Software Engineering (MSc)

On this one-year programme based at the National Software Academy in Newport, students will undertake practical development using current leading edge commercial tools and techniques and be exposed to direct industrial involvement in a dynamic commercial-like environment.

The MSc Software Engineering is designed for graduates from diverse backgrounds who have some prior experience of programming to gain the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience to be effective as a commercial software engineer.

On this one-year programme based at the National Software Academy in Newport, students will undertake practical development using current leading edge commercial tools and techniques and be exposed to direct industrial involvement in a dynamic commercial-like environment.

The course covers a wide range of topics that are sought after by employers including programming for web applications using languages such as Python, HTML and Javascript, Databases, DevOps and emerging technologies.  Throughout the degree there is a focus on team working and the techniques of Agile project management.  The programme concludes by working with a real client from industry on an exciting, team-based project that brings together all your knowledge and skills acquired during the degree.

This one year programme welcomes students with a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects as well as other disciplines and students are expected to have some basic prior programming knowledge.

After graduating from this programme you will be ideally placed for employment in a career within software engineering or the wider technology industry.

Distinctive features

  • Industry-focused engagement – you will directly engage with industry through case studies, team projects, networking events and guest presentations;

  • Hands-on development – you will learn using current leading edge commercial tools and techniques;

  • Real-world experience – you will be taught “soft skills” such as team working and project management, highly valued by employers when recruiting graduate software engineers;

  • Innovative teaching atmosphere – we have a vibrant “start-up” atmosphere at our premises in Newport that supports our collaborative style of teaching;

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants will be automatically accepted if they have gained:

a 2:2 degree in a STEM subject with evidence of programming in degree transcript,

or

a 2:2 degree in a non-STEM subject with evidence of suitable professional programming experience.

Applicants may be invited for interview if they have gained a 2:2 degree in a non-STEM subject and have evidence of suitable non-professional programming experience.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS, with at least 5.5 in each area).

Applicants holding international qualifications are welcomed.

This is a full-time degree, taught over one year.  The course is delivered exclusively from the National Software Academy premises in Newport, with full facilities and student support provided.  Students are typically provided with a travel bursary to cover the costs of travelling to Newport and the Academy building is located very close to the railway station. 

You will study core taught modules to a total of 120 credits.  Students will also undertake a team project and dissertation (worth 60 credits) if they successfully complete the taught stage.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Formal teaching and group sessions will typically take place over two days per week in Newport with three days per week left for group project work, self-directed learning and accessing other University resources, support services, clubs, societies etc.

Students at the National Software Academy work on the development of software projects, including that for a real client drawn from the private, public and third sectors.  Much of the teaching, learning and assessment is based in the context of these projects.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Dissertation (Team Project)CMT69060 credits
Agile Software DevelopmentCMT65120 credits
Web ApplicationsCMT65220 credits
Programming Principles and PracticeCMT65320 credits
DevOpsCMT65420 credits
Manipulating and Exploiting DataCMT65520 credits
Delivering User ExperienceCMT65620 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The National Software Academy, a part of the School of Computer Science & Informatics, has a strong and active industrial focus, which informs and directs all of our teaching.

Key skills are taught through lecturer-led sessions that typically involve a high proportion of hands-on, practical learning, using current commercial tools and techniques.  You will be given a set of concepts and examples, and are then challenged with one or more problems to which you can apply your new skills. 

You will often work in teams to apply your knowledge to achieve solutions to real-world problems in a project-based learning approach.  Ample time for mentoring is provided in the timetable, which complements the expected self-study that is required.

Further learning and support is provided through Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment) and students are also encouraged to engage with the local tech community through meetups and other networking events.

How will I be supported?

We pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive support structure to ensure a positive student experience. You will be assigned a member of staff to act as your personal tutor, who will serve as a point of contact to advise on both academic and personal matters in an informal and confidential manner.

The style of course delivery and the focus on projects means that you will receive regular support both from academic staff and also from industry professionals.

Although all teaching will take place in Newport, you will be encouraged to base yourself in Cardiff in order to take advantage of everything that Cardiff has to offer, both in terms of the University (Libraries, Halls of Residence, Student Union etc.) and the wider city.

You will also have full access to the 24-hour computing facilities in the School of Computer Science & Informatics.

You will also have access to the full range of services provided by the University’s Student Support Service.

Feedback:

Students have many opportunities for feedback during the contact sessions. You will be involved in giving feedback in activities such as code reviews, retrospectives and self-assessment. Additionally, you will receive feedback from teaching staff, industry professionals and project stakeholders; providing you with experience of the real-life feedback that you may encounter when you find employment.

How will I be assessed?

The taught modules within the programme are assessed through a range of methods, which typically consist of examinations and coursework, such as written reports, portfolios, timed assessments, extended essays, practical assignments and oral presentations.

The team project and dissertation will enable you to demonstrate their ability to build upon and exploit knowledge and skills gained to exhibit critical and original thinking based on a period of independent and group study and learning.

What are the learning outcomes of this course/programme?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of general software engineering concepts, both theoretical and practical.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the methods, techniques, and tools available to specify, design, implement and manage software systems.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and evaluate current issues in Software Engineering (e.g.  legal, ethical professional, social)
  • Critically evaluate the available options to select the most suitable methodology, tools and techniques for use in each stage of software development.
  • Analyse complex problems effectively, identify edge cases, inconsistencies, potential pitfalls, and other issues.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate software design and programming skills.
  • Design, implement, test, debug, and deploy, using appropriate tools a simple, secure, information based application.  
  • Creatively apply software engineering knowledge and techniques to the solution of real world, client problems.
  • Work with a variety of platforms using a range of languages, technologies, and tools.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Work effectively in a team to manage client facing projects using current commercial tools and techniques to understand, specify, plan, schedule and manage a commercial software development project and track the project during its lifecycle.
  • Clearly communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written, diagrammatic and practical means.
  • Demonstrate self-direction, initiative, professionalism, critical judgement and planning skills in tackling and solving Software Engineering problems using appropriate technologies.
  • Use research methods to further enhance learning, applying this acquired knowledge to given problems.

As a student at the National Software Academy you will get many opportunities to meet and work with companies and build your industrial contacts. Skilled software engineers are in extremely high demand. This means the employment prospects for graduates in the computing and ICT industry are excellent. On successful completion of the course, you will be equipped with transferable skills that open doors to careers in many sectors.

Recent statistics show that the vast majority of our graduates are following their chosen career paths in roles such as Software Engineer, Web Developer, Computer Programmer, Associate Software Developer, Business Analyst and Systems Development Officer. They go on to work for a companies including Airbus Group, Amazon, BBC, BT, Capgemini, Confused.com, GCHQ, IBM, Lloyds Banking Group, MoD, Morgan Stanley, Sky, South Wales Police and Thomson Reuters. Others have chosen further study or research at Cardiff or other top universities.

In addition to the University’s Careers and Employability Service for students, the School has a Careers Officer and a dedicated Placement Officer.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£8,950None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2019/20 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£19,950£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Additional costs

The course is delivered exclusively from the National Software Academy premises in Newport, with full facilities and student support provided.  Students are typically provided with a travel bursary to cover the costs of travelling to Newport.  The premises in Newport are located in very close proximity to Newport railway station.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Students will be provided with the necessary specific equipment to study on this programme.