also available in 2017
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 4 Year(s)
Our Software Engineering (with Industrial Experience) degree offers you a broad computer science curriculum with an emphasis on software engineering and design. You will gain the technical knowledge and experience needed to manage and develop high-quality, well-designed software systems along with an understanding of business and system requirements.
Based around our dedicated Software Engineering Design Studio, you will experience small group, problem led teaching with one of the strongest software engineering research groups in the country. Working in a team environment, you will not only learn the theory and skills needed to specify, design, develop and evaluate real-world software systems, but also how to work effectively using the group based methodologies found in today’s software industry. On this four-year MSci programme, you can gain further depth in contemporary technologies combined with organised, integrated industrial placements and projects in your final year.
A Level AAA
Computing A Level We are committed to encouraging the adoption of the new A level Computing curriculum. Students applying with an A level in Computing will receive favourable consideration.
GCSE Mathematics grade B, English Language grade C
IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 36 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
Access to HE Diploma Not typically accepted
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via email@example.com
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module demonstrates the fundamental building blocks, mechanisms and concepts found in all digital systems. Students will learn about the workings of a processor; how memory works; and the architectures of classical and contemporary computers. It also shows students how programming languages are turned into something a computer can understand. In providing a strong insight into these fundamental operations, students are encouraged to develop new ways of thinking and to develop abstract thought.
Students will gain an understanding of the key features and components of digital systems, including low level components such as registers and adders, and how these can be controlled through the use of programming techniques. They will develop the skills to work with different logic constructs and number systems, in particular, binary logic. The relationship between applications software, systems software and hardware will be considered and students will also develop an applied understanding of the c programming language.
This module provides students with an insight into the importance and relevance of the principles of computer science. Gaining the essential knowledge needed for analysing and characterising the efficiency of algorithms and computer programs, students learn how to make the right design choice when implementing computer programs to optimise efficiency for given design parameters.
Students also study the role and characteristics of data structures, and they gain an understanding of the continuing importance of classical algorithms in computer science.
The lectures in this module are supported by seminars and practicals, so that students can develop the ability to work efficiently both independently and in small groups.
There are three main aspects to this module. Firstly, students will study the design and implementation of data handling technology. They will learn about the structure and characteristics of relational databases and their contemporary alternatives, and about the common languages and functions for constructing, populating and querying valid information systems.
Secondly, the module looks at systems analysis and design. Alongside the study of information systems design, students will learn about the use of data in a business and social context, including data collection, validation and presentation. They will learn how to handle multiple constraints, working with people and machines, system thinking and basic cost/benefit analysis.
Finally, the module tackles the important professional and ethical issues of computers in society. Students will gain an understanding of the legal implications of holding personal data, the role and effects of censorship, malware and spam, privacy and surveillance, internet operations, and governance. This will enable students to construct and critique ethical arguments around human and technological requirements and appropriate design solutions.
Computer programming is a highly practical skill in our quickly developing world. In this module students develop the skills expected of a principled computer programmer as they learn how to write, analyse, debug, test and document computer programs. Students will be introduced to both the C and Java programming languages, two of the most widely used languages in the world. They will learn about best practice of day-to-day techniques associated with software development and gain an understanding of the software development cycle. Learning about the challenges faced by software developers in addressing scalability and complexity in computer software, students will be able to work independently to develop moderately complex computer programs.
An adaptable approach is taken to new tools and technologies, allowing an understanding of the importance of selecting the best programming tool for a given problem. A number of new programming languages are introduced from different programming language families and build upon good practices established in Year 1. An appreciation of the history and diversity of programming languages is encouraged, such as understanding their domains of application and to learn to think more broadly about programming. Understanding of the application domain and relative strengths, weaknesses and performance of various language types will be promoted and language concepts and list comprehensions are also introduced.
This module requires a level of self-discipline to recognise and build programs that not only function to a high degree but incorporate non-functional properties. The generation of elegant, scalable and extensible software is expected from the course. Through this experience, students develop the ability to reason logically and algorithmically about problem solving. They will gain experience of abstracting and simplifying problems based on how the map onto structures and computational elements of programming languages. Confidence in computational thinking will allow the student to compare and contrast alternatives.
Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts underpinning contemporary communications networks and the internet with the aid of examples such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols and file sharing. Exploring the key ideas of protocol stacks and layering, as well as base internet communication protocols such as IPv4, IPv6, TCP and UDP, discover the concepts of IP addressing and sub-netting before being introduced to the protocols used to support the routing of IP packets across the internet, as well as bootstrapping networked systems. This module examines the techniques to support network address discovery and allocation. Link layer issues around data transmission and network programming provide a practical element to the module.
Students complete the module with a detailed understanding of data transmission techniques in computer networks and knowledge of the steps and relevant protocols needed to establish and maintain reliable data communication between network endpoints. Know the key building blocks the internet is built upon and become familiar with the practical elements of programming required to support network communication from both a network protocol and application level perspective. The module encourages enhanced independent research skills throughout the course.
