Course Overview

MSc (Software Design & Development): This two-year MSc is aimed at candidates with little or no IT experience who want to pursue a career in the IT industry. The skills developed in this programme include the core software development tools and techniques as well as a solid grounding in research and its application in a specific ICT (information and communications technology) domain. Students can exit this programme after Year One with a Higher Diploma (GYE12).

MSc (External stream): This course is aimed at students who have already obtained a Level 8 postgraduate qualification in IT and are interested in pursuing an MSc qualification. As a distance-learning programme, it suits candidates who are in full-time employment and/or living abroad. The programme is in line with the University Policy for Recognition of Prior Learning in that it recognises prior academic qualifications. The aim of this initiative is to provide graduates with the opportunity to acquire qualifications for employment in the ICT area.

Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development: This programme is aimed at candidates with little or no IT experience. It provides an academic foundation and broad technical training in software design and development. The skills developed in this programme include the core software development tools and techniques as well as a solid grounding in a specific ICT (information and communications technology) domain. Students may transfer to the MSc in Software Design and Development (GYE03) subject to places being available, an interview and achievement of a minimum 2.1 result in the Higher Diploma.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Dr. Hugh Melvin
Dr. Séamus Hill

Requirements and Assessment

Semester One exams: December. Semester Two exams: April/May - MSc and HDip.

A range of assessment methods are integrated and applied throughout the programme. These include essays, projects, reports, presentations and case studies. Year Two culminates with the submission of a dissertation - MSc and HDip.

MSc (External Stream): while students have to pass the qualifier module before they can continue with their research, the overall assessment is solely based on their submitted dissertation. 

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

MSc: Candidates must have a minimum 2.2 honours (Level 8) undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification). If applicable, applicants require a GPA score of 3.0 (or equivalent international qualification) and an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent international qualification).

MSc (External stream): This programme is available to students who have completed an accredited (subject to approval by the School of Engineering and Informatics), Level 8 (with 60 ECTS credits) postgraduate qualification in Computer Science or Information Technology. This qualification can relate to academic programmes or accredited industry-sponsored qualifications. Potential candidates must have achieved the equivalent of a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (2.1) (or better) in their postgraduate qualification.

HDip: This programme is open to applicants who have a Level 7 pass degree (or equivalent international qualification) from a recognised university or third level college.

Additional Requirements


2 years, full-time (MSc),
1 year, full-time (MSc—External Stream)
1 year, full-time (HDip)

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

30 (MSc) | 15 (MSc, External Stream) | 30 (HDip)

Closing Date

Please refer to offer rounds/closing dates website

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting

60 each year



Course code

GYE03—MSc; GYE15—MSc (External stream); GYE12—HDip

Course Outline

The programme includes such modules as:

  • Databases
  • Software Engineering
  • Programming in Java
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Internet Programming
  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
  • Computer Networks
  • Research Methods
  • Software Design and Development Project

Moule details for GYE03—MSc

Module details for GYE15—MSc (External stream)

Module details for GYE12—HDip

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

MSc: A variety of opportunities are open to graduates in the software industry or in a range of other sectors, such as telecommunications, medical informatics, energy informatics, digital media, banking and consulting. Many graduates continue with careers related to their specialised field of research. Companies/organisations that have recruited graduates recently include Fidelity Investments, Galway; Cisco, Galway; and Ericsson, Athlone.

MSc (External Stream): Recent graduates have already been in full-time employment while participating in this programme.

HDip: Opportunities exist in various industries, ranging from web design, gaming and banking to telecommunications, health and the energy sector. Companies/organisations that have recruited graduates recently include Cisco, Galway; HP, Galway; and DCM Compliance, Limerick.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,150 p.a. 2018/19 (GYE03,GYE12, GYE15)

Fees: Tuition

€4,926 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,750 p.a. 2018/19 (GYE03,GYE12, GYE15)

Find out More

Dr. Seamus Hill
T +353 91 495 232  

Dr. Hugh Melvin
T +353 91 493 716    

Information Technology Web site.