Course Overview

The aim of this course is to develop your career with an innovative MSc in Software Engineering and Database Technologies. This tailor-made course will advance your knowledge of software development and database systems.

This wholly online course is particularly suited to people who are working or who have other daytime commitments.

Who is the course for?

This is an ideal course for students who:

  • already work in software or databases and would like to gain a recognised Masters qualification.
  • wish to convert to a career in Information and Communication Technology.
  • need to update their Information and Communication Technology development skills.
  • want to learn about information technology with a specific emphasis on software development and/or database technologies while gaining advanced research skills.

IT Online Launchpad

Scholarships Available: find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Mode of Study: Online Learning

You may also be interested in one of our other Computer Science and Software Engineering postgraduate programmes. 

Applications and Selections

The next intake for this course is September 2023.

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information. Software Engineering students are required to submit a current Curriculum Vitae along with other supporting documentation in their application.

We recommend taking the Diploma in Software Engineering 1DSE1 route to the Masters. All Diploma students (who are passing exams) are offered an opportunity to progress to the Masters towards the end of the Diploma. Those students can transfer directly to Year 2 of the M.Sc.SED. The Diploma modules are the same as the MScSED Year 1 modules.

Important note: A student cannot leave the Masters at the end of first year with the Diploma award.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

This course uses continuous assessment and a final online examination at the end of each eight-week module. There is also a significant research thesis to complete during the second year.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

This course is open to honours degree graduates (Level 8) or Level 7 graduates with 2-3 years of experience and to those otherwise satisfying the postgraduate entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent international qualification will be required, if applicable. See the IT Online Launchpad for further details.

*Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, course quotas will be reviewed continuously throughout the application cycle. Courses which reach their quota will close to application. As many courses fill up quickly, you are advised to apply as early as possible, incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

Limited numbers available, apply early*

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date


NFQ level

Mode of study

Online Learning

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The course is part-time and runs over two years. You will study one online module every eight weeks and, in addition, you will research and write a thesis during your second year. The course content is extensive and varied, and includes both mandatory and optional modules. These include:

Software Modules:

  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems [CORE]
  • Fundamentals of Programming [CORE]
  • Software Engineering [CORE]
  • Object Oriented Programming [CORE]
  • Object Oriented Design
  • Distributed Systems and the Cloud
  • Artificial Intelligence

Database Modules:

  • Introduction to Information Retrieval
  • Introduction to Relational Databases
  • Fundamentals of Databases
  • Data Mining

Further details on these modules can be found on our IT Online Launchpad.


In second year, you will complete a thesis under an approved thesis advisor in the NUI Galway IT Department.

To support work on the thesis, you must complete 2 modules CT6110 Thesis Fundamentals [5 ECTS] and CT626 Thesis [30 ECTS].

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Information Technology, in general, and software/database design and development, in particular, are one of the success stories in the Irish economy. This course will equip you to participate in this vibrant, international industry. Since IT is crucial in every sector, many of our graduates also have used the course for career advancement and progression within their current employment field.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€4,885 p.a. 2022/23*

Fees: Tuition

€4,780 p.a. 2022/23

Fees: Student levy

€105 p.a. 2022/23

Fees: Non EU

€5,385 p.a. 2022/23


*Next Level Skillnet funding (40% fee subsidy) is available for this course, find out more...

Find out More

Aisling Monahan
T: +353 91 495 698

Majella O’Dea
T: +353 91 495 041 

IT Online Launchpad

What Our Students Say


Lorna Boyd |   Student

The course consisted of ten modules and a thesis. One of the reasons this course appealed to me was the delivery method. The course content and lectures were all online and as they were recorded I could dip into them when I had time in the evenings and at weekends. This was best for me, rather than committing to the same time each week or needing to take time off from work. The modules were varied and we had a lot of support from our lecturers. Our online forums allowed for interaction and collaboration with our classmates. Even though we did not meet apart from the introductory day and at our graduation, there was plenty of opportunity to get to know each other, offer support and learn from each other. I really enjoyed the collaborative and cooperative learning environment that was nurtured by our course coordinator and lecturers. With regards to the modules themselves, I particularly enjoyed the subjects I had absolutely no previous experience of, such as coding. While certainly challenging and a step outside of my comfort zone, I found the practical elements beneficial to my understanding and learning. I’m very glad I did this course.

Mary Loftus |   Past Student

I was looking for a good solid qualification in the area of Information Technology to certify about 12 years of practical experience in the industry. I also wanted to broaden my expertise with a view to taking my next steps career-wise. The online MScSED provided a very structured, online learning environment which equipped me very well for a variety of roles. It got me interested in research, in new ways of working and in finding better ways to problem- solve. Learning to relate to remote colleagues and collaborate online effectively was key for me. This was invaluable a few years after the course, when an IT management role came up with GlaxoSmithKline in Sligo, which was exactly what I had in mind when I undertook my studies. With the MSc under my belt, I felt very comfortable working with remote teams and enjoyed working as part of the senior management team there. The course also opened up a deeper interest and opportunities for me in the education sector and I have since left the corporate world to lecture part-time at IT Sligo and to study for a PhD.


  • Adult Learning Prospectus

    Adult Learning Prospectus PDF (2.7 MB)

  • Technology Management Courses

    Technology Management Courses PDF (590KB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2022

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (14.3MB)