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Graduate Diploma in ICT (Software Development)

Graduate Diploma in ICT (Software Development)

Level 7

UCOL’s Graduate Diploma in Information & Communication Technology (Software Development) provides the opportunity for students with an IT related Bachelor’s degree or IT work experience to specialise as a software engineer.

A photgraph of a student coding on a computer at UCOL computer lab
Quick info

Level: 7

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

21 Feb 2022 - 02 Dec 2022
25 Jul 2021 - 30 Jun 2023

Domestic Fees: *
$7255.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

The Graduate Diploma in Information & Communication Technology (Software Development) will enable you to enhance your knowledge base and gain industry-needed skills through advanced study of the following areas:
  • Software Engineering
  • Java Mobile
  • Web Programming
  • Advanced Database Concepts
  • Project Management
  • Professional Practice

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Software architecture
  • Software testing
  • Software contracting
  • Software engineering
  • Database architecture
  • Database administration
  • Software development
  • Mobile development

 Course Information

This programme comprises 120 Credits.

Core Courses

Graduate Professional Practice (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)

This course prepares you for the transition into the ICT profession and covers communication skills, team work and topical issues in the industry.

Special Topic (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)

Pursue an area of special interest to you under the guidance of a UCOL academic staff member.

Advanced Programming

Software Engineering (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn how to design and construct quality software ready for distribution.

Java Mobile and Web (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Develop a small, enterprise-level Java application that provides support for a mobile workforce.

Advanced Database Concepts (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn how to design, create and administer a data warehouse using a server-based databased management system.

IT Project Management (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Gain an understanding of project management theory and practice it as it relates to the ICT industry.

Optional courses (choose one of the following):

eCommerce Systems (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn introductory principles and application of electronic commerce technologies.

Organisational Systems (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Analyse organisational structures, systems and processes, and use associated computerised tools. 

Advanced System Analysis

Software Process (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn how to create quality software applications utilising a modern development approach.

Dynamic Web Solutions (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn how to create a dynamic web application utilising a variety of open-source technologies.

Analysis and Design (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Learn how to create quality analysis and design documentation for a moderately complex system.

 Industry Connections

The Graduate Diploma in Information & Communication Technology (Software Development) is well supported by industry and has strong connections with industry stakeholders who regularly engage with staff and students.

 Learning Facilities

There are specialist hardware and software laboratories that are dedicated for IT students.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree, or higher qualification in an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related discipline from a New Zealand University, Polytechnic or NZQA Approved Provider.
  • Graduate equivalency for those who can demonstrate appropriate practical, professional or educational experience in ICT.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants:

Academic Requirements
A Bachelor degree, or higher qualification in an ICT related discipline from an accredited international provider. You will be required to present either an original or certified copy of their academic transcript issued by the awarding institute. 

English Proficiency Entry Requirements
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

The programme is designed to offer maximum benefit to students who come to the programme with already established skills in ICT. These skills may have been acquired in both educational or industry settings.  Where an applicant is unsure about the suitability of the programme, or the assumed skill-level, they are strongly advised to consult with the Head of School before enrolling.

Applicants seeking graduate equivalency will be asked to present suitable evidence of their work experience, any prior educational achievements and the skill levels that they have attained. The Head of School can advise an applicant on the presentation of this evidence, but suggested forms of evidence are a curriculum vitae, a portfolio of work, and employer letters of attestation.

The programme is not intended as a pathway for graduates from the UCOL Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology (Applied) programme. Graduates of this programme are not eligible to receive the award of the graduate diploma.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

Approximately $100 for high capacity pen drive.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.