Software Engineering - Advanced

Software Engineering is a dynamic field where technology, techniques and processes continually evolve and fresh areas of application appear frequently. Software engineers must continually update their skills and qualifications in order to stay relevant in the workplace and improve their career prospects in the industry. This part-time Masters programme is designed for experienced software engineers who wish to advance their skillset in areas of computer science and software development that impact directly on their work. Participants are exposed to current technologies, methodologies, processes and theories as well as those still under research that may become mainstream in the future.

This is an online, two-year, September-start, part-time programme. Six modules are taken at a rate of three per year. Each module is offered online over a 12-week trimester (Autumn or Spring), usually with a written examination taking place at the end of the module. Typical annual intake is about a dozen students.

Subjects taught

The ASE programme involves taking six modules (60 credits) and a Masters dissertation (30 credits). If all modules are passed and a 2.1 honours standard is achieved, the student may proceed to the dissertation component. Otherwise, the candidate completes with a Graduate Diploma.

In each year the student takes three ASE modules, which are delivered fully online.

Online delivery: The details will vary from module to module, but online delivery will usually be structured as follows:

- The material is offered online as a number of packages.

- Each package comprises lecture slides, study material, a video of the lecturer presenting an overview of the material and assignment work.

- A Teaching Assistant may be available throughout the module to answer questions regarding assignment work, either on a group chat or by email.

- Regular online Q&A sessions may be provided.

The dissertation period commences in the second year and the dissertation is usually submitted in May, with an option to extend the deadline to the following December.

Each module typically comprises 24 hours of lectures, as well as assignment/project/essay work to be undertaken in the student's own time.

Stage 1 - Option
Agent-Oriented SoftwareCOMP40040
Design PatternsCOMP40070
Knowledge-based Techniques for Industrial SystemsCOMP40080
Research Project in Advanced Software EngineeringCOMP40090
Performance of Distributed SystemsCOMP40550
High Performance ComputingCOMP40730
Secure Software EngineeringCOMP47910

Entry requirements

Students entering this programme are expected to have at least a 2.1 honours bachelor's degree in Computer Science (or a closely-related discipline) and have two or more years of subsequent industrial experience in software development. Prerequisite skills include a high degree of proficiency in object-oriented programming and experience in software development as part of an Agile team. Each application will however be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and exceptions to these rules may be made.

Please note that this programme is not suitable for new graduates with little or no industrial experience.

Although the modules are all delivered online, it may be essential to attend UCD to sit end-of-trimester exams, so this programme is not suitable for applicants who would need a visa to study in Ireland.

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Advanced Software Engineering (Sept) PT (T376)
Duration 2 Years
Attend Part Time
Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Students apply directly to UCD via the UCD Online Applications system (applications for this course close 30th August 2024)

Fully completed applications are processed on a regular basis.

If you encounter problems using the online applications system, please seek help via the UCD School of Computer Science website.

For any questions you have about about the programme, be they academic or administrative in nature, please contact us at


2 years, part-time, online.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 September.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider