Higher Diploma in Science in Agile Software Design (HDip Agile 1yr Full-time)

Athlone Institute of Technology (Engineering Computing and Software - Online)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma in Science in Agile Software Design

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended


Full Time

ECTS Credits



Department of Computer and Software Engineering

General Information

Dr Enda Fallon




090 6471877


Department of Computer and Software Engineering,
Athlone Institute of Technology,
Dublin Road,
Co. Westmeath.


Head of Department

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Key Features:
• Higher Diploma Level 8 Programme (90 ECTS)
• Online/Blended flexible mode of delivery
• Developed in partnership with the Midlands Regional Skills Manager and relevant industry partners
• Personal and supportive approach to teaching and learning
• Problem Based Learning (PBL) based approaches will be used to challenge and expand the students knowledge, skills and competence.
• The programme addresses to a significant level all four key areas, which have been deemed by government as being of critical importance at this time: digital skills, transversal skills, management and leadership skills and the workplace of the future.

This Higher Diploma in Science in Science in Agile Software Design is a conversion course for those who already have a Level 7 qualification in ICT related discipline (engineering or software) or a Level 8 qualification in a non-engineering/ICT discipline, but not in Software Design. It is ideal for those who find their job has taken them towards software design and wish to formalise their knowledge with a recognised qualification.


This Level 8 Award is specifically designed to up-skill graduates with:
• The technical skills to build software applications that can be deployed to the cloud in an agile manner.
• Knowledge of the tools and methodologies needed to develop and deploy software applications.
• Experience of working in teams to deliver a project and preparation for the workplace.

Entry Requirements

Level 7 qualification in ICT related discipline (engineering or software).
Level 8 qualification in a non-engineering/ICT discipline

Long Description

Programme Content
• Object Oriented Programming 1 & 2
• Agile Design and Testing 1 & 2
• Databases
• Networks and Cloud Architecture
• Web Technologies
• Team Project 1 & 2

A predominant theme of the course is a focus on industry standard certifications and open source tools so that graduates are prepared for the workplace.

The Object Oriented Programming modules cover the Oracle Java Certified Associate syllabus and some material from the Oracle Java Certified Professional syllabus.

The Agile Design and Testing modules includes Scrum Master training material and ISTQB Foundation level material, as well as practical experience of test automation tools and version control systems.

In the Team Project modules learners will work as part of a team in a simulated industry environment to develop a solution to an industry type problem.

The Team Projects are a fundamental element where the group work facilitates peer-supported learning.

The programme will be delivered in a blended and flexible mode with a personal and supportive approach to learning. This blended mode allows for an accessible learning style.

Student Supports
All services detailed below will be available to all registered students on this programme.

AIT has a dedicated team who have been working with the adult learner for the past number of years. In their role, they offer support and mentoring services to students to ensure that they understand theirlearning environment and therefore maximise their learning experience.

All new learners must attend a compulsory comprehensive Induction and Orientation programme which takes place before their course commences.

The objective of the Induction is that on completion each learner has awareness of the AIT operating systems such as:
• Rules and Regulations
• Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle)
• How to access and participate in online virtual classes
• Library Services
• Student Services

Students also receive their AIT ID card, and meet all support staff and lecturers relevant to their programme. This is particularly beneficial to learners on online programmes, as it affords them the opportunity to meet all lecturers in person before they enter online classes with them, and also to meet the support staff that they will be engaging with over the course of the academic year. In our experience, this initial face to face contact with AIT staff helps to support the learner from day one, leading to less fear or anxiety about returning to study and thus better retention rates.

We also have a suite of online short videos developed for students that are available to support the part-time learner. They range in time from 5 to 30 minutes covering topics such as:
• Introduction to Academic Writing
• Essay Structure – Writing an Essay
• Sentences and Paragraphs
• Academic Style
• Exam Timetables
• Moodle for Students
• MS word referencing
• Paraphrasing
• Presentations – Planning
• Presentation – Delivery
• Accessing your student e-mail account
• Submitting an assignment online
• Submitting to Turnitin online.
• Accessing Student Exam Results

We offer ongoing support and free courses to all part-time students, delivered in the evening or on Saturdays, in the area of Academic Writing and Basic IT skills – with the objective of supporting the learner to achieve their academic goals.

We also offer free Career Workshops, which take place several times over the academic year on Saturdays – these cover CV and cover letter preparation in real time, job searching, interview preparation and creating LinkedIn profiles.

