Course Overview

This programme provides a flexible, part-time, online learning route for students to gain the necessary professional skills, conceptual frameworks, methods, technologies and hands-on experience of software development as a basis for a career in the IT industry.   Students also acquire specialised knowledge of specific IT topics, particularly in the area of software development and database systems, and develop advanced research and/or development skills. The programme is offered jointly by NUI Galway and Regis University, Denver, USA.

NUI Galway IT Online Programmes 


Applications and Selections


Applications should be made online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre  (PAC).  Code: GYE04

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The MScSED programme is delivered entirely using online learning technology so students can study when and where they want. Course materials are easy to follow and are accompanied by continuous assessment exercises, research/review questions and recommended course textbooks.

Each module is delivered over an eight-week period via asynchronous online technologies using web-supported learning. The programme coordinators provide a recommended outline of study for each of the eight-week modules to ensure students keep their progress on track. Course tutors are highly experienced in facilitating online programmes and will provide all the support students need with the programme content, as well as giving feedback on weekly assignments.

Each module is individually assessed. Students are assessed by online examinations, online assignments and a Software Development Project and Thesis or an IT Research Project and Thesis in year 2 of the programme.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The MScSED Degree is open to honours degree graduates (minimum 2nd class honours) in IT, Science, Engineering, or another relevant discipline. It is also open to other degree graduates with three or more years of relevant experience, and to those otherwise satisfying the MSc entry standards (degree equivalent qualifications). Applicants with an ordinary or pass degree or Level 7 diploma must have at least three years relevant experience to be considered for the programme. If the applicant has no formal qualification at all then he/she is not eligible to apply.

Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time. Online.

Next start date

August 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Next start date

August 2018

NFQ level


Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting




PAC code


Course Outline

The core syllabus of the MSc in Software Engineering and Database Technologies comprises equally Software Engineering and Database design and development modules. Students undertake a number of optional modules during the second year allowing them to specialise in advanced software engineering or database disciplines. Students also undertake a major research and/or development project, leading to a thesis.

The programme content is extensive and varied, and includes modules on:

  • Computer Architecture & Operating Systems
  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Software Engineering
  • Database Architecture
  • Database Concepts

You must complete 3 of these Database Elective modules:

  • Database Administration
  • Service-Oriented Architecture Concepts
  • Database Warehouse Design
  • PL/SQL Programming

You must complete 2 of these Software Engineering elective modules:

  • Object Oriented Design
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Distributed Systems and the Cloud
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Real-Time Systems
  • Graphics Programming

Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Optional CT622: Real-Time Systems - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT623: Graphics Programming - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT627: Service Oriented Architecture Concepts - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT6110: Thesis Fundamentals - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT6105: PL SQL Programming - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT621: Artificial Intelligence - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT620: Distributed Systems - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT626: Thesis - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT613: Database Architecture - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT615: Database Administration - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT618: Object Oriented Design - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT619: Object Oriented Programming - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT6111: Database Warehouse Design - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT5111: Introduction to NoSQL Databases - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT611: Computer Architecture and Operating Systems - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT610: Software Engineering - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT609: Fundamentals of Programming - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT5114: Distributed Systems and The Cloud - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT5115: Modern Javascript Programming - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT628: Software Quality & Test - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT6103: Database Performance & Tuning - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT616.A: Middleware Architectures and Database Applications - Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT6101: Database Backup & Recovery - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional CT614: Database Concepts - Credits - Semester 1

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Information Technology in general is one of the success stories in the modern Irish economy, particularly the field of software/database design and development. This course will enable you to participate in this vibrant, international industry. Since IT is crucial in every sector, many of our graduates have also used the course for career advancement and progression within their current employment field.

Who’s Suited to This Course

This is an ideal programme for students who:

  • wish to update their Information and Communication Technology development skills
  • wish to learn about information technology with a specific emphasis on software development or database technologies while gaining advanced research skills
  • already work in the area, but would like to gain a recognised Masters qualification

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€4,450 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Tuition

€4,226 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Non EU

€8,350 p.a. 2017/18

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the2017_18 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

 Aisling Monahan 

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway
Tel: 091 495698

Majella O’Dea 
Academic Coordinator 
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway
Tel: 091 495 041

What Our Students Say


Mary Loftus |   Past Student

I was looking for a good solid qualification in the area of Information Technology to certify about 12 years of practical experience in the industry. I also wanted to broaden my expertise with a view to taking my next steps career-wise. The online MScSED provided a very structured, online learning environment which equipped me very well for a variety of roles. It got me interested in research, in new ways of working and in finding better ways to problem- solve. Learning to relate to remote colleagues and collaborate online effectively was key for me. This was invaluable a few years after the course, when an IT management role came up with GlaxoSmithKline in Sligo, which was exactly what I had in mind when I undertook my studies. With the MSc under my belt, I felt very comfortable working with remote teams and enjoyed working as part of the senior management team there. The course also opened up a deeper interest and opportunities for me in the education sector and I have since left the corporate world to lecture part-time at IT Sligo and to study for a PhD.