HomeProgrammesInformation TechnologyGraduate Diploma in ICT (Software Development)

Graduate Diploma in ICT (Software Development)

Level 7

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

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 (40 weeks)
Part-time option available.
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

19 Feb 2024 - 29 Nov 2024
22 Jul 2024 - 27 Jun 2025

Domestic Fees: *

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$25,000.00 + Student Services Levy $591.00

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
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Web Programming
  • Advanced Database Concepts
  • Project Management
  • Professional Practice

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 40 weeks, including 6 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
8 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings.
Timetable set by your lecturer.
Study Time
26 hrs

Study in your own time.

You can also choose to study part-time, or possibly by paper. Talk to us about your options with this programme.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Software architecture
  • Software testing
  • Software contracting
  • Software engineering
  • Database architecture
  • Database administration
  • Software development
  • Mobile development
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries for ICT Architects and Administrators, see careers.govt.nz

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL Te Pūkenga is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

This programme consist of 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 Te Pūkenga academic staff member.

Advanced Programming (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)

Learn standard algorithms required for business application programming. During your studies, you'll design and construct small applications using a variety of algorithms; devise test plans to ensure quality software; and create system maintenance documentation.

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

Mobile Application Development (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)
Develop a small, enterprise-level 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):

Advanced System Analysis (15 Credits, 16 weeks duration)

Learn to introduce tools and techniques used to assess feasibility and present a business case; to complete an analysis of a complex information system based on the recommendation from the feasibility phase.

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 learners.

 Learning Facilities

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

 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.

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0 with no band score less 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).


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international learner 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 language proficiency
International learner applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 6.0 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).

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

The programme is designed to offer maximum benefit to learners 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 Te Pūkenga 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 Te Pūkenga 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 and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.