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.
You will be studying the following modules:
- Research, Scholarship and Professional Skills (compulsory for MSc and PGDip) is designed to equip students with the tools necessary for the scholarship and research skills needed for the computing field as well as equipping them with the professional skills and outlook needed for a lifelong career in the computer industry.
- Advanced Software Engineering (compulsory for MSc and PGDip) explores the techniques used to keep programs error-free at every stage of the software lifecycle. In particular, it focuses on the process of reasoning about the properties of programs and on machine-assisted refinement from specification to implementation. It also introduces various mathematical concepts of software engineering.
- Secure Systems Architecture (compulsory for MSc) studies computer and network security and the ways that computer systems can be secured. This module will look at both the technological and human issues involved in securing and assessing the security level of a modern networked computer system. It also introduces basic concepts of operating systems and architecture.
You will be studying the following modules:
- Advanced Software Development (compulsory for MSc and PGDip) studies the current practices, skills and techniques applied to managing software development related projects, individually and in project teams. The module combines theory with pragmatic and professional insights and considers requirements engineering, project management, risk, quality assurance, usability and HCI issues.
- Paradigms of Programming (alternative compulsory for MSc) enables students to broaden their existing understanding of programming by learning and practising multiple programming styles and programming technologies; by studying the underlying disciplines of programming language design, compiler/interpreter construction, formal properties of programming languages and low-level development.
- Compiler Construction (alternative compulsory for MSc) studies the principles, methods and techniques of compiler construction for imperative programming languages and the role of language tools in the broad context of software development. Students will work in small groups to create a compiler for a Java-like, high-level programming language.
- Secure Programming (compulsory for MSc). It is increasingly important that software must not only be functional and reliable but also secure. This module looks at the key concepts and principles used in constructing secure software and in auditing and making secure, existing software.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, modules offered may differ from those listed.
Students undertaking an MSc with placement will do a 1 year placement in industry. The placement will be undertaken after the taught component and before doing the dissertation.
Students studying for an MSc will also take:
- MSc Dissertation: which is an individual research and development project that allows you to study a topic of your choice in depth, guided by your supervisor. The work may be undertaken in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation. You undertake your dissertation over the summer 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.
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.
Students on placement are responsible for living costs associated with their placement.
Part time study is an option on this programme for students who wish to combine their study with work. Where possible we try to ensure that part time students only need to attend for 1 day a week, although students will be expected to undertake additional independent study.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes