New DCU Problem-solving Degree for Programmers – deadline

If you are interested in this new degree you must apply now before the 1st February deadline as it is restricted entry.DCU launches new problem-solving degree to produce top programmers – New computing degree aimed at students with prior skills and passion for programmingDCU’s School of Computing is launching an innovative degree programme designed to produce more graduates with the skill-sets necessary to fill the ICT skills gap and meet the demands of employers both at home and abroad. The BSc in Problem Solving and Software Development (PSSD), the first of its kind in Ireland, is aimed at students who can demonstrate a passion for, and ability in, computer programming and ICT. The programme will admit its first entrants in September 2013.

The main departure from the normal DCU entry route will be the requirement for each applicant to submit a portfolio of his or her work in programming and ICT skills. This portfolio, similar to that required for degrees in music and art, will have to demonstrate the student’s prior ability in programming. Those applicants with portfolios that show sufficient prior experience in programming will be called for interview and success at the interview will ensure an offer, subject to minimum CAO points and maths requirements (C3 in Higher Maths or A1 in Ordinary Maths). Mature students may be given unconditional offers.

The other departure from the norm is that more than half of the programme will comprise significant software development projects, typically carried out in teams as in the real world of software development. While students will be mentored closely, particularly in the first two years, they will be expected to become independent learners, excellent communicators and team-workers, but above all, expert problem-solvers and programmers. Consequently, this degree will foster the 21st century skills espoused by DCU’s Generation 21 initiative.

Dr David Gray, the leader and co-proposer of the new degree programme, describes the delivery of the programme and its entry requirements as being “designed to recruit and produce the calibre of programmer that will be excited by, rather than intimidated by, new problems. The maths requirement emphasises the need for top software developers to have a solid foundation in logic and mathematics.”

There will also be significant industry engagement during the four-year programme of study. Students will spend all of their third year on INTRA ¾ DCU’s industrial internship programme ¾with employers already enthusiastic about the programme’s potential and offering to help mentor students’ projects.

Microsoft’s Academic Engagement Officer, Michael Meagher said “Problem Solving & Software Development allows students who are passionate about technology to take a new pathway to gaining a qualification in computing. Microsoft is very excited about this new degree programme and sees this as an innovative new way for students to gain access to a university education. The content looks at real life scenarios and, working with cutting edge technology, these graduates will be highly sought after.”

Due to the requirement for applicants to submit a portfolio, the CAO deadline for this degree programme is 1 February, i.e. there will be no change-of-mind option for this course. Applicants will be contacted after 1 Feb with details on how to submit their portfolio.

Further details – including the portfolio format – can be found at http://pssd.computing.dcu.ie

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