Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! View our courses and see what our students and lecturers have to say about the courses you are interested in at the links below.
Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a rang of key areas of expertise.
Business & Industry
Guiding Breakthrough Research at NUI Galway
We explore and facilitate commercial opportunities for the research community at NUI Galway, as well as facilitating industry partnership.
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Software Design and Development (MSc, "External" stream)
MSc (Software Design and Development)
MSc (Software Design and Development) — External stream
HDipAppSc (Software Design and Development)
College of Engineering & Informatics
The MSc (Software Design & Development) is aimed at candidates with little or no I.T. experience. It firstly provides focused training in software development techniques, tools, and essential academic foundations. Critically, it also develops students' research capabilities, and allows them to pursue a substantial research project in some aspect of computing. The programme aims to provide students with the necessary skills, conceptual frameworks, methods, technologies, and hands-on experience of software development, as a basis for a career in the I.T. industry. Students will also acquire specialised knowledge of specific I.T. topics and develop advanced research and development skills.
MSc (External stream): the Discipline of Information Technology offer a Masters in Software Design & Development comprising an initial taught year and a subsequent research year (PAC code GYE03). However, this programme differs from the MSc (PAC code GYE03) in that students register for the second research year having already completed a HETAC/NUI (or equivalent) higher/postgraduate diploma that is equivalent to the 1st taught year. It may be necessary to take some qualifiers prior to entry such as a research methods module.The research year culminates in the delivery of a thesis. Final MSc mark is determined by 2nd year result only. This programme is in line with the University Policy for Recognition of Prior Learning in that it recognises prior academic qualifications.
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 Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development is aimed at candidates with little or no IT experience. It provides a focused and intensive training in software design and development techniques, tools and essential academic foundations.
The programme requires students to pursue a substantial software design and development project and also develops students' research capabilities.
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 (or equivalent international qualification).
MSc (External stream): Students must hold a second class primary degree (Level 8), preferably in a numerate discipline and a HETAC/NUI (or equivalent international qualification) accredited higher/postgraduate 60 ECTS diploma in ICT. If applicable an IELTS score of 6 or equivalent international qualification is required.
HDip: The programme is open to candidates with little or no IT experience, who have obtained a Level 7 primary degree (or equivalent international qualification). A background in a numerate discipline is desirable. If applicable, applicants require a GPA score of 3.0 (or equivalent international qualification) and an IELTS score of 6.
2 years, full-time (MSc),
1 year, full-time (MSc—External Stream)
1 year, full-time (HDip)
Next start date: September 2015
ECTS weighting: 60 each year
Average intake: 30 (MSc) | 15 (MSc, External Stream) | 30 (HDip)
Closing date: Please refer to offer rounds/closing dates website
MSc: this full-time programme runs over two academic years. The first year follows the normal academic cycle of two semesters, with examinations at the end of each semester. This period consists of intensive lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials, as well as group and individual software projects. Time will also be spent in developing research interests, which will become the focus for the second year. In second year, students carry out research and development in a specific area under the supervision of a staff member. The degree culminates with the submission of an academic thesis detailing the research work completed.
MSc (External stream): this course is research-based only and begins with an eight-week qualifier module (e.g., an online-taught module in research methodologies) prior to start of the academic year. This module enables students to identify a research strategy, a research topic and an academic supervisor. Students then pursue their research project over one academic year, during which they complete a body of work equivalent to 800 hours of academic studies. Students can re-register for the following academic year, if they are not able to complete their thesis within one year.
HDip: this full-time programme runs from September to May and follows the normal academic cycle of two semesters, with examinations at the end of each semester. The programme consists of intensive lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials, as well as group and individual software projects. Time will also be spent developing research interests to facilitate students that fulfill certain requirements to transfer to the MSc (Software Design and Development).
The programme includes such modules as:
• Software Engineering
• Programming in Java
• Object-Oriented Programming
• Internet Programming
• Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
• Computer Networks
• Research Methods
Applications and selections
Who teaches this course?
Dr. Hugh Melvin
Mr. 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.
Find out more
Full programme description on the following web-site:
Mr. Seamus Hill
T +353 91 495 232
Dr. Hugh Melvin
T +353 91 493 716
MSc: a wide variety of opportunities are open to graduates, including the software industry itself, or in a broad 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 recruited graduates recently include: Fidelity Investments, Galway; Starlight Solutions, Galway; and Ericson, Athlone.
MSc (External Stream): Recent graduates have already been in full-time employment while participating in
HDip: opportunities exist in various industries, ranging from web design, gaming, banking, telecommunications, health and energy sector (working as skilled software practitioners). Companies/organisations that have recruited graduates recently include: Cisco, Galway; HP, Galway; DCM Compliance, Limerick.
"I transferred from my primary degree in Multimedia to the HDip in Software Design and Development as I wanted to improve upon my computer-language programming skills. The HDip allows for experience in many of these languages, with extra help in the form of handouts, lab sessions and excellent library facilities. Every lecturer I encountered during my time on the course was extremely approachable and were always able to make time to converse with me about any area in which I may be having difficulty. Working with a group during the required year long project helped me to hone my team-working skills and get to know my classmates better. In personal experience, I feel the greatest asset to me was the research module, which when I moved to perusing the second year and the Masters in Software Design and Development, was certainly a desirable benefit."
"After completing my undergraduate in Engineering and gaining a number of years' professional work experience, I had seen a growing need for Software Developers in my line work. I starting some initial work in this area and became very interested. Separate to this, I knew that I wanted continue my education but I felt that with my already established qualifications/experience I would prefer to progress further in my level of qualification rather than start an undergraduate course again to pursue Software. This is when I learned about this unique course that NUIG provides in the MSc in Software Design and Development. I have now completed the first year taught element of the course. I feel that the first year has given me a solid knowledge foundation in Software Development which I can build on. In particular I was impressed with the state-of-the-art IT training facilities provided and maintained by the IT department, which really gives the student hands on experience with IT infrastructure Now in my second year, which is the main research element of the course, using this new knowledge gained in first year and with my previous professional experience, I have undertaken research in the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), a world-renowned research institution at NUI Galway. I feel that when I graduate, the knowledge/experience I have gained from this coursewill provide me with a lot more options in my career path; I have the option to continue with my existing career and be set apart with my new founded skills or I could continue in new exciting research domain with possible progression to PhD qualification."
"I'm currently undertaking a Masters project developing an integrated development environment for Adaptive Optics, working in the Applied Optics group in NUIG. The H. Dip. provided me with both the technical and soft skills needed to undertake this project. It provided a solid grounding for furthering my study in the area of software design."