Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Information Technology
Do you want to develop knowledge and skills in an exciting and fast-moving field? Do you want a degree from a top ranked Irish university? Then this BSc in Information Technology degree is for you.
This level 8 honours DCU degree is delivered through online learning and so is more flexible than a full-time, or part-time, campus based programme.
Depending on your existing level of education, you may complete this degree in a 2 – 4 year or 4 – 8 year time frame.
"This has been an amazing course and although I groaned a lot at the volume of work I had to undertake, I am delighted that I persevered. This was my final year but I think I am going to really miss not logging on every evening. To those who have completed their studies, see you at the graduation. To the rest of you I wish you every success in your studies. Keep at it and don't give up. It really is worth it." - IT student Gerry Bartley
About the course
The DCU Bachelor of Science in Information Technology is a Level 8 (on the National Framework of Qualifications), honours degree programme, which provides students with critical insight into the application of Information Technology to the processes of administration, management and innovation within a range of businesses and other organisations. The programme should be of particular relevance if you are working or aspiring to work in the IT industry.
This degree offers students great flexibility in that they can vary the number of modules they register for each year to match the other responsibilities in their life. Given that registering for a module means committing to the workload associated with that module this flexibility allows a student to only take on the work they can accommodate in a given year. When deciding how much work to take on students should consider the time needed to: study learning materials; actively participate in tutorials; interact with tutors and other students in the online discussion forums and complete assignments. Students on this programme also have a good degree of flexibility in terms of time, place and pace of studying as they do not have to attend campus-based classes on a regular basis.
BSc in Information Technology in 2–4 years
In order to complete this programme in a 2 – 4 year time frame, you should hold an academic qualification - a National Diploma/Ordinary Degree (NFQ Level 7) or equivalent (for example you may have completed most, but not all, of a level 8 qualification) in a cognate area, for example in Computing or Electronics, normally with credit or distinction.
You must confirm your eligibility by applying for Direct Entry. Application forms are available upon request or you can download them from the ProgrammeForms section of our website.
BSc in Information Technology in 4–8 years
This degree should be of particular relevance if you are working or aspiring to work in the IT/IS industry and do not have any cognate third-level qualification.
BSc in Information Technology in 4 – 8 years
On this course you will study fourteen (14) modules; four at level 1, four at level 2 and six at degree level.The modular courses cover four main areas of study. They are:
- Communications Technology (CT)
- Computing/Software Development (C/SD)
- Human Sciences (HS)
- Management Science (MS)
Each subject area is presented at an introductory level (Level 1). The combination of the four modules at level 1 corresponds to approximately one year of full-time study on a conventional honours degree programme.
The Modules are as follows:
- C1: IT and Web Technology Fundamentals.
- CT1: Principles of Communications, Devices and Networks.
- HS1: Exploring Interaction Design
- MS001: Mathematical and Statistical Methods.
Each subject area is presented at an intermediary level (Level 2). The combination of the four modules at Level 2 corresponds to approximately one year of full-time study on a conventional honours degree programme.
The Modules are as follows:
- C2: Object Oriented Programming With Java.
- CT2: Communications Device Theory and Design.
- HS2: Information Technology and Organisations.
- MS002: Management Science and Business Modelling.
On successful completion of all Level 1 and Level 2 modules students may request to exit with a level 7 Diploma.
Seven modules are offered at degree level. Students are required to successfully complete six modues in order to be eligible for the award of honours degree (level 8). The modules offered are as follows:
- Database Theory and Practice (CA)*
- The Systems Development Cycle (CB)
- Modern Data Communications Networks (CTA)*
- Researching People's Interactions with Technology (HSA)*
- Management of eCommerce (MSA)
- Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technologies (MS00B)*
- Mobile Application Development (SDA)*
* Starred modules are compulsory. Additionally, students choose to complete either CB or MSA.
BSc in Information Technology in 2–4 years
Students who have entered with a level 7 qualification or equivalent, and have been granted direct entry to degree level modules, must successfully complete six degree level modules (outlined above) in order to be eligible for the award of BSc in Information Technology.
How Long does it take to Complete the Course?
Students may register for a minimum of one, and a maximum of four level 1, four level 2 or three degree level modules in each academic year. The greater the number of modules successfully completed each year, the quicker you obtain your degree. The number of modules you undertake each year will depend on your individual circumstances.
While this programme's modular structure provides you with the flexibility to choose how many modules you commit to studying in any one academic year, there are rules relating to module registration that you must familiarize yourself with in order for you can make a fully informed decision about which modules you wish to take. For example, some modules must be completed before others can be selected, and other modules cannot be taken in combination.
