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Course Overview

At a meeting of the ITAG Cyber Forum and Cyber Ireland Galway West Chapter it emerged that software development being taught at third level institutes was focused almost exclusively on teaching functionally driven software engineering. In the majority of computing courses, the goal is to deliver high quality software focused on functionality. In accordance with the demand, this course is exclusively designed to augment learners' skills by teaching them the essentials and advances of Cybersecurity for modern software development. This programme has been carefully designed in consultation with industry partners on the advice of the regional skills fora and informed by discussions within the ITAG Cyber Forum. The programme is designed to prepare students for the demands of the digital age by reskilling and upskilling them in Cybersecurity while simultaneously training them for software development. This new fully online programme will be targeting applicants at both a regional and national level.

It is designed in tandem with industry to meet the growing skills shortage for software developers with a knowledge of Cybersecurity. It is a conversion course which means that it is open to applicants from non-computing backgrounds. They facilitate individuals wishing to change career, reskill or potentially upskill to improve their employment prospects. The minimum requirement is that students have a L8 undergraduate degree, L7 entrants can also apply but will need to demonstrate at least two years industry experience within the computing sector to be considered. In addition, both courses offer an 8 month internship in industry in semester two of year two, which effectively means that participants will be working full-time in industry after 18 months. The courses are fully online and part-time, meaning that applicants can maintain their existing full-time or part-time employment whilst taking the course. Student fees for the course are 90% funded by the Higher Education Authority, meaning that successful applicants will only have to cover 10% of the fee which amounts to €772 in total.

This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed for those with little or no knowledge of software development, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to coding and feel that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong logical reasoning or maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset.

You may also be interested in one of our other School of Computer Science postgraduate programmes.

Applications and Selections

Please apply through the Springboard website. Significant demand is expected and early application is advisable as we will process applications on a rolling basis.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Mamoona Asghar
  • Dr Malika Bendechache
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Dr Jamal Nasir
M.Sc., PhD
Lecturer Above The Bar
E: JNASIR@nuigalway.ie
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Dr Effirul Ramlan
Lecturer Above The Bar
E: Effirul.Ramlan@universityofgalway.ie
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Requirements and Assessment


Individual modules will include a mixture of continuous assessments usually in the form of lab based assignments, as well as end of semester exams.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

This programme is open to applicants from all backgrounds who hold a NQAI Level 8 qualification or equivalent. Persons who hold formal qualifications at Level 7 may also apply, subject to provision of satisfactory evidence of having attained Level 8 competencies through prior experiential learning (minimum of two years working in an IT role).

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Persons who hold formal qualifications at Level 7 may also apply, subject to provision of satisfactory evidence of having attained Level 8 competencies through prior experiential learning (minimum of two years working in an IT role).

Please see further information on the RPL Policy here.


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Check Springboard for details.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Course Description

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity and Software Development provides the skills required in the digital age and has been designed to meet the challenges of reskilling and upskilling in a modern economy. Industry demand for graduates with Cybersecurity and software development skills is at an all-time high.  This course provides flexible delivery options to meet this need. It has been designed in consultation with start-up enterprises, SMEs and large multinationals to give you the expertise and knowledge required to progress your career.  

Course Content

This is a two-year part-time Springboard+ online programme with awards of 60 ECTS in total. This course will provide:

  • A solid foundation in key computing knowledge, at the industry level;
  • A specialisation in Cybersecurity making participants aware of cyber threats, vulnerabilities and attacks, threat models, secure software development (DevSecOps), Crypto API, including programming languages such as Java, Java Enterprise, JavaScript (NodeJS) and Python;
  • A structure for industry collaboration, which allows industry to influence the development and training of participants, through a dedicated 8 month internship programme. 

Year 1:

Semester 1: 15 ECTS

  • Cybersecurity Essentials
  • Algorithms and Data Structures 
  • OO Programming 1 

Semester 2: 15 ECTS

  • Enterprise Java Programming 
  • Secure Web Programming

Year 2:

Semester 3: 15 ECTS

  • Applied Cybersecurity
  • Database Systems 
  • Architecture, Operating Systems & Networks

Semester 4: 15 ECTS

  • Internship or group project: A large 8-month internship will be provided for those interested in gaining valuable work experience. Those who opt not to do the work placement can instead partake in a capstone group project supervised by an academic and potentially with an industry specified project.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. Our programmes within the School of Computing Science in University of Galway are highly respected among many of Irelands leading software companies. In the past our graduates have often received numerous job offers before they even completed the programme. A selection of roles that graduates will be eligible to apply for: 

  •  Application security engineer
  •  Network security/Cybersecurity engineers
  •  Cybersecurity specialists
  •  Information security, cybersecurity, or vulnerability analysts
  •  Penetration Tester
  •  DevSecOps Engineer
  •  Cybersecurity Architect
  •  Software Developer/Engineer (Java, C#, Frontend JS)
  •  Backend Developer
  •  Database Analyst
  •  Software Analyst
  •  IT Manager
  •  Automated Test Engineer 

The career pathways are taken from an analysis of past graduates and the new Cybersecurity roles are sampled from those available from our partner companies.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,860 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€3,790 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

In 2023/24 Course was government-funded, via Springboard scheme https://springboardcourses.ie/

Find out More

Further information can be found on the Springboard+ website and also via email to the course administrator Gail Cassidy (E: ICTskills@universityofgalway.ie) or the programme director Dr. Mamoona Asghar, E: mamoona.asghar@universityofgalway.ie.

Postgraduate Scholarships