Graduate Diploma in Information Technology

Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (GDF)

Programme Introduction

Chair of Programme: Mr. Ray Walshe
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GDF pic DCU's Graduate Diploma in Information Technology is an in-depth skills conversion course aimed at those who wish to pursue a career in the Information Technology field but whose primary qualification lies in an area outside IT. This programme is suitable for recent graduates wishing to broaden their skills portfolio, and also for individuals already in full-time employment, who are seeking to obtain a recognised qualification in the IT area.


In response to the market's demand for qualified professionals in the IT sector today, the School of Computing in DCU includes an entry mechanism on to the Graduate Diploma. As a school we strongly believe and support lifelong learning and feel that everyone is entitled to the chance of gaining a third level education. For this reason the Graduate Diploma is now open to professionals in the IT sector who have no primary degree but have significant industrial experience and have shown a commitment to lifelong learning. This new entry mechanism takes into account the knowledge and skills that individuals have achieved while working in the IT sector.

Launched in 1996, the programme attracts graduates from a wide range of disciplines, including the arts, engineering, business, education and science, and provides students with an excellent grounding in IT and its related disciplines. Alongside excellent employment prospects, DCU's Graduate Diploma in Information Technology offers major fee support to EU students, and a strong practical focus aimed at developing graduates with the kind of personal and professional skills most sought after in the Information Economy.

Graduate Employment

The blend of skills developed in graduates makes them suitable for jobs wherever computing technology is employed, and that is in every sector of the economy. There is a particularly high demand for graduates who have the skills to apply computer technology to the practical problems of business and industry, as well as continuing opportunities for graduates who wish to pursue further studies leading to careers in research.

As a result, graduates of the programme have gone on to pursue a variety of careers in Ireland and abroad in areas such as teaching, sales, software design and development, computer support, and business analysis. Among the forms for whom our graduates work are AIB, Citibank, Ericsson, e-Spatial Solutions, SAP, Kadius, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Lucent Technologies.

Practical, Industry-Oriented Focus

The objective of the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology is not only to develop students’ understanding of the conceptual and practical underpinnings of IT, but also to enhance their transferable skills in areas such as problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking, research and independent learning skills. A highly practical, interactive learning environment- including simulations; seminars; laboratory work; presentations; teamwork; and problem-solving exercises- are designed to facilitate integration of theoretical and practical aspects of the programme, and also to encourage considerable interaction among participants. Such innovative teaching methods help to develop vital professional attributes which equip graduates to excel in the IT profession and adopt leadership positions in their professional lives.

Fees & Requirements

Admissions Information

Intake and Entry Requirements

Applicants to the programme must have, at a minimum, a second-class honours primary degree in a non-computing discipline, or an equivalent qualification. In exceptional circumstances, holders of a Third Class Honours Degrees may be admitted.

If you don't have a primary degree but are interested in this course, please read on.

This year the School of Computing in DCU is pleased to announce a new initiative for entry for the Graduate Diploma in IT. The application for this course now takes into account the significant experience and expertise built up by professionals in the ICT sector. If you have been working in the ICT sector for the past 3 years and have completed EUCIP or if you have 4 years or more practical experience in the ICT sector you are eligible to apply for this course. Graduating this course you will gain a third-level qualification in the IT area which will help you up-skill and progress in your career. If you wish to apply through the new entry mechanism you can  email Mark Roantree, Chair of the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. If your application is successful you will be asked to attend an interview.

Fees & Funding Support

This programme will be supported by the HEA under the Information Technology Investment Fund resulting in a reduced fee for European Union Students but this decision is subject to review each year. Up-to-date fee information on fees for EU and non-EU students is available on the university's Finance Office webpages.

All EU and Non-EU applicants wish to apply our next intake in September should apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre using the PAC code DC846.

Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible.

A full list of postgraduate application deadlines can be found here.

Informal enquiries regarding this programme should be directed to Mark Roantree, Chair of the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology.

Course Structure

The programme is on a full-time basis over one academic year, with ten taught modules being offered over two twelve-week semesters. Each module consists of lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions, as appropriate. Examinations, where applicable, take place in mid-January for Semester 1 subjects and in mid-May for Semester 2 subjects.

The content of the programme is represented in the tables below, with links to the fuller module descriptions available on the DCU Intranet only.

Module Code Module Name Semester Credit Module Description
CA591 Object-Oriented Programming 1 7.5 Object-Oriented programming using Java
CA669 Web Design and Implementation 1 7.5 This module will introduce students to the architecture and workings of the world wide web, aspects of web programming as well as the architecture and design of web sites
CA662 Database Design 1 7.5 Database design using SQL
CA680 Data Management and Architectures 1 7.5 This *new* module introduces architectures such as Service Oriented and Cloud architectures and involves detailed coursework with well known cloud services.
CA664 Advanced Programming 2 7.5 The implementation and use of various algorithms and data structures using Java
CA665 System & User Interaction Development 2 7.5 Principles and techniques associated with the analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of user interfaces
CA651 Introduction to Networks & Op Systems 2 7.5 Introduction to basic networking technologies, internetworking and internet applications
CA668 eCommerce Infrastructure 2 7.5 Introduction to principles and technologies for eCommerce applications


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