Software Engineering aims to produce an industry-ready graduate with the knowledge, skills and experience required to succeed. The course will teach you in-depth programming, website development, databases, IT in business and a range of topics in Software Engineering and emerging technologies. In parallel to studying these topics we aim for you to integrate these skills into live projects and work placements throughout the degree course.
Between Level 5 and 6, you will undertake a year in industry and work for a relevant organisation in a software development role.
Why Study Software Engineering with us?
The Department of Computer Science has been established since 1985, and is an innovative, forward-thinking department.
The course is taught at Thornton Science Park, an innovative facility that is home to an extensive range of purpose-built facilities, providing you with opportunities of practical experience and learning experience.
The course is accredited by The Tech Partnership and is one of only nine in the country to offer this degree framework.
The Department has a high rate of student satisfaction, and is home to the Informatics Centre, an on-site software development team where students may be employed to work on commercial projects.
|GCE A Level||
112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent. Typical offer - BCC/BBC
BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM
BTEC Diploma: D*D*
Access to HE Diploma, to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit
OCR National Extended Diploma: Merit 2
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - DMM
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma - D*D*
Please note that we accept a maximum of 8 points from GCE AS Levels and that Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A levels and BTECs/OCRs.
GCSE Maths grade C or above is also required.
Students from countries outside the UK are expected to have entry qualifications roughly equivalent to UK A Level for undergraduate study and British Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) for postgraduate study. To help you to interpret these equivalents, please click on your country of residence to see the corresponding entry qualifications, along with information about your local representatives, events, information and contacts.
We accept a wide range of qualifications and consider all applications individually on merit. We may also take into account appropriate work experience.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS Academic: Undergraduate: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any band)
- Postgraduate: 6.5 (no less than 5.5 in any band)
This section aims to provide you with a course overview, as well as information on how you will be taught and assessed.
What will I learn?
In Year 1 (Level 4), you will examine the foundations that underpin this subject. You will be introduced to how computer systems work, website development, and develop a number of key skills. You will also begin to learn how to program and discover what software modelling and software architectures are.
Collaborative Software Development
- Working as part of a small team to design and develop a web application or program to a specification created by the team
- The different project methodologies that can be applied
- Elicit and negotiate requirements for a project and determine feasibility
- Project documentation such as project specifications, daily & issue logs and project plans
- Developing transferable skills including report writing, team work, presentation, problem solving, managing expectations, change management and negotiation
- Developing skills in researching the application of software development techniques
- Database design
- Relational Databases
- CRUD operations
- Entity relationship diagrams
Fundamentals of Programming
- Principles of object-orientation
- A structured approach to software design and development
- Data structures and algorithms
- Program testing
- Program documentation
- Graphical and re-usable components
- Integrated Development Environments
Mathematics for Computing
- Boolean algebra
- Matrices (2D & 3D)
- Linear algebra
Operating Systems and Hardware
- Computer Architectures
- Boolean Logic
- State Machines
- Computer system components
- Data representation, Interrupts and I/O
- Memory management, file management
- Network traffic, packets, headers, encapsulation
- Virtual Private Networks
- Foundations of networking (Routing, IP Addressing, Network topologies, OSI model, TCP/IP)
Software Engineering Principles
- Multi-tier architectures
- Software design best practices and design patterns
- User-centred design and HCI
- Security risks, threats and vulnerabilities (for example buffer overflows, integer overflows and race conditions) to systems as well as security standards
- Computer ethics and the law in relation to information systems
- Common pitfalls and mitigations in software engineering
- HTTP/HTTPS, TCP/IP, FTP, DNS
- File-formats and Compression
- Document Object Model
- Separation of Concerns
- Responsive Design
What will I learn?
Year 2 (Level 5) extends your theoretical knowledge and develops your ability to apply it to real-world problems, continuing the themes from Year 1. You will also undertake a work placement, where you will face the challenge of employing your skills in the real world.