Before planning your pathway through the programme view the Guide to Module Selection
MODULE SYLLABI - Subject Outlines
Most of the module details given below refer to those delivered in the 2016/2017 academic year. As this programme is being constantly updated, module specifications may change for the 2017/2018 academic year (and subsequent years). To obtain more detailed information on each module, click on the module title below.
Principles of Communications, Devices and Networks (CT1). This module aims to introduce you to the enabling science of telecommunications and the functions and services of the evolving telecommunication systems.
Communications Device, Theory and Design (CT2) This module introduces concepts in the operational principles of modern communication systems and networks. Further topics in the science of electronics are also presented.
Modern Data Communication Networks (CTA) This module aims to describe key mechanisms for maintaining network integrity, to demonstrate contemporary network transmission methods and routing protocols and to raise awareness of management methods.
Object Oriented Programming with Java (C2) This module equips you with a foundation in the theory and practice of computer programming with Java including object-oriented programming. It also introduces concepts from software engineering such as UML and test-driven development.
Database Theory and Practice (CA) This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of the construction and use of databases.
The Systems Development Cycle (CB) This module provides you with an understanding of the theory and practice associated with the development of Information Technology-based applications and solutions.
Mobile Application Development (SDA) This module covers a variety of key topics in software development including, XML, testing, documentation, version control, server and network communication, User Interface and User Experience design, developing using APIs and SDKS, developing for platforms with constrained resources, using input from sensors, and presentation of developed work to others in written and oral modes. Students will learn fundamental principles, methodologies and design patterns and apply them using Java and the Android mobile application development platform.
Exploring Interaction Design (HS1) This module introduces students to the Interaction Design (IxD) cycle and to the principle of user centered design. It provides students with the opportunity to practice the use of a variety of IxD tools to better understand users' needs, develop prototype interactive systems and evaluate those systems.
Information Technology and Organisations (HS2) This module examines the use of organisation theory to help IT designers and managers deal with the problems they encounter in their organisations and to exploit the opportunities that arise, many of which relate to how organisations function.
Researching Interactions with Technology (HSA) This module enables students to develop a critical position on technology use, experience and adoption in social and cultural contexts, and allows students to carry out an empirical research project. As well as developing the relevant research skills, an examination is also made of the relevance of research in the business and everyday world of ICT, and shaping an attitude toward professional practice as reflective, evidence-based practice.
Mathematical and Statistical Methods (MS001) This module in mathematics and statistics equips you witha foundation in mathematical sciences.
Management Science and Business Modelling (MS002) This module introduce you to topics in Management Science and Business Modeling Including machine learning techniques.
Management of eCommerce (MSA) This module aims to provide an understanding of the nature and future direction of electronic commerce. It will provide an appreciation of the current and emerging trends in media/technology used in electronic commerce; and an understanding of the alternative forms of electronic commerce, namely, E-Business, E-Government and E-Retailing.
Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technologies (MS00B) .This module aims to equip you with an understanding of emerging technologies and their impact on business. It explores the idea of innovation and enterprise with particular reference to the ICT sector. Students develop business plans as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs.
This programme offers students great flexibility in that they can vary the number of modules they register for in a given year to match the other responsibilities in their life. Given that registering for a module means committing to the workload associated with that module this flexibility allows a student to only take on the work they can accommodate in a given year.
When deciding how much work to take on students should consider the time needed to: study learning materials; actively participate in tutorials; interact with tutors and other students in the online discussion forums and complete assignments. Students on this programme also have a good degree of flexibility in terms of time, place and pace of studying as they do not have to attend campus-based classes on a regular basis.
At the beginning of the academic year, students are provided with access to a suite of self-study learning materials and resources, along with reading lists for required textbooks.
To get an understanding of what it is like to be a student on this programme, view Michael Connolly’s story at: https://youtu.be/wocTI3MV888?t=12
Students are supported academically through a variety of means: a module tutor, the IT programme team and DCU student supports. Each module has a blend of face to face and online tutorials. Tutorials are activity-based, participatory sessions where tutors facilitate review and discussion of the material students have been studying. Face to face tutorials are held on DCU campus, usually on Saturdays, while online tutorials take place using 'live', online classroom technology. Students can partake in these online classroom tutorials at home or anywhere with a broadband internet connection. All that is required is a computer with a webcam and headset. Tutorials are recorded so they can be viewed again later, and usually take place on weekday evenings or on Saturdays. Attending the majority of tutorials/workshops is voluntary, with attendance at a small number of tutorials/workshops being mandatory. Students are also supported in DCU's online learning environment. Loop. This is the key medium through which students communicate with their tutor and fellow students and gain access to resources. Regular participation in the online forums is important. In addition, students have access to a number of support services that are used to find answers to questions and resolve any issues or problems they may be experiencing.
