New software development degree to launch at DCU, aimed at programmers

26 Jul 2012

Dublin City University’s School of Computing is planning to start a new undergraduate degree programme around problem solving and software development in September 2013, subject to approval. The new BSc will be aimed at those who have experience programming, however.

The new degree programme will be steered to produce more graduates with the skill sets to fill Ireland’s ICT skills gap, to produce top programmers who will be employable both in Ireland and overseas, according to DCU.

DCU’s Academic Council still has to accredit the proposed new degree. If this accreditation happens the plan is for DCU to take its first intake of students in September 2013.

The university is claiming that the four-year BSc will be the first of its kind in Ireland. It will be aimed at students who have a passion for computers, problem solving and programming, said DCU.

However, applicants will be expected to have computers and programming experience before starting the programme.

Entry requirements

DCU said that as part of the entry route, applicants will have to submit a portfolio of their work in programming, demonstrating their ICT skills. It said the selection for the programme will be based on a portfolio, interview and a suitable grade in Leaving Certificate maths (C3 in Higher Maths or A1 in Ordinary Maths). In addition, the university said mature students may be given unconditional offers.

Dr David Gray is the leader and co-proposer of the new degree programme. He described the entry requirements as being designed to recruit and produce the “calibre of programmer who will be excited rather than intimidated by new problems”. 

“The maths requirement emphasises the need for top software developers to have a solid foundation in logic and mathematics,” he said.

Apparently, more than half of the programme will involve software development projects that will typically be carried out in teams to mirror the real world of software development.

Students will also be given access to industry during the course, as they will spend all of their third year on INTRA – DCU’s industrial training/internship programme.

The university has indicated that employers are already enthusiastic about the degree’s potential, and are offering to help mentor students’ projects. 

Programming image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic