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

Year of entry

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.


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 degree is offered with a Foundation Year to prepare those who are changing careers or who require additional support to work in this exciting area.

So much of our everyday life is dependent upon software technology and people developing and maintaining these digital solutions. Software has enabled man go to the moon, ensure planes take off on time, and arrive on time, monitor and control smart building systems and ensure your student loan is paid into your account. All these software solutions needed to be software engineered, but require different software engineering approaches and techniques to research, design, development, implement, and test the software, to deliver professional, reliable, on cost and on time solutions.

“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. 

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)

During the foundation year, you will cover:

  • Good higher education learning skills
  • Maths for computing
  • Science for computing
  • Introduction to computer programming. 

Over the course of the BEng Software Engineering, the modules you study will build your learning on:

  • Computer programming
  • Databases
  • Computer networks
  • Human and hardware interfaces
  • Requirement engineering
  • System analysis
  • Hardware databases architecture
  • Software application development
  • Software project management techniques.

Common themes embedded within the core modules include:

  • Engineering professional practice and development
  • Software engineering’s role in society
  • Legal, ethical*, and environmental regulations
  • Policy and practice
  • Employability development for placement and graduate roles.
*In adherence with BCS requirements, you will develop ethical software engineering practice.  

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. 

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 12/06/2019 16:24:00

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Last edited: 12/06/2019 16:24:00