MSc Software Engineering

Course summary

Overview

This course aims to prepare students for professional careers in this important field of software systems. You will become familiar with a broad range of current scholarship work in software engineering, learning how to research and review published work. 

Your studies will also give you a practical understanding of the issues relating to the design, analysis and implementation of modern software systems and you will have opportunities to meet speakers from the industry, including potential employers.
 
Software Engineering classIn short, this course prepares you for a professional career or research in this important field.

Why choose this course?

With the IT sector expanding rapidly around the world, there has never been a better time to develop specialist software engineering skills. 

This course will give you an understanding of the latest software engineering technologies used to address today's challenges in software development as well as providing you with a practical understanding of the issues relating to the design, analysis and implementation of modern software systems.

Students will have access to industrial standard technologies, and be provided the opportunity to specialise in topics ranging from software architecture to implementation techniques, building on the necessary skills needed to tackle modern software systems in an industrial context. 

Tutor Information 

This course is run by the School of Computing and Engineering to provide you with both the high-quality teaching and the personal attention you need to make the most of your University education.

The School of Computing and Software EngineeringEngineering teaching staff includes: 

Dr José Abdelnour Nocera – Associate Professor (Reader) in Sociotechnical Design and Head of the Sociotechnical Centre for Innovation and User Experience at the University of West London. He is the current Chair for UNESCO IFIP TC 13.8 working group in Interaction Design for International Development as well as Chair for the British Computer Society Sociotechnical Specialist Group.

Associate Professor in Computing Dr Wei Jie who has been actively involved in a broad spectrum of areas in parallel and distributed computing and has published approximately 50 papers in international journals and conferences. 

Career and study progression

This course aims to help you towards a rewarding position in the software industry such as:
  • Software Architect
  • Solution Architect
  • Project Manager
  • Senior Software Developer.
Outstanding graduates have gone on to study at the level of MPhil and PhD at UWL. 

Course detail

This course is suitable for you if you have a background in IT and want to specialise in software engineering. It helps you build the skills needed to work with modern software systems in an industrial context, and to develop an appreciation of all features of commercial software engineering. You will use industry-standard technologies, and have the opportunity to specialise in topics ranging from software project management to implementation techniques.

This is an indicative listing of modules for the course:

  • Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
  • UML Component Modelling
  • Data architecture
  • Knowledge Management
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation
  • Distributed Application Development (optional)
  • Human-Computer Interaction for Information Systems (optional)
  • Mobile application Development (optional)
  • Enterprise Architecture (optional)
  • Security Management (optional)
  • Advance Rich Media (optional)

Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
Here you will gain an understanding of the latest techniques and principles of modern software engineering. This is a research-oriented module, which gives you the opportunity to discuss and evaluate the latest published papers in the field, and to present a seminar on the work. Together, all the seminars presented on the module will give you a thorough grounding in current software engineering approaches.

UML Component Modelling
This module introduces the concepts and techniques needed to support component-based development. Modern distributed architectures rely increasingly on software components to construct and deploy applications, and here you will cover the conceptual framework underpinning application assembly from components, and the supporting software processes. You will gain practical experience in modelling component specifications and consider future development in this area.

Data Architecture
Data Architecture describes how data is processed, stored, and utilised in an information system. There has been an explosion in the quantity and variety of data generated by organisations, programs and sensors. Much of this data is not fully structured but contains valuable information to uncover, like emerging opinions in social networks, search trends from search engines, consumer purchase behaviour, and patterns that emerge from these huge data sources. These developments mean traditional stand-alone applications are no longer suitable to process and analyse the amount of information available.

The aim of this module is to cover some of the developments in the broad range of 'Big Data' problems. The module will give a student hands on experience with various types of large-scale data and information handling, and start by providing a solid understanding of the underlying technologies.

Knowledge Management
In this module, you will explore the widely accepted theories and frameworks for knowledge management - and their application in technologies and learning organisations. On completion, you will understand the way knowledge from these diverse disciplines is used within the development of Decision Support Systems (DSS).

Research Methods
This module gives you the skills to acquire and distil knowledge, preparing you to carry out applied research in the area of information systems, and in computing in general. You will learn to use appropriate data collection and statistical methods and tools to support your research ideas.

Dissertation
With this module, you have the opportunity to carry out an original piece of research, adding to existing knowledge and demonstrating an ability to select, define and focus on an issue at an appropriate level. You will also develop and apply relevant methodologies to analyse your topic areas, and to develop recommendations and logical conclusions in the context of existing work in the area. Your dissertation can be the design and implementation of a complex software application, a literature-focused study, or a research-focused empirical study.

Distributed Application Development
In this module, you will learn how to apply software engineering skills, using mainly Java as the programming language, to develop distributed applications. You will cover both Java programming and distributed application architecture content. There is a particular focus on emerging technologies, such as service orientated architectures and business process management toolsets.

Human-Computer Interaction for Information Systems
This module is about human aspects of the analysis, design, implementation, evaluation and use of interactive information systems; and with the study of socio-technical phenomena surrounding it.

It considers the interplay between human users, designers, developers and organisations; as such it has a multidisciplinary content with its basis in psychology and human factors as well as in user interface and interaction design.
The module will cover HCI processes concerning the entire IS lifecycle, not just the screen design stage.

Mobile Application Development
This module has been developed in conjunction with industry to provide hands-on experience developing software for mobile devices. An open source approach to software development will be used throughout the module. Students will gain experience using relevant industry standard tools to support their work.

Enterprise Architecture
Successfully managing IT on the enterprise level is getting increasingly important, but due to the size, complexity and sheer amount of information systems this can be challenging for organisations. Enterprise architecture is a discipline that provides for enterprise wide business and IT alignment.

This module focuses on recent paradigms that have impact on how organisations manage their information systems in order to achieve business and IT alignment from an enterprise point of view. The module will review some of the enterprise architecture principles, frameworks and methods.

Advance Rich Media (optional)
This module provides the students with essential theoretical and practical skills to develop a multimedia database application based on theoretical and practical underpinnings of advanced user interface design.

The module recognizes the importance of framing the problem of human-computer interaction broadly enough so as to help students (and practitioners) avoid the classic pitfall of design divorced from the context of the problem.

Security Management (optional)
This module provides an introduction to assuring the security of systems, networks, data and user identities, which is an essential aspect of organization and information systems. New threats are emerging as digital technologies permeate into most aspects of work and social life and in transactions between parties opening potential for fraud, deception and corruption.

Advanced Rich Media (optional)
This module provides you with essential theoretical and practical skills to develop a multimedia database application. Your application will be based on theoretical and practical underpinnings of advanced user interface design. The module recognises the importance of framing the problem of human-computer interaction broadly enough so as to help students (and practitioners) avoid the classic pitfall of design divorced from the context of the problem.

Data Architecture (optional)
Data Architecture describes how data is processed, stored, and utilised in an information system. There has been an explosion in the quantity and variety of data generated by organisations, programs and sensors. Much of this data is not fully structured but contains valuable information to uncover, like emerging opinions in social networks, search trends from search engines, consumer purchase behaviour, and patterns that emerge from these huge data sources.

These developments mean traditional stand-alone applications are no longer suitable to process and analyse the amount of information available. The aim of this module is to cover some of the developments in the broad range of 'Big Data' problems. The module will give you hands on experience with various types of large-scale data and information handling, and start by providing a solid understanding of the underlying technologies.

Entry requirements

A degree (at least 2:2) in a computing subject or an engineering degree with a significant level of computing.
Applicants with equivalent professional qualifications, or a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND) will be considered, provided they can demonstrate significant, relevant work experience and the ability to benefit fully from the course.

Such applicants will be considered on an individual basis by interview. Some optional modules may not be available to students without a first degree in computing.

Candidates who do not meet the academic requirements may still qualify for entry through relevant work experience.International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.5 or above, and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses

Fees

Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
£7,200

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
£11,500
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

A range of loans, bursaries and scholarships are available to help you fund your studies.

