Award Type and NFQ level : HIGHER DIPLOMA (8)

CAO/PAC code : MHG70

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 August 2024

View FETAC details

The Higher Diploma in Science (Software Development) MHG70 is a one-year programme for graduates with degrees in ANY subject giving them a practical introduction to software development including programming, software design and testing, team project work. It is designed to give students practical skills for use in the software industry as programmers, software designers and testers and to bring students to the standard for industrial accreditation as programmers.


Commences (2nd September 2024) three to four weeks before the start of the academic term. 

Progression to the MSc in Software Engineering (MHG50)    

Graduates of the Higher Diploma in Software Development (MHG70) who hold a first-class honour in this course and who demonstrate a strong programming ability, are welcome to apply for entry to our 1-year MSc programme in Software engineering (course code: MHG50).     

Students who hold other level 8 diplomas courses in computing, software development, or software engineering are also welcome to apply for MHG50.

Visit MHG50 at:   

Springboard plus is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union

Eligible students may apply for Springboard funding for MHG70 (see the “How to Apply” section)

Visit at:

Spring Board Logos 2022-23

Applicants for the Higher Diploma in Science (Software Development) are required to hold a degree in non-computing disciplines (level 8 degree in any non-computing subject). Applicants who have a computing background equivalent to having a three year degree in computer science, are advised to also apply for the Higher Diploma in Science MHG58.

Applicants must have a recognised level 8 primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university level 8 primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:
Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants..

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850.

Applicants who do not have a level 8 primary degree may also have the opportunity to apply through the Maynooth University (RPL) Recognition of Prior Learning route.

Please visit: for further information on the RPL route.

Joe Duffin


Department of Computer Science

Department of ALL Institute

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Department of Computer Science

Department of ALL Institute

Department of Hamilton Institute

Department of Human Health Institute

Teaching and learning will be through lectures, practical lab sessions, and directed reading as required for the different subjects. Module delivery is not just a scheduled series of topics, but rather balanced to meet the needs and progression rates of the students. The course places a balance between learning the fundamentals of the subject, and applying them in practice.

Assessment is handled in a similar manner, with most modules having a combination of practical assessment during the delivery of the module, and an examination at the end of the semester. Typically module material is also made available through eLearning tools (primarily Moodle) allowing students to revise at their own pace. Additional tutorials are used, where required, to assist students who may have problems with particular aspects of a module.



Course Duration: 1 year Full-time

The course is designed to give students practical skills for use in the software industry as programmers, software designers and testers and to bring students to the standard for industrial accreditation as programmers.

The majority of graduates who completed this course last year are either in full time employment or have continued their studies at Masters level in this field of study.

Students of the Higher Diploma in Software Development have found full time employment in the following ICT roles: 

  • Software Developer 
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Mobile Applications Developer
  • Consultant Software Analyst
  • Applications Development Analyst
  • Web Applications Developer
  • Database Administrator
  • Information Technology Technical Support Engineer

However, the skills developed over the course of this programme are transferable to many careers and working environments, and are highly sought after in all sectors of the economy. 

Online application only 

There are two online application routes for this programme:

  • via Springboard: To check your eligibility for free or significantly reduced fees via Springboard entry, please visit To apply via Springboard, register here.

PAC Code - 

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:


Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

 Please only apply via one entry route, Springboard or PAC.

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