Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development) 2 Years Online (January 2022)

National College of Ireland (HDSDEV_JANOL_YR1)
Key Programme Details

Higher Diploma Science in Computing

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Computing

General Information

The Springboard Team




1800 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

Blended Online Delivery: This is an online/blended learning course. The majority of the programme will be delivered online. More information below under 'Delivery Notes'

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

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 18th March 2022. 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 24th January 2022. Please see https://www.ncirl.ie/NewStudents for more details. Please note that the scheme does not cover any allowance for books and materials.

The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing Software Development is a challenging and rewarding fully online course aimed at upskilling learners in the area of Software Development. This course would appeal to learners from both computing and non-computing backgrounds, as it takes learners from a base level of no-computing knowledge, to the point at which learners can enter industry as programmers and IT specialists.

The Software Development stream of this course is aimed at those who want to learn to create programs across a wide spectrum of areas. Learners will complete several small to medium software applications during the course which are important factors in building a portfolio to enter industry.

The design of this course mixes live online lecture and lab classes with pre-recorded short video content and exercises. Learners will unlock content as they progress and will be able to track their progress in real time. Learner progress is flexible, and learners can go back over content, or move ahead as they wish. Live classes are practical and discursive and there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and write code in class. Classes are supported by lab assistants and lecturers who are trained in effective online delivery, and live classes have been designed so as to be as practical and engaging as possible.

Assessments take place online and comprise of practical and project work based on research, industry-defined practical problems, and case-studies. The assessment is designed to create transferable skills for work such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking, design thinking, communication, teamwork, leadership, and research skills.

Learners will also consolidate their knowledge and skills by carrying out a three-month work placement. In addition, the Career Bridge module will help the students to enhance their employability skills and improve their overall career prospects.


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

Applicants holding a BSc or BA (Honours) degree (level 8) in any discipline will be considered for the course. Non-standard applications will be also considered on an individual basis.

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 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

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

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

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

Year 2 Semester 2
• Project

Springboard Careers Advisors will proactively support you to find relevant employment during the course or following completion of the course.

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

Why Choose This Course

National College of Ireland will host a live online event on Thursday 2nd December from 6pm-8pm focusing on the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing. This event will be hosted by Regina Dunne, Education & Training Adviser, and Sam Cogan, Lecturer in Computing, who will present a sample online class. Our Springboard+ Team will also be available to answer any questions you have around eligibility for Springboard+ funding and the application process. For further information on the event and to register click on the link: https://www.ncirl.ie/Events (event will be added soon to the website)

Career Opportunities

This course is designed to meet the needs of the IT sector and secure future employment for graduates. Companies who hired 2020 students include: Globalisation Partners (Director of IT Applications), Gentrack Ltd (Graduate Software Engineer), Aphix Software (Support Developer), ServiceNow (Senior Technical Support Engineer), HSE (Gradlink Programme), Datalex (Graduate Software Developer), LiveCosts.com (Graduate Software Developer), Optum (Technology Development Program Associate), Dabl Clinical Trials (Business Development Manager), Buddy.ie (Lead Engineer), State Street (Desktop Support Engineer)

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 NCI.
The NCI Career Development & Employability Office won the AHECS “Excellence in Employability Award” for 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 (Highly Commended) and The Education Awards 2021 for Career Impact Strategy.

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 24th January 2022.

Indicative Schedule: Tuesday and Thursday 18.00 - 22.00.There will also be up to three hours self-directed learning through the college e-learning system. These will not show on your timetable. Career Bridge classes will be delivered one day per week in Semester 2 from 17.00 to 18.00. Day to be confirmed.

Duration: January to May 2022, September to December 2022 and January to May 2023, September to December 2023.

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*

Note: Elective streams/specialisations will run subject to student numbers.

Delivery Location

Blended; Online/Campus

National College of Ireland
Mayor Street
Dublin 1

Delivery Notes

This is an online/blended learning course. The majority of the programme will be delivered online. At certain limited and pre scheduled times there will be opportunities for on-campus sessions. These on-campus sessions will also be dual delivered so students who do not wish to attend campus for these sessions will have the option of attending them online. Online classes will be live online. Theory-based content will be covered outside of class time with self-paced tutorials/videos on the College’s e-learning system, and practical content being covered in live, interactive online classes with support from lecturers and lab assistants.

Students apply for either a 1 year or 2 year delivery. It is not possible to transfer options post registration.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

The Springboard Team


Springboard Office,
National College of Ireland,
Mayor Street,
Dublin 1


1800 221 721 (option 4)



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.

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 an 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 or birth certificate

6. Proof of PPS Number: Evidence of PPS is required by all applicants. This can be reverified by a payslip, DSP payment receipt, revenue correspondence or social services card. Your application cannot be progressed without it.

7. Resident in EU/EEA/Swiss/UK for 3 of last 5 years: Please review the list below to see if you need to provide evidence of being resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss/UK for 3 of last 5 years

IF YOU ARE IN EMPLOYMENT: Please provide evidence that you have been resident in EU/EEA/Swiss/UK for 3 of last 5 years - Utility Bills, P60, P21, End of Year Statement (Revenue), Mortgage/Bank Statement, Lease/Rental Agreement . A P21 can be requested here (https://www.revenue.ie/en/online-services/services/common/request-or-view-your-statement-of-liability.aspx). You must provide documents for 3 of the last 5 years.
IF YOU ARE A RECENT GRADUATE: You do not need to submit additional proof of residency once you have already provided transcripts showing the duration of your course and if it shows 3 years this will suffice. IF YOU ARE A RETURNER: You do not need to submit additional proof of residency once you have provided a signed Commissioner for Oaths Form. IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED/IN RECEIPT OF PUP: You do not need to submit additional proof once you have provided proof of current social welfare payment

8. Evidence of Current Residency in the State: Please review the list below to see if you need to provide evidence of current residency in the state. IF YOU ARE IN EMPLOYMENT: Please provide a current Utility Bill or an Employer Letter. Please note that the employer letter should have both your name and address on it. IF YOU ARE A RECENT GRADUATE: Please provide a current utility bill or similar.
IF YOU ARE A RETURNER: You do not need to submit additional proof once you have provided a signed Commissioner for Oaths Form. IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED/IN RECEIPT OF PUP: You do not need to submit additional proof once you have provided proof of current social welfare payment

9. 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.

10. 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 -10 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/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 24th January 2022 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**

Open Evenings

Come to our next open evening online in NCI