Computer Programming

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Are you interested in creating and designing computer software? Have you an interest and love for computers and learning all about what it takes to be the face behind different programmes? There are a few courses that might be of interest to you so allow us to talk you through some options. 

What is computer programming?

Computer programming is the process of building and designing computer programmes in order to carry out specific tasks and accomplish certain computing tasks. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 

  • Computer Games Programming (PLC)
  • Computer Programming (PLC)
  • Computer Science
  • Software Development 

Studying Computer Applications in college

There are a number of PLC courses in the area and related areas. The most relevant undergraduate course in the area would be Computer Science. Studying Computer Programming at PLC level will be one year in length while courses like Computer Science at undergraduate level will normally be four years. 

A PLC course will give you a strong grounding in the area of computer programming and help you to understand the basics. It will help you to become familiar with the area to help you decide if you’d like to continue on studying in the area. 

Areas you will cover in PLC courses in Computer Programming will help you to gain skills and knowledge in understanding how computers work and the physical models of computers. You will look in depth at the different programming considerations that arise through different genres of gaming and programmes. Course content will differ from course to course but areas that you cover include games analysis, games design, software architecture, design skills, programming and design principles, maths for information technology and many more.

Courses are focused on producing a strong foundation in the craft of writing and creating computer programs in both 2D and 3D. 

Career Options

The majority of courses under the title of Computer Programming are PLC courses. This will give you the opportunity to see if it’s an area that suits you and allow you to go forward with your studies at undergraduate level in a related area. For example, a course in computer science. Following on from an undergraduate degree you could then study at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area. 

You can work as a computer/software or games programmer or similar roles. Examples of other roles are listed below. The computer and software world has a wide range of roles and opportunities across a number of different sectors. Aside from this you amy work your way into research areas and lecturing in colleges and universities. 

To work and study in this area you will need skills and qualities such as strong math skills, excellent knowledge of computers and technology, able to analyse problems and trace them to the origin of the problems, a problem solver, a critical thinker, analytical skills, organized and strong time management, attention to detail and accuracy, systematic approach to working and strong communication skills. Many of these skills you can develop throughout your course. 

Related Jobs

  • Software programmer
  • Games/Software/ developer
  • Computer Scientist 
  • Application developer
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Multimedia Technology
  • Software Developer
  • Computer Hardware Engineer

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

PLC courses will accept Leaving Certificate results and in some cases, especially in this area, courses may carry out an entrance interview. Specific courses may have their own requirements. For example, some courses may have a certain interview process or expect a portfolio of sorts so it is always important to look into these things in depth. Some PLC course may go on an interview basis also. 

Points for computer science courses range from 317 to 509 points. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • The first computer ever made weighed more than 27 tons
  • The first known computer programmer was a woman named Ada Lovelace.
  • The very first gigabyte drive cost $40,000.


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Aedín Dunne

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