Cybersecurity and Software Development

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.

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.

Subjects taught

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.

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).

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).


2 Years Part Time

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024

Post Course Info

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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider