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Software Development for Business

BSc (Hons) - single

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Accredited by the British Computer Society

This course will give you the skills to succeed as a software developer. You will gain a deep understanding of the technical problem solving skills and professional practices that are required by businesses today. 

The degree programme has been developed jointly with companies including IBM, Accenture, Morgan Stanley and Logica who want graduate employees with a strong technical background who can manage the development of software within a business context.

Software Development for Business is a Tech Industry Gold degree - accredited by the Tech Partnership.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years (4 years with work placement)
  • Part time: up to 8 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will learn a professional approach to the whole process of developing software, from the initial gathering of requirements, through the design of the functionality and human interface, to the implementation and deployment of the final product.
  • You will have a thorough grounding in all aspects of the software engineering process, with access to excellent facilities and state-of-the-art technology.
  • You will attend employer events organised by the Tech Partnership where you can meet employers and practise key skills, such as technical presentations and team exercises, as well as interviews and ‘mock’ assessment centre days.
  • You will also be offered placement opportunities.

In the first year you will receive a grounding in the core skills required of the software engineer.

You will develop proficiency in computer programming and the tools associated with it; experience project management and work through the software development process; learn about computer networks and how they can be used for multimedia content and learn about the mathematics that is specific to computer science.

In the second year, you will extend your skills.

You will further develop your skills in computer programming and learn about the key concepts that underpin how programming works.  You will focus on the early stages of the software development process and learn about security from the viewpoint of the programmer or web developer.

Each week you will also be getting lectures from researchers and industrialists who will be letting you know about the current state of the art both in research and in how industry functions.

You will also have the opportunity to further develop your programming skills in C/C++, learn about databases and learn about web technologies.

The skills of being a computer professional underpin all of these but are also brought together in the Professional Issues and Computer Risks module.

In the third year you are expected to undertake an industrial placement year with a company like IBM, BMW, Microsoft or PepsiCo.

In the final year, you will carry out a project on a topic of your choosing to allow you to refine or expand your skills in a particular area of computing.   Alongside this you will study modules that will allow you to expand your programming skills further and have the opportunity to study functional programming and further web technologies.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose may vary from that shown here.

Year 1

  • Professional Software System Design (compulsory)
  • Understanding Programming (compulsory)
  • Introduction to Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Discrete Mathematics (compulsory)
  • Networking and Multimedia (compulsory)
  • Software Development Environments (compulsory)

Year 2 and final year

Year 2

  • Professional Issues and Computer Risks (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Computation (compulsory)
  • Further Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Current Research (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Security (compulsory)
  • Data Structures (compulsory)
  • Requirement Specification and Software Design (compulsory)
  • The Human Computer Interface
  • Software Development with C and C++
  • Web Technology (compulsory)
  • Complex and Structured Data (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Operating Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • Graph Theory
  • Further Discrete Mathematics
  • Approaches to Mobile Software Development
Final year
  • Software Analysis and Testing (compulsory)
  • Software Project Management (compulsory)
  • Advanced Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Algorithms and Advanced Data Structures
  • Project (compulsory)
  • Advanced Web Technology (compulsory)
  • Reasoning About Functional Programs
  • Optimised Programming

Work placements

Although it is optional, we encourage you to take a supervised work placement in the computing industry for 12 months between Year 2 and your final year. You will need to apply for your placement position yourself; however you will be taught about how to apply for jobs effectively in a second year module, and we have a placements office with dedicated staff to provide information and advice to help you secure a placement. We maintain links with industry and most students who go on placement obtain their position through the Department.

More and more students are finding that a placement benefits their final year studies and career prospects. Possible placement organisations include IBM, Microsoft and PepsiCo.

On returning to University for your final year, the experience you have gained will improve your academic performance. In addition, we have an excellent record of students gaining full-time employment on graduation, often with their industrial placement company or organisation.

It is possible to change your programme of study to include or exclude the work placement option up to the end of your second year. Your tuition fees are reduced to £1350 for the year you are on placement and the positions are normally paid which should cover your living expenses. You will however be responsible for the cost of travelling regularly to the placement, which will be affected by the location of the placement; although as Oxford and the surrounding area have a strong IT industry, many placements are available near the University.

Study abroad

Great opportunities to study or work abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. 

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Planned next-generation facilities

This programme is currently based in purpose-built facilities at the Wheatley Campus. As we continue our estates strategy for the future we are planning next-generation facilities for computing, networking and digital media courses, with the continuing aim of providing an environment in which technical expertise is enhanced by creativity and imagination.

Additional costs

The most likely extra costs in studying are computers, books and printing.

You are not required to have your own computer though many students choose to. We have computer rooms available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on campus, so you should always be able to work if you don't have your own machine. Students who choose to buy a computer are advised to avoid low-end machines since reliability will be important; a budget of around £600 should suffice, although some modules may require use of higher-end hardware which is available on campus. Since computers are always available when on campus, it is not necessary to use a laptop computer; a desktop at home or in your Hall will provide greater value for money. The Department does not provide any Apple MacOS machines and their use is not required, but their use is supported if you wish to bring your own. Tablet or smartphone devices may be useful for taking notes but are usually not sufficient for completing the necessary computer based work.

Most software used on the course is freely available to students. The Department is a member of the Microsoft Imagine scheme and other programs designed to grant access to professional-grade software tools, which would normally be very expensive, for free.

Your University library membership includes access to an extensive electronic library so in many cases, you will be able to read coursebooks online without extra cost. You can of course buy physical copies of books as well if you wish. Computing textbooks generally vary in price between £20 and £60 depending on the degree of specialism.

Most submission of work for Computing modules is electronic, so there is little need for printing.

Programme changes

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 page.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include lectures, practical activities, problem-solving classes and tutorial support.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 25%75%0%
2 22%78%0%
3 (sandwich year)1%0%99%
4 17%83%0%

Approach to assessment

Assessment methods vary and reflect the development of academic content as the course progresses, from the practical emphasis of some of the early modules to the more conceptual content that you'll encounter later in your programme.The modules covering core material are mostly assessed on a combination of coursework and examination.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 21%0%79%
2 28%0%73%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 23%0%78%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £1,380

International - full time: 2017/18: £13,730 2018/19: £14,000

International - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £3,840 2018/19: £3,920

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points, preferably including science

BTEC: DDM, preferably in a science subject

Applications are welcomed from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics grade C minimum, and English Language grade C minimum

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the university.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a hub for UK-based computing and technology firms, so our research partnerships and links with industry are hard to beat. Many computing students take up work placements within Oxfordshire-based companies.

Specialist facilities

The department’s facilities are located in purpose built buildings with 24-hour access to computer networks worldwide, and include state-of-the-art laboratories for electronics, software development, and media production such as a TV studio.

You will benefit from excellent access to educational and professional software.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Career prospects in computing are excellent, and our graduates have been very successful in finding suitable employment in business, industry, research and education. Career opportunities include all aspects of software development, computer applications in organisations, and multimedia applications.

Recent graduates have been employed by Apple, Sophos, Agilent and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Further study

World-class research and superb links with industry come together to make Oxford Brookes one of the best places in the UK to study technology at postgraduate level, whatever your subject interest.

Our courses, taught by leading academics with active research programmes, are designed to meet the needs of modern industry. And our location in Oxford places us at the heart of one of Europe's biggest concentrations of high-tech businesses - opening up opportunities for research collaboration and employment.

You can find out more about our postgraduate courses here.