Dundalk IT to launch new course in Augmented and Virtual Reality

Local Education

Áine Kenny

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Áine Kenny

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Dundalk IT to launch new course in Augmented and Virtual Reality

Dundalk IT to launch new course in Augmented and Virtual Reality

Dundalk Institute of Technology is planning on launching a new course in Augmented and Virtual Reality, which will the one of the first of its kind.

The course will be beginning this September, subject to validation. The programme has been put forward for funding under the Springboard upskilling initiative. The Higher Education Authority will also validate the programme.  

Students who complete the course successfully will achieve a Level 8 Higher Diploma. The minimum entry requirements for the course will be an Honours Degree in computing, software design, engineering or other cognate areas. Applicants who do not have a degree in these areas may be considered depending on their performance in an interview.

The course will be part-time, worth 70 credits and will be delivered over two years. 80% of the course will be completed online, meaning that anyone in the country can take part. The other 20% of the course will be face-to-face instruction, which will be meetings in DkIT once a month. Towards the end of the course, students will be sent on a six-week work placement or they will complete an industry project, in order to equip them with practical skills needed in the competitive jobs industry.

Dr Brendan Ryder is the Head of the Department of Visual and Human-Centred Computing in the School of Informatics and Creative Arts, and he believes the course is needed to upskill the workforce. “We saw a need for this course as many people in our field may want to upskill or reskill,” Dr Ryder explains.

“The course is about mixed reality or extended reality. They are advancing at such a speed that it is necessary to develop new skills in order to meet a market need,” he adds. “Virtual reality is immersing the user in a virtual world. Augmented reality is when there is a virtual overlay on an already existing reality,” Dr Ryder explains.

“Things like Snapchat filters would be augmented reality, and the smart phone market is something businesses want to target. But there are many other industries who need to people to develop augmented and virtual reality products for them.”

“Retail is one of these industries. Catalogues will become virtual, so imagine you are looking for a furniture suite. Soon enough you will be able to put on a VR/AR headset and you can place this suite in your own living room to see what it would look like,” reveals Dr Ryder.  

“Volkswagen worldwide are now starting to let potential car buyers walk around their cars. You are able to see a full-sized vehicle in front of you using AR/VR,” he says.

“The course will be about building on existing knowledge. Many people are skilled in 3D model building in the world of video gaming.  They can transfer these skills to the world of immersive technology, when they learn how,” says Dr Ryder.

“With a course like this, we can also put Dundalk IT on the map as an area of strategic importance. We could provide development and research expertise in the area of extended reality. We can build up that capacity and provide graduates with the opportunity to develop their skills,” concludes Dr Ryder.