Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Software Development

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 310*
  • Course Code SG252
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

Ireland’s reputation as a centre of software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually.

The Irish technology sector remains buoyant with Google, Facebook, Microsoft and eBay all having a major presence here. Our objective is to equip graduates with the skills to seek employment in this level of business. We constantly re-assess course content to keep apace of emerging platforms and industry trends.This programme takes into account the specific requirements of the global software industry and what it expects from graduates.


The emphasis on the programme is in supplying students with coding and communication skills to enable them to be productive members of a growing worldwide software technology sector.


This is common across all computing streams. The emphasis is to introduce students to the variety of computing technologies including fundamentals of Computer Hardware, Micro Controller Programming, an Introduction to Microsoft .NET programming and Mathematics for Computing. Special supports are in place to aid with Mathematics for Computing.


Planning and developing small object-oriented software solutions for desktop and the web in a cloud-based environment. Modules included: Systems Analysis and Design, Database Systems, Object Oriented Programming, Web Programming, Cloud Computing, Mathematics.


A year-long group project, Work Placement, Rich Applications Development, Software Engineering, Database Management, and Open Stack Development. 


Covers advanced programming concepts and gives students a more rounded education, focusing on technologies and techniques that are highly sought after by the software and wider community. Subjects studied: Project (with research element), Artificial Intelligence, Strategic Technology Management, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Advanced Microsoft .NET programming concepts, Software Security, Advanced Database concepts, Startup Engineering.

There are several distinct features to this programme:

Common first year - Many are unsure of computing. While we have an array of programmes, we recognise that you may wish to ‘sample and see’ so we encourage students to look their choice afresh at end of Year One

Significant practical elements - We believe you learn best by doing and our programme is built upon hands on lab work where you create software solutions.

Equipment - We have invested heavily in equipment, computer labs and workspaces to ensure you have the best tools to learn and prepare you for the workplace.

Project - Substantial projects enable you to really grapple with a problem and create a killer solution. In Year 3 you’ll have the space and support to work in a team year-long towards a solution that will wow employers.

Work placement - We have been offering work placement longer than most and we’re good at it. Our network of employers welcome this programme and a successful work placement is often the door to a full-time job.

So, choose this programme if:

  • you want a career in the ever changing world of technology
  • you want amazing career opportunities
  • you are interested in solving problems and inventing solution


The sector’s traditional players with long-established operations – such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple, have been joined by newer firms leading the way in the internet and social media revolution, including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter. Their arrival has firmly positioned Ireland as the internet capital of Europe.

  • Over 105,000 people are employed in the technology sector in Ireland, with approximately 70% of those employed by FDI companies.
  • ICT Exports are worth €72 billion per annum (40% of total national exports).
  • 4 of the top 5 exporters in Ireland are technology companies
  • Nine of the world’s top 10 ICT companies are located in Ireland and the IDA supports over 200 FDI firms in this sector.

Ireland is the also the European data centre location of choice for world leaders including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, MSN and Adobe and is poised to become a global cloud centre of excellence.

The sector’s wide-ranging activities include Software Development, R&D, Business Services and EMEA/International headquarters.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

The software industry is exceptionally strong in Ireland, providing a significant number of employment opportunities in a wide variety of organisation. The opportunities are with both indigenous Irish companies and large multinational organisations and not only in what you would call “tech” companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook. All sectors require software professionals and there are many opportunities in traditional sectors such as finance, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, health and service industries.

The outlook is positive. A Morgan McKinley report says that demand for software developers shows “no sign of slowing down”. It continues: “Salaries have increased across the majority of areas, particularly in the development space.”

Graduates of this programme typically assume the role of software developer. They build and test high-quality code across front-end, logic and database layers. Other graduate opportunities include technology consultant, full stack web developer, senior quality controller/research analyst, international project lead and business development manager etc.

Ireland’s reputation as a centre of software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually.

Software development is an internationally recognised transferrable skill.

Further Study

Students are well positioned to progress to Master's study. Options include the MSc in Computing and MEng in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles here at ATU Sligo.

MSc in Computing (Data Science)

MEng in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles


Hear what some of our graduates have to say about Computing at ATU Sligo.

Did you know?

We also offer this degree at Level 7 - BSc in Software Development

This degree was the first programme to teach Microsoft .NET technologies.

We are the only third-level Institute in Ireland to have won the Microsoft World Imagine Cup in 2011, when we came first from over 350,000 global registrants.

Student projects are presented at The Sligo Engineering & Technology Expo. The Expo is attended by a range of companies including Fortune 500 industry leaders. This allows students to network with potential employers. View the 2021 Expo Catalogue

Ireland’s reputation as a centre of software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually.

The lecturers on the programme are experienced programmers and designers and in many cases are or have been practitioners in the software industry.

Software development is an internationally recognised transferrable skill.

Students will undertake a work placement in third year. This provides an introduction to the workplace and students then return to fourth year where they consolidate their newly developed skills. In fact, over 70% of our students gain employment directly from their work placement!

All our Computing degrees have a common first year. Students study a wide range of computing modules to give them an understanding of all aspects of computing and the flexibility to change direction in year two if desired. Students can choose from ComputingNetworks and Cyber SecuritySoftware Development or Games Development


"I chose Software Development as it covered three things I love - problem solving, design and technologies. The common first year is brilliant as it gives you a taste of the different computing streams before deciding which one is best for you. One of my favourite parts of the course was the work placement. This was pivotal in my success since then as I was able to gain experience of developing code on real life projects and products."

"I currently work with different Amazon Web Service enterprise customers. I help them troubleshoot any issues that arise in their environments. Every day is different which I love! I get to see a range of architectures and use-cases in day-to-day settings and help fix any issues. These can range from small errors to large problems causing production pain.”

Aoife Egan, BSc (Hons) in Software Development graduate and Cloud Support Engineer at Amazon Web Services

“My six-month work placement with Gartan Technologies in Donegal went so well I was offered a permanent role and still work with Gartan ten years later. I’ve been a Junior Developer, Support Developer, Senior Developer and now Business Development manager for our Australian and New Zealand businesses.”

Aaron Heavey, BSc (Hons) in Software Development graduate and Business Development Manager for Gartan Technologies Sydney, Australia