Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) 1 Year Online (January 2021)

National College of Ireland (HDAIML_JANOL)
Key Programme Details
Award

Higher Diploma in Science in Computing

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended

Mode

Full 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

28/01/2021

Start Date

28/01/2021

End Date

31/12/2021

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.

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. Applicants in receipt of the Covid-19 PUP wishing to pursue a 1 year full-time ICT Skills Conversion or HCI Pillar 1 course may now be entitled to the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). Their time on PUP will satisfy the full 9 month requirement to qualify for BTEA.

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 of 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

Course Overview:
The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning specialisation)- Blended Online, explores and builds on the fascinating challenge of developing digital systems that are able to autonomously process, reason and solve complex problems.

The course is taught online from lectures, labs, presentations, in-semester assessments to final examinations. Learners can study in a comfortable environment from anywhere in Ireland and people in more rural areas can upskill, retrain or simply look for career advancement. Lectures are delivered synchronously with learners being able to interact with the teaching staff live. Access to various resources and recording of the lectures is also provided. The aim of the course is to provide the students with practical skills and theoretical knowledge focusing specifically on the application development of AI-powered products by leveraging expertise in machine learning, artificial intelligence, distributed computing, and computational methods.
The aforementioned skills will enable students to deploy contemporary Machine Learning techniques and apply them to a wide range of problems. Furthermore, the students will familiarize themselves with the basic objectives and principles of artificial intelligence (e.g. reasoning, learning, problem-solving), its applications (e.g. natural language processing, recommender systems) and its techniques (e.g. neural networks, support vector machines)

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

Who is this course suitable for?
This course will appeal to professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree from different background who would like to upgrade and learn new skills in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence

Check out our NCI Blog and Watch: AI/Machine Learning Explained by an Expert;
http://blog.ncirl.ie/ai-machine-learning-explained-by-an-expert.

Live webinar with Dr Anu on AI/ML Springboard
Thursday December 10th 1 – 2 pm https://www.ncirl.ie/Events/ArtMID/6569/ArticleID/536/Webinar-on-specialising-in-AI-Machine-Learning

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

AI/ML is where its at, that’s the next wave, its here already. Look at the way shopping has changed, more and more people are purchasing online. That has implications for every industry. Through AI/ML the online shops look at your history and suggest items based on your previous purchases and also browser history. That’s just one simple example you can see currently in our daily life. Another one is the growth in chat bots, how they are reducing the wait times in call centers as bots are being implemented in so many online platforms, on some occasions you have no idea that you are in fact chatting with a bot and not a person. Across so many industries AI/ML have a place. Banking and financial transactions are another application, its used in fraud detection, to detect changes in behavior. Another is driverless cars, the applications are limitless.

The students will familiarize themselves with the basic objectives and principles of AI (e.g. reasoning, learning, problem-solving), its applications (e.g. natural language processing, recommender systems) and its techniques (e.g. neural networks, support vector machines).

On the completion of the programme, learners will be able to: - Develop the necessary statistical skills to carry out effective data analysis using descriptive and inferential statistics - Solve real Machine Learning problems which involves: (a) analyzing the objective of a task, (b) selecting and employing an appropriate ML techniques, (c) pre- and post-processing of the data and (d) effectively evaluating, analyzing and presenting the obtained results - Apply analytical thinking techniques, communication and interaction skills to support decision making - Understand the basic principles underlying AI, its applications and the techniques used. The students will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to the development and documentation of a medium scale software capstone project.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements:
Applicants holding an honours degree (level 8) in any discipline will be considered for the course. The college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may be considered based on relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed through a portfolio of learning, demonstration of work produced, interview and assessment.

DEASP Information:
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 an eligible DEASP payment for 9 of the previous 12 months to be eligible for funding on our 1 Year Higher Diploma Courses. Unemployed participants must qualify for (Back to Education Allowance) BTEA to secure funding for full-time courses of study. In relation to our one-year Higher Diploma programmes , these are classed as full time Mode of study.

It is up to the applicant to find out from DEASP whether they are eligible to transfer to BTEA for the purposes of the one-year ICT Conversion/HCI courses. All decisions on that eligibility (i.e. which payments are eligible etc.) are within the remit of DEASP and applicants should check with their local Intreo office. Eligible DEASP clients who are accepted on a course should immediately contact their local social welfare office and submit a completed BTEA-Springboard+ ICT conversion form which can be downloaded from www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility. Please do not return this form to NCI.

Note: Applicants in receipt of the Covid-19 PUP wishing to pursue a 1 year full-time ICT Skills Conversion or HCI Pillar 1 course may now be entitled to the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). Their time on PUP will satisfy the full 9 month requirement to qualify for BTEA. Please note that Students will not be permitted to retain Covid-19 PUP if enrolled on a 1 year full-time HCI Pillar 1/ICT Conversion Course and it is your responsibility to discuss transferring to BTEA payment with your case officer in your local INTREO office once you have accepted your offer.

The 10% course fee will be waived for applicants in receipt of BTEA


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 HEA funding for this course may also be eligible for a free laptop provided on a loan basis for the duration of the programme. This will be a suitable specification machine for completion of the programme but must be returned once you have finished your course. Overall numbers of laptops available are subject to maximum numbers and no other alternatives can be offered. Check https://www.ncirl.ie/Students/ Student-Services/Support-Services/ Student-Laptop-Fund for updates on the next opening date for applications*

Long Description

Semester 1
• Software Development
• Object Oriented Software Engineering
• Introduction to Databases
• Web Design and Client Side Scripting

Semester 2
• Computer Architecture Operating Systems and Networks
• Artificial Intelligence
• Statistics
• Career Bridge

Semester 3
• Machine Learning Fundamentals
- Block delivery
• Project - Block delivery

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.

Note: The prospective students are required to specify the specialisation they would like to follow when they apply for a place within the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing programme. Elective streams/specialisations will run subject to student numbers.

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.

Career Opportunities

This course was designed to meet the needs of the IT sector and secure future employment for graduates.

Timetable Info

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

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

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

The course will be assessed with a blend of continuous assessments and/or project work and exams. Please note that in some instances exams may take place in the daytime, evenings and at weekends.

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.

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:
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: 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 once courses are at capacity they may close without warning.

Media
Webinar

Live webinar with Dr Anu on AI/ML Springboard Thursday December 10th 1 – 2 pm

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