In each module students will be given several opportunities, throughout the academic year, to demonstrate their learning through assessment work. The form that these assessments take depends on the module, but may include essays, case studies, group work, contributions to online forums and discussions, multiple choice questionnaires, learning journals and/or end of year examinations. All continuous assessment work is submitted online. Students can sit their May examinations in an examination center in Dublin, Cork or Galway.
There is currently a huge demand for skilled IT graduates. For example, it was estimated in 2016 that the Irish economy had between 2,400 to 4,500 job vacancies for graduates with an Honours Bachelor Degree or Masters in computing (Source: Forfás). This relates to jobs in the ICT sector alone, and does not count additional demand for IT graduates from other sectors of the economy. Indeed, sectors outside of traditional ICT industry are showing strong increased demand for graduates with IT skills such as, for example, the software skills required for financial modelling or database management. You will graduate this programme with a unique mix of skills in computing and business.
In addition to traditional ICT career paths, graduates of this programme will have the skills to peruse innovation and entrepreneurship by starting their own ICT-enabled business.
General Entry Requirements
Applicants aged over 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry are eligible for admission to the programme subject to submission of an application form and payment of a deposit.
Applicants under 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry must satisfy the normal minimum degree entry requirements of Dublin City University which are available on the DCU website at: https://www4.dcu.ie/registry/entry.shtml
In addition, applicants who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.
IT Equipment and Skills required:
You should have regular access to a computer (with Microsoft Office), a broadband connection, a printer and a basic headset and a webcam. Specifically, you will need access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You should also be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, and using word processing packages like Microsoft Word.
You can find detailed information on the IT skills and equipment required for this programme under the section 'Technology Requirements'.
Certain modules (specifically the Mathematical and Statistical Methods (MS001) and Principles of Communications, Devices & Networks (CT1) require a competence in mathematics roughly equivalent to pass Leaving Certificate level. While a Leaving Certificate mathematics qualification is not mandatory for those aged over 23, students without recent exposure to mathematics should consider updating their skills by enrolling in a Leaving Certificate mathematics course or by studying Leaving Certificate mathematics textbooks. After you have applied, you are given online access to a Preparatory Mathematics textbook specially written for Open Education students.
You do not have to defer commencement of the programme while you develop your competence in mathematics. You can take a preparatory mathematics course in parallel with other modules not requiring competence in this area specifically the Exploring Interaction Design (HS1) and IT and Web Technology Fundamentals (C1) modules. It is not recommended to take the CT1 module before completing the MS001 module (unless you have a strong background in mathematics and/or physics/electronics).
How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application
You need to first register with PAC in order to make an application.
To apply please go to: www.pac.ie/ugrad and select the BSc in Information Technology (DC343).
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In Open Education, Recognition of Prior Learning takes two forms:
If you have a Diploma, Certificate or Ordinary Degree (Level 6 or 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications www.nfq.ie) in an area related to the course, it may be possible for you to receive an exemption from studying some Level 1 and Level 2 modules of the course. Or if you have studied towards a qualification and completed modules but never actually qualified you may also be eligible.
If you get exemptions you still need to pass at least three Level 2 modules to qualify for a Diploma. Please note that, (1) you will not obtain exemptions on the basis of work experience alone, (2) you cannot get exemptions from degree level modules and (3) you cannot use an honours degree (NFQ Level 8) to gain an exemption (only qualifications lower than honours degree level apply).
Exemption Application forms are available to all applicants upon request or you can download them from the Programme Forms section of our website.
2. Direct Entry
Candidates for direct entry to the degree level modules must have an academic qualification in a cognate area - a National Diploma/Ordinary Degree (NFQ Level 7) or equivalent in Computing or Electronics, normally with credit or distinction. Direct Entry is only granted where an award at the same level as the BSc in Information Technology (Level 8 on NFQ) has NOT been conferred on the applicant by another institution on foot of those credits.
Direct Entry Application forms are available to all applicants upon request or you can download them from the Programme Forms section of our website.
RPL applicants should note that each request for Exemption or Direct Entry will be considered on its own merits by the Exemption Board. The granting of an exemption/direct admission will depend on the exact nature and content of any previous award, the date obtained and, in certain circumstances, post-qualification work experience. The date of the previous award is particularly important. Given how quickly knowledge is evolving in the IT area, the Exemption Board will pay particular attention to the content studied in dated awards as they may give rise to questions regarding the currency of the applicant's knowledge.
Study Period: September to May
Closing Date for Applications: Applications normally close in mid September of each year.