BEng Software Engineering (inc Integrated Industrial and Professional Training)

Computer Science student Ishan in a very fetching striped polo shirt sitting infront of a Mac

Software Engineering is concerned with the production of large, high-quality, and often long-lived, software systems. Work in this area requires not only a deep understanding of software and related technologies, but also an appreciation of the management and professional issues associated with the development of large systems.

The BEng Software Engineering degree scheme is integrated with the five-year MEng Software Engineering degree scheme. Students who start on the BEng scheme and who do sufficiently well may transfer to the MEng scheme if they want the added advantage of a master's qualification.

Department of Computer Science: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

93% of undergraduates from the Department of Computer Science who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

Our BEng Software Engineering degree scheme is a four-year course that includes a compulsory year in industry. Many members of our staff have experience of working in the software engineering industry and theybring a wealth of knowledge to this highly regarded degree scheme.

The BEng Software Engineering degree scheme emphasises the professionalaspects of the production and maintenance of large, high-quality software systems. This four-year course includes a compulsory year inindustry taken after the first two years at university. This year in employment enables you to gain practical experience in the workplace of the skills you have learned during your first two years of study.

Why study BEng Software Engineering at Aberystwyth?

This degree scheme provides you with a firm foundation in the computing and other skills required in the software engineering industry, including;

• Programming in a number of different languages with emphasis on the production of robust and secure code that is based on sound design and development principles;
• Large-scale software development;
• Telecommunications and distributed systems technologies;
•database management systems and secure handling of data;
• Professional and management issues in software engineering.

The BEng degree scheme is accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, which means that it meets industry standards and requirements, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market. The BEng is accredited for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Computer Science at Aberystwyth

Our computer science degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) on behalf of the Engineering Council, which means that they meet industry standards and requirements, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market.

The Department is also designated a Centre of Excellence by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks and in the most recent Research Excellence Framework comparison (REF2014) the Department produced more world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) research than any other university in Wales. REF 2014 also assessed the impact of research on society, industry and government policy and the Department delivered 100% of its research impact at the top 3* and 4* level, demonstrating that our research makes a real difference in the world outside academia.

We are particularly proud that Times Higher Education (THE) ranked the Aberystwyth Computer Science department as 11th in the UK and 1st in Wales based on an analysis that takes into account both the research quality profile and the proportion of staff submitted. This is a good indicator of the research activity in a department irrespective of its size and with 99% of eligible staff submitted, this indicates that you will be taught by staff who are working at the frontiers of their disciplines. Many staff also have significant experience in industry, often working in co-operation with major international companies, so you can be confident that you will be learning the very latest concepts and working with cutting-edge technologies.

As you would expect from a major research department, you have access to excellent facilities. In addition to Windows PCs across campus for everyone, students in our department have access to dedicated Linux and Mac OS X laboratories and central servers. The Department has a range of equipment and simulation environments used primarily for research, which are available to final year students who choose projects in these areas. These include mobile and aerial robots, vision and motion tracking systems, micro-controller systems and laser scanners.

The department also prides itself on the employability of our graduates. Students may take a year in industry as part of their course. All students participate in a fun-packed activity weekend away from Aberystwyth in the first year which helps to develop important team-building and team-working skills. This will not only make you more attractive to employers, but will also pave the way for working on group projects later in your course.

Our Staff

Almost all of the Department of Computer Science Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are qualified to PhD level, and those who are not have considerable research or industrial experience. All new Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are required to obtain the PGCTHE, and hence are Senior Fellows or Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. The department also employs a number of part time demonstrators and tutors and some student demonstrators, who are selected from our undergraduate and postgraduate students. Research fellows and research assistants (mostly PhD qualified) may also be involved in delivering occasional teaching when it is appropriate.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) The following modules are core

Semester 1

Introduction To Computer Infrastructure CS10220

Semester 2

Problems And Solutions CS10720

Web Development Tools CS15020

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 1

Datblygiad Proffesiynol A Phersonol CC18010

Professional And Personal Development CS18010

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 2

Rhaglennu Gan Ddefnyddio Iaith Gwrthrych-gyfeiriadol CC12320

Programming Using An Object-oriented Language CS12320

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 1

Cyflwyniad I Raglennu CC12020

Introduction To Programming CS12020

Year 1 Electives Up to 10 credits as advised by the Department.

