Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Data Analytics (September 2022)

National College of Ireland (PGDDA_SEP)
Key Programme Details

Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Data Analytics

NFQ Level

Level 9 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Computing

General Information

The Springboard Team



1800 221 721 (option 4)


Springboard Office,
National College of Ireland,
Mayor Street,
Dublin 1


Springboard Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Blended/Online Directed E-Learning. This is an online/blended learning course. The majority of the programme will be delivered online. More information below under 'Delivery Notes'

Overview of Eligibility:
Even though this course is open to applicants irrespective of their employment status the HEA requests that we must prioritise those in receipt of a social protection payment and those classified as ‘returners’ to upskill or reskill and re-enter the workforce by providing places free of charge. As places on Springboard+ courses are limited, the unemployed will always take priority over others. Please note that to participate in a NFQ Level 9 (Postgraduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing a full-time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the NFQ.

Fees: A student contribution fee of €650 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 for more details. Please note that this scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials

Overview of Course:
The Postgraduate Diploma in Data Analytics aims to produce high-quality, technically competent, innovative graduates that will become leading practitioners in the field of data analytics. The learners will study entirely online participating in online lectures, labs, continuous assessments and final examinations.

Lectures are delivered in synchronous and directed e-learning mode, with learners being able to interact with the teaching staff live. Access to various additional resources and recording of the lectures are also provided.

Learners on the course will gain in-depth knowledge and skills in the core topics of Data Analytics including: Statistics; Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery; Machine Learning; Modelling, Simulation, and Optimization; Programming for Data Analytics; Research aspects of Data Analytics.

Furthermore, learners will be able to choose from a number of elective modules covering a variety of topics from both business and technical domains. The course structure accommodates learners whose specific interests in Data Analytics may be either more technically focused or a more business focused nature. All learners will also gain exposure to pertinent legal issues and ethical issues associated with the data analytics field.

Upon completion of this course, graduates will be able to conduct independent research and analysis in the field of data analytics; to demonstrate expert knowledge of data analysis, statistics and modelling; to critically assess and evaluate business and technical strategies for data analytics; and to develop and implement business and technical solutions for data analytics.

The learners will consolidate the acquired knowledge and skills by carrying out a 3-month work-placement. The Career Bridge module will help the students to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects.

The types of jobs that graduates can apply to include: Data Analyst/Scientist, Business Analyst, QA Analyst, Data Validation Specialist, Performance Analysts, BI Consultant, Data Analytics Solution Architect or Operations Manager.


This course aims to produce technically competent, innovative graduates that will become leading practitioners in the field of data analytics. Upon completion, graduates will be able to:

• Conduct independent research and analysis in the field of data analytics
• Demonstrate expert knowledge of data analysis and statistics
• Critically assess and evaluate business and technical strategies for data analytics
• Develop and implement business and technical solutions for data analytics

The course is designed to accommodate those with specific interests in data analytics, whether that may be of a more technically or a more business focused nature. Students will gain exposure to product commercialisation issues associated with data analytics. The course is delivered by faculty and practitioners using academic research, industry defined practical problems, and case studies. Students undertaking this course will be exposed to a variety of programming languages/tools that may include ‘R’, Python, SPSS, Excel, Weka and RapidMiner.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally required to hold a minimum of a level 8 honours qualification (2.2 or higher) or equivalent on the NFQ in a cognate discipline. Candidates will be required to demonstrate technical or mathematical problem solving in previous learning. Graduates from programmes without embedded technical or mathematical problem solving will need to demonstrate these skills in addition to level 8 qualifications (via certifications, qualifications, certified experience and assessment tests). All applicants must evidence prior programming experience (e.g., via academic transcripts or recognised certification).

Standard applicants are holders of technical, numerate degrees who are likely to gain a higher ranking in order of merit for admission to this programme. Normally, these would be applicants who have gained a minimum of a Level 8 qualification in a numerate discipline, typically Computing or Informatics. Such applicants with a level 8 qualification (2.2 or higher) or equivalent are eligible for direct entry.