This portfolio of supports is constantly evolving and it is anticipated that they will be added to further in the forthcoming
academic year.

In 2020, the Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning has engaged with a number of remote working centres across the Midlands. They have been licenced as AIT Learning Gates. Their objective to provide a local learning space to student and staff avoiding the necessity to travel to AIT if they prefer not to, yet access their learning online in a professional environment where they may also meet and conduct group work and assignments.

Why Choose This Course

Athlone Institute of Technology is a vibrant, contemporary institution distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research.

The institute has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, most notably being named The Sunday Times ‘Institute of Technology of the Year 2020, 2018 and Runner-Up in 2017.

The institute also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and has been listed in UMultirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2018 and 2019.

Athlone Institute of Technology is ranked number one for student satisfaction nationally for the sixth consecutive year with its students rating their educational and student experience as excellent.

This Higher Diploma in Science in Science in Agile Software Design is a conversion course for those who already have a Level 7 qualification in ICT related discipline (engineering or software) or a Level 8 qualification in a non-engineering/ICT discipline, but not in Software Design. It is ideal for those who find their job has taken them towards software design and wish to formalise their knowledge with a recognised qualification.

Timetable Info

Student Induction Sessions will take place in AIT on Friday 18th September 2020 6.00pm to 9.00pm, Saturday 19th September 2020, 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm.
All registered students must attend one session, and you will be advised of your session when your application is processed.
All current regulations and public health guidelines in relation to social distancing will be in place at these sessions.

1 Year; Two evenings per week, 7.00pm to 9.00pm (Online)
In addition, there will be a number of face to face workshops in AIT where you can meet your lecturer face-to-face, in addition to your fellow students, and experience the social aspect learning.

Online - Week commencing 21 September 2020

Delivery Location

Online and AIT.

Delivery Notes

Blended Delivery - this course will be delivered online with face to face classroom based workshops in AIT.

Application Procedures

Applications will be considered in the order in which they are received.

This programme is free to the Unemployed (that meet specific eligibility criteria).
This programme is 90% funded for those in employment, students that fall into this category must pay a fee of €750. This fee becomes payable when you accept a place if offered.

AIT operates a two stage application process. You must complete both stages in order for your application to be assessed.

You must make your course application here on www.springboardcourses.ie
You must upload a copy of your highest/most relevant qualification, as per the entry requirements above to this application system.

When making your application (or as soon as possible after) you complete an eligibility declaration here:

https://tinyurl.com/yawowndq (please copy and paste this link into the address line of your browser)

On receipt of your completed course application and completed declaration an initial assessment will be made and you will receive a request from AIT to upload required documentation to a secure folder. You must complete this request as soon as possible after you receive it. It will expire after 5 days.

This request will ask for a scan/clear photo of the following documents to be uploaded:
Your most recent passport/drivers licence to verify your identity.
A copy of your highest/most relevant qualification, as per the entry requirements for your chosen course.

You must also upload a scan / photo of one of the following documents to demonstrate your funding eligibility.
1) If you are employed: a recent payslip / most recent P60 / letter from your employer confirming this (amounts must be redacted/blacked out from financial documents).
2) If you are unemployed: a DSP payment slip / letter from DSP confirming your payment type/what you are signing for.
3) If you are a returner who has been on home or other caring duties for 9 of the last 12 months OR you are economically dependent on a partner or spouse and have been unemployed for 9 of the last 12 months you must supply a notarised affidavit confirming this (a template for this is available here: INSERT AFFADAVIT LINK )
4) If you were previously self-employed: a letter/statement from Revenue stating that you are no longer trading or a similar letter from your (former) accountant.

Applicants that do not complete this declaration cannot be assessed for a place on the programme. Places are limited on all programmes, therefore it is imperative that you complete this when making your application (or as soon as possible afterwards).

Please contact Janine King, AIT if you have any queries in relation to this - email jking@ait.ie

The personal data being collected is required for assessing your eligibility for a place on this programme. If you are successful and accept an offer of a place then the details required for registration will be retained in line with our Student Privacy Policy – www.ait.ie/gdpr. Your redacted payslip/ P60 record will be held securely by AIT for at least 6 years, in line with ESF funding requirements. If you are not successful, or if you withdraw from the programme within six weeks of commencement, your data will be destroyed securely.

AIT Website