This course aims to provide students with skills and training that will enable them to pursue a career in the computer industry and in particular, in the areas of networking with particular emphasis on ‘Mobile’ Technologies. Information Technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Irish Economy, with particular growth in the field of computer-based services and software development. The versatility of this course will enable students to enter any field eg. IT, Finance, Education or the Public Service. Successful students will be awarded a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Computer Systems & Networks. All students complete a two week work experience placement as part of their studies on this course.
This is a one-year full time course and runs from September to May.
Sean Arthur Putz
Introduce yourself, what is your name, what age are you, where are you from, where were you before this course?
My name is Sean, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Westport. I’m a student in the Computer Systems and Networks Level 5 course; before starting this course, I was in Youthreach Ballinrobe, where I completed my Leaving Certificate Applied.
Why did you pick this course, why did you pick CCFE?
I’ve always had an interest in computers, particularly programming. CCFE seemed like the most accessible place to do a computer related PLC course.
How would rate the facilities in CCFE, the computer rooms, the canteen, the carpark.
Well, we didn’t spend much time in the college at all due to COVID. Still, in my short time there everything seemed decent, albeit I was never made aware of a canteen, nor did we have access to the carpark.
What modules did you enjoy, what modules did you not enjoy?
I really enjoyed the Programming module. It’s really satisfying to put together programs, and I wish the course was more focused on that particular module. Although our teacher was lovely, I didn’t enjoy work experience; because we weren’t able to get work experience placements this year, our classes consisted of mostly paperwork and filling things out.
What was the best event this year, why?
The best even this year was certainly the Christmas quiz, hosted by Kitty Ganley. Most of our class got together in a voice call to watch / participate and although we didn’t do all that great in the quiz, we had a great laugh talking to each other and commenting on the event itself. It was a really fun time, and I hope I get along as well with other classes as I did with this one.
Did you enjoy online learning?
There are some good sides and bad sides. I don’t have to get up and drive to the college early in the morning, instead I can just crawl out of bed and be ready for class. It is isolating though. I certainly didn’t get to know my class and teachers nearly as well as I would have in person.
How were the staff, how were your classmates? Every member of staff was patient and kind with us, even when we maybe didn’t deserve it. I’m looking forward to meeting them in person next year.My classmates this year were great. I got along with a good few of them despite the circumstances; some of us even played Among Us. I hope some of them like me do the Level 6 for this course.
Hello. My name is Andrew Keown. I am 18 years old. I am from a place called Snugborough outside Castlebar. I was at a secondary school before I came here to do this course. I picked the Computer Systems and Networks with Mobile Technologies because I have always enjoyed using computers and have enjoyed using gadgets and decided to try this course.
The facilities in CCFE were good but because of the year we were had having to deal with Covid-19 and its restrictions, we weren’t allowed to certain places and facilities. Normally there was a cafeteria to have your food but what we had to do was eat at our seats in the classroom and there wasn’t a lot of space because there was other equipment left on our desks, but I was still able to have our food. The computer room we were in for most of the classes was big enough for everyone and I was sitting at the front of the class and where I was, I had space. When I looked behind me there were desks separate and some that were joined together. The people on their own seemed have space to themselves, but some people seemed close, but there was space between them.
The computers that we used had the most recent system called Windows 10 and that worked well. The computers that we used weren’t the newest and didn’t work well all the time, but when we had to go online for the course, our own computers worked well. Some people had problems with their computers, and some people didn’t have computers at home and the college provided laptops. Some people that did have to use those laptops said they were good for the schoolwork, but if they wanted to download anything it would be blocked. That’s a good thing because those laptops were mostly for schoolwork anyway.
For the year we had nine modules. I enjoyed Mobile Technologies because we had the chance to make/ create our own app and I learned a lot from that class. ICT Security Policy Management was a good class because I learned a lot about the security side of computers and that is interesting to people that don’t use computers. Programming Design Principles was a class that I found interesting because a lot of people don’t know what the computer must do to get things to work. Computer Systems and Hardware (CSH) was a good class because we learned about the hardware side of computers, and we were able to take apart a computer and learn about it. Operating Systems was a class that we learned about software and programs and how they work. Communications and Work Experience are the classes most people didn’t seem to enjoy, but for me I enjoyed them because we learned skills that we need for the future. The only module that I didn’t enjoy was the Maths for Information Technology. For a lot of people, you need to be good at Maths, and some people just find it difficult than others, but I still learned a lot and it wasn’t too bad.
The best event of the year was at Christmas. We had a Christmas quiz and that was fun. A lot of our group was at home during the quiz, but we were able to take part in the quiz and we enjoyed. During the quiz our group were able to talk to each other online and we enjoyed that. The online learning was difficult at times because we had to do a lot of work and sometimes in a short space of time. I was able to get the assignments done this year, but the only thing is when I was given an assignment, I would start it and spend a few days at a time to get it finished early and out of the way. Sometimes it wasn’t too bad, but there were times where I found something difficult to understand and it would take me an hour or two just to get something small done and it was exhausting at times. When we had to learn online, we couldn’t get help like we would in the college and that was a challenge. The staff in the college were nice and helpful. They would help anyone out if you needed help. They were friendly and easy to understand and talk to. My classmates were nice and a made friends with them. At the beginning of the year, we were supposed to be put into groups and go to a few places, but because the year that we had with Covid-19 that wasn’t possible.
Altogether this year hasn’t been good for everyone outside of the college, we still got our work done, even though we had to rush to get it done. But other than that, I had a good year this year and doing the level 5 course. I am thinking about the level 6 course I’ll see what happens with that.
Once you have applied online you will be called for an interview within a few weeks. QQI examination fees cost €50, although Medical Card holders are exempt from paying this fee on production of a valid medical card. Books and essential class materials may also be required. A €200 Government levy will apply on acceptance of a place on PLC course, but medical card holders and those in receipt of a maintenance grant will be exempt. A €100 Student Services fee also applies.
Learning how to maintain computer equipment and solve common problems relating to computer hardware.
Learning how to support the operation of typical computer networks and be able to assist in implementing and maintaining common network configurations.
Learn how to develop apps and utilise and maintain mainstream mobile technologies and associated devices.
How to establish effective ICT security and compliance policies and their management.
How to design, write and test structured computer programs using modularisation techniques appropriate to the programming language(s) used.
How to configure, utilise and maintain mainstream computer operating systems.
Complete a 2 week hands on placement in an area of your choosing related to Computer Systems & Networking.
Develop skills needed in the workplace including IT skills, team working skills as well as research and writing skills.
Learn how to apply a broad range of mathematical skills and tools to a wide variety of contexts especially in software development and/working with computer systems and networks.