Higher Diploma in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience

Maynooth University (MHG20)
Key Programme Details
Award

Higher Diploma Level 8

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Classroom, Blended

Mode

Full Time

ECTS Credits

60

Department

Computer Science

General Information
Contact

Khalila Ismail

Email

hdip-hciux@mu.ie

Phone

017083847

Address

Department of Computer Science Eolas Building,
North Campus,
Maynooth University,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Role

Programme Administrator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

26/08/2021

Start Date

30/08/2021

End Date

31/05/2022

About this Course

Graduates of this programme can find careers as a User Experience Designer, Human Factors Engineer, or Information Architect, but the skills developed over the course of this programme are transferable to many careers and working environments.

This is a one-year full-time programme for students who have completed a three-year Level 8 degree in any subject, including Computing. Students will learn both theory and practice in:

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) - the academic field focused on the interaction between computers (as machines) and people. Its aim is to better understand what it means to be a user of a computer to help create interactions that work well and turn out to be useful.

User Experience (UX) - an industrial discipline focused on usability and interface design, taking into account the entire product and how people interact with it.

Unlike other programmes, we connect these with modern technology, like Artificial Intelligence and Augmented/Virtual Reality, and application domains relevant for future interface design (i.e. search interfaces, data visualisation). A year-long team project and a diploma project will allow students to transform these elements into practice in collaboration with industry. A workplace preparation module will help students to prepare and shape their career paths, ready themselves for life-long learning, and develop important connections with industry. Their knowledge will be contextualised in practical settings with insights from HCI/UX companies. The course also introduces ethical issues to the curriculum.

Objectives

To learn how to prototype interface requirements in coordination with customers;
To design and develop user interfaces, as part of a team;
To integrate modern technologies for user interface design in new application settings;
To be able to select methods and criteria for the evaluation of user interfaces;
To collaborate in the creation and conduction of usability studies, and in its evaluation and communication in a professional environment;

Entry Requirements

This programme is for graduates whose primary 3-year degree is a Level 8 degree in any subject (including computing)

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements are either a IELTS (minimum overall score of 6.5), a TOEFL (Paper-based with minimum of 585 or Internet-based with minimum of 95), or a PTE (Pearson) (minimum of 62).

Applicants can also apply through Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning. Please review our RPEL form and policy for further information: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/sites/default/files/assets/document/R8%20%28V5%29%20Non%20standard%20entry%20RPL%20request_2.docx

Please visit our HDip Human-Computer Interaction & User Experience webpage for further information on entry/eligibility requirements: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/computer-science/springboard/hci-pillar-one

Long Description

This Higher Diploma will produce graduates who understand the human factors involved in creating an interface, have the know how to imagine and structure a suitable design, and have the skills to turn it into working code.

Funding more user-relevant aspects is critical to the continued growth of Irish IT, specifically Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Our information life is now almost exclusively enabled by the interfaces of smart devices (mobile, wearable, integrated and, more recently, virtual/augmented). These interfaces function as gatekeepers by controlling our ability to reach and process the web and other large data sets, including massive crowdsourced knowledge repositories. They deliver insights from the complex results produced by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms embedded into search and analytics engines.

The success for new digital services depends highly on the quality of user interface designs to increase user engagement and open possibilities. Irish companies are aware of these challenges as the number of advertised positions seeking UI/UX designers has increased significantly in the last 5 years. Specialists with both technical and design skills are needed for our workforce to produce superior user experiences for products that matter globally. AI-enabled and other data-intense applications will require much greater creativity from interface designers. We need to educate them now so that they can build data-driven, accessible, and enjoyable interfaces in the future.

Why Choose This Course

The Higher Diploma in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & User Experience (UX) at Maynooth University is a Human Capital Initiative funded programme that will prepare graduates to design, develop, and evaluate interfaces for modern applications and technologies. This course will cover both theory and practice in:

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) - the academic field focused on the interaction between computers (as machines) and people. Its aim is to better understand what it means to be a user of a computer to help create interactions that work well and turn out to be useful.

