BSc/MSc in Immersive Software Engineering
Imagine a computer science degree where you learn by doing. Where you learn in studios working on projects, not in lecture halls. Where you never take an end-of-term exam. Where you get a Masters qualification in four years. Where you spend half your time being paid to solve some of society’s toughest problems in the world’s best companies, and half your time learning with the best lecturers and researchers.
This is Immersive Software Engineering at the University of Limerick.
The goal of Immersive Software Engineering is to turn curious, creative people like you into the best software engineers in the world. Software engineers enjoy incredible careers. They work all over the world, solving important problems. They are well rewarded for it. This could be you.
In Immersive Software Engineering you’ll work with top professors, in beautiful facilities, with world-class companies, learning much more than in a traditional program.
Get a Masters degree in four years
Not the usual five (or six).
Spend 40 weeks every year learning
Not the usual 24. Each year of ISE will be chock-full of learning.
Learn from the best
You’ll spend half of your time in paid placements we call residencies in world-leading companies. The other half you’ll spend with brilliant researchers and lecturers at UL.
We understand you have many career options available to you. You could be a doctor, a lawyer, a theoretical physicist. At this point in your life, with your ability, you can be anything. We want you to consider computer science as a career. We’re offering you a new way to learn computer science through ISE.
Students on the world’s best computing degrees spend their time outside of lecture halls and deep in thorny problems. In ISE you’ll take all of your classes in a dedicated studio, purpose-built at UL for your course. Instead of watching how other people have built delightful applications that can handle millions of simultaneous users, you’ll build them yourself. You’ll do research with our researchers and lecturers. You’ll have an impact.
But there are some things that you can’t learn in a classroom of any type. This is where residencies come in.
ISE’s residencies are inspired by medical school residencies, in which trainee doctors apply what they have studied in a classroom to patients while being mentored. Software engineering is a craft you learn by doing. We think you’ll learn best on the job, with mentoring from both industry and academia.
In your four years at ISE you’ll complete up to five paid residencies, each between three and six months long. Each residency teaches you a suite of concrete skills and gives you the opportunities to practice them. Throughout the degree you’ll alternate your time between on-campus learning blocks and residencies in partner companies. Residencies are not internships. You won’t make the tea unless you want tea.
Inside these companies you’ll be a part of real, professional teams solving problems like fighting the climate crisis, improving access to financial services around the world, helping anyone, anywhere start a business, preventing automotive accidents in real-time, building next generation instrumentation for healthcare, building the next generation of speech analysis technology, and much, much more. One glance at our partner companies gives you a sense of the variety of experiences available to you.
“Software engineering is a wonderful career. Immersive Software Engineering gets students writing code in the real world as quickly as possible, so they're ready to join today's leading companies or start Ireland's next breakout startup.”
Entrepreneur, co-founder of Stripe
“We are delighted to work with UL to ensure students are getting real-world, hands-on experience and are proud to collaborate with the University to help mould the next generation’s engineers.”
CEO, Analog Devices
“This is exactly what I wanted when I was in college”
Inventor of the web browser
“This is a phenomenal way to learn the skills you need to build the next Instagram”
Co-founder of Instagram
“The ISE program focuses on a challenging and innovative methodology, allowing students to acquire the necessary skills for their future career through an enriching experience”
“ISE is the first computer science program combining the innovative mind-set with the necessary skills to shape the future.”
Innovation & Transfer Manager at Centrum für Entrepreneurship & Transfer
“This course is a quantum leap in how software engineering is taught. Its revolutionary, ambitious approach will create the best software engineers on the planet — people who will shake and shape tomorrow's world.”
Founder and CTO, Tracworx
“This is the computer science course I wish had been available to me.”
ML compiler engineer, Google
Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of two H5 (Higher Level) grades and four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades.
Applicants must hold a minimum grade H4 in Mathematics.
Applicants will be required to submit an annotated portfolio of creative work, and a written statement, and may be called for an interview. The examples of creativity can be from any domain. Supporting documentation should describe the path from concept to design to construction, and include a critique of the work. The written statement should illustrate the applicants’ potential to be successful and thrive in this course. We will be running workshops helping you construct your portfolios over the coming year.
A Special Mathematics Examination will be offered at UL following the Leaving Certificate results if you did not achieve the Mathematics requirement.
Applications from mature students are welcome. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February 2022.
You can apply to ISE in CAO 2022. Our course code is LM173.
If you are even thinking about applying to ISE, sign up for updates. We’re going to be visiting schools, running summer camps, competitions, and much more. We want to meet you, answer your questions, and hear about your interests, and help you decide if ISE is for you.
