Certificate in Science in Computing Online (September 2022)

National College of Ireland (CIC_SEPBL)
Key Programme Details

Certificate in Science in Computing

NFQ Level

Level 8 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


The Springboard Team

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Blended/Online Directed E-Learning Delivery. 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.

Fees: A student contribution fee of €198 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

Overview of Course:
The Certificate in Science in Computing is a challenging and rewarding fully online course aimed at upskilling learners in Computing fundamentals. This programme would appeal to learners from non-computing backgrounds who wish to gain an initial qualification & an in-depth understanding of computer systems at a pace suited to beginners. This programme is a 20 credit Minor award of a Higher Diploma in Computing (60 credits) and allows for direct progression onto a variety of Level 8 Computing programmes.

Graduates of this program will build a firm knowledge of two fundamental areas of computing (Systems of Databases and Computer Programming) and how they interact. Learners may also specialise in either Statistics or Computer Architecture, which will allow them to progress onto courses in Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, AI and more.

The specialisations will give learners an in-depth knowledge of industry relevant tools and frameworks. The design of this course mixes live online classes with pre-recorded short-form video content and exercises. The learning process is flexible; learners can go back over content or move ahead as they wish. Classes are practical, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Classes are also supported by lab assistants and lecturers who are trained in effective online delivery. Assessments will be comprised of practical work based on research, industry-defined practical problems, and case-studies. Assessment is designed to create transferable skills for work such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking, design thinking, communication, teamwork, and research skills.

The Career Bridge module will help the students to enhance their employability skills.


This online Certificate course is ideal for non-technical individuals coming from different industry backgrounds who want to gain a good understanding of all the latest technologies and how to apply them to their businesses and sectors. It is flexibly delivered with guided videos and tutorials for you to watch and take time over during the week and then a live online class where you can discuss and learn from your lecturer and classmates. This programme gives you flexibility in how you study, an accredited qualification and a thorough understanding of key technology areas in 12 weeks of online delivery.

The course gives learners the fundamental computing knowledge needed to enter into the computing industry, or to progress on to further higher education courses. This course is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing learners to work through bespoke video content and guided tutorials during the week, with live online practical classes at the end of the week. Self-paced content is broken into small manageable chunks, and live sessions are designed for live questions and answers based around industry issues and practical problems. The core modules focus on Programming and Databases, specifically Java Programming and SQL. The course also offers two specialisations to choose from. Each specialisation element is a focused module designed to bring the learners quickly to the industry entry standard for the chosen specialisation. The specialisations (subject to availability) are:

• Computer Architecture, Operating Systems and Networks
• Statistics.

The Computer Architecture Operating Systems and Networks specialisation provides learners with the knowledge and skills to work with core computer systems. Learners will gain practical knowledge and skills in core areas of computing such as:

• VMware

• PowerShell

• CommandLine

• Windows OS

• Linux OS / Ubuntu

• Cloud Services (AWS / Azure)

• PC Hardware

The Statistics module will give learners the core skills needed to clean and analyse data using a variety of popular industry ready skills and tools such as:

• Data Analytics

• Descriptive Statistics

• T-Tests

• Probability

• SPSS/Excel

As graduates are from other disciplines and with work experience, learners will have life skills and experiences that they bring with them on to the programme and into a new subject domain. Therefore, they are eligible for a number of roles. They could work in positions that are in- line with their skills but in the lCT sector or apply lCT knowledge gained through this programme to their current role.

Graduates may also avail of entry-level lCT-related positions, depending on the selected specialisation, such as software developer; cloud application developer; cloud solutions architect; application developer; software tester; technical data analyst.

Entry Requirements

Learners who have level 5 or higher awards in the areas of computing, computer science, IT etc will be considered. For those without a Computing background, a level 8 degree or its equivalent in any discipline is required.

Applicants who do not have an eligible academic degree may be eligible to apply via the RPEL policy outlined below.

In addition to the RPEL policy, a specific route for entry for non-cognate learners has been developed. NCIRL have created a ‘taster course’, this is a 1 hour introduction to coding which will give learners an idea of their suitability for the course, as well as showing them the standard of education and the learning model on the programme.

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 using a portfolio of learning, demonstration of work produced, and an interview. The programming ability of the applicant will also be assessed. Please do not fill this form out unless you have been requested to do so by the Springboard team.

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: https://www.onlinemictest.com/

• 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 https://www.ncirl.ie/Students/ Student-Services/Support-Services/ Student-Laptop-Fund for updates on the next opening date for applications*

Long Description

• Software Development
• Introduction to Databases
• Statistics (Elective)
• Computer Architecture Operating Systems & Networks (Elective)
• Career Bridge

Career Opportunities

This course has been developed to address the Irish ICT skills shortage. Although there is an increasing supply of computing graduates in Ireland, fulfilling the opportunities for skilled graduates that exist in the Computing/IT sector in Ireland is still a major challenge. The Certificate in Science in Computing prepares the learners for the workplace of the future with the theory and practice in the main ICT skills identified by National Skills Bulletin (2019) and National Skills Strategy 2025 as being in an increasingly demand across a wide range of sectors. ICT skills shortages have been identified in the following key areas: software development, software engineering, IT architects (systems, solutions, technical), databases and technical support. The National Skills Strategy 2025 forecasts a continuous increase in the demand for ICT core technology skills such as those taught within this course. According to the Vacancies Survey (October 2020) report published by SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU), over half (53%) of recruitment agency respondents reported difficulty in filling roles in Science, Engineering & Technology despite the difficulties faced for many in the Irish labour market in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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: Tuesday and Thursday 18.00 - 22.00. There will also be three hours self-paced learning per week on NCI’s Learning Platform. This will not appear on your timetable. Career Bridge classes will be delivered from 17.00 to 18.00 as per your timetable

Duration: One semester, September to December.

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 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

Application Procedures

ACTION ITEM: Throughout the application process please continue to check your Spam and Junk folders in your email account as emails from springboard@ncirl.ie 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 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