Software Development

Level 5 QQI Award - Software Development 5M0529


This is a Full time one year course, which runs from September to May,


ThisPre-University Computer Science course provides students with an entry point to a future career in the technology sector. With the increase in the use of technology in almost every industry, the education of IT professionals is becoming more important, in a society that is heavily technology-orientated. Our staff have sector-specific experience which will ensure that you acquire the skills to design, create and maintain websites, databases and computer networks, as well as the fundamentals of computer programming using Java, C#. PHP, Javascript, 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.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate - (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent. Note: To be eligible for progression to Computer Science in UCD you must have an O2/H6 in LCE Maths
  • A Full QQI Level 4 Award (or equivalent)
  • 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.

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)

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.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. 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
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination Written or Practical
  • 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

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 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 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes 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 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 note that in order to be considered to be eligible for progression to this course in UCD, you must have an O2/H6 in LCE Maths and in addition a Distinction in the QQI Level 5 Module 5N18396 Maths for IT.

University College Dublin -

BSc Computer Science (through Science) (MH602)

BSc Computer Science (through Arts) (MH601)

BSc Robotics and Intelligent Devices (MH306)

Maynooth University -

BSc Creative Computing (DL836)

IADT, Dún Laoghaire -

BSc Computer Science (TU856, TU857)

BSc Business Computing (TU914)

BSc Cloud Computing (TU865)

Technological University Dublin -

BSc Computing (NC003)

National College of Ireland -

BSC Computer Science (CK401)

University College Cork -

BSc Computing in Software Development (DK821)

Dundalk Institute of Technology -

BSc Software Development (CW207, CW238)

Institute of Technology Carlow -

BSc Computer Science For Business (DCU120)

BSc Computer Science (DCU121)

Dublin City University -

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.

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Alex Dillon

Class of 2023
About to start Computer Science in DCU

This course was an ideal stepping stone to get to study Computer Science at third level. The teachers were very knowledgeable and helpful. There is lots of group projects which are…

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Alex Dillon

Class of 2023
About to start Computer Science in DCU

This course was an ideal stepping stone to get to study Computer Science at third level. The teachers were very knowledgeable and helpful. There is lots of group projects which are practical. For example we networked and configured one of the classrooms. I got offered Computer Science in DCU in CAO round zero. I am delighted with that. 

Course Coordinator

Shane McGovern

Shane McGovern

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly