BEng (Hons) single honours Software Engineering 2020/21

Year of entry

Our Software Engineering BEng will enable you to produce secure, high quality, usable and adaptable software systems. This is a dynamic course that will develop your skills in analysis, design, programming, testing and evaluation.

This course can also be studied with a foundation year. See BEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year.

Great news!

We’re building a new £60m Science, Engineering, Technology and Health facility on our main campus in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our engineering students. We’re planning to open Building 2 in September 2020, with building work now well underway.

Producing secure, high quality, usable and adaptable software systems is a challenging task in today’s interconnected world. Software Engineers who can collaborate with others in effective teams are to produce reliable, robust and effective software on time and on budget are in very high demand. Understanding users and creating software that will support them in their tasks means that a broad skill base is helpful to a modern software engineer. This programme of study will develop your skills in analysis, design, programming, testing and evaluation to produce software solutions, as well as helping you to understand team dynamics and working together towards common goals.

This innovative course has been designed in collaboration with industry and you’ll have the excellent opportunity to work with a range of employers. We offer a truly immersive learning opportunity where the applied side of the course provides the opportunity to solve problems provided by local industry. Working with your peers and other fields of engineering you will typically have the opportunity to apply theory to solving industry supplied work related/work based problems.

We are one of only a handful of universities in the UK to offer the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate) international engineering education model developed by MIT 

This course is for you if you enjoy computing, (particularly the application of programming) and wish to learn how to progress from amateur programmer to professional software engineering practitioner. You will develop technical and employability skills to take the software engineering theory into real commercial practice to solve society’s problems.

Software Engineering provides a real opportunity to take an idea through design, build, test and production stages so that ideas become a real benefit to human kind and many industries. For example, monitoring of lone living diabetic patients so that blood sugar levels alert medical professionals to any dangerous blood sugar levels and location of the patients to enable emergency medical intervention.  

This course is particularly for you if you would like to contribute to research and developing software solutions to support society, from improving data communication to enabling smoother operations. E.g. paramedics being able to access patients records when out on an emergency shout so they can be more effective in providing patient care, attention and treatment, saving time and lives.

You’ll use the pioneering CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate) approach to problem solve software challenges. We are one of only a handful of universities in the UK to offer the CDIO international engineering education model developed by MIT that allows you to learn in a practical, hands-on way to tackle real industrial problems.

The BEng Software Engineering course will develop your learning in analysing, the application of your knowledge and understanding of researching, designing, developing, testing, and maintaining professional software. Software engineering is aimed to support professional software development of products for specific business purpose for example banking mobile app, student record information system, automation manufacturing monitoring and control systems. Software engineers design, build and test computer programmes that interface with hardware or software. This course will make use of computer laboratories, practicals and workshops to develop your technical subject and employability skills. You will have the opportunity to work in mixed engineering teams to research and solve industry work-related/based sourced problems. The CDIO approach will typically enable you to make contributions to industry - your software engineered prototype solution maybe the building block to a final solution used by industry. 

During the BEng Software Engineering, you will be supported to develop your employability skills and job application skills to apply for year-long placement opportunities. Year-long placement opportunities in engineering often lead to opening doors to great potential engineering graduate employment opportunities with companies such as IBM, BULL, P&O, UEL and South Eastern Railway.

With the advent of the smartphones and tablets, many companies are seeking employees to develop digital solutions to support their businesses

The Telegraph

The phone in your pocket processes billions (around 3.36 billion) more instructions per second than the Apollo Guidance computer that first took us to the moon!

Forbes, 2017

Work experience

You may opt to take a third year placement module, providing you meet the requirements of the Year in Industry. This allows you to put your classroom knowledge into practice.

We have also offered a number of paid summer student internships open to students to apply for. A previous opportunity involved two students who undertook a development internship with us to look at the production of a prototype healthcare system. This was used to demonstrate the capability of such a system to surgical teams in Kent.

Students on this programme can expect to go on a small number of optional trips such as the National Computing Museum at Bletchley Park. We also have a number of guest lecturers each year. 

Year 1

Semester 1

Introduction to C# (20 Credits)

The aim(s) of the module is to introduce students to the C# programming language and the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The module is an initial module in computer programming and will assume no prior knowledge of programming. You will use a log-book to demonstrate your learning throughout this module as you build up your skills and will be assessed on specific entries into this log book.

This module provides support for the Design and Implement elements of the CDIO module.

Deployment Technologies for Computing (20 Credits)

In this module you will be exposed to basic understanding of electronic principles, sensors, wiring up electronic components, programming hardware systems, controls, robotics and also introduce a rapid application development platform to build mobile applications for a deployment system using visual and model driven approach. This will allow you to create simple prototype systems to demonstrate your concepts and ideas and will be used in the Software Lifecycle Development project in Semester 2.

Fundamentals of Computer Systems (20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the base concepts of the binary computer through interaction with small devices such as simulation systems or the Raspberry Pi. Students will examine its components, its operation and basic elements of data storage.

Semester 2

Application Development (20 Credits)

The aim(s) of the module is to continue to develop your capability to develop simple C# solutions to problem situations. This will cover more complex programming concepts than looked at in Introduction to C# as well as concepts of Graphical User Interface development and design and linking C# systems to file store and database systems.

Ethics, Professionalism and Employability in Computing (20 Credits)

This module aims to give a good understanding of ethical, professional and employability issues you will encounter when embarking on a career in Computing. The module will focus on the kind of roles available to computer professionals and discuss the choices required, both in general and with regard to the degree modules that might best guide you into a particular career. Students will have the opportunity to research and explore the knowledge required for their chosen career and be encouraged to discuss the ethical and professional issues relating to these areas.

Software Lifecycle Group Development Project (20 Credits)

To develop your understanding of the fundamental concepts of software engineering you will work through a project in teams to develop a piece of software. You will work through the software life-cycle tasks to developing a computer-based solution to meet specific user requirements through the development of a simple system. You will also develop your understanding of what is required for good team formation and operation.

Year 2

Semester 1

Object-Oriented Programming (20 credits)

Object oriented programming continues the software programming stream from year 1 by looking at a way of thinking about problems and development of solutions – using the class and object model. Continuing the use of the main programming language from year 1 (typically C#) the module deepens your knowledge of how to use the power of this development language. The students will also consider the concepts of the ethics of untested software and Intellectual property rights in the software industry and how this may affect their own software development careers.

Software Engineering (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the students with an opportunity to understand the basic methodologies, tools and techniques involved in creating comparatively small software systems.  The module aims to provide students with the ability to effectively use one of the industry used software development frameworks such as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and its embedded tools to create a full application starting with a scenario of a small project idea and ending with full deployment of a solution application.

Database Enhancement Group Project (20 Credits)

The module aims to provide you with a practical appreciation of the fundamental issues involved in designing, implementing and testing a small relational database application in a multi-user environment using an industry-standard database management system. You will be taking an existing database and making improvements to this while understanding the modelling concepts and theory to understand database systems.

Semster 2

Web Development Project (20 credits)

This module aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to understand and construct interactive websites.  The focus will be on client-side and server-side design and implementation enabling students to appreciate the role of various network architectures and system configurations. This module provides support for all elements of the CDIO model.

Networking and Operating Systems (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to first introduce you to basic principles of operating systems and undertake practical exercises on basic administrative tasks.  You will also be introduced to the fundamental aspects of Computer Networks. Key aspects such as the design, construction and operation of Local and Wide Area Networks, and the layered protocol architecture are covered. The module aims to reinforce the taught material using physical equipment and software tools in a laboratory environment.

Algorithms and Data Structures (20 credits)

In software development we often use standard techniques to solve problems. These solutions come from the way we store the information (Data Structures) and the steps we work through to arrive at the information we need to extract (the algorithms). This module looks at both elements together – so you can understand how to create solutions more quickly, reliably and with ease of understanding and maintenance of other programmers. This essential skill for all developers will help you work effectively in industry.

Optional Year in Industry

The year in industry allows you to develop your knowledge and skills in a business or industrial setting. This allows you to build up the practical skills desired by employers and to demonstrate your capabilities on your CV. 

Year 3

Semester 1

Individual Study - Part A (20 Credits)  

The Individual Study is your opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities and what you have learned over your time at University and is worth a third of your final year credits. You will perform a research task that will usually involve literature and practical work. You will write a dissertation to describe your work and create a poster to present the work to a broad range of people. 

Programming Languages and Frameworks (20 credits)

The module introduces special purpose frameworks used for special types of applications, such as web applications with special languages such as CodeIgniter for PHP, or Selenium for Testing.  You will look at a variety of different frameworks in different areas of software development with a view to evaluating commonality and differences between them.

Cybersecurity (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to how to perform a risk assessment of a variety of assets linked to an organisation, such as information, computers, networks, delivery and supply chains, people and buildings. You will then develop skills to protect information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure), the data on them, and the services they provide, from unauthorised access, harm or misuse. We believe that an understanding of computer security is so important in modern IT that all computing students should be versed in it to some level to protect themselves and any organisation they work with.

Semester 2

Individual Study- Part B (20 Credits)

You will continue and conclude your work on your Individual Study that you started in the first Semester.

Human Computer Interaction (20 Credits)

The module shows you to concepts relating to how to ensure usability is part of the design of new systems and to introduce systematic approaches to the design and analysis of user interfaces. You will explore the new research, developments and future direction of the field to enhance the interaction between humans and computers and

Advanced Databases and Big Data (20 credits)

This module uses the Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO) educational framework utilising software engineering fundamentals within the context of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating a complex value-added real-world database system. The module follows on directly from the Year 2 Database Enhancement Group Project module. It aims to consolidate/extend the practical and analytical skills required to carry out more advanced logical/conceptual database design and explores alternative ways of modelling data. It also aims to keep students abreast of recent developments in the field; particularly in the storage and effective use structured Big Data.

Software Engineering currently offers some of the highest paid engineering roles in the UK and employment opportunities include working for major IT organisations such as IBM, BULL, Compuserve and Siemens.

Working as a software engineer could lead you to work in:

  • Creating, implementing and maintaining information systems for the public sector.
  • Designing, implementing and maintaining intelligent smart building systems.
  • Designing, implementing and maintaining electronic banking solutions enabling smooth national and international financial transactions. 
  • Designing, implementing and maintaining technology education software to enhance student learning.

As a graduate of software engineering, you could also be in demand in many non-IT sectors and involved in work with: 

  • The aerospace industry, researching, developing, testing and maintaining info-entertainment systems that keep passengers entertained throughout long haul flights. 
  • The manufacturing industry: researching, developing, testing and maintaining automated systems in manufacturing cells and interacting with manufacturing upstream and downstream work cells
  • City transport: collating real-time bus and train locations and communicating information over distributed networks to different users’ interfaces, bus stop boards, train information displays, mobile apps, etc
  • The Ministry of Defence: researching, designing, developing and testing systems that listen for and identify terror threat communications.

This list represents possible career opportunities and in some cases you may be required to undertake further studies or gain relevant work experience and/or professional accreditation in order to pursue particular roles. Further academic study can enhance your career prospects and lead you to senior and specialist positions both within engineering and also teaching or research-related roles. 


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Travel There may be opportunities to visit IT organisations such as HP, Citrix, IBM and partner institutions in Europe and you may be required to cover the costs associated with these trips.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


This degree uses a Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate-like structure – where some of your teaching will be done via real-world inspired projects. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical labs. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week and are expected to also spend about 4 hours each week co-ordinating with team members on group activities. Labs will often emphasise working in small groups to enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and place theory into practice. 

You will also have regular scheduled meetings, in addition to the above contact hours, with an assigned academic personal tutor, which is your first point of contact for assistance to your undergraduates needs.

Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions it is expected you will continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves completing computer-based exercises, preparing for workshops and seminars, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, undertaking coursework assignments or preparing for class-tests and examinations and reading journal articles and books. Your module leader will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For your final year individual study (dissertation), you will undertake independent research and will be assigned a supervisor; who will guide you through your first substantial and independent work through regular scheduled meetings.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours and an additional 25 hours of independent learning. In addition, there may be field trips.

For each 20-credit module, your study time will about 10 hours a week plus work on assessments or preparation for examinations. Assessments would normally be expected to take approximately 50 hours for an assignment worth 50% of a 20 credit module. A similar amount of preparation and revision time would be expected for an examination worth 50% of a 20 credit module.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold Doctoral or professional qualifications (e.g. Member of the British Computer Society or Eur. Ing.). Find out more about the current teaching staff. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students assist in some teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the majority of lectures and seminars.

You will be assessed largely by coursework and project work, though some modules will also have examinations or class tests. Coursework is mainly practically-oriented with appropriate theoretical elements to ensure a well-rounded education. Assessments are generally individual, with group work in some modules where this matches the approaches used in industry.

We use coursework assessment methods based on their suitability for specific modules. Formative feedback is provided formally in year one and during the year three individual study, and informally in workshops and seminars. Methods of assessment used include production of software artefacts, project plans and diaries, essays, reports, ‘investigation-based’ presentations, oral presentations, individual studies/projects, poster presentations, online assessment, logs, examinations and time constrained assignments.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1
  • Approximately 80% by course work, about 10% by class test examination and 10% by presentation. You will develop a number of software artefacts.
Year 2
  • Approximately 10% by class test examination and 90% by course work of various forms including posters, case studies, software development and approximately 30% by group coursework.

Year in Industry (if taken)

100% by coursework on a pass/fail basis.

Year 3
  • Approximately 60% by coursework and 30% by dissertation and the remainder by presentation or examination depending on the option chosen.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

We have a “Makerspace” lab open to computing students that contains PC Computers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro­computer development systems and a 3D printer. Students can use these technologies on week days, evenings and weekends. A networking and server room will also be available for use during certain modules for student operations.

Out of hours access is available to some computing labs specifically for computing students.

Our new multi-million-pound facility for Science, Engineering, Technology and Health is expected to be opened in September 2020, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our engineering students.

It will take advantage of our strong links with industry and employers to produce work-ready engineering graduates who can make an active contribution to 21st century society. It will be home to the Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub.


Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new building has to offer.

Several of the academic staff are members of the British Computer Society (BCS) and some staff are also linked to the Engineering Council through Chartered Engineering status (CEng, or Eur. Ing.). Some staff are also former practitioners in their field with considerable experience and connections to current practitioners in their respective industries.

This course has links to major organisations including IBM, Siemens, HP and local IT companies.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • I302 Software Engineering
  • I303 Software Engineering (with year in industry)

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • BEng 3 years full-time (or 4 years with industry placement)


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points including Level 3 qualifications in IT or Computing or Maths. Plus, 5 GCSEs at grade C, or above (or equivalent) including maths, science and English language).

    (Note: BEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year is available for those who do not meet these entry requirements).

    More entry requirement details.



Last edited 14/08/2019 10:00:00

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Last edited: 14/08/2019 10:00:00