Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics (1 Year) (September 2020)

National College of Ireland (HDSDA_SEP2)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma in Science in Data Analytics

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Full Time

ECTS Credits



School of Computing

General Information

The Springboard Team




1850 221 721 (Option 4)


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 1 year full time evening ICT Conversion courses if you are unemployed and in receipt of a jobseekers payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you must be in receipt of this for 9 of the previous 12 months.

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 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 https://www.ncirl.ie/NewStudents for more details. Please note that the scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials.

Indicative Schedule: Group 2
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00
Career Bridge will be delivered one day per week 17.00 start - day to be confirmed.

Course Overview:

This course will appeal to professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would like to upgrade their skills in the data analytics domain.

The aim of this course is to educate learners in the use of analytics for better data access, analysis, visualization, and reporting. This will enable learners to use insights gleaned from Business Intelligence (BI) to make more effective decisions that deliver better decision-making; to solve business problems and explore new opportunities; to develop and enhance business performance; to optimize value contained in the organization's data stores (e.g data about customers, suppliers, operations, and performance).

The learners will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to the development and documentation of a medium to large-scale software capstone project and will consolidate these skills by carrying out a three month work-placement. The Career Bridge will help the students to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects.

Students undertaking this course will be exposed to a variety of programming languages/tools that may include ‘R’, Python, SPSS, Excel, Weka and RapidMiner.

The programme is particularly suitable for those with numeracy skills. You do not need to have previously studied programming. However, given the timeframe and the amount of technical and statistical content applicants should be prepared to fully commit to the programme.


On completion of the programme learners will be able to:
• Develop statistical skills to carry out effective data analyses
• Solve real business problems using accepted practices and appropriate data analysis tools
• Develop technical skills to process multiple data sets using relevant modelling, programming, data storage, and computational techniques
• Apply analytical thinking techniques, communication, and interaction skills to support decision making and address business requirements
• Apply data-mining and knowledge discovery techniques to process data sets

Entry Requirements

Applicants holding a level 8 degree or its equivalent in a non-cognate discipline will be considered for the course. Non-standard applications will also be considered on an individual basis. It should be noted that the course is technical in nature and will entail a significant amount of independent study.

Recognition of Prior Learning
The National College of Ireland operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may be considered based on extensive relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed using a portfolio of learning, demonstration of work produced and interview.

Laptop Requirements
This programme has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. 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

Course Content

Semester 1
• Introduction to Data Analytics
• Business Analysis and Communication
• Business Data Analysis
• Programming for Big Data

Semester 2
• Data and Web Mining
• Advanced Business Data Analysis
• Data Visualisation
• Career Bridge

Semester 3
• Project
• Work Placement

Relevant Employment / Placement to 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

2018 graduates used the course to upskill or gain employment in roles such as Risk Analyst, Operations Analyst, Data Architect, Retail Data Analyst, Data Analyst, Product Manager, Data Scientist, Billing Support Analyst, Marketing BI Specialist, Database Programmer. 82% of employed students changed role or company as a result of doing the course. Of the 14% of students who were unemployed, 73% secured employment within 3 months of completing the course.

Companies who hired NCI 2018 graduates included AON (Data Analyst), AIB (Data Analyst), Dropbox (Channel Operations Analyst), Electric Ireland (Trading & Pricing Risk Analyst), Slack (Revenue Operations Analyst), Expleo (QA Associate Graduate Programme), DAA (Data Analyst).

Timetable Info

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

Group 1
Indicative Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00
Career Bridge 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


Mixed ; 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 Higher 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

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

ACTION ITEM: Throughout the application process please continue to check your Spam and Junk folders in your email account as emails from springboard@ncirl.ie 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 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 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:
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%20(2019).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 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