UL design new computer science course with paid placements

Muiris O’Cearbhaill

The University of Limerick (UL) has partnered up with a number of tech companies, including the Irish company Stripe, to design a software engineering course aimed at changing the way computer science is taught.

The course, Immersive Software Engineering, is taught in a purpose-built studio and aims to turn “curious, creative people – into the best software engineers in the world.”

Small teams will work alongside the professor to advance their research and education.

The course is to be an undergraduate and Masters degree and was designed in partnership with tech companies including Shopify, Intercom, Shutterstock and more.

One of the key features of this course is that it offers “residencies” to students, a first in computer science education. The idea is inspired by medical school residencies and aims to provide five paid residencies to students over the four-year course.

These residencies will range in length from three to six months and make up a total of half the course’s duration.

The students will get the opportunity to work inside “some of the world’s most exciting tech companies” according to UL.

Due to a lull in software engineers over three quarters of tech companies in Ireland are at a shortage of engineers, meaning that the graduates from this course may command high salaries directly after finishing their studies.

UL also plans to take on the preconceived notion that computer science is aimed mainly at men.

UL President Professor Kirsten Mey told RTÉ that she thinks there is a “lingering prejudice that certain scientific subjects are hardcore subjects for men and women do the softer options.”

Mey said that the course will be aimed at “bringing in a diversity of people who deal with software, [with that] we can ensure that we actually develop applications, products, software that have the horizon of many different groups of people in-built so to speak…”

Co-founder and president of Stripe, John Collison said “software engineers enjoy incredible careers solving some of the world’s most important problems in the fastest growing industries, yet we have nowhere near enough of them.

“Immersive Software Engineering seeks to provide a great path for more secondary students – especially girls – into technology.”

The programme has received support from Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and venture investors Frontline Ventures and many other large scale multi-national and national organisations.

Muiris O’Cearbhaill

Image Credit: Christopher Gower on Unsplash