MSc-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate Software Engineering

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Comments about MSc-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate Software Engineering - At the institution - Bristol City - Bristol

  • Entry requirements
    As a general guide to be successful in this degree you need to have had solid experience of software development and be a fluent programmer in a high level programming language. As is the case with all our Master’s degrees, the ability to communicate well in writing is required. Typically, students have entered the programme with degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computing, IT, or similar.
  • Academic title
    MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Software Engineering
  • Course description

    Software Engineering involves the application of specialised knowledge and skills to develop different kinds of large, complex software systems. There is continuous demand for software engineers both internationally and nationally. The Bristol area is home to many high tech professional companies who regularly employ Software Engineering professionals.

    This course will provide an opportunity for people, including those from these companies, to gain up-to-date knowledge and skills in software engineering. It is designed to attract both full and part-time students. The background of students may be diverse and, for this reason, the course offers a comprehensive range of modules. Flexibility characterises the structure of the programme.

    Students will qualify for the awards MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate by accumulating credits on completion of modules, as follows:

    -The MSc in Software Engineering requires 180 credits, including 60 credits for the dissertation
    -The Postgraduate Diploma in Software Engineering requires 120 credits, all from the taught part of the course ie no dissertation is completed
    -The Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering requires 60 credits, again all from the taught part of the course

    Taught modules are worth 15 credits and may be considered as either core (ie a module that must be taken), or optional. Modules are delivered by a variety of methods including classroom-based and online discussion as well as electronic delivery. It is possible to complete the course entirely through distance learning.

    Students do not need to come to the University to study their modules although some face-to-face discussion sessions will take place at which attendance is optional. Our approach to e-learning is to encourage students to be active learners, both by undertaking problem solving exercises relating to the material presented and by sharing their thoughts and ideas with other students through online forums.

    Please note that you will need to attend the University to sit any examinations.

    Resourcing of options

    When options are offered with a course, the Faculty cannot guarantee that all will run in any particular academic year and the Dean (or his nominee) will determine in good time which options will be running. The decision will be dependent on such factors as the number of students wishing to take an option, whether appropriate physical or staff resources are available, and whether the non-running of an option would prevent a student from completing his or her programme of study through the lack of any alternative.

    Teaching and learning
    On completion of the MSc Software Engineering, students will be expected to show knowledge and application of the following skills:

    Knowledge and understanding

    -The fundamental concepts of software engineering;
    -State of the art approaches and methods;
    -The ethical issues involved in developing software engineering.

    Intellectual skills

    -To take a reflective and critical approach to their work;
    -To effectively solve software engineering problems;
    -To undertake research in software engineering to evaluate state of the art techniques and approaches.

    Subject-specific practical skills

    -Technical skills necessary for requirements analysis, specification, design and implementation;
    -Skills required for effective project management, including project planning, project monitoring and quality control;
    -Skills required in integrating and applying the above techniques to develop application systems.

    Transferable and key skills

    -Critical thinking;
    -Problem management;
    -Research skills and methods.

    To pass a module students are required to obtain an overall mark of at least 50%. Most taught modules have two assessed components, namely a written piece of coursework and an exam. Apart from the dissertation, University regulations allow students to resit and retake modules they have not successfully completed first time around.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    How much additional time and independent study will this course require?

    A 15-credit module typically involves three hours per week over a 12-week period in structured activities, although this may vary. You should reckon on devoting approximately a further six hours per week to each module. This means that a full-time student may need to spend up to 50 hours per week on his/her studies. In practice, of course, students spread this load over the holiday period, and there may be times of particularly intensive activity, when deadlines need to be met.

    What programming languages are used?

    Programme languages are not specified in the module descriptions. However, Java is currently the main programming language used. Depending on your option choices, you may also make use of other languages such as ‘C’ and Perl.

    Will I require any specialised computing equipment at home?

    You will need to have a computer with internet connection at home, or be able to travel to the University to make use of the systems here. Much of this course is delivered online via Blackboard. Any software required will either be provided or be freely available.

    How much time and effort will I be expected to put into the dissertation?

    Both full and part-time students should view their dissertation as a full-time activity over a period of about six months. Writing the dissertation is demanding, not so much because of its length, which is about 15,000 words, but because you are expected to identify, research and implement a problem related to software production. This will involve extensive, critical reading of relevant literature and then the application of the researched idea to the problem.

    I am in the final year of my undergraduate degree. Why should I do a postgraduate degree and what better career prospects can this give me?

    By doing a Master's degree, you would be gaining advanced skills and knowledge valued by employers. You will make yourself much more attractive to employers, will set yourself apart from your fellow undergraduate students and are more likely to be successful in applying for higher level jobs.

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