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Why is Computer Science important?

If you are interested in computer science or software development but are unsure as to where you would like to specialise, then Computer Science (Common Entry) is for you. You will learn about the basics of computing/software development, and then decide which of the specialisms you think best suits your personal interests, strengths, and plans. Through the use of specialist streams, we can quickly react to industry trends, while always ensuring that you will become a strong programmer/software developer. 

Unique Features

If you know that you are interested in computing and in programming/software development but are not fully sure as to your strengths and/or interests, then this is the programme for you. You get to choose your specialism after first year, when you will know more about those strengths/interests. During year three of the programme, students embark on Work Placement (or study abroad). Most students find paid employment during this time.

In particular, as a graduate of this programme, you will:

  • Have excellent programming skills.
  • Be an excellent problem solver.
  • Have unrivalled employment prospects (most students have job offers before they sit their final year examinations).

Course Aims

This is a four-year full-time programme, and will prepare you for an exciting career in computer science and software development with specialisms in

This degree programme is the longest running in SETU Waterford, and our graduates are amongst the most nationally sought-after computing graduates.


Subject Areas 

In year 1 there is a strong focus on programming fundamentals to provide you with a solid background for later years. You will study mathematics and physics as a basic underpinning of computer science. You will be also introduced to fundamental computing concepts. In years 2, 3, and 4 you will take a specialism or `stream’. The `spine’ of the programme is software development and you will study programming modules right throughout your programme. 

Leaving Cert: Minimum entry requirements for Computer Science (Common Entry):

2 subjects: H5
4 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
Mathematics: O3/H7

Applying for Computer Science (Common Entry) on the CAO:

You can apply for SE600 only ONCE. You must select ONE degree option i.e. AAS (Automotive and Automation Systems), CLN (Cloud & Networks), CFS (Computer Forensics & Security), IOT (Internet of Things) or GAD (Games Development).

Applicants who select one specific degree option are guaranteed a place in the programme (e.g. SE600 AAS), subject to meeting the entry requirements and points. Applicants who are undecided should choose SE600 GEN.

At the end of year 1, students must confirm their degree option and may change their selection up to that date.

Advanced and Equivalent Entry for Computer Science (Common Entry):

Career opportunities will be subject to your choice of specialist exit pathways and at the end of first year you will be asked to select one of the courses to study in order to obtain your final award

Career Opportunities 

Graduates of Computer Science can pursue a wide and varied set of careers. The key role that graduates find themselves in is that of a Programmer (or Software Developer). This could be developing apps, websites, full-stack systems, or something else entirely. Some graduates take up design or architecture roles, whereas others work in infrastructure or operations management. It really depends on where the graduate's individual interests lie.

Graduates may work directly in the computing industry or act in a technical capacity in other sectors (for example - developing healthcare systems or technical operations for video production). Individuals may stay in a technical role or move into management or executive positions. Entrepreneurship is encouraged and many of our graduates have founded their own companies. Alumni of Computer Science can be found across the world, holding key positions in many organisations.

The world of computing moves incredibly quickly, so many of technologies people will eventually work with have not been invented yet. Computer Science provides students with a solid foundation of computer science fundamentals so that graduates can adapt as technologies evolve (e.g. software development) and new sub-disciplines become widespread (e.g. data science). For example, someone who graduated from Computer Science in 2007 would have studied at a time when smartphones were not the most widely used computing devices on the planet. However, the knowledge and skills they learned on Computer Science would have equipped them to successfully adapt to a changing world of technology. The same is true today for whatever disruptions next occur.

Graduates of Computer Science are well-positioned to undertake roles in many Information technology areas:

  • Software Development
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Architecture
  • Developer Operations (DevOps)
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • System Support Engineer
  • Infrastructure Management
  • IT Consultancy

This information relates to ALL graduates of Computer Science. Details on specialist opportunities can be found on the stream specific pages:

Follow on study

There are many opportunities for follow-on study in computing, available at SETU Waterford or other organisations. These may be taught Masters programmes or funded research roles working towards a doctorate. The Computer Science programme has very strong links with The Walton Institute, one of the leading research and innovation centres in Europe.


Career Opportunities 

Career opportunities will be subject to your choice of specialist exit pathways. Computer Science (Common Entry) has six specialist exit pathways. Towards the end of the first semester of the common entry degree programme you will be asked to select one of them to study in order to obtain your final award. For more information on the career opportunities visit the following courses.

Completion of a level 8 programme will also enable students to undertake taught Masters programmes or Masters degrees by research at SETU Waterford or other third-level colleges


Course Leader

Mr Robert O'Connor

Lecturer -

Call: +35351302073

Email: [email protected]