Students on some Masters courses may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards their course and living costs. Find out how to apply for a Postgraduate Loan on GOV.UK

Other loans available to postgraduate students include Professional and Career Development Loans, which also allow you to borrow up to £10,000.  Find out more about Loans on GOV.UK

Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as disabled students. Find out more about funding opportunities

Within the university, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. In the 2017 - 18 academic year, they included:

  • The William Brake Bursary: a £1,000 award for candidates on undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses
  • The Mollie Clay Scholarship: a £2,500 scholarship awarded to an outstanding student
  • Exclusive alumni discounts: a £2,000 discount on taught postgraduate courses or a 10% discount on research courses, exclusive to students who graduated from the University of West London.

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.


Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

When you submit your application for this course it is very helpful to make a positive statement as to why we should consider your application. It is helpful to show that you have a ‘ Software Engineering professional’ or 'Software Engineering research' career.

If you are in doubt whether your background is appropriate for this course, we suggest that you still make an online application instead of sending us an email.  The course leader will then be able to look at all of your information and advice accordingly.

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply for most of our Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters’ Degree courses using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

International students

To apply for a Masters’ Degree course, please complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for postgraduate courses.

 

During the course

Teaching methods

Diverse methods are used to explore all aspects of the field. A strong supportive culture exists amongst the course tutors which enable students achieve their potential.

Learning materials used: good levels of access to computer facilities. The academic and professional elements are well supported by the university library and a good range of digital resources.

Assessment

Coursework

Course assessed work is a significant part of the total assessment. There is practical work, report writing, critical academic writing and the skills and knowledge gained in these contribute to a capacity to deliver a high quality dissertation.

Exams

There are a number of end of module exams. Course tutors provide appropriate support throughout the module to ensure candidates are well prepared.

Student support

The school and course team is well experienced and qualified. The university also offers central support for learning skills. A strong student role is actively encouraged.

What our students say

Isha Jindal

As part of the MSc in Software Engineering course, I studied Software Engineering, Knowledge Management, UML Modelling and Project Management. These helped with putting my vision into improving the quality constraints for software projects and processes. I gained confidence from the research I did for my dissertation and this was the big turn in my career prospects.

After completing the course, I started working with the Technical R&D Department of an organisation and gained practical experience for two years. I was able to implement my MSc knowledge in different complex analysis and decision making scenarios.

During this role, I encountered challenges and issues with different software products being used internally and externally and as I looked into new and improved ways of software testing concepts, I became convinced that I had the foundation and vision for an exciting new business.

After carrying out extensive research for the current testing offerings in the market, I got motivated and excited to set up my company, Jindal Technology Ltd.

Jindal Technology is utilising new ways of software testing in different business and technical complexities. The company shaped its service offerings and deepened the expertise in critical business areas.

Diptesh Shrestha (Student on MSc Software Engineering)

'MSc Software Engineering has provided me with opportunities to gain knowledge and sharpen my skills in the field of information technology. The University facilitated the course with suitable resources and study environment. The academic staff have been very supportive, I have learned a lot and gained valuable experience in particular in conducting research. My study period at UWL has been very pleasant and productive.'

Muhammed Khalji (Student on MSc Software Engineering)

'Choosing to study at The University of West London has been an enjoyable experience, it has provided me with the confidence to discover my potential.

Software engineering is a demanding subject, the studies were rigorous as well as rewarding, and worth the effort  I invested in the course.'

Peter Jones (MSc Software Engineering)

‘Just to let you all know, I've just signed a contract for a permanent job as a software developer, thanks in part to gaining my MSc! Once more, thanks for a great year and best wishes.’

Jobs and placements

The School of Computing and Engineering has several links with industry, creating opportunities for work placements and internships for our students. We have set up a number of successful knowledge transfer partnerships, where we provide our expertise to real-world projects.

Career and study progression

This course aims to help you towards a rewarding position in the software industry, such as software architect, solution architect, project manager or senior software developer.

Study progression

Outstanding graduates have gone on to further study at the level of MPhil and PhD at UWL and at other institutions.

We actively encourage students with potential for research to make their interest known early on in their course.