Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development) 2 Years Online (January 2021)

National College of Ireland (HDSDEV_JANOL_YR1)
Key Programme Details
Award

Higher Diploma in Science in Computing

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended

Mode

Part Time

ECTS Credits

60

Department

School of Computing

General Information
Contact

The Springboard Team

Email

springboard@ncirl.ie

Phone

1850 221 721 (Option 4)

Address

Springboard Office
National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
IFSC
Dublin 1

Role

Springboard Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

26/01/2021

Start Date

26/01/2021

End Date

31/12/2022

About this Course

Blended Online:
Under the current restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic all classes are delivered online and will continue in that mode for the remainder of the academic year 2020/21. Delivery online in academic year 2021/22 is subject to QQI approval.

Overview of Eligibility and Funding:
For the two year part-time ICT Conversion courses if you are unemployed and in receipt of a jobseekers payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you are not eligible for the two year ICT Conversion courses.

Fees:
A student contribution fee of €540 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 19th March 2021. 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 25th January 2021. Please see https://www.ncirl.ie/NewStudents for more details. Please note that this scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials

Is this course suitable for me?
This course will appeal to non-technical professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would like to upgrade their skills in the computing domain, helping them to progress faster in their employment or to apply the gained knowledge in their current role. The course teaches students the computing fundamentals, complemented with detailed knowledge, problem-solving and specialised technical skills required for designing, developing and deploying software. The Software Development stream provides learners detailed knowledge, problem-solving and technical skills in the area of software development using a modern programming language, such as Java, and application development framework(s).

Course Overview:
This course will appeal to graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would wish to change their non-ICT qualification into the computer science field through a level 8 award in computing. It will also appeal to technical and non-technical professionals who would like to upgrade their skills in the Software Development domain, helping them to progress faster in their employment or to apply the knowledge in their current role. The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing course (Software Development) teaches students the computing fundamentals, complemented with detailed knowledge, problem-solving and specialised technical skills required for analysing, designing, developing, deploying and testing software. The second semester consists of a focused set of modules that are specific to the Software Development. The course is highly practical, and aims to bring the learners quickly to the industry entry standard for Software Development. The Software Development programme offers learners detailed knowledge, problem-solving and technical skills in the area of software development using, for example, the Java programming language and application development framework(s). The learners will study computing-related topics that include software development, best practices in software engineering, the design and implementation of databases, computer architecture, networks and operating systems, data structures, algorithms and advanced programming, and distributed systems. The students will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to the development and documentation of a medium scale software capstone project. Furthermore, the learners will consolidate their knowledge and skills by carrying out a three-month work placement or credit bearing project. In addition, the Career Bridge module will help the students to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall.

Sample Live Online Taster Class Higher Diploma in Computing with specialisation in Software or Blockchain or AI/ML
Monday January 11th 6 – 8pm
https://www.ncirl.ie/Events/ArtMID/6569/ArticleID/536/Webinar-on-specialising-in-AI-Machine-Learning

Objectives

This course will typically appeal to graduates with a level 8 degree from different backgrounds who would wish to change their non-ICT qualification into the computer science field through a level 8 award in computing. Nonetheless, it is noted that the course is technical in nature and will entail a significant amount of independent study. Given the content and the timescale you will need to have a strong commitment to the course and a willingness to fully engage with the technical content. Graduates may avail of many entry-level jobs, such as Software Developer, Web Development Engineer and Software Engineer.

Entry Requirements

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. 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.

DEASP Information: For the two year part-time ICT Conversion courses if you are unemployed and in receipt of a Covid-19 PUP or a DEASP payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you are not eligible to enroll on a two year ICT Conversion Courses. Please see https://www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility


Technical Requirements:
Besides having a very strong WIFI connection, students of online courses at the National College of Ireland are required to have the following equipment in order to effectively participate in an online classroom:

• Laptop/Desktop
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.

• Microphone
Any microphone is acceptable, provided the audio is clear. Most laptops have an inbuilt microphone which is perfectly acceptable, however occasionally an external mic is necessary.
You may test your microphone’s compatibility with your browser here: https://www.onlinemictest.com/

• Headphones
Headphones are strongly recommended to avoid echo while using the microphone.

• External Webcam
External Webcams (USB cable) are required in order to authenticate yourself for examination purposes. Onboard webcams, ie webcams built into the laptop are not appropriate for examination authentication. Webcams are not required for day to day classes.

