Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computing (Smart Technologies)

  • Course Fact File
  • Course Code SG251
  • Duration 4
  • Points Required 303*
  • NFQ Level 8

Course Summary

It was Bill Gates who pointed out that “we always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years, and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” That certainly applies to the Internet of Things (IoT).

In the beginning (of the Internet), we started connecting people to computers. With the advent of the mobile phone, we started connecting people to people. This has created a LOT of data - 90% of the data on the internet has been created since 2016. But what if I told you that this is only the beginning….

The Internet of Things is about devices connecting with other devices. This year (2017), the number of connected devices surpassed the number of ‘us’. So what are these devices? Let’s look at some examples:

  • sensors embedded in the roots of trees ‘phone home’ to tell gardeners if more water or fertiliser is needed - the trees at the foot of the Freedom Tower in NY have these.

  • sensors in your car tires report a slow puncture to your dashboard. Some cars already connect with your garage to alert to service needs

  • a sensor attached to a cow alerts the farmer to the birth - Moocall, an Irish firm manufactures, allowing part-time farmers to keep to other commitments

  • a medicine bottle has sensors that detect when (or rather not) it is opened alerting the patient to take their medicine on time

  • the Smart Belly rubbish bin use real-time data collection and alerts to let councils know when a bin needs to be emptied drastically reducing the number of pick-ups required, and translates into fuel and financial savings for communities service departments

  • residents around the Fukushima nuclear power plant distrusted poor radiation accounts in the aftermath of the tsunamiown Geiger counters from off-the-shelf parts. They then shared their data (using Google Docs) to build a complete picture - it differed from the state picture!

  • Illegal deforestation in the Amazon is combatted using devices installed on select trees. Felled trees can connect to a mobile network and an alert notification with location coordinates is sent to the authorities.

  • Intel and Microsoft work with Croke Park on Smart Stadium. They employ sensors to intelligently monitor the need for flood-lighting across the pitch. They measure crowd movements, rainfall (to predict flooding), and grass growth - and analyse the findings to improve performance.

These are all small examples of devices talking back to other devices. Often we humans are at the end of the message but increasingly it’s machines. Coca Cola has connected over a third of its vending machines to the Internet so it can tell which machines are busiest, and which varieties of the drink are selling the most. All this data helps to build a picture of what a company should do.

A single Boeing 787 Dreamliner generates one half terabyte of data for each flight - that would fill your home PC. Literally every piece of the plane has an internet connection, from the engines, to the flaps, to the landing gear. If anything goes wrong, or more typically, looks like it might go wrong, engineers on the ground know it first and schedule maintenance. It’s one of the reasons why you’re 3 times more likely to die by choking on your food than flying.

This programme is fundamentally a computing programme but one with a clear focus to equip you for the convergence of software, hardware and networking. There are a number of distinct features:

  • common first year - many are unsure of computing. While we have an array of programmes, we recognise that you may wish to ‘sample and see’ so we encourage students to look their choice afresh at end of Year 1.

  • equipment - we believe you learn best by doing. We have invested heavily in Raspberry Pi, Arduino kit and sensors so you can ‘play’ with building your own solution to problems like the ones above. You’ll do this from Yr 1 but substantially throughout Yr 2 and beyond.

  • project - big substantial projects enable you to really grapple with a problem and create a killer solution. In Yr 3 you’ll have the space and support to work in a team year-long towards a solution that will wow employers.

  • work placement - IT Sligo have been doing placement longer than most and we’re good at it. Our network of employers welcome this programme and a successful work placement is often the door to a full-time job.

So, choose this programme if:

  • you want a career in technology - cutting-edge technology - the big companies in this space are already in Ireland (Dell, Cisco, Analog Devices, IBM, Accenture, DairyMaster)

  • you want a mixture of software and hardware

  • you are interested in inventing solutions to problems we haven’t even thought of!

More information and news on this programme can be found at or contact the Programme Chair, Diane O’Brien for a chat.

Find out more about this Programme

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO 2020 courses at ITSligo are available for download below:

Level 8: 2H5 & 4O6/H7, O6/H7 in English or Irish, F2/O6/H7 in Maths

Career Opportunities

The career options can be that of a general computing graduate as you’ll acquire all the core skills of programming and networking. However, with the special focus of the programme you will attract the attention of companies like Intel and Microsoft (see Croke Park) who are looking to future markets for their existing products. For example, Intel make the chips that process the data from sensors. And Microsoft provide the cloud storage and processing for that same data.

Try googling “Internet of Things’ with any computing company and you’ll see how they view this sector!

Further Study

Students as with any Level 8 in computing may progress to a M.Sc. in Computing. IT Sligo is offering a MEng in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles for which this programme would represent suitable undergraduate preparation.


Did you know?

In 2017, the number of connected devices surpassed the number of humans. By 2020, we will be outnumbered 3 to 1.

Taking just a single day we:

  • 1,209,600 new social media users each day.

  • 656 million tweets per day!

  • 67,305,600 Instagram posts uploaded each day

  • 4.3 BILLION Facebook messages posted daily!