Advanced Certificate in Computing and Networking (Software Development)

Level 6 QQI Award - Software Development 6M0691


This is a Full-time One Year course which runs from Sept. to May. Exact details of the timetable will be given out to students during the induction process prior to class commencement in September.


This advanced course is ideal for students who want to pursue a career in the technology sector.  Software is ubiquitous and critical in almost every facet of the knowledge economy, as a result, industry's demand for information technology skills are insatiable.  In this course, our industry experienced staff will teach both the practical skills and give you the experience to build software applications.  On completion of this course, you can start work in this field and begin shaping, improving and building the digital world we live in, or have the possibility of gaining entry to third level at an advanced level.  This course is supported by FIT (Fast Track into IT) which is a unique IT led initiative that offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment in the thriving IT sector.  Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation.  Visits to companies are also organised with a view to possible internships.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Level 5 QQI Award in Software Development or Information Technology or Electronic Technology
  • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English require level B1 competency on the CEFR language framework. Applicants may be required to undergo English language testing to establish their language competency.
  • Note: To be eligible for progression to Computer Science in UCD you must have an O2/H6 in LCE Matrhs

Course Modules

  • Project Management incorporating Project+ (Blended learning) through ecollege
  • Object Orientated Programming
  • Software Architecture
  • Graphical User Interface Programming
  • Web Development
  • Relational Database
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Network Security
  • Communications
Module Information

Module Information

Advanced Certificate in Software Development and Networking

Level 6 QQI Award Software Development 6M0691

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)


1. Project Management 6N4090

This programme module aims to provide learners with a skill and competency in both the theory and practice of Project Management methodologies, incorporating the elements of soft and hard skills of project management. Building a project team, Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Implementation, Project Review and Evaluation.  

Assessment: Assignment (30%), Portfolio/Collection of Work (70%).

2. Communications 6N1950

Level 6 Communications builds on the knowledge and skills gained in level 5 Communications. The learner is facilitated to gain the knowledge and skills to exercise personal autonomy in communicating verbally and nonverbally. There is an emphasis on understanding the requirements of the workplace and using excellent communication skills to maximise participation in personal and vocational life.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).

3. Graphical User Interface Programming 6N0736

Develop good programming practices, understand the principles involved in Event Driven Programming and the design of Graphical User Interfaces, learn to design, code, test and deploy efficient practical applications.

Assessment: 2 Assignments (30% each), Examination - Theory (40%).

4. Software Architecture 6N1449

Analyse the software development lifecycle for a range of projects, explore various methodologies and use tools and techniques to design, improve and implement appropriate software based on specific requirements.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

5. Relational Database 6N4785

The student must design and implement the RDM and use appropriate industry standard database tools to implement a system containing tables, queries & reports. Fundamentals include SQL, data normalisation (up to and including TNFing) and testing.

Assessment: Project (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

6. Personal and Professional Development 6N1949

This is not “life coaching” - however it is an opportunity to take stock and to evaluate your personal and professional goals. Through humorous workshops, lively group discussions and practical exercises we will shine a light on the following techniques: Stress Management, Conflict Management, Managing Change, Decision Making, Goal Setting, Delegation and Team Working.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).

7. Web Development 6N1277

The learner must design and develop a standards compliant website, using HTML, CSS and scripting languages to develop and maintain a secure website. The learner will develop, document their hosted website as part of the assessment process.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

8. Object Oriented Programming 6N2108

Students will develop Object Oriented programs using Java, investigating general trends in software engineering which lead to the need for and development of the object oriented programming paradigm. Exploring the concepts behind object oriented programming to include classes, objects, data abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism and inheritance. Investigating a range of known class libraries, their applications and limitations. Students will devise objects and classes for specified problems employing object oriented programming methodologies

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

9. Network Infrastructure 6N0733

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to design, create and maintain a variety of topological solutions for computer and storage networks based on a comprehensive understanding of essential infrastructural networking components and concepts.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

10. Network Security 6N0720

Network Security is vital in protecting client data and information, keeping shared data secure and ensuring reliable access and network performance as well as protection from cyber threats.  Students will apply key concepts and principles in communication and infrastructure security, engage in systematic security auditing, system hardening, encryption, and penetration testing.  An understanding of security policy, compliance and auditing will underpin all the practical elements of this module.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).


  • Level 6 QQI Award Software Development (6M0691)
  • CompTIA Certification (Optional)

Special Features

Free Full Suit of Adobe Software for all students on this course for one year to facilitate assessment.

All DFEi students are provided with an M365 account, which gives them access to the tools and resources needed to deliver assessment work while attending their course. M365 Apps include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, outlook and OneDrive.

Additional Information

This course is delivered through a blended learning approach which is a combination of classroom and online learning.


Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination (Written)
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

All assignments are submitted electronically.  Therefore all students need access to a device such as a computer/laptop.

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See for more details

Progression Opportunities

Although Level 6 is directed more at employment whereas Level 5 is the primary CAO route, Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 and Level 6 major award. Places are not guaranteed and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process, especially if a student is looking for advanced entry into third level and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

Progression Examples

BSc Computer Science (DN201) 

Please also note that in order to be considered to be eligible for progression to the BSc in Computer Science from the Level 6 Award 6M0691 Software Development, you must have an O2/H6 in LCE Maths.


BA Arts (DN520)

BA Humanities (DN530)

University College Dublin -

BEng Computer Engineering (TU713)

BTech Networking Technologies (TU716)

BSc Computing (TU756, TU859)

BSc Computing (Information Technology) (TU757, TU860)

BSc Computer Science (TU856) Level 5 Award Software Development required

BSc Cloud Computing (TU865)

Technological University Dublin -

BSc Computer Science  (MH601/MH602)

BSc Robotics and Intelligent Devices (MH306)

Maynooth University -

BSc Creative Computing  (DL836) - Advanced entry into 2nd Year

IADT, Dún Laoghaire -

BEng Computer Engineering (AL704)

Athlone Institute of Technology -

Career Paths

There are a number of possible job opportunities for students with a solid programming background. The key areas of employment include: junior programmer, software developer, website design/maintenance, IT user support technician, network administration and network security.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly


Alan Greene

Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute Alumnus, Alan Greene a former software development student speaks about his time at DFEi, and his progress since. “I finished my final university exam and am expecting to graduate with a 1st class…

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Alan Greene

Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute Alumnus, Alan Greene a former software development student speaks about his time at DFEi, and his progress since. “I finished my final university exam and am expecting to graduate with a 1st class honours. I did my project in conjunction with Tallaght University Hospital, and they have now asked me to present it to the hospital deputy CEO for possible integration with hospital systems. I also signed a three-year graduate role contract with the ESB and start in a couple of weeks. Jonny who also attended DFEi, graduated last year and now has a job with Technical University Dublin and his brother Simon who went to DFEi a year before us is working in Microsoft as a software engineer, so DFEi has been brilliant for all of us. I was not the best student during the level 5, but I started putting in more effort during the level 6, which hugely built my interest, so I wanted to thank you, and say that I remember my time in DFEi very fondly”   
Alan Greene

Advanced Certificate in Software Development and Networking

DFEi Graduate

Course Coordinator

Shane McGovern

Shane McGovern

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly