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Software Engineering - MSc

Course Description

You will take eight Assessed Modules plus an Individual Project carried out in the department. Six of the modules cover core Software Engineering methods, practices and tools, and are compulsory. For the remaining two modules, you will be able to choose from Natural Language Processing, Topics in Privacy & Security, Evolutionary Computation, Concurrent & Real-Time Programming, and Functional Programming Technology.

Software Engineering has become a crucial discipline in the functioning of the modern world. Information systems, communications, transport, manufacturing and services all require well-engineered and reliable software. The focus of our MSc in Software Engineering is automated and large-scale software engineering, so the course will equip you to deal with the types of systems widely found in industry.

The MSc is a full-time, one-year course for those with some experience or background in Software Engineering. You will learn up-to-date theory and practice in the core areas of Software Engineering, and the main methods and tools used in industry. The course also covers model-driven engineering, service-oriented architectures, software architectures and user-centred design. You will gain a thorough understanding of techniques and practices of software management, including measurement and testing. This in-depth understanding of the role of software in commercial organisations will enable you to develop and maintain large-scale software systems.

You will gain a thorough understanding of techniques and practices of software management, including measurement and testing. These techniques will allow you to understand the role of software in commercial organisations and you will be able to develop and maintain these large scale systems.

Course Aims
When you graduate, you will be able to apply advanced Software Engineering techniques to analyse systems and design solutions, particularly in a commercial context. You will have experience of using state-of-the-art Software Engineering tool suites (e.g., Eclipse and Epsilon). You will also understand the human factors in Software Engineering, and will be able to design systems taking into account the needs of users.

Your individual project gives you the chance to specialise in a specific area of Software Engineering, as you will undertake independent research and apply your results to develop a real solution – an application, tool or technique.

On graduation, you will be equipped to design and maintain large systems in a wide range of industries, or to pursue an academic research career in Software Engineering.

Learning Outcomes
A thorough grounding and practical experience in the use of state-of-the-art techniques for developing software-based systems.
An in-depth understanding of the principles underpinning these techniques, so as to make sound judgements throughout the systems and software engineering life cycle.


Team Project
You are taught a broad range of project management skills, which you will directly apply to a medium-sized software project that is conducted in small student teams.

Individual Project
The course concludes with your individual project. You may choose a topic among the many offered by the academic staff, or you may propose your own topic. Some recent topics were:
-Air Traffic Control application using PostgreSQL
-Automated Development of Graphical Editors built atop Graphiti
-Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning: Conquest of Mars
-Natural Disaster Planning - A System of Systems Analysis
-Reinforcement Learning for Mobile Cognitive Radio Agents
-Simulation-based Hazard Analysis for Autonomous Robots
-Study of Business Processes in a Complex Enterprise System
-Using heuristics for Monte Carlo Tree Search


Here at York, we're really proud of the fact that more than 97% of our postgraduate students go on to employment or further study within six months of graduating from York. We think the reason for this is that our courses prepare our students for life in the workplace through our collaboration with industry to ensure that what we are teaching is useful for employers.

Our postgraduate taught courses are specifically designed to meet the needs of industry, and the thorough grounding we provide, alongside the skills you learn from undertaking a Masters degree, will stand you in good stead in the workplace.

Visit the Software Engineering - MSc page on the University of York website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Gopinath Setivarahalli

1879.jpg What job do you do now and what does it involve?

I now work as a project manager for Coda Music Agency, based in London. Coda is one of the leading agencies working in the music industry. We work with many world famous bands and artists, including, for example, LMFAO, Example, Kelli’s, Mika, The Vaccines and The XX. We manage and represent over 600 artists worldwide.

What aspects of your degree do you use in your job?

I believe that the Department of Computer Science is responsible for my confidence in my current career and position. The course structure is very much industry oriented - the course is structured is very similarly to the way a company works to deliver software solutions, so there was no real surprise in the transition from University to industry.

The project at Coda was very complicated and expensive. I used a systematic approach of the software design skills I’d learnt in the course modules and analyse these during every step of the design process.

What advice would you give to people thinking about studying Computer Science?

A masters degree from University of York is held with a great deal of respect in the industry. The industry talks and guest lectures that the department organises give a key insight into turning what you learn at university and applying it to the real world.

I would recommend the Department of Computer Science at the University of York, as it is an outstanding university, amazing resources and facilities, great libraries, outstanding professors and also they definitely know what they are doing.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your time at York?

My time at University of York was a very good experience. I loved every bit of my time there. The Students’ Union and Graduate Students Association organises plenty of events and social activities.

The 24 hour software lab access was great - it means you can focus on assessments and examinations at any time of the day.

The academic staff are extremely intelligent and go the extra mile to help push students to be successful.

(Student Profile)

Akshay Mehta

1880.jpg Why did you choose to study the MSc in Software Engineering at York?

I chose the MSc in Software Engineering to gain a further insight in to the software development process and life cycle. The modules of the course looked promising and seemed to provide comprehensive understanding into each phase of the software development life cycle. Secondly, I was looking for a course that would extend my knowledge and experience in the software field and the course at York fitted well in the category.

Why did you choose to study Computer Science at the University of York?

The Department of Computer Science at York was well ranked in all the various university ranking tables. That the quality of teaching was well regarded and they had high rankings in research were also factors that informed my choice. Students graduating from Computer Science at the University of York also had higher employment prospects when compared with other similar universities in the United Kingdom.

What do you particularly like about being a Computer Science student at York?

The group project is one of the aspects of the course that impressed me a lot. It provided us with an opportunity to work in a group in a real life scenario where a client presents the group with a problem. We had to build a software solution for the client using all the techniques that we had learnt in the course so far. It gave me a better understanding that each step is important in the whole process and how to perform that step better each time.

The course content does full justice to the name Software Engineering. Before studying the course I never thought that requirements engineering or user centred design would be that important in software development, but my perception has changed a lot. The object oriented design was a really nice module where the practical exercises in the laboratory made you to think out of the box and apply the things taught in the lecture.

Would you recommend York and the Department of Computer Science?

Yes, I would definitely recommend the University of York to prospective students because it is very well regarded, the staff are great, the Careers Service gives you all the help you need to find a job, and York is a very nice place to live as well. All of these would make me choose York over everywhere else!


Department of Computer Science Postgraduate Taught Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

Each year a number of departmental studentships are available to candidates enrolling on any full-time taught MSc course in the Department of Computer Science. For up to date information on these departmental studentships and for details of co-sponsored opportunities such as the DCMS Bursary for students undertaking our GCHQ-certified MSc course in Cyber Security, please visit our website: https://www.cs.york.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught-courses/scholarship/

Value of Scholarship(s)



See link for more details.

Application Procedure

See link for more details.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Software Engineering has become a crucial discipline in the functioning of the modern world. Information systems, communications, transport, manufacturing and services all require well-engineered and reliable software. This course focuses especially on software systems with a high requirement for dependability. The MSc in Software Engineering course is intended for students who possess a strong Computer Science degree.

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