Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics (Evenings) [ICT Skills Conversion] (January 2017)

National College of Ireland (HDSDAJAN17ICT)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Classroom - Daytime


1 Year Full Time


ECTS Credits



School of Computing

General Information

Genevieve Doherty




1850 221 721


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


Springboard Projects Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


About this Course

1 Year Evening Cohort full. Places available on 1 year Daytime cohort only - see indicative timetable for further details.

The analysis and interpretation of data to address the problems of business and society is an area experiencing massive growth. Diverse areas such as insurance, retail, sports, finance, pharmaceutical and government are all looking for people with skills in analysing ‘big data’ to help them make more informed decisions.

The course will furnish students with skills to enter the world of data analytics through building a foundation of strong statistical knowledge, developing problem-solving skills for business analysis, and helping you understand and use business data to deliver better decision making. This higher diploma will give you technical skills in statistics, programming, database management and web mining in addition to business skills such as communication that will help you make an impact in a wide range of roles.

The programme is particularly suitable for those with numeracy skills. You do not need to have previously studied programming. However, given the timeframe and the amount of technical and statistical content applicants should be prepared to fully commit to the programme.


As a graduate of this course you will be able to:
• Develop statistical skills to carry out effective data analyses using descriptive and inferential statistics within a business context
• Solve real business problems using generally accepted practices in the field of business analysis supported by the choice and application of appropriate data analysis tools
• Develop technical skills to process multiple datasets using relevant modelling, programming, data storage, and computational techniques
• Communicate effectively the results of data analysis to both technical and non-technical audiences
Apply analytical thinking techniques, communication, and interaction skills to support decision making and address business requirements
• Apply data-mining and knowledge discovery techniques to process datasets from multiple diverse data sources

Entry Requirements

Applicants holding an honours degree (level 8 or equivalent) in any discipline will be considered. Candidates will be able to demonstrate technical or mathematical skills as part of previous learning. Typically holders of more numerate degrees in areas like maths, engineering, architecture, physics or economics are likely to gain higher ranking in selection for the programme.

Candidates with other level 8 honours degrees will also be considered and will need to be able to demonstrate technical or mathematical skills in addition to their level 8 qualification. 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.

Laptop Requirements
This programme has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Specifically, students are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a laptop computer with a substantial hardware configuration. A suitable configuration is 6GB of RAM (8GB or more are recommended); a 64-bit x86 processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+ GB of hard disk; wifi card; and a recentinstalled release of Mac OS or Windows operating system. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their laptop is functioning correctly and that they have full administrator rights to the machine. NCI IT cannot provide support to personal devices.

Long Description

The aim of this new programme is to educate learners in the use of business for better data access, analysis, and reporting. This will enable learners to:

Use insights gleaned from Business Intelligence (BI) to make more effective decisions that deliver better decision-making
Solve business problems and explore new opportunities
Develop and enhance business performance
Optimize value contained in the organization's data stores (eg data about customers, suppliers, operations, performance, etc)

Semester 1 Modules
• Introduction to Data Analytics
• Business Analysis and Communication
• Business Data Analysis
• Programming for Big Data
• Career Bridge

Semester 2 Modules
• Data and Web Mining
• Advanced Business Data Analysis
• Data Visualization (Elective)
• Domain Skills (Elective) these 2 modules are mutually exclusive

• Project
• Career Bridge

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 the NCI Career Development & Employability Office (CDEO) who have won the AHECS “Excellence in Employability Award” for 2013 and 2014 and 2016. These were awarded for the work undertaken with students completing skills conversion programmes. The CDEO delivers the Career Bridge module across two semesters and 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.

Career Opportunities

The programme includes a compulsory Career Bridge module and the attendance is monitored. The NCI Career Bridge module is a dynamic module, reviewed and evaluated after every iteration, and has tangibly enhanced employability skills of students and improved their overall career prospects. The module is tailored to the specific programmes and this year’s initiatives included CV workshops, compilation of online portfolios, psychometric testing, interviewing and networking, Internship jobs fair, networking events, simulated whiteboard interview workshops, big data and testing workshops and industry speakers on; How to get the most from your LinkedIn profile;Use of Social Media in the Recruitment process, an initiative to develop students social media understanding and a talk on Emotional Intelligence

The NCI Careers and Opportunities Office manages the Carrier Bridge module and organises ICT jobs fair enabling students to network with employers.

The programme was also designed in conjunction with industry and encompasses the latest technologies to ensure relevant skills are gained.

NCI is the only college in Ireland where every student has a Pluralsight licence. Pluralsight is the largest global independent online learning tool for technologists and technology students. Students of this programme will have unlimited access to thousands of online tutorials authored by global industry experts and widely recognised by industry. Example: IBM Bluemix tutorial. www.pluralsight.com

Timetable Info

Limited places only available on the daytime course.

Indicative Timetable: Monday 9am to 1pm; Tuesday 10am to 12pm; Wednesday 9am to 1pm and Thursday 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm.

There will be supplementary classes scheduled at a later date for Career Bridge

Delivery Location

National College of Ireland, Mayor Street, IFSC, Dublin 1

Delivery Notes

On campus

Admissions Contact Details

Denise Ryan


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


1850 221 721



RPL Information

Non-standard applicants may have extensive work/life experiences, which allied to their own natural learning ability and commitment, would merit access to the third level system and credit within it for the learning gained through their work/life experiences. NCI has an RPL policy which is used as a guideline for this purpose.Applications for RPL consideration are made directly to the College. Applicants seeking RPL entry are interviewed, and requested to produce a portfolio describing the prior experience in the context of potentially creditable learning outcomes. The portfolio is considered by the programme director and the RPL sub-committee of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee. The learning gained is evaluated and matched with the learning outcomes of the module(s) from which the applicant may be exempted. The portfolio is evaluated and compared against the module to provide evidence of validity, sufficiency, currency and authenticity.Candidates that do not hold a primary degree in a cognate or non-cognate area, must exhibit the levels of academic quality as outlined in the HETAC Computing Awards Standards at level 8 on the NFQ.

Application Procedures

In order for us to assess your Springboardcourses online application you will need to upload electronic copies of the following documentation along with your application. You should aim to do this within 2 weeks of submitting your online application. Incomplete applications will not be assessed unless there is a valid reason provided, e.g. you are waiting on a final result.

1. Your current curriculum vitae

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. Please ensure all documentation is translated into English and both the original language version as well as the translated version is uploaded
5. 1 passport sized photograph in JPEG format to be used on your student card (please do not send a copy of your passport or other ID)
6. Non-EU applicants will need to provide a copy of their GNIB card showing a Stamp 4 EUFAM

This supporting documentation must be uploaded to www.springboardcourses.ie along with your application or within a few days of having submitted your application.

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 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 NCI English language 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 English language test. We will advise you if this applies to you.

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Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics