Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cyber Security (September 2020)

National College of Ireland (PGDCYB_SEP)
Key Programme Details

Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cyber Security

NFQ Level

Level 9 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Computing

General Information

The Springboard Team



1850 221 721 (Option 4)


National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
Dublin 1


Springboard Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Overview of Course:

Cybersecurity is essential for a modern society and the field has the fastest growth rate while the labour market encounters a severe workforce shortage.
The aim of this programme is to provide learners with essential research, expert knowledge and competence of the most important technical concepts of cybersecurity applied in areas such as cloud security and forensics.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cybersecurity programme is technical and practical in nature, uniquely embedded in industry, and develops in-depth expertise of core technical topics within the area of cybersecurity such as information security, secure programming, network security, penetration testing, IT law and ethics, and technologies and tools that support application and service vulnerability detection, incident detection, data and log retrieval and analysis. The course also provides a narrower focus into Forensics and Cloud Security through the two specialisations that are offered to the learners.

A unique feature of this course is the strong collaboration of the College with the industry in the development and delivery of the course. The Domain Context module creates a space into which companies may provide in-house training, professional certification preparation, or deliver knowledge on the latest technologies currently used by specific cybersecurity companies.

The learners will also carry out a 3-month work-placement with companies that indicated an interest in taking graduates. The Career Bridge module will help learners to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects.

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. Therefore, a number of places on this course will be reserved for these applicants. Please note to participate in a NFQ Level 9 (Post Graduate) course, a period of at least one year must have elapsed since completing a full time undergraduate degree course leading to a major award at level 8 on the NFQ.

Fees: A student contribution fee of €695 is applicable if you are in employment. No fees are applicable if you are unemployed and in receipt of an eligible DEASP payment. This amount must be paid in full no later than Friday 20th November 2020. 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 28th September 2020. Please see for more details. The scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials.


As a graduate of the course you will be able to:
• Conduct independent research and analysis in the Cyber Security domain including secure application design, development and testing within a given context e.g. Web, cloud computing, and forensic investigation.
• Demonstrate practical skills and expert knowledge of technologies and tools that support cryptanalysis, application and service vulnerability detection and patching, security incidents detection and log file analysis.
• Critically evaluate the design and implementation and evaluation of a research idea.
• Analyse and evaluate the legal, ethical and economic ramifications of developing secure applications and services.
• Communicate effectively to a range of audiences in both written and verbal media and undertake selflearning in order to acquire new knowledge.

Entry Requirements

This course is ideal for ICT professionals or graduates with a minimum of a level 8 (honours degree) qualification (2.2 or higher) or equivalent on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), in computing/ computer science or in a cognate area (STEM) Candidates who do not hold a computing degree and are currently working in the IT sector may be considered based on relevant academic qualifications or extensive work experience. NOTE: Please note that prior programming experience is a requirement to gain entry to this course.

Non- English speaking applicants must demonstrate fluency in the English language as demonstrated by IELTS academic score of at least 6.0 or equivalent. Please note that prior programming experience is a requirement.

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 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.

Long Description

Modules on this programme:

. Security Fundamentals
. Secure Programming for Web
. IT Law and Ethics
. Network Security & Penetration Testing
. Secure Programming for App Development
. Cryptography
. Research in Computing
. Forensics and eDiscovery
. Incident Response and Analytics
. Malware Analysis (Elective)
. Cloud Security
. Domain Context (Elective)
. Career Bridge
. Work Placement

Relevant Employment/Placement can be undertaken within the course timeline, generally 2nd or 3rd semester or commenced within 3 months of course completion.

Why Choose This Course

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, 2014, 2016 and 2018. 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

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this course may work in a variety of roles that are in high demand: information security analyst, secure application developer, cybersecurity tester, risk advisory on information security and forensics, cloud security analyst, etc.

Timetable Info

1 Year, 3 semesters from September to December 2020 , January to May 2021 & May to August 2021

Indicative Schedule: Monday & Wednesday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 16.00
(Career Bridge Classes will be delivered one day per week 17.00 - day 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

*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

In order to comply with current government health guidelines and for ongoing safety of our students. The Postgraduate Diploma in Cyber Security will be online initially with a targeted traditional classroom delivery when it is safe & practical to do so.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

The Springboard Team


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


1850 221 721 (Option 4)


RPL Information

For candidates who do not meet the minimum entry requirements the college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme - meaning applicants may be considered based on relevant work or other experience.

Application Procedures

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

5. A copy of your current passport

6. Non-EU applicants will need to provide a copy of their GNIB card showing a Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM . You will need to upload evidence of your first Stamp 4 Visa and your current Stamp 4.

7. Verification of Status Required:
Employed - 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:
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 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.

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.

Please note that once courses are at capacity they may close without warning.

Open Evenings

Come to our next open evening online in NCI