Postgraduate Diploma in Science in CyberSecurity (September 2021)

National College of Ireland (PGDCYB_SEP)
Key Programme Details
Award

Postgraduate Diploma in Science in CyberSecurity

NFQ Level

Level 9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

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,
Dublin 1

Role

Springboard Co-ordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

20/08/2021

Start Date

20/09/2021

End Date

31/08/2022

About this Course

Classroom Delivery: there will be a mixture of online and on-campus delivery. The college will transition back to classes on campus in accordance with Government guidelines. Students should be prepared for a return to campus and also note in some instances, some elements of online learning may remain in place as required.

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 (Postgraduate) 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.

Covid 19 PUP - People in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) can apply for a Springboard+ part-time course. The fee will be waived for these applicants. However, it is your responsibility to discuss retaining a DEASP payment with your case officer in your local INTREO office when your offer is accepted. The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme - This is not an eligible DEASP payment. Those who are in receipt of the wage subsidy are classed as employed and those eligibility criteria apply. Therefore, those in receipt of this payment will be required to pay 10% of the course fee when undertaking courses at Level 7 or above.

Fees: A student contribution fee of €695 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 19th November 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 20th September 2021. Please see https://www.ncirl.ie/NewStudents for more details. The scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials.

Overview of Course:
Cybersecurity is essential for a modern society. The field has the fastest growth rate with the labour market encountering a severe workforce shortage. The aim of this programme is to provide learners with essential research, expert knowledge and competence of the most important technical concepts of cybersecurity applied in areas such as cloud security and forensics.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity course is technical and practical in nature, uniquely embedded in industry, and develops in-depth expertise of core technical topics within the area of cybersecurity such as information security, secure programming, network security, penetration testing, IT law and ethics, and technologies and tools that support application and service vulnerability detection, incident detection, data and log retrieval and analysis.

The course also provides a narrower focus into Forensics and Cloud Security through the two specialisations that are offered to the learners. A unique feature of this course is the strong collaboration of the College with the industry in the development and delivery of the course. The Domain Context module creates a space into which companies may provide in-house training, professional certification preparation, or deliver knowledge on the latest technologies currently used by specific Cybersecurity companies.

The learners will also carry out a 3-month work-placement with companies that indicated an interest in taking graduates. The Career Bridge module will help learners to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects. Graduates from this course may work in a variety of roles that are in high demand: information security analyst, secure application developer, cybersecurity tester, risk advisory on information security and forensics, cloud security analyst, etc.

Objectives

As a graduate of the course you will be able to:
• Conduct independent research and analysis in the Cyber Security domain including secure application design, development and testing within a given context e.g. Web, cloud computing, and forensic investigation.
• Demonstrate practical skills and expert knowledge of technologies and tools that support cryptanalysis, application and service vulnerability detection and patching, security incidents detection and log file analysis.
• Critically evaluate the design and implementation and evaluation of a research idea.
• Analyse and evaluate the legal, ethical and economic ramifications of developing secure applications and services.
• Communicate effectively to a range of audiences in both written and verbal media and undertake self-learning in order to acquire new knowledge.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements:
An honours (level 8) primary degree in Computing or a cognate area with a 2.2 award or higher. Candidates are expected to have programming ability. Cognate area means a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree that included programming/application development related modules. An assessment and/or interview may be conducted to ascertain suitability if necessary, for candidates who do not meet the normal academic requirements.

Non- English-speaking applicants must demonstrate fluency in the English language as demonstrated by IELTS academic score of at least 6.0 or equivalent. Please note that prior programming experience is a requirement.

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.

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, i.e. 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 may 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

Semester 1
• Security Fundamentals
• IT Law and Ethics
• Network Security and
Penetration Testing

Semester 2
• Secure Programming for Web
• Cryptography
• Malware Analysis
• Career Bridge

Semester 3
• Research in Computing
• Secure Programming for Application Development
• Cloud Security - Cloud Security Elective
• Incident Response and Analytics - Forensic Elective
• Forensics and eDiscovery - Forensics Elective


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 that all modules count towards the final award classification*



Career Opportunities

Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that a business or consumer will be the victim of a ransomware attack every 5 seconds by 2021. As the world’s data store grows over the next five years, more of it will be taken hostage by cybercriminals. The Irish government is seeking to fill the shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel to protect companies against cybercrime as well as respond to security breaches.

Companies who have hired 2018 and 2019 graduates from this course include: Version 1 (Associate Consultant), Irish Aviation Authority (Project Management System Specialist), Amazon Web Services (Cloud Support Associate), AKKA Academy (Graduate Technology Consultant), Fidelity Investments (Senior System Analyst and Senior Software Quality Engineer), PwC (Technology Consultant), Dell EMC (Software Solutions Engineer), Kontainers (Business Analyst).

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

Timetable Info

Start Date: The course is expected to start in the week commencing 20th September 2021

Indicative Schedule: Monday & Wednesday 18.00 - 22.00 and a number of Saturdays 09.00 - 18.00. Career Bridge classes will be delivered one day per week in Semester 2 from 17.00 to 18.00. Day to be confirmed.

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

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

Classroom; Online/Campus
Campus:
National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
IFSC
Dublin 1

Delivery Notes

Classroom Delivery: there will be a mixture of online and on-campus delivery. The college will transition back to classes on campus in accordance with Government guidelines. Students should be prepared for a return to campus and also note in some instances, some elements of online learning may remain in place as required.

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

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. The Springboard Team will provide this form to you if you are required to fill it out

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 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: https://springboardcourses.ie/pdfs/Declaration%20for%20Returners%20(2021-22).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.
• Self Employed - A letter from your accountant or revenue confirming that you are self employed

Note: When verifying your status please ensure that irrelevant transactions are redacted. For example, if providing a copy of a bank statement to confirm a DEASP payment , you must redact the other transactions on that statement before you submit this documentation to NCI.

This supporting documentation outlined in 1 -7 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 an 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/over the phone 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 20th September 2021 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.


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