ledger, it can open its data to citizens, creating transparency.
The future of blockchain is near and it has the potential to disrupt nearly every industry with its unique security and accountability benefits. Do you want to be prepared to work with the engine of the next revolution? Apply for Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Blockchain) today.
The Blockchain specialisation explores the development of blockchain applications and their implications in other fields by providing a practical understanding of blockchain foundations, blockchain application development, and distributed ledger systems. The learners will study computing-related topics that include software development, best practices in software engineering, the design and implementation of databases, computer architecture, networks and operating systems, blockchain foundations, blockchain application development, and distributed systems.
Is this course suitable for me?
This course will typically appeal to graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would wish to change their non-ICT qualification into the computer science field through a level 8 award in computing. Nonetheless, it is noted that the course is technical in nature and will entail a significant amount of independent study. Given the content and the timescale you will need to have a strong commitment to the course and a willingness to fully engage with the technical content.
Applicants holding an honours degree (level 8) in any discipline will be considered for the course. The college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may be considered based on relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed through a portfolio of learning, demonstration of work produced, interview and assessment.
Besides having a very strong WIFI connection, students of online courses at the National College of Ireland are required to have the following equipment in order to effectively participate in an online classroom:
Specifically, students are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a portable computer (laptop/notebook) with a substantial hardware configuration. Its minimal suitable configuration is 8GB of RAM (16GB are recommended); a modern 64-bit x86 multi-core processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+ GB of available space in hard disk; WiFi card; and a recent version of Ubuntu, macOS, or Windows.
Any microphone is acceptable, provided the audio is clear. Most laptops have an inbuilt microphone which is perfectly acceptable, however occasionally an external mic is necessary.
You may test your microphone’s compatibility with your browser here: https://www.onlinemictest.com/
Headphones are strongly recommended to avoid echo while using the microphone.
• External Webcam
External Webcams (USB cable) are required in order to authenticate yourself for examination purposes. Onboard webcams, ie webcams built into the laptop are not appropriate for examination authentication. Webcams are not required for day to day classes.
*Free Laptop loan for eligible students on this course: Students who are eligible for 100% HEA may also be eligible for a free laptop provided on a loan basis for the duration of the programme - subject to maximum numbers. Check https://www.ncirl.ie/Students/ Student-Services/Support-Services/ Student-Laptop-Fund for updates on the next opening date for applications*
• Software Development
• Object Oriented Software Engineering
• Introduction to Databases
• Web Design and Client Side Scripting
• Computer Architecture Operating Systems and Networks
• Blockchain Foundations
• Distributed Systems
• Career Bridge
• Blockchain Application Development
Springboard Careers Advisors will proactively support you to find relevant employment during the course or following completion of the course.
Note: The prospective students are required to specify the specialisation they would like to follow when they apply for a place within the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing programme.
This course is designed to meet the needs of the IT sector and secure future employment for graduates. Companies who have hired 2021 graduates from the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing include: Shamrock Space Services (Software Engineer), Mastercard (Software Engineer), Bank of America (Java Developer), Permanent TSB (Digital Optimisation & Solutions), The Citco Group (SSE Development intern), OpenJaw Technologies (Software Developer), Freelance Architectural 3D Visualizer, Cognizant (Junior Software Developer).
The Career Bridge module is worked into each of the programme schedules. Assisting students develop and achieve their career goals is a core mission within NCI. The Careers & Employability team, won the National AHECS Gold Award for Excellence in Employability in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018, came highly commended in 2020 and won the Education Award for Career Impact Strategy in 2019 and 2021.
These were awarded for the work undertaken with students completing skills conversion programmes. The Career Bridge module involves producing a career action plan and develops in students the ability to self-manage their careers, identify and apply for career opportunities, develop an online brand, network effectively and promote themselves at interview.
Start Date: The course is expected to start in the week commencing 26th September 2022.