User Experience (UX) - an industrial discipline focused on usability and interface design, taking into account the entire product and how people interact with it.

Students on this programme will learn to design and program user experiences using the latest tools and technologies for developing interactive and immersive applications. These skills will be practised in module work, a team project, case studies and collaboration with industry. Additionally, a workplace preparation module will help students to shape their career paths and develop those important connections with HCI/UX companies and industry more broadly. This is a one-year full-time programme for students who have completed a three-year Level 8 degree in any subject, including Computing. There is also the potential to enter this programme through recognition of prior experiential learning (RPEL).

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this programme can find careers as a User Experience Designer, Human Factors Engineer, or Information Architect, but the skills developed over the course of this programme are transferable to many careers and working environments.

Timetable Info

The Higher Diploma in HCI & UX is a full-time course with lectures and laboratory classes occurring between 9am and 6pm, Mon - Fri. It is therefore not suitable for someone in full-time employment.

The first 3 weeks are an intensive Java programming module, running 9.00 am to 6:00 pm each day, 5 days a week. (Provisional start date is August 30th, 2021, this is three weeks before normal term time) Each day of the three-week module will consist of lectures lessons and lab assignments and you will write Java programs from day one! You will be required to do evening study and revision
every night including at the weekends.

Following this, the Higher Diploma course has approximately 18 hours of contact time per week made up of lecture lessons and laboratory hours in each of the two 12-week semesters. In addition to these timetabled contact hours, you will have to study and complete exercises in your own time (approximately 4 hours each day including weekends). There are many continuous assessment exercises throughout the course plus some exams in January and May.

Provisional start: August 30th 2021 with Structured Programming (in Java) CS620c -- This is the three-week structured programming module in Java, and worth 10 Credits. Although this module is optional, we highly recommend taking this course (unless you have had extensive programming education and/or programming experience in the past.

Semester 1 will start on the last week in September 2021 (straight after the three-week course).

Semester 1 and 2 modules information available here:

http://apps.maynoothuniversity.ie/courses/?TARGET=QS&MODE=VIEW&TARGET_SOURCE=QUALIFICATION&QUALIFICATION_CODE=HDHCI

Alternatively, you can visit the programme page here:

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/study-maynooth/postgraduate-studies/courses/higher-diploma-human-computer-interaction-and-user-experience

and then select 'Course Structure' and 'More Details on Course Finder'.

Delivery Location

On campus at Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Primarily on campus at Maynooth University but this course may have extended online elements due to the ongoing pandemic.

Delivery Notes

Online, Classroom, Blended

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Khalila Ismail

Address

Department of Computer Science Eolas Building,
North Campus,
Maynooth University,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Phone

017083847

Email

hdip-hciux@mu.ie

RPL Information

Applicants also have the opportunity to apply through Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning. Please visit https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/graduate-studies/recognising-professional-experience for further information and to download the RPEL form for inclusion in your application.

Application Procedures

To complete your online application, you must upload a copy of the parchment and/or transcript of your degree, if this was taken at a university other than the National University of Ireland Maynooth (Maynooth University). These must show the grade achieved and the date of conferral.

Applicants looking to apply via RPEL can indicate this in their application, and should upload a completed RPEL form with their application submission. You do not need to include a PAC Number in this form.

Other documentation that should be included with your application:
- Proof of applicant category, e.g proof of employment, proof of DEASP payment, etc.
- Proof of nationality (unless in receipt of a DEASP payment or formerly self-employed)
- Evidence that you have been resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for three of the last five years (unless in receipt of a DEASP payment or formerly self-employed)


Applicants must be available to start the course on 30th August 2021. This course begins with a compulsory Java programming module, which provides the foundational programming skills for over 50% of the overall course.

Media
Higher Diploma in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & User Experience (UX) | Maynooth University

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/computer-science/springboard/hci-pillar-one