Software Development (Higher Diploma) (Full-time) (September 2020)

University of Limerick (21HDSODETFAD)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended


Full Time

ECTS Credits



Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS)

General Information

Ask for a Springboard+ Co-ordinator



061 202605 or 061 234379


Graduate & Professional Studies
University of Limerick
V94 T9PX


Springboard+ Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

Applications for this course are closed since 23rd July. We are unable to accept any late applications for this course. Any applications received before the closing date will be contacted in the coming weeks with an update.

The Higher Diploma in Software Development is a full time conversion programme for non-ICT graduates wishing to enter the IT sector. The course will provide participants with fundamental theoretical and practical skills, abilities and knowledge to gain a comprehensive intermediate understanding of software development. The programme has been designed in consultation with a number of national and international IT businesses and enterprises that are based in Ireland to ensure that it meets the skills needs of industry.

The course content will address the skills shortages for ICT by developing learners’ knowledge and skills, in programming, web-based application, databases and software quality and software test as well as giving students a work placement.

This programme delivery is normally Monday-Friday, similar to any fulltime on-campus UL programme. However, given the current situation with COVID-19 restrictions and in line with the Universities strategy on dealing with it, this course will now be delivered in a full-time blended format for Semester 1 at least.

For updates on the impact of COVID19 on course delivery please consult this section of the University of Limerick website:

Please note we will need to correspond with you by email throughout the application process. For this reason, we ask that you regularly check your email and spam folders.


On successful completion of this programme, graduates will have the skills, knowledge and abilities to :
- develop stand-alone applications (primarily in Java),
- develop web-based application (primarily using HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, AJAX, ASP.NET, C# and MS-SQL Server),
- develop mobile applications (primarily using Android Studio) to the level one would expect after a programme of this duration.
- apply traditional and object-oriented systems analysis and design techniques
- design databases, use SQL to query tables and write stored procedures
- create/design and execute test cases

Entry Requirements

A level 8 qualification in a non-computing discipline is the key requirement. Preference will be given to candidates with a
second-class honours degree or higher.

Applicants may be required to undertake an interview and satisfy the course
admission team that they have the ability to complete and benefit from this course. Shortlisting of applicants may take

The recognition of prior learning and prior experiential learning as per university policy will be applied to this course.

Long Description

This programme is heavily influenced by the requirements of the ICT sector in the region and has received the support of a large number of employers.

Job readiness and support into employment will be provided through a series of workshops and seminars and an active engagement with motivated students to place them in a company for an industry learning experience. To date 60% of graduates have gained employment within 6 months.

Unemployed/Returners are expected to actively look for a company in which to complete their project, however, assistance in finding a company will be provided where necessary. Employed or Self-Employed applicants should clarify if their company can facilitate a project being carried out on their business.

An industry learning experience (work placement) will form a key element of the programme, ensuring the integration of the various programme concepts and skills and their application to practical software development issues. The onus is on participants to find a placement company, however assistance will be provided by the Springboard+ coordinator is required.


CS4004 SOFTWARE TESTING AND INSPECTION: To introduce students to software testing and inspection, test specifications and managing errors;
CS4023 OPERATING SYSTEMS: To provide a clear understanding of an OS logical structure, implementation and facilities;
CS4012 REPRESENTATION AND MODELLING: An introduction to the skills and techniques of software modeling of social and economic scenarios;
CS4141 INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING: To provide a introduction to programming using an industry-standard programming language;
CS4416 DATABASE SYSTEMS: Foundations of the structure and application of relational databases and database management systems
CS4116 SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Students will work in teams to develop a standards-complaint web application project;
CS4056 MOBILE APPLICATION DESIGN: To provide students with the skills and techniques for development of applications for mobile device
CS4457 PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND PRACTICE: To examine the processes in the development, implementation and management of information systems;
CS5061 ICT EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS WORKSHOP: Workshops focussing on the personal and professional skills essential for success in ICT employment (this module is subject to change)
CS6402 INTERMEDIATE PROGRAMMING: Real-world application of more advanced algorithms, data structures, and programming constructs;
IE2011 INDUSTRY LEARNING PROJECT: An industry learning experience ensuring the integration and application of students' new skills (this module is subject to change)

Timetable Info

This is traditionally a fulltime course which is delivered on campus. However, given the current environment this course is planned to be delivered in line with the Universities strategy on dealing with the ever evolving COVID19 situation. Therefore this course will now be delivered in a fulltime blended format for Semester 1 at least.

For updates on the impact of COVID19 on delivery please regularly consult this section of the University of Limerick website:

Delivery Notes


Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Ask for a Springboard+ Co-ordinator


Graduate & Professional Studies
University of Limerick
V94 T9PX


061-202605 or 061-234379


RPL Information

The University of Limerick operates a policy for the Recognition of Prior Learning, both formal and informal/experiential learning. Informal and experiential learning includes non-accredited personal and professional education; work based training and relevant life/work experiences. This learning is assessed initially for entry on to particular courses of study but may additionally lead to academic credits and exemptions from subjects on the intended course of study. Applications for RPL are dealt with on an individual basis, facilitated by representatives from the relevant academic departments and Registrar's office at the University of Limerick. RPL for Springboard+ 2020 will be managed by Graduate and Professional Studies as part of the application process. Graduate & Professional Studies provides support and assistance to guide the learner through their RPL application and in compiling their portfolio. The process is student centric, with consideration made on a case-by-case basis, through submitted documentation and communication with the application team and course director. The operation of the RPL policy has been applied successfully to previous cohorts. Academic and professional qualifications, work and life experience are important considerations in assessment, but motivation and overall potential for the selected course has been a major factor in evaluating applicants.

Application Procedures


Step 1 is to submit your application on the Springboard+ website, you will then be sent a link via email to apply to the University of Limerick (UL) directly (this will be step 2). You must provide all documents requested on this email which must be uploaded with your application on the UL site. It is only when we receive ALL requested documents that your application is considered complete.

Note : It may take a few days after your application is updated to 'Pending' on the Springboard+ website for us to send you the link to apply to UL (step 2).

Please note we will need to correspond with you by email throughout the application process. For this reason, we ask that you regularly check your email and spam folders.

Required Documents for UL application:
Delays in receiving these documents will affect the progress of your application.
- Photo or Scanned original copy of your transcripts for all years of study. (Graduates of UL need only provide us with their Student ID number.)
- Photo or Scanned copy of passport to verify ID and full legal name.
- Digital quality head and shoulders photograph.
- A copy of your most recent CV, please note that by providing this document you are agreeing that we may send it to members of industry if you require assistance when searching for an Industry Learning Placement (ILE) or project work (applies to some courses only).
- Applicants who do not have English as their first language may satisfy English Language
• If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate

All employed participants must pay a contribution of the course cost directly to the provider for all level 7-9 courses. The onus is on the participant to arrange payment of this fee. The HEA will fund the remainder of the cost directly to the provider.

Employed participants will be required to make a 10% course contribution of €693 directly to the University of Limerick.

Springboard+ will pay all fees for unemployed and returner participants.

Course Acceptance
In order to accept a course offer employed participants must pay a non-refundable acceptance fee of €250 to the University of Limerick. This €250 will be deducted from the contribution of €693 as outlined above. The full fees of €693 are due in two equal instalments which is €346.50. Once the €250 acceptance has been paid then the remaining fee for semester 1 of €96.50 is due by 4th September 2020. The remaining €346.50 is due by 15th January 2021.

In order to avail of Springboard+ funding you must provide written proof as outlined below:

NOTE: If your employment status changes during the application process it is your responsibility to inform a Springboard+ coordinator at UL and to provide proof of new status.

Written proof from the Department of Employment and Social Protection (DEASP) that you are in receipt of an eligible payment (see Springboard+ site).

Swear a declaration before a Commissioner for Oaths attesting to your status and provide written proof.

Employed/Self Employed
Provide a copy of most recent P60 or other relevant revenue documentation or a letter from their current employer to confirm employment or self-employment.

Formerly Self-Employed
Provide a letter/statement from Revenue stating that the applicant is no longer trading or a similar letter from the applicants (former) accountant should be sufficient. Swear a declaration, witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths, stating that the applicant is no longer self-employed.

To be eligible for Springboard+ funding applicants must be resident in the state.

Please note you may be required to verify your Nationality and Residency status.

For Returners and Employed/Self-Employed applicants, the following rules apply :
- must be ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.
** Note: The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4.
Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration ( ie you must hold Stamp 4 for three of the five years preceding)