Indicative Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00. Career Bridge classes will be delivered one day per week in Semester 2 from 17.00 to 18.00. Day to be confirmed.
Duration: Sept to Dec 2022, Jan to May 2023 & May to Aug 2023.
While every effort is made to schedule exams for part-time students in the evenings or Saturdays this is not always possible and all students, Part-time and Full-time, are expected to sit end of semester examinations during the day and evening Monday to Saturday.
*All start dates and schedules are indicative and can be subject to change unless otherwise stated*
National College of Ireland
This is an online/blended learning course. The majority of the programme will be delivered online. At certain limited and pre-scheduled times there will be opportunities for on-campus sessions. These on-campus sessions will also be dual delivered so students who do not wish to attend campus for these sessions will have the option of attending them online. Online classes will be live online. Theory-based content will be covered outside of class time with self-paced tutorials/videos on the College’s e-learning system, and practical content being covered in live, interactive online classes with support from lecturers and lab assistants.
The Springboard TeamAddress
National College of Ireland,
1800 221 721 (option 4)Email
For candidates who do not have a level 8 qualification, the college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme - meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic entry requirements, may be considered based on relevant work or other experience. The Springboard Team will provide this form to you if you are required to fill it out
ACTION ITEM: Throughout the application process please continue to check your Spam and Junk folders in your email account as emails from firstname.lastname@example.org can at times default to these folders instead. In addition, please ensure that you have only one email address registered with Springboard. The email address that you login to your Springboard account with must match the email address on your Springboard application form. If the email address on the application form is different, you will need to update it. Failure to do so will only cause confusion and as a result you may end up missing vital emails from the Springboard team in regards to your application. We also ask you to review the postal address that you have included on your application form and ensure that is up to date.
This supporting documentation must be uploaded to www.springboardcourses.ie along with your application or within a few days of having submitted your application to ensure that your application can be assessed for a September start.
1. Your current curriculum vitae:
Please provide an up to date CV. The Employer Name and Location needs be outlined for every job. If you were unemployed or travelling for a period of time this too needs to be included on your CV including the dates and location(s) of where you resided during that time. Any unexplained gaps will result in a delay in the processing of your Springboard+ application
2. Career Statement:
Please include a 300-word career statement detailing what has motivated you to undertake the programme and how the programme fits in with your career objectives. This statement is compulsory and must be course specific. It should clearly demonstrate that you have researched the course and have a broad understanding of the course you are applying for. Unless it refers explicitly to the course you are applying for it will not be accepted. Please also ensure that you have included your full name and the exact course title on the career statement.
3. Educational Transcripts for any relevant qualifications listed in your application form and the final certificates for any qualifications listed in your application form. Alternatively, a Diploma Supplement will suffice if it contains a breakdown of all subjects taken for the duration of the course.
4. Candidates whose qualifications are in foreign languages - please ensure all documentation is provided in its original language. You must also have these documents officially translated into English by a professional, registered translation company. Translations done by you, the applicant, are not acceptable. There are a number of such companies here in Dublin 1 who will do this for you.
Further Documentation/Interview Requirements
Depending on your background you may be required to submit additional documentation and/or participate in an interview or logic test. The Course Director may also request to meet you in person/over the phone for an informal interview to assess your suitability for the course. We will advise you in due course if any of the above applies to you.
English Language Requirements
Candidates whose first language is not English may also be required to sit the free NCI Academic Competency Test. Regardless of how long you have lived or worked in Ireland if you have not already successfully completed an academic course through English lasting at least one year and if you cannot provide a suitable IELTS or TOEFL test result you may need to do the NCI Academic Competency Test. We will advise you if this applies to you.
As per the Self Declaration Form that you were required to complete at the time of applying, we will require further supporting documentation at a later date should your application be successful. This request will come from a member of the Springboard team directly nearer the course start date. Do not provide any other documentation throughout the application process aside from what has been requested.
**Please note that once courses are at capacity they may close without warning**
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