As reported by Cpl Recruitment “employers across the country continue to demand employees with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills” and evidence provided by the Department of Education and Skills shows that demand for STEM workers is expected to grow significantly between 2015 and 2025. 

The national STEM education policy statement states “While the demand is growing for workers with STEM skills, research has established that many of our learners are not adequately prepared to take up STEM related employment.” One way to meet this demand is to develop these skills in the existing workforce.

Engineering Building, NUI Galway

The Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, NUI Galway provides an innovative modular diploma and degree programme in Science and Technology in response to this demand.

If you want to fast track your career or move into a management role consider this programme, which has been developed to address current and future requirements of the high-tech sector.

It also improves employability for career changers in a variety of technology-rich industries, such as high end manufacturing of medical and other precision devices, supply chain and technical support services.

Collaboratively developed by industry and academics

The part-time programme in Science and Technology was developed by academic staff in consultation with industry, specifically to address current gaps and future skills requirements.

It offers a range of traditional science, engineering and informatics subjects along with specialist elective modules, so participants can focus on areas that are relevant to their career goals.

Work-based projects help participants to apply learning directly and immediately to the work-place and there is an emphasis on professional transferrable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, communication, and team-work.

There are three levels of academic awards available, a diploma, a BSc and four specialist diplomas. The following courses will run part-time in September 2021 and are currently accepting applications:

  • Diploma in Science & Technology Studies;
  • BSc in Science & Technology Studies;
  • Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science;
  • Specialist Diploma in Lean and Quality Systems;
  • Specialist Diploma in Automation and Control;
  • Specialist Diploma in Corporate Environmental Planning.

The diploma is open to applicants over 21 who have a Leaving Certificate with a pass in mathematics. The flexibility of the modular course means that it can be completed in between two and four years.

Entry to the Level 8 BSc requires either the Diploma in Science & Technology or a related NFQ Level 7 qualification. The BSc offers four specialist streams including: Medical Device Science, Lean and Quality Systems, Automation and Control, Corporate Environmental Planning. These streams are also available as stand-alone specialist diplomas, which can be completed over one year.

Designed for working adults

The programme is delivered using a combination of online and distance learning, as well as face-to-face tutorials, workshops and practical labs on Saturdays in NUI Galway. This delivery model gives adult learners great control in deciding when and where to study.

Conscious of the many demands and time constraints on those working or caring through the day, the courses were developed on a modular basis, allowing the participant themselves to decide how many modules they take in each semester.

The more manageable blocks of learning enable participants to juggle their existing commitments with the demands of a programme of study. The success of this approach is demonstrated by the fact that completion rates are extremely high, far higher than for other STEM courses.

Funding and funding opportunities

Payment for the course is also per module, on a semester by semester basis, so participants can stagger the cost of the course to suit their financial situation. At €391.50 per module, it is an affordable option for anyone considering furthering their education.

The courses have been approved by Next Level Skillnet for a fees subsidy of up to 40% for students whose company is a member of the Next Level Skillnet Network.

There are also scholarships for the diploma and degree available to those in receipt of social welfare benefit which cover 30% of the course fee.

Wide range of modules and electives

The table below outlines the modules that are covered in the diploma and the degree. 

You will find detailed programme content, with an outline of all the modules on offer, on our programme website

Applications are being accepted from now until August 2021. For any queries, email: