Software Development

Level 5 QQI Award


This is a Full time one year course


This Pre-University computer science course provides an opportunity to train for a rewarding career in the IT industry.  Students will develop the skills to be able to design, create and maintain websites, databases and computer networks, as well as the fundamentals of computer programming using java, C#, PHP, Javascript and Visual Basic using Visual Studio, software architecture and technical support.  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:

  • One of the following:
  • Leaving Certificate - You must have achieved 5 passes or 5 O6/H7's or combination of 5 O6/H7's or its equivalent
  • Leaving Certificate Applied with a Merit Profile
  • Full QQI Level 4 Award
  • Mature Applicants (aged 21 or over) - Appropriate experience will be considered

Course Modules

  • Fundamentals of Object Oriented Programming
  • Software Architecture
  • Programming and Design Principles
  • Database Methods
  • Maths for Information Technology
  • Networking Essentials
  • Web Authoring
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
Module Information

Module Information

Software Development

Level 5 QQI Award Software Development 5M0529

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)


1. Fundamentals of Object Oriented Programming 5N0541

The learner begins by understanding the fundamental set of instructions involved in computer programming generally. The learner then progresses to designing software objects, creating their methods (program instructions) and manipulating their properties (data and data structures). The course develops the idea of using reusable software objects to speed up applications development. There is an emphasis on using modern integrated development environments.

Assessment: Skills Demonstrations (70%) and Examination - Theory (30%).


2. Maths for IT: Maths for Information Technology 5N18396

This module aims to equip learners with the skills necessary to be better problem solvers – an important ability for those working in the IT industry. By exploring a range of mathematical areas essential to information technology, learners will develop their numeracy skills and become competent in problem solving, mathematical thinking and conceptual development.

Assessment: Two Assignments (60%) and Examination (40%).


3. Communications 5N0690  

This module explores the role of communication in human interaction in theory and practice. Students are facilitated to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and competence to communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related situations. Students will have the opportunity to develop important vocational related skills such as report writing, report reading, listening, and speaking skills (through oral presentation, interviews, group work) and modern information communication technology.

Assessment: Collection of work (50%) and Skills Demonstration (50%).


4. Work Experience 5N1356

You will prepare for work placement in a relevant vocational area through an evaluation of your skills set, the development of a CV, and an understanding of current work place legislation. An integral part of this component is developing the skills required for a successful job search; therefore is it your responsibility to secure your own placement. On completion of your Work Placement of at least 10 days (or 60 hours) you will reflect, review and consider your future career options.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (60%) and Skills Demonstration (40%).


5. Database Methods 5N0783

Design, implement and modify databases. Learn to create a form for easy data entry, import data, search and sort a database and create reports to present selected information.

Assessment: Project (50%) and Examination - Practical (50%).


6. Software Architecture 5N2772

Explore the history and development of information systems, understand the software development lifecycle for a range of projects, and look at various methodologies and use tools and techniques to design, improve and implement appropriate software solutions.

Assessment: Skills Demonstrations (70%) and Examination - Theory (30%).


7. Web Authoring 5N1910

Gain knowledge, skills and capacity to understand Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) standards and editors in the construction, testing and maintenance of webpages and sites, applying the principles of good website design.

Assessment: Assignment (30%) and Project (70%).


8. Programming and Design Principles 5N2927

Learn the concepts involved in programming. Develop good programming practices. Use techniques to design, code and test efficient practical applications on your own and as part of a team.

Assessment:  Skills Demonstration (70%) Examination - Theory (30%).


9. Networking Essentials 5N2929

Describe the essential characteristics of the main components of computer networks including servers, clients, networked resources and wired and wireless communications devices and media. This is an introduction at level 5 to students who have no experience of networking.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (70%) and Examination Theory (30%).


  • Level 5 QQI Award Software Development (5M0529)
  • CompTIA Certification (Optional)

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement is usually for a period of 10 days or a minimum of 60 hours.  Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

Additional Information

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

This course is supported by FIT, which offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment. Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation.


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

  • Student Record
  • Portfolio/Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination Written or Practical
  • Project

Progression Opportunities

DFEi: Graduates may progress to the QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Software Development and Networking at DFEi.

Elsewhere: Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities. Places are not guaranteed and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the individual third level college websites for more information.  Information is also available at

Progression Examples

BSc in Computer

University College Dublin

Bachelor of Arts

BSc in Computer Science and Software Engineering

BSc in Multimedia Mobile and Web Development

National University of Ireland Maynooth

BSc in Creative Media Technologies

BSc in Creative Computing

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology

BSc in Computer Science

TU Dublin - City Campus (formerly DIT)

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


Rachel Ring

Class of 2020
Currently studying computer science in TUD

In 2021 Rache was awarded a Google scholarship for women in computer science. She will join a community of students from around the globe who were selected because they demonstrated a…

Read More

Rachel Ring

Class of 2020
Currently studying computer science in TUD

In 2021 Rache was awarded a Google scholarship for women in computer science. She will join a community of students from around the globe who were selected because they demonstrated a passion for technology, academic excellence, and have proven themselves as role models. Rachel studied software development Level 5 and Level 6 in DFEi before progressing to TUD. 

Course Coordinator

Shane McGovern

Shane McGovern

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly