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Software Design and Development (MSc, "External" stream)
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 (1SD1).
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.
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.
You may also be interested in one of our other Computer Science and Software Engineering postgraduate programmes.
Applications and Selections
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System.
Who Teaches this Course
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.
MSc: Candidates must have a minimum 2.1 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 with no less than 6.5 in the writing ability band and no less than 6 in any other bands. (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 & Informatics), Level 8 (60 ECTS) postgraduate qualification in computer science or IT. 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 8, 2.2 degree (or equivalent international qualification) from a recognised university or third-level college, and an IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in the writing ability band and no less than 6 in any other bands. (or equivalent international qualification).
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
2 years, full-time (MSc) | 1 year, full-time (MSc—External Stream) | 1 year, full-time (HDip)
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
30 (MSc) | 15 (MSc, External Stream) | 30 (HDip)
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Please refer to offer rounds/closing dates website
Mode of study
60 each year
2MF2 (MSc, External); HDIP-SD; MSC-MF (MSc)
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
- Software Design and Development Project
Why Choose This Course?
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
Transferable Skills Employers Value
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
MSc. fees in year 2 are €5,790 p.a. Non- EU €16,100 p.a.
HDip: EU €5,790 p.a. Non- EU €16,100 p.a.
Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24). You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee. An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.
Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here.