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The ONLINE Higher Diploma in Science in Computer Science is a 24-month ICT Conversion Course designed to allow honours graduates from non-computing disciplines to acquire the industry-relevant ICT and software development skills, expertise and practical experience required to become suitable candidates for employment in the ICT domain in general and in software development in particular. 

Delivery:  The course is delivered using our award-winning online delivery platform – TutorStack, in Agile Semesters typically consisting of 4, three-week sprints followed by 1-week breaks for retrospective, after each sprint.

Average time commitment is 16 hrs per week. Online delivery over the two years is supplemented by four onsite workshops to further enhance and deepen the learning experience.

Cost: The course is 90% funded by Government for employed people who will pay 10% of the total programme fee
The course is fully funded for unemployed people and people returning to formal employment

Fee (Payable by employed people) €900

Full Course Details:


Please click on the video presentation below to get an in-depth preview of the course content and structure.

Year 1

Semester 1 Semester 2
Orientation Day on site in SETU Waterford Computer Systems (5 credits)
Programming (10 credits) Computer Networks (5 credits)
Web Development (5 credits) Project Proposal element (5 credits) including optional onsite day at SETU Waterford
Summer School module (5 credits) including optional onsite day at SETU Waterford

Year 2

Semester 3 Semester 4
Enterprise Service Development (10 credits) Mobile App Development (10 credits)
Developer Operations (5 credits) EITHER Industry-Based Project Implementation and Report (30 credits)
Project Prototype element (5 credits) of the Project/Placement including optional onsite day at SETU Waterford AND/OR Work Placement and Report (30 Credits)

Academic Eligibility

Successful applicants for this course will be existing honours graduates (level 8) with the capacity and aptitude (for example numeracy skills) to complete an intensive Computer Science programme and work placement. Typical disciplines which would fall into this category would be Engineering; Architecture; Mathematics, Physics and Financial Services. These students are generally strongly suited to the programme.

We have also successfully graduated students with a good general analytic aptitude, with an academic background in Management Information Systems, Economics; Accounting; Business and the Arts. For these students, we request that they sample a taster of the programme consisting of the first 4 weeks of the semester 1 content to ascertain their level of interest and disposition towards the discipline (available here: This has provided a more comprehensive screening method, with students self-selecting into the programme if they are comfortable with this experience.

Recognition of Prior Learning [RPL]

Level 7 ICT graduates have routinely used RPL process to enter the course and thereby upskill to Level 8 for entry into the programme. 

Download the RPL Form Here - fill it out electronically and completely, then submit it back to [email protected] along with all supporting certificates.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see SETU's English Language Requirements for details. 

Funding Eligibility

Employed people will pay a fee of €900 for the course with the Government paying the remaining 90% of the course fee on your behalf. The fee will be payable only at the final stage of the application process when you have been offered a place. If you are unemployed and in receipt of a jobseeker's payment (including Farm Assist and Qualified Adults of Working Age) you are not eligible for the two-year ICT Conversion courses. However, if you are in receipt of other social protection payments, e.g. One Parent Family or Disability Allowance, you may be eligible for the two-year part-time Conversion programmes. Please consult with your DEASP Case Officer to establish this.  Please see more information at

Roles for HDip in Computer Science Graduates

The HDip in Computer Science is designed to produce the programmers and software developers. These skills are in massive demand across multiple sectors including:

  • Software Development
  • Financial Services
  • Online retailers / publishers / services providers / customer support services
  • Manufacturing / Logistics / Industrial Control and Automation
  • Advertising & Media
  • Enterprise Software Services

Specific skills areas:

  • Programming
  • Developer Operations
  • IT Administration & Management
  • Web Development
  • Systems Administration
  • Technical Support

Sample job title:

  • Software Developer
  • DevOps Administrator
  • System Administrator
  • Support Engineer
  • Web Designer / Developer
  • Business Systems Analyst

Student Testimonials

The online Higher Diploma in Computer Science has allowed me to undertake my studies with great flexibility in such a way that a standard face-to-face course could not. I had no prior experience of online learning, and my experience has been immensely positive and allowed me to adapt my studies around my full-time job. The lecturers are very knowledgeable, and they often go out of their way to support any questions or advice. I’ve been impressed by their methods of delivering the online lectures and the step-by-step content for the accompanying lab work and adopting the latest technologies. I also found the optional onsite days well organised and they were a good opportunity to meet industry partners.  The course offers a good variety of modules that cater to the essential skills for emerging software developers.