Data structures and Algorithms
- Algorithms and complexity
- Probability theory
- Arrays & Lists
- Stacks and Queues
- Maps and dictionaries
- Trees and graphs
- Iteration and recursion
- Backtracking, divide and conquer
- Branch and bound, greedy algorithms
- Sorting and searching
- String processing
- Dynamic programming
- Discrete optimisation and heuristics
- Group project
- Software lifecycle
- Requirements analysis
- Application of Scrum and Agile techniques
- Version control
- Continuous integration
- Application of professional skills
Further Programming and Algorithms
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Event Driven Programming
- Working with External Databases and Files
- Object Orientation and Subclassing
- Use of Library Functionality
- Graphics Rendering
- Project management methodologies, for example Agile or SCRUM
- Project Management approaches, for example PRINCE2
- Assessing technical feasibility and commercial viability of ideas exploiting new technologies
- Business planning including risk management, cost estimation and technology roadmaps
- Eliciting, negotiating and clearly documenting requirements both functional and non-functional
- Modelling techniques for example UML or OCL
- Managing change
- Working with remote teams
- People management
Software Testing and Deployment
- Testing techniques and principles: Defects vs. failures, equivalence classes, boundary testing
- Black-box vs. Structural testing
- Testing strategies: Unit testing, integration testing, pro ling, test-driven development, behaviour-driven development, mocking
- State based testing; configuration testing; compatibility testing; web site testing
- Alpha, beta, and acceptance testing
- Test pro ling and tools
- Developing test plans
- Managing the testing process
- Problem reporting, bug tracking, and analysis
- User training
- Continuous integration
- Configuration management
- Version control
- Hardware and software
- 3rd party embedded systems
- Performance analysis
Web Application Development
- Web applications
- Full stack development
- API integration
- Web services
- Website Database integration
Year in Industry
The traditional academic programme structure is not applicable. The placement content is freely structured and determined by negotiation between the student, placement supervisor and host organisation. It is generally informed by the aims and learning outcomes and by the objective of optimising added value for both the host organisation and the student experience.
What will I learn?
What will I learn?
During Year 3, you will be able to use the transferable and technical skills developed in Years 1 and 2. You will also develop your systems analysis and design skills further and look at software quality.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Neural networks
- Software agents
- Knowledge representation & reasoning
- Rule based systems
- Final state machines
- Machine learning
- Language translation and execution
- Business planning
- Commercial viability
- Software development approaches
- Business case definition
- Design patterns
- Unit tests and test driven development
- Software verification and validation
- Advanced programming constructs
- Lazy evaluation and infinite streams
- Legacy architectures and technologies (for example COBOL and mainframes)
- A range of ISO standards for example ISO/IEC 25010 and other quality management systems (including continuous improvement)
- Analysing existing software systems including dynamic and static code analysis
- Code coverage
- Data structures
- 3rd party libraries
- System documentation
- Requirements elicitation, feasibility and specification
- Describing and interpretation of functional requirements
- Class diagrams
- Risk and risk mitigation
" The degree is focused on employability and we have worked with a number of industry employers to create a programme enabling us to deliver graduates who have the benefit of a good academic footing and a thorough portfolio of demonstrable experience."
How will I be taught?
This course is taught at our prestigious Thornton Science Park. The course is a mixture of lectures and practical-based workshops in sophisticated computer laboratories.
You can typically expect 48 hours of contact per module in Year 1, reducing to 36 hours in Year 3, reflecting the progression towards self-guided study. This translates roughly to 12 hours of teaching per week, with additional module hours being allocated to independent self-directed study.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment involves a combination of assignments, project work, group work, presentations and examinations, varying in balance from module to module. In line with the requirements of industry, all our modules have been designed from the ground up to incorporate assessment of key skills, as well as subject-related skills.
Work Based Learning
This course offers a number of placement options throughout the four years of study, with some potentially involving an industry partner or technology company, working at the Informatics Centre, and a dedicated year in industry.
Fees and Funding
UK/EU Fees 2018
It is not currently possible to state what our exact fees will be for students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018.
Our full-time undergraduate tuition fees for UK and EU students entering University in 2017/18 are £9,250 a year, or £1,540 per module for part-time study. The University may increase these fees at the start of each subsequent year of your course in line with inflation at that time, as measured by increases in the Retail Price Index. These fee levels and increases are subject to any necessary government, and other regulatory, approvals.
The level of fees that students starting their studies in 2018 will pay is expected to be determined by outcomes of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The TEF has been introduced by the Government to encourage universities to focus on the quality of the teaching that they offer and to help prospective students find clear information about where teaching quality is high, and where students have achieved the best outcomes.
The TEF outcomes are not currently known. The TEF process has been designed to help students applying for university places for 2018 and the outcomes will be announced at the end of May 2017 in time for prospective students for 2018 entry to apply from September 2017. Following the announcement of the TEF outcomes, fees for University of Chester students starting in 2018 will be published here.
Annual Tuition Fee
Full Fee Payment Award (per academic year)
International Foundation Programmes
Bachelor's degree including Foundation
Your course will involve additional costs not covered by your tuition fees. This may include books, printing, photocopying, educational stationery and related materials, specialist clothing, travel to placements, optional field trips and software. Compulsory field trips are covered by your tuition fees.