Following computing graduates, we next assign priority to candidates with a background in engineering, mathematics, physics and chemistry. Consideration of these applications is by detailed examination of the content, assessments and syllabi of applicants’ primary degrees. Such
candidates may also be assessed by interview.

Additionally, applications will be considered for those with a minimum of a Level 8 qualification in a programme with a significant IT and/or numerate component which could include Management Information Systems, Accounting, Economics, Marketing Management, Sociology and Biology. Programmes in this category may vary greatly in mathematical and information technology content and applications would be assessed by detailed examination of programme content, assessments and syllabi. Candidates with qualifications in this category will be assessed by interview.

Technical Requirements:
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:

• Laptop/Desktop
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.

• Microphone
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:

• Headphones
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, i.e. 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 Student-Services/Support-Services/ Student-Laptop-Fund for updates on the next opening date for applications*

Long Description

Semester 1
• Statistics for Data Analytics
• Database and Analytics Programming

Semester 2
• Data Mining and Machine Learning I
• Modelling, Simulation, and Optimization
• Business Intelligence and Business Analytics - Elective Modules Group 1
• Data Intensive Architectures - Elective Modules Group 2
• Career Bridge

Semester 3
• Data Mining and Machine Learning II
• Data Governance and Ethics
• Domain Applications of Predictive Analytics - Elective Modules Group 1
• Scalable Systems Programming - Elective Modules Group 2

Note: Electives are designed to allow students gain specialised knowledge in Data Analytics related areas. Electives may have dependencies, by picking a particular elective in Semester 2, students may restrict themselves to a single choice of elective in Semester 3. For the current suite of electives, dependencies are:

• Elective Modules Group 1:
Business Intelligence and Business Analytics -> Domain Applications of Predictive Analytics
• Elective Modules Group 2:
Data Intensive Architectures -> Scalable Systems Programming

Electives will run subject to student demand.

Springboard Careers Advisors will proactively support you to find relevant employment during the course or following completion of the course.

Note that all modules count towards the final award classification.

Career Opportunities

This course is designed to meet the ever-growing need for deep skills in Big Data/Analytics to fill a skills shortage in Ireland. Companies who have hired 2021 graduates from this course include: Certas Energy Retail Europe (Data Analyst), Cardinal Health (Senior Data Analyst), Bank of Ireland (NIR Data Analyst), Accenture (Service Delivery Ops Analyst), Business Analyst (Bank of America), ComReg (Pricing Analyst), Gifts Direct (Senior Data Analyst), Optum (Principal Data Scientist/Associate Director), Amazon (Senior Analyst), Accenture (Data Science Analyst), Real World Analytics (Senior Data Analyst/Product Lead)

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.

Timetable Info

Start Date: The course is expected to start in the week commencing 26th September 2022.

Indicative Schedule: Monday and Wednesday 18.00 - 22.00. There will also be four hours of self-directed e-learning content. These will not appear on your timetable. 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*

Delivery Location

Blended; Online/Campus

National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
Dublin 1

Delivery Notes

This is a blended/online learning course that features Directed E-Learning activities such as live online classroom sessions and tutorials/videos on the College’s e-learning system. This allows for online class time to be interactive, practical, and focused, with theory-based content being covered outside of class time with self-paced tutorials/videos, and practical content being covered in live online classes with support from lecturers and lab assistants. 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.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

The Springboard Team


Springboard Office,
National College of Ireland,
Mayor Street,
Dublin 1


1800 221 721 (option 4)


RPL Information

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. RPL will be assessed on the basis of a minimum of 3 years work experience and by portfolio or other appropriate method to establish their eligibility as measured against level 8 award standards.

Application Procedures

ACTION ITEM: Throughout the application process please continue to check your Spam and Junk folders in your email account as emails from 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 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 requested to complete at the time of applying, we will require supporting documentation at a later date. This request will come from a member of the Springboard team directly. 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**

Open Evenings

Come to our next open evening online in NCI