Students in a computer lab

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Software Engineering

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative courses, please visit our Computing courses page.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
One year full-time
Full-time, starts September
Programme leader:
Mohammed Odeh
Key fact:
70% of our research with impact is 4* and 3*- it is world leading and internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour (HEFCE REF2014 UoA 11).

Page last updated 31 January 2019


Software engineers are in high demand, and Bristol is home to many high-tech companies seeking suitable graduates. The MSc Software Engineering gives you the latest knowledge and skills and guides you in applying them to develop different kinds of large, complex software systems.

The faculty's Software Engineering Research Group (SERG) reviews the course each year to ensure it provides what students and employees need.

Students can link to SERG research and development activities and attend monthly research seminars from senior academics and key industrial professionals.

A comprehensive approach

UWE Bristol's links with industrial partners encourage research and studies, and support the next step into PhD studies and further research.

You will be taught by academics and professionals at the cutting edge of research and in collaboration with key partners such as Airbus, P3 Germany, SogeClair France, have the chance to develop advanced knowledge in the engineering of complex software systems, 'systems of systems' and critical aspects of the software development process.

The course develops your knowledge and understanding of fundamental and advanced concepts of software engineering, using state-of-the-art techniques and research findings.

You'll learn the ethical issues involved in the engineering of software systems and undertake in-depth research in particular areas of software engineering.

You'll also acquire the technical skills necessary for requirements engineering, architectural modelling of enterprise systems, implementation, configuration management, quality management, and effective project management applied in a group-based context.

You'll take a reflective and critical approach to your work and develop key transferable skills, such as critical thinking, problem management and research skills and methods underpinned by key emerging topics in software engineering and the MSc dissertation by research and development.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



The full Master's course comprises 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master's. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the next.

  • Lifecycle Models and Project Management (15 credits) - In this module you become aware of, and apply, a variety of project planning and control techniques, evaluate project management functions and learn to understand the contexts and advantages of different predictive or adaptive lifecycle models for project planning and control.
  • Requirements engineering (15 credits) - A critical understanding of the engineering dimension to the Requirements Engineering (RE) process, with emphasis on legal, social, ethical and professional issues. It also examines RE processes, methods, modelling techniques, derivation of functional and non-functional requirements, formal requirements specification, validation/verification and change management.
  • Object-oriented analysis, design and programming (15 credits) - Understand and develop critical knowledge of the typical characteristics of object-oriented software systems and software design criteria. You'll apply object-oriented analysis and design techniques to analyse and design object-oriented systems, use Java-programming skills to design and implement object-oriented software solutions, and evaluate Java language features.
  • Quality and Configuration Management (15 credits) - Taught collaboratively with industrial partners along with associated case studies, this module looks into the relationships between CM, Quality Management (QM), software quality standards, quality metrics, and their role in assessing software quality attributes, and their limitations.
  • Enterprise and System Architecture Modelling and Development  (15 credits) - A study of enterprise-scale software systems and their development, software patterns, plus the theory and concepts of components, interfaces, and services. We look at various modelling notations, applying and evaluating them in relation to the analysis and design of enterprise-scale software systems development.
  • Group Software Development Project (30 credits) - You'll devise and participate in strategies for effective group working, and show project management skills and techniques in a group-based setting. This is a project to produce a high-quality software product that shows critical understanding and consideration of legal, social, ethical and professional issues.
  • Emerging Topics in Software Engineering (15 credits) - By reviewing research of emerging topics in software engineering literature, you will identify and elaborate on future research directions for software engineering in selected topics.   
  • Dissertation by Research and Development (60 credits) - This is your chance to show your grasp of a complex and specialised area of knowledge, and your software engineering skills, by addressing a research problem with theoretical and methodological approaches.

You can take individual modules as short courses, without committing to the full MSc so you can collect credits to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or full MSc.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

All modules are classroom-based, with use of Blackboard; UWE Bristol's virtual learning environment. Exams will be held on campus.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

You can study this course full-time or part-time, starting in September.

Flexible study options are key to this course, and it's structured to support full-time and part-time learning. This means you can complete your studies around your personal and professional commitments.

Full-time students complete 120 credits (seven taught modules) and begin their dissertation in January for submission in September.

Part-time students typically do four taught modules or 60 credits each academic year. Students complete the dissertation in the second or third year depending on which best suits their individual circumstances.


Most taught modules have written coursework and exam components. Coursework includes, but is not limited to:

  • critical problem-solving components
  • advanced programming tasks
  • critical essays in relation to particular software engineering aspects
  • group projects.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Computer society (BCS) and fulfils the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered IT Professional. It also partially meets the academic requirements for CEng status and is also accredited by the Engineering Council.

Study facilities

Our investment in computer-based resources means you receive strong support for your studies. You have access to a vast number of journals and databases online through the UWE Bristol library. The library and some computer labs on campus are open 24 hours.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.


Careers / Further study

Graduates have a range of options for starting their software engineering careers, or for further advanced programmes of study.

Possible industrial careers include senior roles as:

  • software engineers
  • requirements engineers
  • enterprise and software architects
  • configuration and quality managers
  • software project managers.

This course paves the way for PhD research studies in software engineering at UWE Bristol, or elsewhere.

If you take the PhD route at UWE Bristol, you will have opportunities to work with senior SERG researchers and use some of your MSc Software Engineering modules for some of the 60-credit requirements for the PhD degree.    


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee7500
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)625
International-Full Time-Award Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1083
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee13000
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1083

Further information

This Msc is eligible for the post graduate loan

SLC course code: 720627

Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computing, IT or similar.

You also need good experience of software development and to be fluent in a high level programming language. You should outline your experience in your application.

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirement, but who do have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications. You may be invited to an interview, and may be asked to complete one or two modules from the course to assess your readiness for formally joining the course.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

For further information

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