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Software Engineering for Technical Computing (MSc)

Course Description

Course Description

Cranfield University has many years of specialist knowledge and experience in High Performance Computing. What was once a set of techniques used only in the narrow confines of numerical simulation is now the mainstream approach to developing software on modern computing hardware. As such, the Software Engineering for Technical Computing MSc offers a unique insight into the development of computer applications across a wide spectrum of modern computing environments, from multi-core CPUs to specialist GPUs to Cloud Computing, all of which are relevant to the IT industry today.


With the advent of ever more sophisticated and powerful computer environments, the techniques needed to develop and produce the software to run on these systems are themselves becoming increasingly complex. Whether on a super-computer or on a smart phone, the trend in software development is towards parallel and concurrent execution of applications. This approach introduces many challenges for the developer that must be addressed if the resulting software is to maintain a suitable level of quality and remain competitive.

Cranfield University has many years of specialist knowledge and experience in High Performance Computing. What was once a set of techniques used only in the narrow confines of numerical simulation is now the mainstream approach to developing software on modern computing hardware. As such, the Software Engineering for Technical Computing MSc offers a unique insight into the development of computer applications across a wide spectrum of modern computing environments, from multi-core CPUs to specialist GPUs to Cloud Computing, all of which are relevant to the IT industry today.

In tandem with using modern computing technologies, we also recognise that software application development must use the latest software engineering techniques. In practice, the writing of software source code is just one link in a long chain of processes, starting at requirements capture and flowing through to deployment and maintenance. By understanding these processes, a software engineer can make a real difference when they join a team in a commercial environment, making them a more attractive prospect to potential employers. We ensure that students have every opportunity to explore the best practices of the software industry and put them into effect in their own work.

English Language Requirements

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 92
Pearson PTE Academic - 65
Cambridge English Scale - 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Course overview

The course consists of twelve core modules, including a group design project, plus an individual research project.


The course is delivered via a combination of structured lectures, tutorial sessions and computer based workshops. The C++ and Java programming modules, combined with the Software Engineering course, provide the basis of the academic programme and act as a starting point for the more specialist modules encountered later on. The various computational technology platforms are then introduced, giving students both theoretical and hands-on experience of programming in multi-core, General Purpose CPU, distributed and Cloud computing environments.

- C Programming (pre-requisite)
- Computational Methods
- C++ Programming
- Computer Graphics
- Management for Technology
- Small-Scale Parallel Computing
- High Performance Technical Computing
- Requirements Analysis and System Design
- Cloud Computing
- Software Testing and Quality Assurance
- Advanced Java
- Applications in Practical High-End Computing - Group Project

Individual Project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest. All projects are based on real research, whether it is an area of interest for members of the department, or as part of an active research project funded by industry. In some cases our industrial partners sponsor specific research projects into real world problems or areas of development that are of direct interest to them. In recent years, students have proposed their own ideas for their research project. You will generally begin to consider the research project after completing 3-4 modules - it then runs concurrently with the rest of your work.

For part-time students it is common that their research thesis is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:
- Using Twitter to Predict Financial Market Sentiment.
- Visualisation of Source Code and Defects
- Android Based Monitoring of Hybrid Car Engines
- Development of Mutation Analysis Tool for PHP Software
- Time-dependent Augmented Reality Visualisation on a Mobile Device
- Analysis of Concurrency in CUDA Based Applications
- Development of Domain Specific Language for CUDA Development
- Automated Data Flow Checking Tool Development.

Group Project

The process of software production is rarely an activity undertaken by an individual developer. In today’s software industry, many different specialists are required to contribute to the creation of software. To ensure a high level of quality in the final product, different roles and responsibilities must be brought together into a single team and therefore clear lines of communication between team members are crucial if the project is to be a success.

An important part of this MSc course is the group project, in which we define a realistic problem and ask each group to propose and implement a solution. It is generally a 6 week project taking place between February and March. Members of each group must decide how to organise themselves, assigning roles to each person.