You may choose to purchase professional body accreditations or subscriptions. Such costs are not compulsory. As a guide, in 2015/16, BCS membership cost £37 per year or £57 for the full course duration.
If you are living away from home during your time at University, you will need to cover costs such as accommodation, food, travel and bills.
Bursaries are a form of financial help in addition to student loans and grants that do not have to be paid back. The bursaries we are offering for 2017 entrants are listed below.
Application Process for University Bursaries
There is no application process (except for the part-time bursary); but do remember to give consent to share your household income with the University of Chester when you apply for student funding.
We will automatically review your eligibility and notify you if you are eligible; normally by letter to your home address.
If you are not sure whether you have consented to share your information with the University, you can contact the Consent to Share Helpline on 0845 603 4016 and agree to share your information over the telephone. Please note that your parents or sponsor will also have to contact the helpline.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions.
Available to new full-time undergraduate students (paying a tuition fee of over £6,000) who have a means tested household income of £25,000 or less.
Cash payment and ‘in-kind’ beneﬁts of £500 per year of study.
Chester Bursary for Part-Time Students
Available to new part-time undergraduate students (paying a tuition fee of at least £7,000), enrolled for a minimum of 40 credits at the start of Level 4, and with a declared residual household income of £25,000 or less.
Bursary: up to £1,500
Cash payments made on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of credits studied each academic year.
Care Leavers Bursary
Available to new full-time Level 4 undergraduate home students under the age of 25, paying a tuition fee of over £6,000, who have evidence of their care leaver status.
Bursary: up to £7,000
Mixture of cash, 'in-kind’ beneﬁts and fee waiver.
Contact the Bursary Team at University.Bursary@chester.ac.uk for more information about the Care Leavers Bursary.
Young Adult Carers Bursary
Working in partnership with Young Carers organisations locally, this bursary is available for eligible young carers.
Bursary Package totalling: £4,500
Contact Martina Ferrari at email@example.com for more information about the Young Adult Carers Bursary.
Thornton Science Park
Our Faculty of Science and Engineering is based at Thornton Science Park just outside Chester. Formerly the site of the Shell Technology, Exploration and Research Centre, the campus continues the legacy of innovation in science and engineering in the North West.
The 66-acre site features purpose-built laboratories and industrial facilities to provide the best practical experience and learning opportunities. There are up-to-date computer facilities featuring fully licensed engineering, design and development software, Windows and Mac computer suites, a dedicated Games Zone and the on-site Sutton library.
Outside of lectures and practical sessions, you can make use of a variety of recreational spaces including a coffee bar and restaurant, fitness centre and all-weather pitch. A free shuttle bus is provided to transport students to and from Parkgate Road Campus, Chester.
Thornton is a working science park with a number of science and technology-based companies located on site, so students have the opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into working in a professional and career-focused environment.
Our Careers and Employability Service
The University has an award winning Careers and Employability service which provides a variety of employability-enhancing experiences; through the curriculum; through employer contact and through tailored group sessions and individual information, advice and guidance.
Careers and Employability aims to deliver a service which is inclusive, impartial, welcoming, informed and tailored to your personal goals and aspirations, to enable you to develop as an individual and contribute to the business and community in which you will live and work.
We are here to help you plan your future and to enhance your employability. We provide access to part-time jobs and work shadowing. We offer practical one-to-one help with career planning including help with CVs, applications and mock interviews. We deliver group sessions on career planning within each taught programme. We have extensive information on graduate jobs and postgraduate study.
Students and graduates of the University of Chester can use our services free of charge for up to three years after graduating. Graduates of other UK universities within three years of graduation are also welcome to use our services during vacations. A charging policy applies to other clients - please contact us for more details.
From its beginnings as a Roman fortress 2,000 years ago, Chester has managed to retain its unique character whilst offering everything that you would expect from a modern city today, as it becomes "a must-see European destination".
The City of Chester is a vibrant mix of cafes, shops and ancient walls, rows and architectural and archaeological features. The City is home to all-year-round arts festivals, events, exhibitions and street entertainment, including the famous Chester Races, the Rowing Regatta and the internationally acclaimed Chester Zoo.
Open Days 2017
Visit us at an undergraduate Open Day and find out what it’s really like to study at the University of Chester.
Open Days 2017
Visit us at an Open Day and find out what it’s really like to study at the University of Chester.
- Saturday 14th October
- Saturday 28th October
- Saturday 21st October
- Saturday 21st October