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Accredited by the British Computer Society (CITPFL, partial CEng)

Our BCS accredited MSc in Software Engineering is designed to produce successful software engineers who will have an understanding of software engineering principles (and their application), design skills, knowledge of good management practice, computing science and mathematical formalism. This course will equip you to begin a career, or to undertake further study in this important and exciting area.

The most complex engineering artefacts in existence are now software systems, and the effects of such systems are felt by almost everyone. It is vitally important that software should be of high quality; it should be built on schedule and without error and it should be safe. Software Engineering MSc combines scientific and engineering principles with sound practice to ensure the production of high-quality, reliable software that does what it is designed to do.

Why choose this course?

  • You will have the opportunity to put the skills you have gained into practice if you choose to undertake our 1 year optional placement
  • Professional experts contribute to the range of subjects on offer.
  • Teaching is informed by state-of-the-art research being undertaken in the department and you will have the opportunity to work alongside members of our Dependable Systems Research Centre and internationally renowned academics.
  • Real word problems and current issues in Software Engineering are used to illustrate the theoretical concepts.
  • You have the option to undertake an intensive course on compiler construction from one of Europe’s leading authorities in the field.
  • The universal nature of the technical skills developed in our programmes means our courses are of equal relevance to both new graduates and those with many years of industrial experience.

Professional accreditation

The course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

This course in detail

The MSc in Software Engineering has a modular design providing you with maximum flexibility and choice. See Semester 1 and Semester 2 for information about each module.

To qualify for a master’s degree, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The MSc in Software Engineering with placement enables you to work in industry for a year in the middle of your course to give valuable workplace experience. Placements are not guaranteed, but the departments dedicated placement team will help with the process of finding and applying for placements. To qualify for a master’s degree with placement, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits plus the zero credit placement module. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Diploma in Software Engineering allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to brush up their skills. To qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each). In some cases, it may be possible for a student on a Postgraduate Diploma to do 3 taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to learn a specific area in this rapidly changing discipline. To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate Software Engineering Research Project.

Part-time students normally distribute the work evenly over a two-year period.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include lectures, which provide a theoretical basis, and practicals, which are used to strengthen your understanding by active involvement. On some occasions, lectures are held in the computer labs so that you can apply the knowledge learned immediately. Many of the modules are enriched by the teaching staff's research expertise. Visiting lecturers are also invited from research organisations and industry. 

Approach to assessment

Assessments include coursework exercises, presentations, lab work, reports and examinations.

Assessment is based on a combination of examination, coursework and dissertation. Our assessment methods used have been developed across all computing MSc courses at Oxford Brookes to provide varied support, and to include opportunities for you to discuss your work directly with the lecturers.

Specialist facilities

Our labs are equipped with industry-standard equipment and software tools. This enables students to develop skills of immediate relevance to industry needs while also providing a sound practical basis that enhances their understanding of theoretical concepts. 


Visit the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Software Engineering page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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