BSc (Hons) Software Engineering

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Study a Software Engineering degree with us and you’ll build the essential skills you need to work with software systems – opening the door to a range of career opportunities. You’ll cover all aspects of software development with a focus on the methodical approach to error-free design and build.

In your first year, you’ll start with the core principles of computer architecture, information systems, web design and programming in Java. You’ll then begin to specialise, with areas of study like web application development, database systems and advanced programming.

As you progress you’ll develop your knowledge of information management and database development, as well as advanced development skills in a range of programming languages. In your final year, you’ll tackle a large-scale software project. This will help you to build vital project management skills, as well as giving you a sound understanding of the role of software development tools within the software life cycle.

This course is available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • The four-year sandwich route gives you the opportunity to spend your third year on industry placement boosting your employment prospects on graduation.
  • You will experience what it's like to work as part of a professional team finding solutions to complex problems via group projects. You can also get involved with extracurricular work to further apply your skills, for example, gaming events and the students’ union computing society.
  • This is one of a group of computing degrees that share the same first-year units so you may have the chance to transfer between courses after Year 1.
  • Our excellent facilities include teaching laboratories equipped with high-specification PCs and Apple Macs with specialist, industry-standard software running on either Windows, Linux or Mac OS.
  • We have specialist labs including a games lab equipped with gaming chairs, keyboards and mice used for our eSports events, an animation lab with a  green-screen area and a user experience lab with an eye-tracking system.
  • Our dedicated drop-in lab provides an informal social working space with daily support sessions from our programme support tutors.
  • We have a rolling plan of replacement for both hardware and software to ensure the School keeps up with developments in the world of computing and technology.
"The course puts emphasis not only on learning fundamental computer science and programming but also upon lots of team work. Software development teaches other skills such as project management and modelling techniques and I knew these skills would help get me a job." Sarah Carswell, BSc (Hons) Software Engineering

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

Manchester and the North West is a major technology hub and has the biggest creative and digital sector outside of London, including MediaCityUK.

Career Prospects

A Software Engineering degree will prepare you for a wide range of careers in a fast-growing industry. Job roles include software developer, web designer and developer, data analyst, systems analyst and architect, IT manager and technician as well as roles managing technology to support a range of public and private sector organisations.

In addition, the skills you learn on this degree are highly valued by a range of employers and opportunities may exist in areas such as project management, e-commerce and social media marketing, scientific research, education and many more.

Manchester is a major hub for the digital technology industry. The close proximity of MediaCity and a large number of both established companies and innovative tech start-ups means that the opportunities for technological collaboration are huge. Situated in the 'Oxford Road Corridor' innovation district of Manchester, the University and the School of Computing, Maths and Digital Technology are perfectly placed to work with key players in the digital technology and new media sectors.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) to include minimum grade C at A2 in IT, Computing, Maths or Science*

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/Diploma (Grades D*D or DMM) in IT or Computing accepted with a merit grade achieved in specified key units*

BTEC Business (IT) and BTEC Creative Media Production not accepted.

 

*Applicants who do not meet the subject-specific knowledge requirement may be offered the opportunity to complete an admissions test.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics. Level 2 Functional Skills English also accepted. BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (ICT/Computing/Science) with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff Points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma points (to include IT at HL 5)

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

Applicants studying Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND or equivalent qualifications in a relevant IT/Computing subject may be considered for direct entry onto the second year or final year of this course if their study profile meets the course’s entry year prerequisites. Applicants for final year entry will be required to attend an interview to assess their suitability for the course.

Course details

Computing technology is fundamental to the way our world works. It’s a vital part of communication, transport, finance, leisure and more. In a matter of a few decades, it has quickly developed from the work of the early pioneers to computer systems that underpin nearly everything we do. And the pace of innovation hasn’t slowed, with technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, smart cities, robotics and virtual reality taking us deeper into uncharted territories every day.

With our Computing courses, you’ll develop the analytical, programming, web development, problem-solving and professional skills necessary not just to keep up with these changes, but to drive them forward. With all the latest equipment, we provide teaching in specialist labs with high-performance computers and the latest software. We also have strong industry links in a city with one of the biggest creative and digital sectors in the UK. Our courses are developed with industry, giving you the skills and knowledge you’ll need in the workplace. This ensures that by the time you leave us, you’ll be well placed to pursue a range of careers across a variety of sectors.

In Year 1, you will study core disciplines of software engineering, which typically include computer systems fundamentals, information systems, web design and development, and programming (Java).

