Certificate in Software Systems and Entrepreneurship

Dublin City University (CSSE)
Key Programme Details

Certificate in Software Systems and Entrepreneurship

NFQ Level

8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Mixed, Distance


Part Time

ECTS Credits



Open Education

Skills Area

Information and communication (including ICT)

General Information

Richard Bolger






Open Education Unit
National Institute for Digital Learning
Bea Orpen Building
Dublin City University
Dublin 9


Springboard management

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

DCUs level 8 certificate in Software Systems and Entrepreneurship develops knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to entrepreneurship, databases and systems analysis. On completion of this programme students will have much sought after expertise in the construction and use of databases together with honed creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills.

This course is free if you are unemployed and 90% funded if you are in employment.


The course is the perfect launch pad for budding entrepreneurs, those who wish to develop an entrepreneurial approach which they can apply in existing organizations (intrapreneurship) and those who want to pursue or develop a career in ICT with a focus on databases and systems development.

Entry Requirements

There are no minimum entry requirements to this course for those over 23 years of age on the 1st January in the year of entry. However, in general, applications to funded programmes, such as Springboard, are over-subscribed and selection criteria is then applied over and above the minimum entry criteria. Such criteria include those we have found predictive of success in the past, for example:
Prior, successfully completed, post-compulsory study, at level 6,7 or 8
Work experience relevant to the field of study

As this is a primarily online distance education programme, students are required to have on-going access to a computer, related software and a reasonably good internet connection.

Non-native speakers of English must meet the English language entry requirements of the University. See:

Applicants may be requested to attend for interview and/or be invited to complete some preparatory coursework in order to determine their suitability for this intensive course.

Long Description

The Certificate in Software Systems and Entrepreneurship consists of three integrated, 20 credit, subject specific modules together with a 7.5 credit ICT Career Success module.

The Database Theory and Practice module (CA) gives students in depth knowledge of Database concepts and DBMS architecture using enterprise data base technology incorporating MongoDB, a popular NoSQL platform.

The Software Engineering Methodologies module (CB) focuses on Systems Planning and Project Management. It develops skills in the areas of systems development, systems planning, feasibility studies, systems analysis, data and process modeling with a strong focus on Agile methods.

The Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technologies module (MS00B) develops skills in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. As well as studying enterprise and emerging technologies, creativity and innovation skills are developed. Students identify, develop and cost a business venture, which may relate to a new business or an innovation within an
existing organization. Students present their plan to a team of academics and industry representatives, ostensibly prospective investors. Several graduates have gone on to develop their own business, based on plans originating in this module.

Technology and ICT Career Success (O1501)
This module facilitates students to build on their existing skills and knowledge in line with the development of their specialist area of study. Students will be provided with practical guidance on scanning the labour market and identifying areas of potential employment. They will develop tools to allow them to market themselves and their skills and enhance their employability.

Transversal skills such as creativity, design, innovation, critical thinking, communication and team working are developed in all modules. These skills are identified as cross enterprise skills as, together with specific IT skills, they provide a skill set required across many sectors.

This course is delivered through distance education. This means there are minimal compulsory attendance requirements,other than a mandatory introductory workshop in DUC in September and end of year examinations for CA in May 2019. Three modules, MS00B, CB and OI501 are continuously assessed with no terminal examinations.

On completion students receive a DCU level 8 Certificate in Software Systems and Entrepreneurship.

Why Choose This Course

This one year, university based level 8 certificate enables students to enhance their skill set by specialising in specific areas, i.e. software systems, entrepreneurship, information and communication technology, which have been identified in high-level government and industry reports as having significant skill requirements in the coming years (National Skills
Bulletin 2017; National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship In Ireland, 2014).

Career Opportunities

The Dublin Regional Skills Forum have identified skills and labour shortages in ICT, including software systems, databases, technical support, networking and infrastructure. However, because this course is delivered by distance education it can address similar skills and labour shortages throughout Ireland. Skills in relation to project management, database management, database administration, business development management, entrepreneurship and
intrapreneurship, together with comprehensive soft skills requirements across all sectors are identified as required skills. These skills are exceptionally well developed in this course. Additionally, Intrapreneurship is incorporated into this particular certificate. This skill is particularly important since the majority of graduates go on to work in existing companies and will be required to be creative and innovative in their contributions to those organisations.

Timetable Info

Face to face tuition will normally take place on Saturdays in DCU’s Glasnevin campus
Online tuition will normally take place on weekday evenings (Mon-Thur)
Examinations will take place between 2nd - 8th May 2019
Students will be provided with a comprehensive timetable at the start of the academic year
NB: There is a mandatory workshop for MS00B in DCU on Saturday 29th September

Delivery Location

Distance learning from Dublin City University

Delivery Notes

As this programme is delivered by Distance learning it is possible to participate regardless of location.

Admissions Contact Details

Richard Bolger


Open Education Unit
National Institute for Digital Learning
Bea Orpen Building
Dublin City University
Dublin 9





Application Procedures

Applications are submitted through the Springboard Application website: www.springboardcourses.ie

Applicants are asked to upload a copy of their academic transcripts (level 5 e.g. Leaving Certificate plus any higher education award at level 6 or higher) to the dropbox provided as part of the application process. Please note English versions of transcripts must be provided. Where possible please submit a Europass Diploma Supplement.

Applicants are also required to complete a Personal Statement as part of the application process. In no more than 300 words please outline your reasons for applying for this programme. Indicate the amount of time you can dedicate each week for study and the type of employment you are hoping to attain. In your statement tell us which specific
areas of study in the course you are most interested in and why. Please upload this to the dropbox provided in the application form.

As places are limited, please note that places may be filled in advance of the application deadline.

Decisions of the applications committee are final.