Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Data Analytics (September 2020)

National College of Ireland (PGDDA_SEP)
Key Programme Details

Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Data Analytics

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 project coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course


This course is for graduates who have substantial technical and mathematical skills.
NB: All applicants are required to evidence prior programming & statistical experience as part of their application (e.g via academic transcripts or recognised certification)

The course aims to produce high-quality, technically competent, innovative graduates that will become leading practitioners in the field of data analytics. Learners on the course will gain in-depth knowledge and skills in the core topics of Data Analytics including: Statistics; Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery; Machine Learning; Modelling, Simulation, and Optimization; Programming for Data Analytics; Research aspects of Data Analytics.

Furthermore, learners will be able to choose from a number of elective modules covering a variety of topics from both business and technical domains. The course structure accommodates learners whose specific interests in Data Analytics may be either of a more technically focused or a more business focused nature. All learners will also gain exposure to pertinent legal issues and ethical issues associated with the data analytics field.
Upon completion of this course, graduates will be able to conduct independent research and analysis in the field of data analytics; to demonstrate expert knowledge of data analysis, statistics and modelling; to critically assess and evaluate business and technical strategies for data analytics; and to develop and implement business and technical solutions for data analytics.

The learners will consolidate the acquired knowledge and skills by carrying out a 3 month work-placement. The Career Bridge module will help the students 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 that 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 €650 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 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.


Overview of Course:
This course aims to produce technically competent, innovative graduates that will become leading practitioners in the field of data analytics. Upon completion, graduates will be able to:
• Conduct independent research and analysis in the field of data analytics
• Demonstrate expert knowledge of data analysis and statistics
• Critically assess and evaluate business and technical strategies for data analytics
• Develop and implement business and technical solutions for data analytics

The course is designed to accommodate those with specific interests in data analytics, whether that may be of a more technically or a more business focused nature. Students will gain exposure to product commercialisation issues associated with data analytics. The course is delivered by faculty and practitioners using academic research, industry defined practical problems, and case studies. Students undertaking this course will be exposed to a variety of programming languages/tools that may include ‘R’, Python, SPSS, Excel, Weka and RapidMiner.

Entry Requirements

NOTE: This course is for graduates who have substantial technical and mathematical skills. All applicants are required to evidence prior programming & statistical experience as part of their application (e.g via academic transcripts or recognised certification)

Applicants are normally required to hold a minimum of a level 8 honours qualification (2.2 or higher) or equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework in a cognate discipline. All applications will be assessed for entry based on their commitment towards the academic requirements for the course. This may be assessed using a written application from the learner and/or by interview. Given the target technical market for graduates of this course, candidates will be required to demonstrate technical or mathematical problem solving skills as part of previous programme learning.

Standard applicants are applicants who have gained a minimum of a level 8 qualification in a numerate or technical discipline, typically Computing or Informatics.

Following computing graduates, applicants could have a background in engineering, mathematics, physics and chemistry. Consideration of these applications is by detailed examination of the content, assessment and syllabi of applicant's primary degrees. Such candidates may also be assessed by interview.

Additionally, applications will be considered for those with a minimum of a Level 8 qualification in a programme with a significant IT and/or numerate component which would include Management Information Systems, Accounting, Economics, Marketing Management, Sociology and Biology. Programmes in this category may vary greatly in mathematical and information technology content and applications would be assessed by detailed examination of programme content assessments and syllabi. Candidates with qualifications in this category will be assess by interview.

Graduates from disciplines which do not have technical or mathematical problem solving skills embedded in their course will need to be able to demonstrate technical or mathematical problem solving skills in addition to their level 8 programme qualifications (Certifications, Additional Qualifications, Certified Experience and Assessment Tests).

Applicants who do not meet this requirement may also be admitted based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL will be assessed on the basis of a minimum of 3 years work experience and by portfolio or other appropriate method to establish their eligibility as measured against level 8 award standards.

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:

. Database and Analytics Programming
. Business Intelligence & Business Analytics
. Data Intensive Architectures (Elective)
. Innovation I (Elective)
. Data Mining and Machine Learning II
. Modelling, Simulation and Optimization
. Data Governance and Ethics
. Domain App of Predictive Analytics (Elective)
. Statistics for Data Analytics
. Scalable Systems Programming (Elective)
. Innovation II (Elective)
. Work Placement
. Career Bridge

Note: Electives are designed to allow students gain specialised knowledge in Data Analytics related areas. Electives may have dependencies, by picking a particular elective in Semester 2, students may restrict themselves to a single choice of elective in Semester 3. For the current suite of electives, dependencies are:

•Elective Modules Group 1
Business Intelligence and Business Analytics > Domain Applications of Predictive Analytics
•Elective Modules Group 2
Data Intensive Architectures > Scalable Systems Programming
•Elective Modules Group 3
Innovation I > Innovation II

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

According to the World Economic Forum, Data Analysts are expected to be in the Top Ten Jobs in Demand by 2020. Coupled with this there is a current skills shortage in this profession in Ireland and a growth rate of over 8 per cent; Ireland needs to create 21,000 jobs in data by 2020. Graduates from this course have taken advantage of this demand and secured roles such as Business and Technology Project Lead, Associate Analyst, Data Analyst, Technology Solutions Professional, Product Owner IVR EMEA, Business Operations Manager, Senior Actuarial Analyst, Head of Data Science, Analytics Analyst.

Companies who hired NCI graduates in 2017/2018 included: CSO (Graduate Programme), Ulster Bank (Treasury Consultant), KBC Bank (Business and Technology Project Lead), Infosys BPO (Associate Analyst), Greenval Insurance (Data Analyst), Microsoft (Technology Solutions Professional), PayPal (Product Owner IVR EMEA), Prudential Insurance (Senior Actuarial Analyst), Infosys (Analyics Analyst).

Career Opportunities

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.

Timetable Info

1 Year, 3 semesters from September to December 2020, January to May 2021 and late May to August 2021.

Indicative Schedule: Monday and Wednesdays 18:00 - 22:00 and a number of Saturdays 09:00 - 18:00
(Career Bridge classes will be delivered one day per week 17.00 start -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 Data Analytics 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 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.

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