BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Software Engineering)

About the course

Software engineering is a discipline that applies professional engineering techniques to the construction and evolution of large and complex software systems. This course adds a specialism in software engineering to a broad base in computer science. In the first two years there is an emphasis on software development, professional programming, the modelling and design of systems and data, the principles of networking and the user experience. Building on this foundation you’ll study software engineering in depth and learn how to analyse, design, develop and evaluate computer-based systems. You’ll also learn the application of engineering techniques, such as those relying on software metrics.

Why choose this course?

  • Choose this course with an emphasis on Software Engineering building on a base of mainstream Computer Science, or change to one of the others in our flexible programme.
  • Be taught by highly qualified staff, most with a PhD or other advanced degree plus research, teaching, or professional experience.
  • Be part of a highly regarded well established computer science department with excellent facilities, a strong research background, and links to business and industry.
  • Prepare yourself for a career in the IT sector through a mix of academic, professional and practical study, with opportunities for industry certifications and a paid placement year. Previous students have worked placements at companies including Intel, Microsoft, and Apple.
  • Recent graduates from Computer Science have gone on to work at amazing organisations including Ticketmaster, BAE Systems, and Ocado.

What will I study?

Computer Science is both an academic and a practical subject so you will be taught in different ways such as lectures, smaller group tutorials, supervised practicals (labs) and self-study including experiential learning. Assessment is by a mix of in-class tests, exams, and coursework.

The School has well equipped laboratory facilities, with PCs running Windows 7 and/or Linux and a whole range of industry-standard and educational software from Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and others. There are specialist labs for networking, multimedia, devices, robotics, and projects.

In addition to scheduled classes, about 16 hours per week in Year 1, you will be expected to spend the same amount of time in self-study taking advantage of the University's extensive and up-to-date facilities. These include the Learning Resource Centres (LRCs), open 24x7, with over 1,200 computer workstations and wifi access, Studynet our versatile online study environment accessible on and off campus, and open access to our labs.

Most of our students own their own PC or Mac, but this is not essential since you can use the university facilities instead or as well.

What you will learn

The engineering of intelligent systems relies on core skills such as programming and the application of modelling methods. You will study the analysis, design and construction of knowledge-based and expert systems, Artificial Life and robotics, as well as systems based around the use of neural networks. This course draws on the expertise of the School’s internationally acclaimed AI research staff. In your first two years you will concentrate on building a broad integrated foundation, with your specialism in AI building on this foundation.

First year

You will learn learn the foundations of the subject including topics such as an overview of the field, programming, modelling, and computing platforms.

Second Year

You will deepen your understanding and develop more advanced skills. There are technical modules on software development, programming, databases, operating systems and networks, plus two options.

Third Year

You have the option of taking a one-year paid work placement, or you can study abroad at one of our partner universities worldwide.

Final Year (3rd or 4th)

You will study computer security and project planning, specialist modules in object-oriented development and software engineering practice, plus two options. Finally you will undertake an individual project in your chosen specialism, typically an extensive piece of practical work.

As well as academic skills and significant experience of the key areas of computer science and IT, you will also gain those skills needed for employment. These include team work, creativity, communications, business awareness, and professionalism. You will acquire these throughout the course plus there is a core module on in the second year covering the legal, social and ethical knowledge necessary to become an IT professional.

Professional Accreditations

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (for 1st year entrants only)

Careers

Our graduates have become software developers, programmers, web developers, business analysts, database administrators, project managers and IT consultants, or have studied for postgraduate degrees at the University of Hertfordshire or other universities. There are careers across many employment sectors, including the IT industry, business, education and government.  Recent employers have included Blackberry, GSK, HP, IBM, John Lewis, and T-Mobile.

What job can I get?

This course gives you a firm foundation for a career as a systems designer, software engineer or project manager. The specialism in software engineering, coupled with your broad knowledge of computer science in general, will really make your degree stand out. Recent graduates have gone on to become software engineers at Amazon and many other world-class organisations. Others have gone on to postgraduate study.