Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development) - ONLINE -[2 Years Part-time] [January 2019]

National College of Ireland (HDSDEVJANOL_YR1)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma in Science in Computing - Major Award from Quality Qualifications Ireland

NFQ Level

8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Distance


Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Computing

Skills Area

Information and communication (including ICT)

General Information

The Springboard Team




1850 221 721


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


Springboard Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Overview of Eligibility and Funding:
- For the two year part-time ICT Conversion courses if you are unemployed and in receipt of a jobseekers payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you are not eligible for the two year ICT Conversion courses.
- Fees: A student contribution fee of €540 is applicable if you are in employment. No fees are applicable if you are unemployed. This amount must be paid in full no later than Friday 15th March 2019. 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 21st January 2019. Please see https://www.ncirl.ie/applicants for more detail. Please note that this scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials.

This course will appeal to non-technical professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would like to upgrade their skills in the computing domain, helping them to progress faster in their employment or to apply the gained knowledge in their current role. These courses teach students the computing fundamentals, complemented with detailed knowledge, problem-solving and specialised technical skills required for designing, developing and deploying software.

Please note that this course will run subject to numbers.


Software Development specialisation
Of our 2016 graduating class (no graduates in 2017), 85% were inemployment within 3 months of completing the programme. 38% used the programme to upskill and seek promotions within software development or career transition from an unrelated industry to software development. 24% who were unemployed at the start of the programme secured relevant employment. The students who successfully secured new roles within 3 months of completing the programme work for companies such as Zurich Insurance (Senior Security Analyst), PTC (DevOps Engineer), Workday (Network engineer) and Accenture (Technical Architect Team Lead).

Entry Requirements

A level 8 degree or its equivalent in a non-cognate discipline. Non-standard applications will be also considered on an individual basis. 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 extensive relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed through an interview and assessment. Applicants will be asked to decide their chosen specialisation as part of their application process. Specialisations availability is subject to student numbers

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
Students are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using their own laptop computer with a substantial hardware configuration. A suitable configuration is 6GB of RAM (8GB or more is recommended); a 64-bit x86 processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+ GB of hard disk; WiFi card; and a recent installed release of Mac OS or Windows operating system. It is your responsibility to ensure that your laptop is function correctly and that you have full administrator rights to the machine. NCI cannot provide support to personal devices.

• 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, ie webcams built into the laptop are not appropriate for examination authentication. Webcams are not required for day to day classes.

Long Description

Software Development Specialisation
Year 1 Semester 1
• Software Development
• Computer Architecture Operating Systems and Networks
• Web Design
• Career Bridge

Year 1 Semester 2
• Introduction to Databases
• Object Oriented Software Engineering
• Data Structures and Alogorithms
• Career Bridge

Year 2 Semester 1
• Web Services and API Development
• Advanced Programming
• Server Side Development
• Career Bridge

Year 2 Semester 2
• Project
• Career Bridge

In addition to technical content the career development module Career Bridge will encourage learners to take responsibility and ownership for the development of their own career strategy and will tutor them in devising career development, networking, job search and interview strategies. Learners will work collaboratively with their work placement adviser to source an appropriate 3-6 month work placement.

Why Choose This Course

Online resources to help you get prepared for your course :

If you have never coded before do the 1 hour of code and the 20 hours of code tutorials:

Make a website in 3 hours - Step by step guide for beginners:

Done that? Try a more in-depth look (7 hours):

If you have never used HTML/CSS before, do the two Code Academy tutorials:

“Hour of Code” - Drag and drop intro to basic coding concepts (designed for 7-70 yr olds, don't be put off by the apparent simplicity of it)

Done that? Try the full 20 Hours - again this may seem fairly simple to you but if you follow through all 20 lessons you will have absorbed a good solid understanding of the main coding concepts

If you have coded before, but not in Java, try this free online course :

If you want to practise your Java :

Career Opportunities

Software Development specialisation
In particular this programme will equip the graduate for entry-level ICT related positions that require designing, implementing, testing and deploying of software solutions.

Timetable Info

Duration: 2 years, 4 Semesters. January to May 2019, late May to August 2019, September to December 2019 and January to May 2020

Indicative Schedule: Monday and Wednesday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00.
Career Bridge online classes will be scheduled in during the course and will have a 17.00 start - dates to be confirmed.

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

Delivery Location


Delivery Notes


Admissions Contact Details

The Springboard Team


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


1850 221 721



RPL Information

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 extensive relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed through an interview and assessment

Application Procedures

Throughout the application process please continue to check your Spam and Junk folders in your email account incase some emails from springboard@ncirl.ie default to here instead. In addition, please ensure that you have only one email address registered for Springboard. The email address that you login to your Springboard account with must match the email address that you have on the Springboard application form. Please review the ‘General Tab’ on your application form where your personal information is held to confirm this. If the email address on the application form is different, you will need to be 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 January start.

1. Your current curriculum vitae: The information on your CV should match the Application Form and it should be completely accurate with no unsupported additions. The Employer Name and Location needs be outlined for each job. If you were unemployed or travelling for a period of time this too needs to be included on your CV including the location(s) of where you resided during that time.

2. Career Statement: Please specify whether you are applying for the Software Development or Internet of Things steam.
This 300 word career statement must outline 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 stream and 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.

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

7. Verification of Status Required: In Employment - please provide a recently dated letter from your current employer on headed paper, signed and dated. Returner - Please provide a letter/statement signed by the Commissioner for Oaths confirming your current status. A form to complete the process is available here: https://springboardcourses.ie/pdfs/Declaration%20for%20Returners.pdf Department of Social Protection - Please provide a recently dated letter confirming that you are on the live register detailing which payment you are in receipt of (alternatively your most recent post office receipt will suffice) or a letter confirming that you are signing for social insurance contribution credits. Previously Self Employed - A letter from your accountant or revenue confirming that your business is no longer trading.

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 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.

Higher Diploma in Science in Computing