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Software engineering courses

Software touches so many corners of our daily life. Without it, computers would be useless to us because we need software to deliver instructions to fulfil our practical actions and needs. Software engineering takes the application of engineering and applies it to the creation of software. However software engineering goes beyond simply creation, also dealing with maintenance and management. It’s also distinct from programming in that software engineers work as part of a team to develop a solution to a problem.

Studying software engineering at university

Example course modules

  • Business analysis and solution design
  • System environments
  • Networking and operating systems
  • Database and UML modelling
  • Programming and user interface design
  • Programming language paradigms
  • Information systems
  • Computer algorithms and modelling
  • Communications systems
  • Application and web development

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 15%
    Male : 85%
  • Mature : 25%
    School leaver : 75%
  • Full-time : 83%
    Part-time : 17%

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Maths

Useful to have

  • Computing

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Software engineering graduates are equipped to enter the innovative software industry, but can actually find employment in any company which has a hand in computer systems. The role of software engineer is still pretty new; but with the explosion of mobile technology, apps and data-processing systems in all facets of life, the area has witnessed massive growth in a short space of time. Plus more and more objects are being fitted with computer systems which require special software to carry out commands. Popular roles include software architects, software engineers and software developers, but can also stretch to cyber security managers and IT consultants. Employers can range from e-commerce sites and government agencies to tech giants and even the military. While many graduates work in large teams, there are opportunities as independent consultants too.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Information technology and telecommunications professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • IT Project manager
  • IT Systems analyst
  • Site developer

Other real-life job examples

  • Software consultant
  • Technical consultant
  • Project manager

What employers like about this subject

Software engineering graduates possess the in-depth knowledge to work in any organisation which has a hand in computer systems (which is a lot!). This includes a detailed understanding of hardware, software and several programming languages. Because software engineering roles are focused around creating solutions to real-life problems, graduates are expected to have excellent analytical skills, including the ability to respond quickly to problems which arise throughout the design process; to interpret technical plans; and to communicate instructions to the wider team (especially important for those in senior roles). In fact these communication skills go further! You might be forgiven for thinking that the brains behind the software would be sat in a darkened room, putting it altogether – not true! You may be called on to explain to clients how the software works.