Receive a theoretical background to the design, implementation and use of database management systems, for both data designers and application developers. Students are encouraged to become familiar with all the relevant aspects related to information security in the design, development and use of database systems. Gain an understanding of the history of how the need for database management systems (DBMS) has evolved over time and how they are applied in everyday scenarios. The module explores the need to define the requirements of database systems, making use of the Extended-Entity Relationship (EER) model as a technique and notation for designing the data in a DBMS independent way. Students will investigate the mapping of the EER model into an equivalent relational model and then examine it in terms of access rights and privileges. The need of DBMS in supporting transactions and concurrency and topics are covered in single lectures and mini-lecture streams for in-depth coverage of complex topics.
By the end of the module, students will possess transferable skills in applying efficient physical storage organisation, have an increased awareness of the correct processes, models and notations that can be applied to problems, as well as being able to critically evaluate a range of technical ideas.
Students will learn theoretical and practical topics in Human-Computer Interaction, with lab work offering hands on experience of design, implementation and the ability to evaluate interactive systems through practical case studies. The course explores the underpinnings of human perception, user-centred design and participatory design processes, with students learning multiple design techniques. The module leads to an understanding of how internal system design impacts external user interface behaviour and highlights the importance of accessibility for all users.
By the end of the module, students will be able to successfully integrate diverse information to form a coherent understanding of Human-Computer Interaction; critically reflect on technical advancements in HCI and demonstrate the independent learning abilities needed for continual professional development and effective written and verbal skills.
Students are introduced to the theoretical and practical application of operating system concepts in SCC211. Throughout the module, internal OS structure; file and I/O management, interrupt handling and device drivers and memory management structures and techniques all become familiar. The module explores process management, including scheduling and threads, and support for multiprocessors. Expect to investigate issues surrounding security and protection, including access control. A practical, hands on approach to module topics is taken to assist in assimilating abstract concepts by presenting concrete examples from suitable operating systems and carrying out relevant programming exercises.
By the end of the module, students should understand the role of a modern operating system and common architectures. System vulnerabilities and how to protect them against security threats are considered throughout. Students will confidently describe typical file system structures and highlight the different approaches to process and task scheduling.
Students will gain the essential skills and knowledge to operate within the professional, legal and ethical frameworks of their profession. Techniques for breaking down a project into manageable parts and efficient time allocation are taught, leading to a fundamental understanding of the skills and methods required to pursue scientific inquiry and the fundamental concepts and tools for statistical analysis to measure and explain data. Exemplars and guidelines on producing concise and structured scientific reports are offered and students receive additional lectures on presentation skills, professional ethics in relation to computing and communications. Finally, lectures provide an awareness of fundamental legal aspects related to a profession in computing and communications, including intellectual property rights and patent law.
Throughout this course, students will gain a high level of awareness of subject specific skills and general competence needed to gain employment in their field. The module develops academic writing and research skills in a computing context, complimenting students’ other modules.
Software Design offers the opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of software architecture design, different styles of architecture and the meaning of quality attributes for software design such as maintainability, performance and scalability. Students will gain knowledge of systematic approaches to developing software design using a set of graphical models. The design process involved in developing several modes of the system at different levels of abstraction is explained and they will be introduced to object oriented design with UML.
Throughout the module, students will appreciate the broader context of the role of computer science in the workplace, and the key role it plays in implementing software. The course also looks at understanding the meaning of quality attributes for software design as well as architectural models for specific software systems. Students will gain an insight into the main quality attributes for deciding classes. Students will be able to interpret and construct UML models of software and implement a design expressed as a UML mode as well as understanding how to use various design patterns to address certain problems.
Students apply knowledge gained in their first year to produce a complex, innovative and concrete group project. Throughout the module, they will have access to an award winning Software Engineering Design Studio in order to work as a team on contemporary challenges in Software Design. Students will develop skills in project planning, management and execution, requirements analysis, systems design and testing strategies. Individual modules of a large scale system will be implemented by the group. In teams, students will deliver reports, code and give a demonstration of a working system. They will present elements of their work in written, graphical and verbal forms through the productions of materials such as reports, a website, posters and presentations.
Understanding the principles of software engineering through applying them in a group project context will be learnt. Students will become familiar with project management and the teamwork skills essential to delivering a high quality software product on schedule. Students will have the ability to write effective software engineering reports and deliver engaging presentations.
Students are offered an understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning modern distributed systems and practical implementation using JAVA RMI. They will explore indirect communication, group communication and non-functional aspects in distributed systems such as scalability, fault-tolerance and dependability. Applications and services such as distributed file systems and Google infrastructure are investigated in the module and students benefit from a practical development of distributed systems using Java RMI, J2EE and associated tools and techniques. Through this, the module examines distributed systems design, security and Java RMI, the Java Messaging Service, Java Groups and component architectures such as Fractal and Enterprise Java Beans (EJB).
Students will expand their problem solving skills and increase their current programming skills, allowing them to successfully develop distributed applications and services. They will explore the client-server model of distributed systems, RPC/RMI and physical and logical security and protection mechanisms. Study of practical tools and techniques currently available in distributed programming and engaging in discussions of key non-functional properties, with an insight into current research issues in the distributed systems community is also featured.
Students will become familiar with a range of issues surrounding the structure, design and deployment of contemporary, large scale and high performance web based services and infrastructures. They will gain the ability to identify barriers to high performance and take a heuristic approach for achieving the best website performance through caching, locality and the use of content delivery networks and cloud hosting. An understanding of the use of analytics, metrics, A/B and multivariate testing will be gained. Through the use of programming toolkits, story tagging and content aggregation, along with XML stores, linked data and RDF students will create responsive web design, including mobile devices, tablets and touch interaction.
By the end of the module, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of using metrics and quantitative data to identify a variety of performance problems. They will be able to use and interpret data analytics, as well as understanding agile web development methodology and how to identify quality processes and provide support for accessibility and internationalisation. Students will conduct weekly experimental lab tasks designed to complement and reinforce lectures, giving both a theoretical knowledge and practical experience in range of topics.
Providing an introduction to formal languages, grammars, automata and how these concepts relate to programming in terms of compilers and the compilation process, students will learn about syntax and semantics, phrase structure grammars and the Chomsky Hierarchy as well as processes such as derivation and parsing. The module focuses on grammar equivalence and ambiguity in context free grammars and its implications. There is exploration of the relationship between languages and abstract machines. Students are presented with the concept of computation alongside Turing’s thesis, alternative models of computation and applications of abstract machine representations. There are further introductions to the compilation process including lexical analysis and syntactic analysis.
By the end of this module, students will understand the relation of programming languages and the theory of formal languages. They will possess an essential understanding of the compilation process for a high-level programming language. Students are encouraged to engage with theoretical aspects of computer science to compliment practical skills in other parts of their degree. There are links to other disciplines such as linguistics, and the course explains the challenges of compilation in the context of software development and computer science.
Covering a range of topics, including asset identification and assessment, threat analysis and management tools and frameworks, students will become familiar with attack lifecycle and processes, as well as risk management and assessment processes, tools and frameworks. The module covers mitigation strategies and the most appropriate mitigation technologies and offers knowledge on assurance frameworks and disaster recovery planning. There is also an opportunity to learn about infrastructure design and implementation technologies and attack tree and software design evaluation.
Students will gain an understanding of the different ways in which an IT professional can make effective decisions when securing an IT infrastructure. The course will make them aware of the tools, frameworks and models that can be used to identify assets, threats and risks, before selecting the most appropriate strategies to manage the exposure that IT infrastructure faces in the light of this analysis. The module builds on their skills with a practical examination of the mechanisms by which IT infrastructures are attacked.
Building upon their experience of developing individual software modules through the introduction of complex and realistic software systems, a studio approach is taken for students to focus on the integration and networking of software modules to create larger systems. Software engineering techniques relevant to medium sized networked projects, such as models of distributed architecture, large-scale integration testing, distributed team development and techniques for large scale software quality are taught. In groups, students deliver reports, code and demonstrate a working system. Elements of this work will be presented in a range of verbal, graphical and verbal forms such as reports, websites, posters and presentations.
The course imparts knowledge in the application of software engineering, system development and application programming principles. There is also an awareness of concepts to the development of networked software modules. Project management and planning skills alongside technical skills within a project and medium sized group context are developed through assessment. Students will be building on their experience of working within a team, co-ordinating work within a group and resolving and problems or conflicts.
Working in teams on a project with industry involvement, and building on the skills acquired in SCC330, groups will work on a large system that will be deployed with live users at the end of the course. Focusing on building a real-life innovative system that will potentially have commercial or research value, the development process will adopt an agile approach with a strong emphasis on software engineering practice. Students will deliver and demonstrate a working system and they will also present certain elements of their work in written, graphical and verbal forms through the production of materials such as reports, websites, posters and presentations.
Completion of the module offers hands-on experience through working closely with clients in software. Students are equipped with a range of skills for planning, designing and building industry standard software systems, and they’ll be working as part of a large team, resolving any conflicts.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
A Software Engineering degree will provide you with skills that are in high demand within industry. Recent graduates have found work in companies providing novel computing solutions ranging from e-commerce to advanced military systems. Others have set up their own businesses and many choose to go on to further study.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2018/19 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2017 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student to make the most of their life and education and we have committed £3.7m in scholarships and bursaries. Our financial support depends on your circumstances and how well you do in your A levels (or equivalent academic qualifications) before starting study with us.
Scholarships recognising academic talent:
Continuation of the Access Scholarship is subject to satisfactory academic progression.
Students may be eligible for both the Academic and Access Scholarship if they meet the requirements for both.
Bursaries for life, living and learning:
Students from the UK eligible for a bursary package will also be awarded our Academic Scholarship and/or Access Scholarship if they meet the criteria detailed above.
Any financial support that you receive from Lancaster University will be in addition to government support that might be available to you (eg fee loans) and will not affect your entitlement to these.
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Please note that this information relates to the funding arrangements for 2017, which may change for 2018.
It will be necessary for students to purchase clothing for use in laboratories which is approximately £70. The University pays for student membership of the Institute of Engineering and Technology where appropriate plus contributes to specialist software and workshop materials.
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.