It is helpful if you have programmed before, but ISE is much more than just coding. The non-negotiables for our course are curiosity, an open mind to technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, organization and communication. You’ll enjoy working in teams to solve real, relevant problems. Bring these qualities on day one and we’ll teach you the rest.
This is a new course, but we already know who we want to work with. We’re looking for students with a track record of drive and ability, and at a minimum, a H4 in honours maths. When you apply, in addition to the usual points, we’ll also ask you for a portfolio of work – of any type – showing your creativity, engagement, resourcefulness, and curiosity. This portfolio can contain anything that you’re passionate about: art, maths, science, woodworking, or programming. We are looking for evidence of excellence. These could include your activities outside school and the things you love doing and have shown a commitment to. We value initiative, originality and commitment just as much as academic excellence. The portfolio is our way of learning from you what you’re capable of.
Yes. We don’t want you to be limited by your ability to pay. Our partner companies are generously sponsoring scholarships and other supports for you. These will be available to qualifying students. Contact us to learn more.
No. No you cannot.
You’ll apply through the CAO for a BSc in Immersive Software Engineering, and you will technically be able to leave in 3 years with that BSc (Hons). ISE is designed to be a 4-year integrated MSc. We believe most students will complete the four years and leave with a full MSc.
In our learn by doing approach you will join the ISE induction in September. You’ll immediately start working on your first on-campus block, Problem Solving with Computers. Three more on-campus blocks follow, looking deeply at the software construction cycle. You will be ready to stand your ground in your first professional residency, in June of your first year at ISE. During this first year we will help you acquire all the fundamental software engineering skills you need to succeed in the residencies. You will build a portfolio of professional preparedness, with team projects in each block, including communication skills, organizational skills, and much more.
You could join one of the world’s best companies as a software engineer, where you’ll command a high salary and solve critical problems. Employers will compete for your signature because you will already have years of experience working in high-calibre organizations like theirs.
You could start your own company. You’ll create something novel that people want, and contribute to the development of our society. We want you to succeed, which is why we’ve partnered with Frontline Ventures and Enterprise Ireland, who provide capital to high potential startups and help you access state funds. Together with UL, they’ll teach you how to be an entrepreneur, expose you to potential investors, and make the most out of your ideas in the real world.
You could join the community or government sectors, changing the world as part of a non-governmental organisation, using your knowledge and expertise for societal change. Or you could use your new technical and entrepreneurial skills in ways that we could never have thought of.
You could join the research community by doing a doctorate. ISE will prepare you to work and learn in the best research centres and R&D departments. Researchers tackle problems nobody has ever solved before, and problems that are solved in the lab but now need to become affordable and sustainable products and solutions. Your MSc year will be an excellent qualification to begin your research journey.
Yes – we’re hiring! We are hiring a new team for this program, across teaching, research, and support roles. We offer a competitive salary, a generous built-in research start-up package, research-active colleagues who care about transforming computer science education, and massive autonomy over vast areas of an innovative new venture. You’ll have instant impact, and no traditional exam grading. Get in touch with the ISE Course Director, Tiziana Margaria we’d love to talk.
We would love to talk – please contact the ISE Course Director, Tiziana Margaria.
We want to expand our roster of outstanding companies who partner with us to deliver residencies. Residency partners work with the young leaders of tomorrow. They actively shape the course and the student experience alongside other industry leaders who collaborate with ISE.
We have high standards for our students. We have similarly high expectations for our residency partners. Our residents should work on challenging and well-conceived projects embedded inside a supportive team. Our dedicated residency team will work with you to help design your ISE residency program, prepare your mentors, co-mentor the students while they are with your company, and we will use your experiences and suggestions to continuously improve the course.
The first students will go on their first residency in June 2023. We expect most host companies will have software as a core component of their business, and at least 20 software engineers on staff. Location is no restriction. So far, we have host companies based in Limerick, Dublin, San Francisco and Ottawa.
We would love to listen to your ideas. We have lots of our own, and we want to improve. Please contact the ISE Course Director, Tiziana Margaria.
We have more answers. Please contact the ISE Course Director, Tiziana Margaria.
Course Director and Co-Director of ISE.
Tiziana is a professor of Software Systems at UL and Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre. She is passionate about Problem Based Learning and will lead the immersive experience on campus and in research.
ISE Head of Residencies.
J.J. lectures software architecture and machine
learning in UL, and is deeply committed to the delivery of outstanding
experiences for students and host companies in ISE.
Stephen is a professor of economics at the Kemmy Business School. Stephen cares about rethinking the undergraduate experience and the relationship between UL and industry.
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