*Free Laptop loan for eligible students on this course: Students who are eligible for 100% HEA funding for this course will also be eligible for a free laptop provided on a loan basis for the duration of the programme - subject to maximum numbers. Check https://www.ncirl.ie/Students/ Student-Services/Support-Services/ Student-Laptop-Fund for updates on the next opening date for applications*

Long Description

Year 1 Semester 1
• Software Development
• Web Design and Client Side Scripting

Year 1 Semester 2
• Object Oriented Software Engineering
• Data Structures
• Introduction to Databases
• Career Bridge

Year 2 Semester 1
• Computer Architecture Operating Systems and Networks
• Algorithms and Advanced Programming
• Distributed Systems

Year 2 Semester 2
• Project

Relevant Employment/Placement may be commenced during the course timeline or following completion of the course. Active engagement with your Careers Advisor and with the Career Bridge module markedly increases the likelihood of a successful career transition or progression.

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, 2018 and 2020. 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.

Coding Tutorials for Non –Technical Candidates
For candidates who have never studied anything in relation to computing before or worked in a technical area before we have provided some free tutorials that you might find useful. Please note that these are not part of your course and we provide them only as a guide to assist you in the decision making process https://www.codecademy.com/
“Hour of Code” - Drag and drop intro to basic coding concepts (designed for 7-70 yr olds, don't be put off by the apparent simplicity of it) https://studio.code.org/hoc/1
Done that? Try the full 20 Hours - again this may seem fairly simple to you but if you follow through all 20 lessons you will have absorbed a good solid understanding of the main coding concepts https://studio.code.org/s/20-hour

Specifically for Higher Diploma in Computing Candidates
If you have never coded before do the 1 hour of code and the 20 hours of code tutorials, see above.
If you have coded before, but not in Java, try this free online course:
https://www.udemy.com/java-tutorial/#/
If you want to practice your Java: http://codingbat.com/

Career Opportunities

This course is designed to meet the needs of the IT sector and secure future employment for graduates. Companies who have hired 2018/2019 graduates include: SOLAS (Software Developer), Jaguar Land Rover (Senior Cloud DevOps Engineer), Version 1 (Java Developer), Ergo (Technical Account Manager), Dell (Graduate Programme, Enterprise Support), Civil Service (Software Developer), Fenergo (Java Developer), Openet (Graduate Software Engineer), Ding (Junior QA Engineer), Global Payments (Operations Analyst), Oracle (Senior Cloud Customer Operations Engineer).

Timetable Info

Start Date: The course is expected to start in the week commencing 25th January 2021

Duration: Jan to May 2021, September to December 2021, Jan to May 2022 & September to December 2022

Indicative Schedule: Tuesday & Thursday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00.

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

Delivery Location

e-Learning

Delivery Notes

Blended Online:
Under the current restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic all classes are delivered online and will continue in that mode for the remainder of the academic year 2020/21. Please note that you must choose to apply to either the 1 Year on campus option (which is currently running online due to the pandemic) or else the bonline (2 year course) option. It is not possible to transfer options post registration.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

The Springboard Team

Address

Springboard Office
National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
IFSC
Dublin 1

Phone

1850 221 721 (Option 4)

Email

springboard@ncirl.ie

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.

NEXT STEPS:
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 January 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(2020).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 January 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.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Documentation supporting your employment status was provided by you as part of the application process, however, further proof confirming your continued eligibility will also be required at the time of course commencement. Please note you will be asked to reverify your status and provide updated verification of status for w/c 25th January when completing the first registration process on the Springboard system. If it becomes apparent at the point of this registration process you are not eligible for a Springboard+ course we will not be able to draw down funding from the HEA on your behalf and if you wish to continue you must fund this programme yourself. Please note, if your employment status/social welfare payment changes from the point of application to course commencement we advise that you declare this to the Springboard team as a matter of priority who will then reassess your funding eligibility. Please note that a change in your employment status from unemployed to employed will mean that the 10% student contribution fee is applicable

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

Media
Sample Class

Sample Live Online Taster Class Higher Diploma in Computing with specialisation in Software or Blockchain or AI/ML Monday January 11th 6 – 8pm

https://www.ncirl.ie/Events/ArtMID/6569/ArticleID/536/Webinar-on-specialising-in-AI-Machine-Learning