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Introduction to Web Design and Development

Introduces the modern context of web design and development, the core development technologies and standards and design methods that cater for different current platforms. The key theme of the unit is the efficient design and development of effective and robust websites for the range of popular platforms using the most modern technologies and techniques.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the client-server model, web standards, HTML5 semantic mark up, control of presentation via style sheets, interactivity via JavaScript on the client side and PHP on the server side
  • The use of high-level tools for design and development
  • DOM element selection and manipulation via script libraries such as jQuery
  • The production of standards compliant HTML5 video. Students will create dynamic web pages with AMP systems and script on the server side using PHP with MySQL. The key theme for scripting will be the understanding and development of readable code that listens for and responds to browser and user events by manipulating DOM elements.
Programming (Java)

This unit introduces computer programming in a high level programming language and includes principles and practice in problem solving, program design, solution implementation and testing, including:

  • Introduction to programming using Java
  • Software life cycle: importance of correctly identifying the problem, iterative nature of software development, software maintenance
  • Design methodology: the application of the top-down design method using step-wise refinement to produce pseudo-code solutions to problems, incorporating constructs for sequence selection, iteration, abstraction and re-use
  • Verification and testing: the use of desk-top execution, simple debugging strategies and more formal approaches to testing eg black box white box boundary analysis and equivalence classes
  • Applications of standards and conventions: software maintenance and developing a professional approach to coding
  • Constructs and features of a structured high level programming language: control constructs, operators, procedural abstraction, simple I/O and use of libraries
  • Data types – primitive types: constants, variables, arrays and simple structured data
  • Object orientated design and implementation: inheritance and polymorphism
  • Software support environment: use of an IDE editors compiler/linkers and operating systems
Information Systems

An introduction to the use of information systems in organisations which will show you how to develop key systems analysis techniques to be applied to information systems built on a commercial Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). You will also develop essential communication and teamworking skills. Topics include:

  • Business activities supported by information systems including case studies and examples
  • Use of information systems for management information and decision making, business operations and data processing
  • E-commerce theory, information systems and society
  • Systems analysis and design techniques including UML use cases
  • Database management systems and database design/development: entity relationship diagrams (ERDs), normalisation, SQL development
Computer Systems Fundamentals

This unit provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and mathematics underpinning the design and construction of computer systems, including:

  • Digital Logic and Boolean Algebra: digital logic gates and circuits, Karnaugh maps, use of a digital logic circuit simulator, components of a CPU, processor model, Fetch execute cycle, hardware interrupts
  • Assembly Language Programming: relationship between high level languages and assembler, instruction sets, registers, debugging
  • Discrete Mathematics: matrices and vectors, matrices as linear transforms
  • Functions: definition, properties
  • Sets: subsets, set algebra
  • Logic: propositions, predicates, propositional algebra, proof of simple results

Your second year will build on your knowledge, with core units typically exploring areas such as advanced programming, database systems and professional development.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Professional Development

The unit covers professional, legal and career development issues in the Computing and Digital Technology industries and includes a pathway-specific group project.

The current legal framework of Computing and Digital Technology is examined e.g. data protection legislation, intellectual property rights, computer misuse, freedom of information, computer contracts and employment contracts as is an overview and comparison of workable ethical theories eg utilitarianism and duty based approaches. Important issues regarding professional bodies in computing are also addressed including their role, structure, codes of conduct and practice. You will also investigate employability factors and learn about the employment application process and the importance of continuing professional development. A themed case study mini-project linked to the subject pathway, which may include the opportunity to work with an external company. This will help you to develop your skills and understanding of project planning and control concepts, planning techniques (eg Gantt charts) and monitoring, academic research, software prototyping and report writing.

Web Design and Development

Students will build robust, maintainable web applications using a variety of current client-server techniques for web application development, including:

  • jQuery, Ajax and other APIs to create rich media or interactive content eg slideshows and media galleries
  • HTML5 Canvas for bitmap graphics and animations
  • Retrieval, manipulation and display of geographical data for client-side devices
  • Client and server side validation of form data
  • Select, update, delete SQL table data on server using double validated form data
  • Session/cookie management
  • Request/response header management
  • Structured data transmission in request/response eg xml and json
  • Client/server side programming techniques to create web applications
Database Systems

This unit explores the theory and practice of the modelling, specification and querying of relational databases and aspects of implementation of database management systems. You will cover:

  • Database modelling: advanced UML with class diagrams and inheritance; mapping UML diagrams to relational schemas
  • Database implementation and querying: creating and maintaining relational databases with SQL; indices; advanced SQL queries; triggers; views
  • Relational algebra: operators: project, select, join, union, intersection, set difference; different types of join; writing algebraic expressions; properties of operators (eg associative, distributive)
  • Physical aspects: data structures (e.g., hash tables); buffers; different types of storage (eg primary, secondary); blocks as storage units; trade-offs in random and sequential access and network traffic
  • Query processing and optimisation: alternative implementations of relational algebra operators;  rewriting of relational algebraic expressions to improve efficiency
  • Concurrency control: locking, 2-phased locking systems, resolving conflicts, writing transaction-aware SQL scripts
  • Interfacing with programming languages and environments: embedded queries; cursors; data access patterns
Advanced Programming

This unit covers concepts relating to object-oriented program design, the use of framework libraries, web server and mobile application development.

