Overview

Our Software Development diploma program equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to become a versatile full-stack developer. No background in software development or engineering is needed.

You will learn to work on front-end and back-end components of software systems, including web, mobile and desktop applications. You’ll become a collaborative team player and critical thinker who has what it takes to stay current with industry trends.

As a student, you will:

  • develop secure and user-centric software solutions by integrating user requirements effectively
  • gain expertise in the software development lifecycle, including designing, modelling, testing and implementing software solutions
  • learn to recognize and apply software architectures, design patterns, frameworks and emerging technologies in software development
  • make decisions that impact scalability and maintainability
  • learn the basics of software development platforms, operating systems and cloud-based infrastructure
  • develop troubleshooting skills, essential to diagnose problems and implement effective solutions
  • refine your business communication skills and work ethic 
  • cultivate professionalism, social responsibility and ethical awareness to thrive in the world of technology
  • collaborate with stakeholders to complete a project and problem-solve to meet their needs.

Software developers play an integral role in managing and improving business processes, making decisions that shape how users interact with products, interfaces and applications. As a graduate, you will be ready for various career and professional development opportunities.

Job opportunities include junior software developer or programmer, software tester, quality assurance specialist, database administrator, web developer, or desktop support specialist.

Become part of the next generation of software development professionals. With this diploma, you can contribute practical knowledge and business value to the ever-evolving tech landscape. 

Software developers are innovative, methodical and directive.

You need:

  • logical thinking to analyze complex problems and create and verify solutions
  • patience and persistence when developing applications
  • attention to detail to avoid errors that cost time and money
  • the ability to interpret user needs
  • possess basic computer literacies, including the ability to use word processing and communication software
  • speaking, listening and writing skills
  • interpersonal and teamwork skills.

You should enjoy learning new computer languages and programming styles, solving problems creatively, being precise in your work and taking a structured approach to tasks and projects. 

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education once you graduate.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

You can complete an optional work term between your first and second year. This work placement includes full-time paid employment. 

Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll be awarded a SAIT Software Development diploma.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 73% graduate employment rate

salary icon $60,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 21230, 21232, 21233, 21234.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Software Development diploma requires 60 credits (20 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with two to three semesters in the first year (depending on if you do the cooperative work term) and two semesters in the second year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course is designed to develop technical writing and presentation skills to ensure workplace readiness. Students will learn how to evaluate communication situations, analyze documents, assess research sources and develop organizational skills to apply in their work. They will learn about and practice designing, formatting and writing a range of professional documents. Students will also develop confidence (through practice) in the development and delivery of effective and engaging presentations.

3

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of network systems. Students will learn about networking basics and architecture, networking and software development, networking protocols, troubleshooting, and configuring virtual machines, Windows and Linux servers. Students will also learn about the functions of Active Directory in servers and performing socket programming with scripting language.

3

This course builds on the concepts and languages you learned previously. You’ll explore object-oriented concepts using an industry-identified programming language. Topics include object-oriented design concepts, graphical user interfaces (GUI), polymorphism, inheritance, exception handling, serialization using random access files (RAF), database connectivity and recursive techniques.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 216
  • CPRG 2160
  • CMPP 269
3

This course introduces you to the fundamental concepts and technologies required for website development. You’ll begin by examining how websites work, and building a static webpage using basic HTML elements and logical document structure. You’ll also examine cascading style sheets (CSS) and use CSS to lay out and style an HTML webpage. You’ll explore the functionalities of JavaScript and use it to add interactivity to a website. You’ll also get hands-on experience deploying a website to the internet and implementing web applications.

3

This course explores the use of computer programming languages as tools that can be used to provide IT business solutions. You’ll explore the evolution of computer programming and examine common problem solving techniques. You’ll also examine code reuse in functions, scoping and abstraction. The course includes an introduction to version control, and you’ll use classes and object-oriented programming principles to create applications using an industry-standard programming language. 

Equivalents:
  • CPRG 2160
3

This course focuses on the fundamentals of database design using conceptual, logical and physical models. You’ll use structured query language (SQL) to create a database from a  physical model, write SQL queries and create data manipulation language (DML) commands. Working in teams, you will apply knowledge to designing a database, populate that database and generate prototype reports based on user requirements.

3

Mobile devices are the next generation of staying connected. In this course, you’ll experience mobile application development from conception to completion. You’ll also explore the growing number of mobile device technologies and features.

Pre-requisites:
  • One of:
    • CPRG 211
    • CPRG 251
  • One of:
    • CPRG 213
    • CPRG 256
3

This course continues to build on the skills you learned in previously. The focus is on advanced object-oriented programming concepts, including object-oriented design, incorporating databases into software to form complete end-to-end applications, integrating software components, recursion and abstract data types (ADT). You’ll also be introduced to the use of data structures and algorithms for sorting and searching. You’ll be working with and creating complex programs and there is a strong emphasis on complete solutions that are efficient and customer focused.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 211
  • CPRG 251
3

In this course, you’ll examine all facets of software testing, including what it is, how it is performed and how automated testing is incorporated into testing plans. As well, you’ll explore the processes and procedures involved in the deployment of an application and where it fits into the software development lifecycle. You’ll also be introduced to formal testing and quality assurance methodologies.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 304
  • CPRG 311
3

This course builds on your web development skills with a focus on full stack web technologies, web application development, and web application design and architecture. You’ll also get hands-on experience working with popular enterprise frameworks that are in high demand in the job market, including React, Angular and Spring.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 213
  • CPRG 256
3

This course builds on the skills you learned previously. You’ll focus on learning database-specific structured languages and embedding SQL into these languages. You’ll also explore the importance of efficient code creation using an industry-identified database vendor language. Other topics include basic programming structures, storing code inside a database, triggers, advanced SQL concepts and code testing.

Pre-requisites:
  • CPRG 250
3

This course introduces you to the theory and practice of software development, focusing on the requirements gathering, analysis and design phases of the software development life cycle. You’ll also learn how computer-aided software engineering (CASE) programs can aid in the analysis and design processes.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 216
  • CPRG 2160
  • CMPP 269
3

This course introduces you to the fundamentals of designing user interfaces for software applications, with a focus on producing end products that are functional and are designed from a user perspective. Topics include usability engineering, human-computer interface design standards, screen mock-ups, documentation and prototype creation. Information gathering and user interview techniques are also emphasized.

3

This course builds on your current knowledge and develops a thorough understanding of computer operating systems. You’ll examine the fundamental principles and management of operating systems, including mechanisms for process management, memory management, storage management and protection management.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 304
  • CPRG 311
3

Software design is often a team effort, and learning how software projects are managed is an important skill. In this course, you’ll explore key project management concepts as they apply to software design, including code management, Agile, Kanban and scrum processes. Working in teams, you’ll initiate a substantial project including a feasibility study, requirements analysis and software design.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPSY 200
  • PROJ 304
3

Software development is a dynamic industry that is constantly and rapidly evolving. In this course, you’ll examine emerging technologies and how they have affected the industry and will continue to shape it into the future. Using an investigative and research-based approach, you’ll build important skills in the identification of emerging trends, which you’ll apply through proof-of-concepts.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPRG 211
  • CPRG 251
3

Our current technological environment has seen a huge rise in threats to cybersecurity, and no software development plan is complete without serious consideration being given to security. This course introduces you to the important concepts and practice of software security and secure software system design.

Pre-requisites:
  • One of:
    • CPRG 306
    • CPRG 352
  • One of:
    • CPRG 304
    • CPRG 311
3

Mathematics for Technologists will provide learners with concepts in algebra, trigonometry, arithmetic of complex numbers, linear algebra, exponential and logarithmic functions, rates of change and statistics. This course provides foundational mathematics skills for engineering technologists. It covers a variety of mathematical models for solving application problems.

3

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to fundamental skills in critical thinking. You will develop skills in identifying fallacies, evaluating formal arguments, and diagnosing the appropriate form of argumentation in a variety of areas, including science and morality. Your skills in argumentation will be honed both in evaluating others’ arguments and in making your own.

Equivalents:
  • PHIL 1011
3

In this capstone course, you will investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge, may connect with community issues or problems, and create a solution. Your project should demonstrate the technical and professional skills learned in the program and beyond. You are expected to apply your creativity and problem-solving abilities to a real-world context.

Pre-requisites:

One of:

  • CPNT 300, CPSY 302, CPSY 350, INTP 301, ITSC 300
  • CPRG 303, CPRG 304, CPRG 306, CPRG 307, CPSY 301
  • ITSC 203, ITSC 301, ITSC 304, ITSC 307, ITSC 309
  • FVDO 300, FVDO 302, FVDO 303, FVDO 304, FVDO 308
  • MMDA 300, MMDA 303, MMDA 323, MMDA 324, MMDA 326
3

Course Credits

This cooperative work term course provides the opportunity to apply your classroom learning in a practical workplace setting and gain valuable industry experience. This course is optional.

Pre-requisites:
  • CPRG 211
  • CPRG 250
  • CPSY 200
  • CPSY 202
  • PHIL 241
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Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

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Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 50% in Math 30-1 or 60% in Math 30-2 
  • at least 55% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 60% in English Language Arts 30-2.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

Upgrade
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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Spring 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Closed
  • Application deadline: Feb. 23, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: Jan. 22, 2024

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Waitlisted
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Winter 2025

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Oct. 25, 2024
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: Sept. 30, 2024

Costs

2024/25 tuition and fees

The following estimated costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $9,630 $1,608 $11,238
2 2 $9,630 $1,608 $11,238
Total cost:
$22,476

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year.
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $23,580 $1,608 $25,188
2 2 $23,580 $1,608 $25,188
Total cost:
$50,376

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a power-user computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

The recommended hardware and software requirements are:

  • Processor: i7
  • RAM: 32GB RAM or greater
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD or greater
  • Video card: onboard integrated
  • Screen size: 15" or greater
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 or greater
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit with antivirus/malware protection

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective until June 30, 2023.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $9,450 $1,570 $11,020
2 2 $9,450 $1,570 $11,020
Total cost:
$22,040

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $23,571.60 $1,570 $25,141.60
2 2 $23,571.60 $1,570 $25,141.60
Total cost:
$50,283.20
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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sadt.advising@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School for Advanced Digital Technology Advising

Phone
403.284.8543
Email
sadt.advising@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca