The world is becoming more computerised and automated. Businesses and organisations are expected to keep up with this, and ensure that they are accessible on the internet. Part of this computerisation is creating and maintaining software that is tailored to businesses. Software engineers are in high demand, and are necessary to build and maintain high quality complex software systems.
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About Software Engineering
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), Master of Computing (MComp), or Master of Engineering (MEng). Further study will award research degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Depending on your course and institution, your degree might be accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), and/or the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Check with your institution for more information about this.
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate software engineering degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £9,000
An undergraduate degree will give you a foundation level of knowledge in the main areas of software engineering. You might study modules on artificial intelligence, software design, programming, software modelling, interaction design, data management, history of computer science, algorithmics, and cyber security. The majority of undergraduate degree courses will be designed to suit students who do not have a large amount of experience in the area, as well as challenging those who have already developed their skills to a high level. All of the modules will encourage your professional development, ensuring that you are ready to apply your knowledge in your future career. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating computer laboratory sessions. Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods could include written work, software projects, and a major research project.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MEng, you will build on the skills and knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of software engineering. You will gain an understanding of both the traditional and contemporary concepts of the subject area. Modules and specialisms might include software development, user experience, service oriented architecture, and big data. Assessment methods might include written work, software projects, and a final major research project.
The entry requirements for a software engineering degree will depend on where you choose to study. They will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in a computer science subject. Certain courses might also require you to be familiar with at least one computer programming language, but this will differ from institution to institution. If you do not have a strong background in the area, but can prove that you are passionate about computer science and software engineering, some universities might still consider your application. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in software engineering, computer science, or a closely related subject. At a higher level of study, you are more likely to be expected to be comfortable using at least one programming language independently.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - A*AA-AAA
- UCAS Points - 152-144 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - ICT, Computing, Mathematics
- Other Entry Requirements - familiarity with at least one programming language, normally Java or C# are preferred
- Degree Requirements - 2:2 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Software Engineering, Computer Science, Big Data Analytics, Mathematics
Graduates of software engineering will find that there are many career opportunities available to them on successful completion of their degree. The wide range of skills gained throughout your degree will be useful and applicable in a variety of industries. If you choose to work in a role directly related to software development, jobs might include software engineer, software developer, information systems manager, and database administrator. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to software engineering, jobs might include multimedia programmer, games developer, IT consultancy, and business management.