Funded Programs

AC Software Development Program

Brief Program Description

The Advanced Certificate in Software Development (ACSD) provides practical skills and theoretical knowledge employers need. This is a very practical and intense program that requires a good amount of work from the learners on their own as well as with the instructors. It may also allow advanced entry into the Advanced Diploma in Computing: Software Development program. The Focus College ACSD program is a project-based program, which allows students to use their theoretical knowledge learned during the program in the project assigned to them. For a student to be successfully graduated from the ACSD program, along with passing the theory the students are required to successfully complete and defend their project in front of the industry professionals.

Computer experts are needed in many different industries from biotechnology to telecommunications and transport. The ACSD will give learners the practical skills and theoretical knowledge that they need as they move into higher education and employment. The program covers various aspects of software development, provides basic knowledge of project management, gives a good idea of databases and database design, mathematics for computing, as well as Cloud Computing.

Career opportunities:

The ACSD aims to equip students with the necessary skills required to follow a career within the Software Development field as a web developer, application developer, website developer, and Junior Programmer in a software company. This program also aims to equip successful graduates with enough skills and knowledge to work as freelance developers/programmers. It is also aimed at those who wish to study computing at this level before undertaking a career in another field where such skills are subsidiary, but often very necessary.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum Grade 12 or equivalent Canadian qualification or 3-year experience in the relevant field.
  • If English is not a student’s mother tongue, they are required to have an IELTS level 6.0 OR equivalent (in case of other testing standards) to be admitted to the course. If, on starting the program, their language proficiency proves to be significantly lower than what is expected of an IELTS 6.0, they will be required to take an English course at Focus College before being able to continue with their program studies.

Who does this qualification suit?

The ACSD is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people who wish to start their own business or work as freelance developer/programmer

Required textbooks and material

Class lecture notes and/or recordings will be available to the students.

Equipment required for this program

Computer with the required software

Program Duration

One (1) year / 1140 Hours / 42 Weeks

Homework / Self-study hours:

Approximately 10-15 hours/week of homework is required from students to be successful in this fast-paced and intensive program.

Delivery Method(s)

The program is delivered through the following delivery models:

  • On-site delivery
  • Distance delivery
  • Combined delivery (on-site and distance)

Learning objectives/outcomes:

The ACSD will provide a breadth of competencies. Upon completion of this program students:

  • will have developed knowledge and skills in planning, developing, and evaluating
  • will have developed employment skills, particularly relating to the IT industry
  • will have developed and enhanced transferable skills for employability and Core Skills
  • will have developed the study and research skills as well as academic stimulus
  • will have developed a range of contemporary computer and software skills that are required by the industry
  • will be prepared for employment in competitive international markets
  • will be provided with underpinning knowledge associated with appropriate vendor qualifications

Student progress/ assessment methods:

The ACSD qualification is assessed using a mix of continuous unit assessment and Graded Unit assessment. Each course (unit) has a series of assessments which the candidate is required to pass (test banks, quizzes, case studies, essays, projects, presentations, final course exam, and often a mid-course exam too). The allocation of grades awarded are as follows:

  • Grade A — Student has achieved a mark of 70% or above
  • Grade B — Student has achieved a mark of between 60% and 69%
  • Grade C — Student has achieved a mark of between 50% and 59%
  • F (Fail) — Student has failed to reach the required standard and achieved a mark less than 50%

Attendance expectations:

Students are required to maintain minimum 80% attendance throughout the program.

Dress expectations (if applicable):


Graduation Requirements

To graduate, students must pass all units throughout the program at a minimum of Grade C.

Program Organization

The Advanced Certificate in Software Development program consists of one year of study. Subjects, hours of teaching and credit values are as following:

Unit Name Unit Code Credit Value Hours
Computer Systems Fundamentals CSF101 3 60
Developing Software: Introduction DSI102 3 60
Object Oriented Programing OOP207 6 120
Database Design Fundamentals DDF104 3 60
Relational Database Management Systems RDMS105 3 60
System Development: User Centred Design UCD106 3 60
Web Development: Dynamically Generated Content DGC209 6 120
Web Development: Advanced Web Scripting Concepts AWSC208 6 120
Introduction to Project Management IPM109 3 60
Mathematics for Computing 1 MC110 3 60
Cloud Computing CC111 3 60
Final Project P100 3 60
Unpaid Practicum UP112 240
Total 45 1140

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Focus College response to Covid-19

Updated March 16, 2020

Due to the current pandemic and the desire to protect the health of our students, Focus College is taking measures which incorporate social isolation.

For current students:

We are suspending our Advanced Diploma and Office Manager courses for the week of March 16-20th, to allow for temporary distance learning to be set up. If any students do not have access to a computer from home, we request that they notify the college immediately. Further information on how courses will be delivered will be available as the week goes on. Please monitor your student email for further information throughout the week.


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