The group project is an opportunity for you to experience first-hand how a software development team is organised and how the different roles contribute to the final product. This is a chance for you to develop an insight into the organisation of development teams in industry, and allows you to understand what is expected from you once you enter employment.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Recent Group Projects include:
- Scientific Workflows
- Security considerations for distributed computing applications
- Automated recovery mechanisms for design optimisation.


Taught modules (45%) Group Project (5%) Individual Research Project (50%)
The course is assessed through coursework assignments, examination, and individual research project.

Career opportunities

The Software Engineering for Technical Computing masters, attracts enquiries from companies all over the world, who wish to recruit high quality software development graduates. There is considerable demand for students with expertise in engineering software development and for those who have strong technical programming skills in industry standard languages and tools.

Graduates of this course are in demand by financial software developers, mobile application developers, commercial engineering software developers, automotive, telecommunications, medical and other industries and research organisations, have been particularly successful in finding long-term employment. We have had positive feedback from companies in industries as diverse as finance to computer games studios. As such, we enjoy excellent employment statistics, with over 95% of graduates employed within six months.

Some students may go on to register for PhD degrees, many, on the basis of their MSc research project. Thesis topics are most often supplied by individual companies on in-company problems with a view to employment after graduation - an approach that is being actively encouraged by a growing number of industries.

Below is a list consisting of some of the companies that have recruited our graduates:
- Ocado
- BluAge
- Mindsnacks
- Mandara Capital
- Commerzbank AG
- Oracle.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage - https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Software-Engineering-for-Technical-Computing

Visit the Software Engineering for Technical Computing (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jenny Cham

“Cranfield was a really good choice; I went to Vienna for my project due to Cranfield’s partnerships with other European University’s. I also got the opportunity to attend conferences across Europe, write reviews and contribute to my very first peer-reviewed scientific paper - which was well received!
The staff were very supportive, in particular a lady from the Careers Service gave up her time to help prepare me for job interviews, which I found really helpful.
Overall it’s a great environment in terms of access to other really intelligent interesting people. I think that’s a really nice part of being a student at Cranfield.”

(Student Profile)

Lauren Carter

"I believe my MSc was invaluable in preparing me for my current role – covering a broad range of subjects has been extremely useful when liaising with different departments.
I got my job through the links Cranfield had with the company I’m currently working for, who were really impressed by the range of subjects covered as well as the detail and professionalism of my project.”

(Student Profile)

Nsisong Ukut

After researching online and looking at the Cranfield University website, I thought this was the right choice for me. It is the only stand-alone postgraduate university in the UK that specialises in aerospace and engineering and has a great heritage. I had also observed my colleagues in Nigeria who had studied at Cranfield and watched the meteoric rise in their careers. I saw the functions they could handle and how they had launched into global careers.
I found my studies at Cranfield very rewarding – the lecturers give you comprehensive support to help you fully wrap your mind around your subject. Project supervisors are quite amazing too – they connect you into a group project and then with an industrial partner so that you can transform your theoretical knowledge into practical solutions to find the best outcome. This really prepares you for your future career.
Cranfield is a place where you can do a lot! I got involved with the Cranfield Students Association (CSA) in the role of School Representative. This gave me an opportunity to see across the entire school and to see how teaching and non-teaching staff impact the student experience. The support the CSA offers is tremendous – everything to make a good social life and to balance out your academic work. There is an ultra-modern sports centre to keep you fit whilst studying and plenty of clubs and societies that you can get involved in.
Cranfield is the right place to meet the right people in the right environment with the right contacts. The atmosphere is mature and professional and an ideal base to launch your global career.
My advice to anyone who chooses Cranfield is to make use of all the opportunities it offers – embrace it all and make the most of it.
You don’t just get a certificate when you graduate at Cranfield, you get a rewarding experience that will improve the quality of your life.


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).
If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent), in aeronautical, mechanical or electrical engineering or computer science or be applying as part of a recognised double-degree programme with their home EU institution. Entry level C Programming experience is advisable but not required. Applications from candidates with lesser qualifications but with considerable relevant work experience will be considered.

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