Julianne Daly: Data Analyst at VHI

“The ICT Conversion in SETU Waterford has been a great innovation. With the current demand for Software Engineers in Ireland and the South East, SETU Waterford has succeeded in developing a programme that equips graduates from other disciplines to transfer directly into IT. The fact that graduates are already equipped with excellent problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills from their previous disciplines makes them very attractive to employers.”

Declan Lawlor: Chief Technical Officer at Done Deal

“I have a background in IT and being working in the field for 15+ years. Working full time and have a little one at home gives me very little time to upskill, to physically go to a classroom. The HDIP online programme program not only allowed me to explore my own areas of interest, while learning valuable technical skills, and providing a thorough grounding in learning theories, current and emerging technologies in this space but above all allowed me to do it in my own time. I didn't feel any disconnect from classmates or faculty members by doing it online. The lecturers are excellent in their own fields, they are extremely patient and helpful, and my classmates were always active in our virtual “hangout” to answer questions, bounce ideas off and chat about assignments.”

Juber Nunes: Senior Quality Engineer (Automation & Performance) at Redhat

“Taking the leap and going for the Higher Diploma in SETU Waterford's Computer Science was a big move but from the onset I knew I was in good hands. Previously a graduate of Visual Communications I was looking for an avenue into the IT sector and this course came highly recommended. Although broad in scope the content is thorough and often challenging with plenty of room for innovation. Regardless of your background this course will help you find an area of expertise in the sector & with the high-demand for full-stack developers in the south east I can't recommend it highly enough. There's plenty of flexibility in the online delivery which is a game-changer if you're a busy professional or self-employed.”

Jim O’Brien:  Business Owner, In Crowd Wedding Music

Having recently completed the Higher Diploma in Computer in SETU Waterford, Kevin can say it was a very rewarding experience. Prior to enrolling to the course, he had a Bachelors in Biochemistry but always had an interest in technology. The course arms you with core knowledge and skillset that is sought after within the ICT industry and coupled with the work placement, puts you ahead of competitors. Intensive, but will come out with a strong knowledge base to tackle even new technologies. The lecturers and staff were always helpful.  This course has given Kevin the skillset and experience to transition into the IT industry and one that he would highly recommend to others. Following the placement Kevin was offered a full-time job with Errigal as a Software Developer. 

South East Technological University is currently reaching to our employer networks to seek work placements for the graduate ICT programmes.   The students are already qualified in various disciplines, have professional work experience, and are now pivoting towards tech related careers going forward.

Higher Diploma in Computer Science students are seeking a 6 month work placement from June 2024,  scheduled during the final semester of this 2 year course.  

Upskilling on  Programming,  Web Dev,  Systems/ Networks, Database Design,  Mobile App, Security/ Dev Ops/ Enterprise Web

Higher Diploma in Business Systems Analysis (Online) students are seeking a minimum 3 month work placement from July 2024,   scheduled during the final semester of this 2 year course.

Upskilling on  Database design/ Data Analytics/ Enterprise Data exchange/ Software Eng/ SW validation/ UI UX design/ Project management

If your organisation does have ICT  work placement opportunities from June 2024, please complete the Employer Work Placement Registration form   

Employer Work Placement Registration Form 2024


SETU graduate work placements are structured: 

  • Based on a F/T job specification from the employer.
  • The employer has full autonomy on who to interview and select for placement
  • Students would be assigned a workplace mentor by employers.
  • SETU provides documentation; WP handbook, Insurance, learning agreement and log book template. 
  • SETU work placement co-ordinator will visit onsite with the student and mentor once during the placement period and is available to both employers and students throughout the placement period.

Joan Mangan works with our ICT students and employer partners from the outset of the course in order to match students with a productive and fulfilling work placement experience. Within the ICT networks, it has been our experience that work placements frequently lead to longer term job offers after the official placement period has ended. 


Springboard email:  [email protected]
Springboard Tel: +353 51 302849


Course Leader

Mr Eamonn Deleastar

Lecturer -

Call: +35351302965

Email: [email protected]