Software Development

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Have you an interest in computers and software? Do you want to gain the skills and knowledge to be able to create and develop software? There are quite a number of courses to choose from if so. Take a look at the Software Development information below which might help guide you on your journey. 

What is software development

Software development is the process of designing, programming, documenting, testing and creating applications. It involves maintaining and altering software. 

What third level courses are available?

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

  • Computing – Software Development
  • Computing in Software Development 
  • Computing with Software Development
  • App and Software Development (PLC)
  • Coding and Software Development (PLC)
  • Cyber Security with Software Development (PLC)
  • PC Software Development (PLC)

Studying software development in college 

There are a large number of courses available in the area of software development. There are a range of PLC courses and undergraduate courses to choose from. The PLC courses will typically be 1 year long while undergraduate degrees will be between 3-4 years and will differ from college to college. 

A PLC course in the area will give you a  strong foundation and good feel for the world of software development. It will allow you to understand the basics of software development from programming, theoretical and practical skills among many other things. A PLC course may also help you to go forward with your studies into an undergraduate course.

Your first year in an undergraduate course will be a foundation year, as they are known. You will cover the basics of software development and become familiar with your course and what is to come for the following years. First year subjects will differ depending on your course but may include areas such as programming fundamentals, web development, introduction to databases, physical computing and much more.

In your second and third year you will be introduced to more complex and in depth areas such as database design, analysis and design and technical communication skills. You will be able to apply your knowledge practically. Many courses will also offer the opportunity to take work experience and apply their knowledge and skills to the working world of software development.  

Career options

There are a number of career options in this area as computing and software is quite a broad area. With a PLC course you can continue with your education at undergraduate level. There are a number of postgraduate courses also available where you can specialise in an area of your interest. 

Typically, you will work as a software developer but there are a range of related jobs that might interest you. Examples are listed below. There is also the possibility of working in the area of research in the field and/or lecture in colleges and universities. 

Important skills to have in this area include mathematical ability, problem-solving skills, accuracy, attention to detail, the ability to understand complex situations, IT skills, excellent organisation skills, time management skills and the ability to work well with others where necessary. 

Related Jobs

  • Software Engineer
  • Software developer
  • Software programmer
  • Games developer
  • Application developer
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • 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. 

Different courses will differ in their requirements and the points they require.

The highest points needed for an undergraduate course in this area were 411 points to study Software Development in Cork Institute of Technology while the lowest points required were 225 points to study Computing – Software Development in DBS. Points mostly range from 200-300 points. 

Where can I study?

You can explore your options here

Did you know?

  • The first computer ever made weighed more than 27 tons
  • Men make up a large majority of software developers at 85%-89%
  • The first computer virus was created in 1983.



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Aedín Dunne

The Candidate Self Service Portal for Leaving Certificate Students
Engineering Technology


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