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Software Architecture & Design

This programme is designed for software professionals, architects, and senior system design engineers. Managers of architecture teams will also benefit from this programme.

The programme aims to form part of the evolutionary path that a software developer takes to become a software architect, allowing each student to advance their technical career path.

Students will learn about the role of a software architect in creating an extensible and maintainable software solution by applying abstract knowledge and patterns to software architecture, and design. The traditional role of a software architect will also be critically assessed in the face of agile development methodologies and the adoption of tools, and practices that avoid or decouple up front systems or architectural design.

The programme is taught by industry and academic experts who are either practicing software architects, senior technical architects or research active academics in the field.

Software architecture spans a number of pillars which include the application, system, software and enterprise. Application architecture represent the fundamental building blocks of software and at this layer an architect needs to make decisions about the programming language, the constructs, libraries and frameworks that will be used to develop software.

It is rare that an application lives in isolation and typically a system is composed of multiple collaborating applications. At this system level, software architects focus on issues such as reliability, interoperability and integration.

Software architecture is also concerned with the significant elements of the software system from the structure and design of the code to deployment of that code to the live environment. At this layer, a software architect will focus on security, reliability, authentication, performance etc. Across these pillars, software architects make architectural decisions that shape a system and design decisions to ensure his/ her vision is realised.

The MSc in Software Architecture & Design programme will provide students with the principles and concepts involved in the analysis and design of large software systems. The programme was developed with significant input from industry's leading experts.

The programme is focused on developing a holistic view, seeing the bigger picture to understand how a software system works as a whole. This approach helps to differentiate software development and software architecture, it also helps to understand how somebody progresses from software development to a software architecture role.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
An honours primary degree in a Computing Discipline or equivalent.


Online over 24 months.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Graduates may also wish to continue to PhD level in this exciting field of study.

Further enquiries

Dr Donna O'Shea
Department of Computer Science
Cork Institute of Technology
Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown Cork
T12 P928 Ireland
Phone: +353 21 4335116
Email: or

Subjects taught

The programme places significant emphasis on student learning by doing. It adopts a practical, hands-on, approach to learning, where all modules are fully assessed using continuous assessment methods. There are no formal end of semester written examinations and this ensures that you will learn by doing from the first module to the last.

Semester 1 (Autumn - Year 1)
Software Architecture & Design
Software Process Engineering
Programming Language Design
Free Choice Module (Various)

Semester 2 (Spring - Year 1)
Scalable Microservices
Research Practice & Ethics
Decision Analytics
Free Choice Module (Various)

Semester 3 (Autumn - Year 2)
Algorithm Analysis & Design
Declarative & Concurrent Prog.
Free Choice Module (Various)

Semester 4 (Spring - Year 2)
Research Project

Module descriptors can be viewed Recognition of Prior Learning information is available at

Application date

Apply online at
Closing date: 4th September 2019

Course fee


Students should note that the Fees quoted relate to the academic year 2019-2020 only and are subject to change on an annual basis.

Except where stated, course fees cover the cost of tuition only. Registration fees for professional bodies etc. are payable separately to these institutions.

Full-time (On Campus) EU Postgraduate Students will also be liable for the €7 USI Levy.

For further information on the USI levy please go to:

Students will be notified of their fees by email to their CIT email account and in all cases, course fees must be paid before attending lectures.

Students can check their account balance and pay their fees online at

Failure to pay fees on time will result in a late payment fee of 10% being applied and students will no longer have access to IT Facilities.

• Where course fees are being funded by an employer, you are asked to seek payment or reimbursement from your employer. Where an employer requires an invoice in their Company name the employer must e-mail with the relevant details and the amount of Fees they will be funding.

• For Semesterised courses, students pay for the relevant modules at the beginning of each semester. Payment of fees by laser, debit or credit card can be made online at or by phoning +353 21 433 5440.

Students should familiarise themselves with the relevant section of the Student Regulations.

Please note that the Fees Office will use your CIT email account for important communications.

Withdrawing from a course
Students who wish to withdrawn from a course must notify the admissions office and complete a withdrawal form. Where Students fail to inform admissions of their withdrawal they will remain liable for any unpaid fees on their accounts. E-mail

Refund Policy
All courses at CIT will run subject to sufficient student numbers. Where a course cannot proceed, applicants will be contacted and advised on alternative study options.

• A full refund will be given to all applicants for courses which do not proceed.

• A full refund will be given to students who withdraw before 5th September.

• Where students pay the online application fee to accept an offer they have 14 days in which to withdraw and claim a full refund provided the course has not commenced.

• A full refund (less 15% administration fee) will be given to applicants for short courses, if requested up to one week after course commencement. No refunds will be given thereafter. A short Course is less than 12 weeks duration.

• A full refund (less 15% administration fee) will be given to applicants for semesterised and full year courses if requested up to one month after the commencement of Semester 1 and before the end of February for Semester 2. No refunds will be given thereafter.

• All applications for refunds must be made on the appropriate Refund Form which can be requested from the CIT Fees Office (email

NB: Students are reminded to ensure that they have clearly understood all the terms of their enrolment with CIT, in particular clauses concerning refunds, deferments, waivers, course transfers, and visa applications (when applicable).

Enrolment and start dates

Contact the college for the next start date.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!