The unit covers object-oriented concepts: introduction to object-oriented concepts including class, object, instantiation, attributes, constructor, methods, overloading, inheritance, overriding, polymorphism and design techniques using Unified Modeling Language (UML). Testing of object-oriented programs. Advanced topics: interfaces, inner classes, collections, exception handling, stream based file input/output, building a Graphical User Interface (GUI) using libraries, event handling, graphics and threads. Implementation: practical application and implementation of concepts studied above. Use of Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Implementation of a UML diagram. Documentation and coding standards. Case studies.

In your third year, you will have the choice to either go on a placement, where you'll work for a year in industry, or continue directly into your final year of study.

In your final year, you will typically study units including enterprise programming and programming languages and software engineering frameworks, and, supervised by a member of academic staff, you will complete a technical project in line with your own interests.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Project

Provides experience in the critical review of literature and the design, implementation, evaluation and writing up. Working with your supervisor, students develop their project description and specify aims, objectives, methodology and timetable for completion. Final year projects are normally pathway-specific. For group projects, individual and collective aims, objectives and plans are specified.

Enterprise Programming

Students will build secure, robust, maintainable enterprise level applications using a variety of current distributed programming techniques. Includes use of common enterprise design patterns and implementation in a suitable language, professional programming techniques, distributed programming creation and analysis of distributed applications in a high level language, web service architectures eg web services, WSDL, SOAP, XML/ JSON processing, current techniques in enterprise application development eg Hadoop, cloud computing, reference architectures, models and frameworks and enterprise frameworks eg Hibernate, Struts.

Programming Languages and Software Engineering Frameworks

This unit will compare and contrast a range of programming language that covers the major programming paradigms such as functional, imperative and declarative. The unit will also critically evaluate the architecture of large scale software. Includes: an overview of the evolution of programming language paradigms and language design. A comparative analysis and critical evaluation of programming language concepts and paradigms, concepts of variable type and binding, design patterns and software architectures. A critical study of software engineering frameworks and build systems.

Option Units

Advanced Web Development

Students will learn to use and critically evaluate alternatives to the LAMP stack they have met at earlier levels. Students will build robust, maintainable web applications by working within contemporary client-side and server-side frameworks. Contents: Client-side MVC frameworks (eg Angular.js) for the structuring and organisation of JavaScript web applications. Extension of client-side technologies (eg JavaScript) to the server-side for unified development of event-driven dynamic web apps (e.g. Node.js). Not Only SQL (NoSQL) alternatives to RDBMSs and their associated data structures (eg JSON-like formats using MongoDB) for unified client-server data representation. Modern development stacks that combine the technologies above (eg MEAN) as an alternative to traditional LAMP development techniques. PHP frameworks (eg CodeIgniter, CakePHP) as an alternative to traditional LAMP development techniques for multiuser dynamic web apps. Web servers (eg apache configuration, vhosts, .htaccess, URL rewriting), web security (eg XSS, SQL injections and SSL/TLS) and cloud hosting services (eg Heroku, Google App Engine).

Software Agents and Optimisation

Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts in evolutionary algorithms and agent-based simulation, and develop their proficiency in the development, application and analysis of these methodologies. The unit includes evolution and natural selection, fitness landscapes and search, optimisation and approximation, encodings and fitness functions, evolutionary search and optimisation, and applications. Software agent concepts, intelligent agent design and implementation of multi-agent systems.

Mobile Applications Development

This unit provides a thorough grounding in smartphone application development, location aware applications and mobile device technologies. This includes smartphone development, creation of mobile applications using a current mobile device development environment eg iPhone, iPad, Android, wireless technologies and security, technologies available, characteristics and security models eg RFID, WiFi, Bluetooth. Location-aware mobile applications, access and analysis of location on mobile devices and creation of intelligent applications. Current practice in mobile application development. New and emerging mobile application techniques and devices eg context aware computing. Wireless sensors and sensor networks. Smart Environments.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment
Optional foundation year

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to behave in a professional and business like manner when on placement or conducting projects with external partners.

Placement options

The full-time four-year sandwich route provides the opportunity to go on a placement for at least 36 weeks, where you’ll get a taste of professional life. A placement not only gives you the opportunity to develop your core skills and experience, but also shows employers that you’re ready to get to work. We offer a wide range of services to help you find the right placement, including employer presentations, advice and fairs. But it’s also up to you – the more proactive you are about applying for placements, the better.

Department of Computing and Mathematics

Our Department of Computing and Mathematics is a vibrant community of staff and students, which prides itself on internal and external collaboration.

The department is committed to teaching and research that addresses societal challenges through disciplines like artificial intelligence, big data, computational fluid dynamics, cyber security, dynamical systems, the internet of things, smart cities, robotics and virtual reality.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,000 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

Students can choose to go on a placement which might incur additional travel and accommodation costs - these would be offset by salary on a paid placement and will vary by location.

Professional Costs

Students can choose to join the BCS at any point in their study. It is not required but is useful. The annual charge is identified for every year, there is also an option to take course membership for £57.

Other Costs

Students who do the Schools units that relate to computer games or animation may incur costs for external storage media such as USB or HDD drives. Level 5 students may complete a Live Project on the Professional Development unit - this may incur some travel costs.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

G600

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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