Blended Learning course Part-time course
Diploma in Applied Software Development (Springboard+)

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Diploma in Applied Software Development Course Overview

The Diploma in Applied Software Development is designed for individuals looking to develop their knowledge and skills in the area of Java Programming and Software Development. It is intended to produce graduates with the attributes required of a Software Developer or Software Engineer today, and to equip them with the ability to continue to develop and remain competitive and employable in a rapidly changing and expanding sector of the economy.

The programme provides the opportunity to assimilate knowledge within an industry-focused learning environment. This focus is maintained through the use of practical sessions in labs and workshops. The programme modules focus on Software Development topics informed and aided by industry consultation. The learning environment will maximise use of classroom and laboratory learning as well as interactive workshops. Industry-relevant challenges will be issued to learners to provide an authentic learning and assessment experience. Graduates will be qualified to assume entry level industry roles and/or to further advance their education.

The programme is aimed at individuals seeking employment within the IT field and those already employed in a related industry. The programme will both enhance the employability of graduates and equip them for further study. The programme will also suit learners who have already attained a Level 7 NFQ award in a related discipline and are seeking to extend their knowledge, specialising in software development.

The overall objectives of the programme are:

  • To provide graduates with the ability to advance their IT career by attaining a qualification which enables them to secure industry entry level positions, or further advancement within their current sphere.
  • To provide the IT sector with graduates who possess the requisite attributes to make a positive contribution to the IT industry.
  • To provide learners with an NFQ level 7 Special Purpose award that will provide them with the knowledge, skill and competence to set them on a progression pathway to further their education in the area of Applied Software Development.
  • To provide graduates with the foundation upon which they can further their studies at NFQ Level 7, or progress to NFQ Level 8 in Computing or one of many Computing-related disciplines (in Ireland or abroad) such as Computer Science, Computational Science, Information Systems, IT Management, Technology and Innovation Management, Information Security & Digital Forensics, Information Systems Processes, and others.
  • To provide graduates with an environment conducive to personal development established through the use of peer learning, mentoring and formative feedback, thus allowing them to acquire new knowledge and the ability to identify their further learning needs and continuing professional development

On successful completion of the programme, graduates will be equipped to apply for further study in the IT discipline at level 7 and level 8 on the NFQ. They will also possess the knowledge and skills required for entry level positions as software developers.

This is a one year, part time, Diploma in Applied Software Development, with contact hours delivered over evening and weekend schedule slots (to afford any enrolled student not currently in employment the opportunity to accept a daytime job offer and continue to completion of the course as well as allow those in employment to balance course work with other full-time commitments).

Read more below:

Digital Transversal Skills

This 5 ECTS module empowers the learner through the use of both collaborative tools and techniques and individual insights into problem solving in a digital domain with a focus on the workplace. The knowledge gained from this module is used to ensure the proficient use of professional judgement in ethical and legal matters. This module also provides a learner with the ability to identify and evaluate the essential elements of a problem, this knowledge has a direct impact on the fostering of an objective viewpoint on problem solving, which in turn will aid in the practical application of skills learned in other modules.

Java Programming – Object Oriented Approach

This 10 ECTS module is designed to span the length of the learner’s course of study and focuses on the Java programming language. As the learner gains more exposure to the different elements of software development present in accompanying modules, this module keeps pace with the practical implementation of those elements; as such this Java module underpins the learning for the course of study.

Problem Solving and Mathematics for IT

This 5 ECTS module forms the basis for the logical and analytical thinking vital within the software development field. It also allows for a practical implementation of mathematical theory as this module keeps pace with the learning achieved from accompanying modules.

Object Oriented Analysis and Design

This 5 ECTS module provides the learner with the theoretical and practical skills to be able to apply a development process to any number of software projects. The knowledge learned from this module directly influences the development approach taken to implementing skills learned in multiple modules of the programme.

Web Development

This 10 ECTS module provides the learner with exposure to one of the largest software development domains which allows the learner to practically apply learning from associated modules while increasing their knowledge of a specialist area of software development.


This 5 ECTS module covers the fundamental use of data storage while introducing more complex methods; the learner has the opportunity to integrate this learning across multiple modules during their course of study.

Software Development Processes

This 5 ECTS module builds upon the knowledge gained in previous associated modules, forming a natural progression of abilities and understanding in the world of software development, the knowledge gained from this module allows the learner to gain important insight into the practical application of skills learned from this and other modules.

Mobile Development

This is a 10 ECTS module. Mobile software is a major area of software development, this module provides the learner with a chance to leverage the knowledge gained from previous modules into a mobile connected environment. This application of previously acquired knowledge while gaining new directed learning allows the learner to develop clear insights into multiple domain software development.

Strategic Business IT

This 5 ECTS module deals with the application of software in a business context; this very application leads to new software development. This module allows a learner to appreciate the effects of previously developed software on business while giving insight into the need for continuing cross-domain software development.

Learners will undertake a variety of formative learning activities in the classroom or lab to prepare them for the programme assessments. Assessments are completed during the taught modules and through end of module assessments or examinations. The programme engages an authentic assessment approach to provide learners with an insight into real work tasks, scenarios and challenges. Opportunities for integrated assessment are maximised to better reflect the authentic work-based problems and scenarios.

Six of the nine modules are assessed 100% by continuous assessments which will be a combination of practical and written assessments. The remaining three modules, Problem Solving and Mathematics for IT, Databases, and Strategic Business IT, are assessed by a combination of continuous and assessment and examination.

Those who are in employment/working :

For eligible applicants who are currently in employment/working 90% of the tuition fees will be covered by the HEA through Springboard+ and the remaining 10% is payable by the student or their employer.

The full fee for this course is €4,975 so for successful applicants who are in employment €497.50 will be payable once you have been offered a place and before you enrol on your Springboard+ course.

Those who are unemployed, formerly self-employed or ‘Returners’:

This course is free for eligible applicants who are unemployed, formerly self-employed or who are classified by Springboard+ as ‘Returners’ or ‘Homemakers’.


Admission to this the Diploma in Applied Software Development is through one of the following:

Evidence of prior learning, including experiential learning,


Possession of an NFQ level 5 award, including leaving certificate, FET award, or equivalent.

All applicants must evidence competence in mathematics equivalent to O6 standard in leaving certificate.

The minimum requirements for general learning are the ability to communicate effectively in writing – produce written summaries, reports, discussions and projects on academic and or applied matters, along with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

For applicants whose first language is not English, English language competency required for entry must be equal to or greater than B2+ in the CEFRL. English language credentials endorsed by other systems (viz. IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Cambridge, Duolingo etc.) will be assessed to ensure they meet this minimum standard.

Basic computer literacy is not sufficient for this programme. All applicants must have qualifications or experience which evidences intermediate competence in IT

For entry via RPL applicants are required to demonstrate general learning competence. Mathematical competence and comfort and familiarity in the use of IT, along with the ability to write reports or similar written documentation, are also required.

Application for this Diploma in Applied Software Development course commencing September 2022 is now open. Application should be made via the Springboard+ website here.

We are hosting a number of events in the lead up to the next academic year to give prospective students the opportunity to find out more about their course and the College. At the moment these events are virtual and you can pre-register here.

You can also make a safe socially distanced 1-2-1 appointment with an Admissions Advisor in the College campus building here from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

Ready to start your journey?