UCC Postgraduate courses

Design & Development of Digital Business

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our MSc Design & Development of Digital Business is a 12-month (full-time) taught master’s degree course. This intensive and innovative course is aimed at creatively minded honours graduates from non-technical backgrounds. The program provides students with the design skills and technical knowledge to explore interesting, real-world problems and create innovative digital products and services. The course aims to provide students with a world-class student experience and excellent employment opportunities. The course places an emphasis on applying an agile, design thinking approach to problem solving. You will gain both the practical skills, and an approach to working, that is collaborative, creative and impactful.

Programme content

In Part I of the course, you will work closely with our staff in lectures, seminars, and tutorials to acquire and hone the knowledge and skills that underpin contemporary digital businesses. Modules focus on providing students with expertise across four key areas: analysis, design, strategy, and implementation. Technical and design subjects are grounded in business and societal contexts, empowering you to create digital solutions with impact. Part 1 modules include software development and database design, interaction design, business model innovation, digital business strategy and service design. Technical modules are designed for students with little or no prior experience in computing technology.

In Part II, you work in small groups with a mentor to apply your knowledge and skills in a practical way – by developing an idea for a new, innovative digital business solution. The project groups work in sprints, to research the problem area and ideate innovative solutions. In later sprints, groups transform their initial concepts into a fully articulated business plan, culminating in the implementation of a functional proof-of-concept prototype system.

In total students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I


  •   IS6100 Sustainable Digital Business Models (5 Credits)
  •   IS6124 Business Models for Disruptive Technology (5 Credits)
  •   IS6127 Systems Analysis (5 Credits)
  •   IS6130 Internationalisation and Digital Business Strategy (5 Credits)
  •   IS6131 Web Development for Global Markets (5 Credits)
  •   IS6132 Web Development for Digital Business (5 Credits)
  •   IS6133 Interaction Design for a Global Audience (5 Credits)
  •   IS6143 Foundations of Object-Oriented Programming (5 Credits)
  •   IS6144 Introduction to Mobile Application Development (5 Credits)
  •   IS6145 Database Analysis and Design (5 Credits)
  •   IS6146 Databases for Management Information Systems (5 Credits)
  •   IS6147 Service Design Thinking (5 Credits)

Part II

IS6057 Digital Design and Development Project (30 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The course is 12 months full-time. In Part I there are typically 14 hours of lectures per week and six hours of tutorials. Dedicated lab facilities are available for students to work on their course assignments in Part I and their group project in Part II.

In Part 1 of the course, assessment is performed through a number of methods including examinations, set class assignments, and continuous assessment.

The course is taught by staff from the Department of Business Information Systems. Faculty can be viewed on our Cork University Business School faculty page

Connected Curriculum

Our teaching approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as design, technology, management, and business.

Why Choose This Course

We offer a unique opportunity for graduates from non-computing disciplines to seek employment in the technology sector. This course provides you with an opportunity to quickly acquire a set of core design, commercial and technical skills, that will enable you to start your own digital business or seek a position in an established company. 

College of Business and Law Available Scholarships

We support our postgraduate community by offering scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the College of Business and Law Available Scholarships page for more information.

Skills and Careers Information

On this programme you can expect to gain technical, design and commercial skills. The technical skills include programming for the web and mobile devices, data modelling, and database management. The design skills include, design thinking, interaction design and service design. The commercial skills learned include digital business models, business systems analysis, and e-commerce. You will have the know-how to start your own digital business or seek a position in an established company.

Our graduates have secured positions as UX designers, product managers, business analysts, systems analysts, programmers, consultants with a variety of indigenous and multinational companies in fields as diverse as business consultancy, IT, telecommunications, banking, insurance, and pharmaceuticals.


To apply for this course, you will have:

  • at least a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any discipline except those with high levels of software development content (e.g. computer science, business information systems, etc.) or
  • expect to graduate in the year of entry with at least a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any discipline except those with high levels of software development content

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be given to applicants who do not meet the minimum criteria but who have relevant professional experience, subject to approval by the School of Business.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact