BEng (Hons) single honours Software Engineering with Foundation Year 2019/20

Year of entry

This course offers you an alternative pathway to access degree level study in Software Engineering. The course is designed to improve your computing discipline knowledge, including programming. In addition, the course will equip you with the skills you need to study at undergraduate level and will inform your choice of degree.

The course will:

  • Introduce you to the discipline of Software Engineering, including programming concepts
  • Inform your choice of degree specialism in Computing
  • Provide you with the study skills needed for a degree-level course
  • Allow you to apply academic knowledge and skills to real world technical challenges.
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.

“Software engineering is intended to support professional software development, rather than individual (amateur) programming.”

(Somerville, 2016)

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 that allows you to learn in a practical, hands-on way to tackle real industrial problems.

This course is particularly for you if you are interested in computer hardware and software and how the technology can be used to provide solutions to automate the weather, atmosphere and light conditions in commercial greenhouses to increase the number of annual crops and maximising quality food production for the growing population. 

The BEng Software Engineering with foundation year provides creative and talented students, career changers, or those with experience and passion for the subject, with a direct route to an engineering degree.

This course is for you if:

  • You didn’t continue to study science and maths beyond GCSE level, are doing well in your chosen post 16 studies and have the mindset and habits required for a career in software engineering
  • Your career plan is to get into software engineering and you need to strengthen your knowledge and understanding in computing, science and maths.
  • It’s been a while since you last studied, particularly science, computer programming and maths, and you would like to change career to become a chemical engineer.

This four-year course starts with the foundation year, to help build your science, computing, maths, engineering skills and knowledge while preparing you for your engineering degree. During the foundation year you will build your learning, knowledge, understanding and confidence in science, programming, mathematics and statistics. You’ll gain the engineering skills and knowledge needed to study at BEng level where 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.

At the end of the foundation year, you will progress with the BEng Software Engineering course which 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 0 – Foundation Year

Semester 1

Working with Software (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to ensure that you have a good grounding in the software we use every day in computing to document and to capture information about computer systems, including video editing packages. You will also learn how to prepare for assessments by understanding the tasks to be undertaken, planning your time and ensuring what you submit meets the requirements. This will help you for future assessments in your degree.

Working with Computer Hardware (20 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to the basics of how electronic and logical systems create computer hardware and to develop simple systems using such things and Arduino and Raspberry Pi computers. You will also learn how to use log books to record what you have done – to help your learning and revision of topics and also to evidence your contributions to group work projects.

Programming Concepts (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn some basics of computer programming using a language such as Python – how to write simple programs and to test these to ensure that they are working properly.

Semester 2

Mathematics OR Advanced Mathematics (20 Credits)

Much of what we do in Computing has a mathematical basis to it. On this module you will learn of refresh your knowledge of the mathematics we use most commonly in computing. The Mathematics module should ensure that you have a good grounding in the mathematics typically used at GCSE which will support your later learning in your degree. 

Students who have already achieved a good GCSE, or equivalent, may study the Advanced Mathematics module if they wish to. This module covers more advanced mathematics and opens up opportunities for changing programmes to the Computer Science Degree.

Computing in Society (20 Credits)

The aim of the module is to investigate the role of Computing in society and how computing can affect the society we live in. For example we may look at how computer technology has enabled the casualization of labour through platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo, changed the shape of the high street with companies such as Amazon and the way we communicate and inform ourselves about the world with social media organisations such as Facebook. You will learn how to gather information and extract parts of this to form a good report, essay or presentation about a particular topic.

Programming Project (20 credits)

This programming project module provides you with the opportunity to consolidate your learning from other course modules such as; Programming Concepts, Working with Hardware and Working with Software.  The project learning will adopt the Conceive, Design and Implement (CDIO) model of learning to support your and your peers learning and application to solve the problem typically sourced from local industry. Also, providing you the opportunity during foundation year to contribute to local industry through your project.

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. 

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.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

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.

The first year of study is your foundation year (year 0), where you will study a range of engaging and inspiring modules. These modules will enable you to develop academic and practical skills that will build your confidence and equip you with the fundamental knowledge required to embark on your degree.

Each module in the foundation year typically consists of 20 hours of lectures, 40 hours of laboratory work and 10 hours of tutorials. Modules are led by experienced academics including senior lecturers, principal lecturers, laboratory technicians and postgraduate demonstrators. 

As you progress on to the BEng Software Engineering degree (levels 4 to 6) you will study a range of modules which (per module) will typically comprise 48 hours in computer laboratories, however it will vary from module to module. For example, a level 6 40 credit project module will typically be a blend of 12 hours of lectures and weekly 1/2hr project supervision meetings with your academic supervisor. To help develop your employability skills, additional drop-in academic and peer mentoring sessions may be timetabled to support you with specific topics.

In addition to the structured teaching times, you will also be required to undertake self-study.  The typical amount of time for all activities associated with one 20-credit module is 200 hours which is made up of class contact time in lectures, tutorials and workshops, laboratory sessions, module preparation, module learning contextualisation, assessment research, development and submission, and examination revision.

Modules will typically be led by senior lecturers, principal lecturers, readers, professors with laboratory learning supported by computer technicians and postgraduate demonstrators. The academics are typically specialists and researchers in a particular field, for example computer networks, computer hardware, cybersecurity, etc.

The foundation year, will consist of coursework assessment and examinations.  Coursework assessment will consist of online tests, software programs, development of a log book, scientific report, computer laboratory practical and write up, blog, discussion board, simple program application and tutorial problems. 

As you progress on to the BEng Software Engineering Degree  you will undertake coursework assessments and examinations. The coursework aims to be balanced in type, variety and appropriateness across each academic year and could involve case study analysis, group project-based learning, computer laboratory investigation and write up, online tests, tutorial problem, software specifications, blogs, discussion board, Wiki, agile board, mobile app, desktop app, web 3.0, individual and group presentations, laboratory/log book, viva voca, concieve, design, implement, and operate (CDIO) projects, and work-related/based activity. For written assessments a  word count or equivalent is provided

When you reach level 6 (typically the third year of a full-time undergraduate course) you will be required to complete a substantial group CDIO (conceive, design, implement, operate) project where you will undertake individual research and will be required to write and submit a dissertation.  You will be provided with a module leader and module team, as well as academic supervisor support and guidance throughout the project. 

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.

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 Course Enquiry Team:

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • I301 Software Engineering with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years (or 5 years with Professional Placement) full-time

    8 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be minimum of 32 UCAS Tariff points depending on your Level 3 subject mix, your experience if appropriate and what you say about studying Engineering in the UCAS Personal Statement. Plus, 5 GCSEs at grade C, or above (or equivalent) including maths, science and English language.

    Further entry requirements

    If you haven't taken Level 3 qualifications in subjects traditionally aligned to Engineering (e.g. maths, science), are returning to education or are changing careers, the foundation year provides you with the opportunity to build the knowledge base required to continue onto the BEng Software Engineering.

    If you already have maths or science qualifications at Level 3 then we would require 32-88 tariff points for entry onto the foundation year.

    If you do not have the necessary entry qualifications, we will consider you if you can demonstrate that you can study at a suitable level. You may be invited to attend an interview.

    More entry requirement details.



Last edited 14/08/2019 10:01:00

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Last edited: 14/08/2019 10:01:00