Semester 1

The Mathematics Driving License For Computer Science CS10410

Functional Programming CS12510

Computational Thinking CS12910

Chaos, Communications And Consciousness PH19510

Year 2 Core (40 Credits)

Semester 1

C And C++ And Environments CS23820

Modelling Persistent Data CS27020

Year 2 Options You MUST take ONE of the following modules (taught over 2 semesters):

Semester 1

Dylunio Rhaglen, Strwythurau Data A Algorithmau CC21120

Program Design, Data Structures And Algorithms CS21120

Year 2 Options You MUST take ONE of the following modules (taught over 2 semesters):

Semester 2

Cylch Bywyd Datblygiad Meddalwedd CC22120

Software Engineering CS22120

Year 2 Options 40 credits as advised by the Department.

Year 3 Core (120 Credits) On your compulsory sandwich year your registration will be:

Semester 1

Sandwich Year CSS0000

Sandwich Year CSS0100

Semester 2

Sandwich Year CSS0060

Sandwich Year CSS0160

Final Year Core (50 Credits) You must take all of these modules:

Semester 1

Agile Methodologies CS31310

Developing Internet-based Applications SE31520

Semester 2

Professional Issues In The Computing Industry CS38220

Final Year Options You MUST take ONE of the following projects:

Semester 2

Prosiect Hir CC39440

Major Project CS39440

Final Year Options 30 credits as advised by the Department.

Employability

Career prospects

A degree in Software Engineering will prepare you for a variety of careers in software design, communications and networking, computer applications, web development, IT consultancy and management, systems analysis and development, computer sales and marketing. Following further study, you could also consider teaching or research.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Software Engineering will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• research and data analysis skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• a thorough grounding in information technology
• the ability to cope with rapid technological changes
• enhanced numerical and computational skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Year in Industry - compulsory
This degree has a built in assessed year in industry. The department provides help for you to find a placement with a company where you can earn and learn at the same time.

In the past students have obtained placements at a range of organisations, from research institutions like CERN and large companies like GE, to smaller companies and local authorities. This experience means that when you graduate you will not be a 'new graduate' but instead will have a year of experience under your belt. While we cannot guarantee you a placement (if you do not find anything suitable you can switch to a degree scheme without this year) we provide considerable support, including an administrator who works on finding and publicising vacancies. We also  provide a special weekend away for second years at Gregynog conference centre, where you can meet potential employers and receive CV and interview feedback.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will you learn?

In the first year, you will be introduced to programming, operating systems, software and web development, communications and telematics, and no prior knowledge is necessary. Optional modules allow you to get up to speed in areas where you may need more background, or to explore areas which you can study in more depth in later years.

In the second year you will study program design, data structures and algorithms. All students participate in the Software Development Lifecycle module which includes a group project where, taking one of the roles which exist in industry, such as project manager, designer, or quality assurance manager, you will produce a working software product, following best current industrial practice at every stage. 

Your third year will be spent in employment in industry. The Department and the University's Careers Service will provide assistance to help you find a suitable placement and to develop your interview skills and CV. By the end of your second year you will already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution in the workplace, and we find that our students return from their industrial year with improved skills and a greater sense of motivation. 

In your final year you will develop internet-based applications, demonstrate a critical appreciation of a range of software development, and examine professional issues in the computing industry. You will also complete a major individual project developing a piece of software in an area of particular interest to you. For many students this is the highlight of the entire course.

How will you be taught?

You will be taught by enthusiastic staff through a complementary set of teaching and learning methods and approaches, ranging from formal lectures, seminars and tutorials to practicals and individual and group-based project work. 

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, practicals, projects, workshops and examinations.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

I love the fact that I am learning best practices and methodologies, directly applicable and preparative to working in my dream role as a software engineer. Having the chance to try out what I have learned while away for a year in industry has been absolutely amazing, and proven just how much my time at Aberystwyth has taught me! Christopher Michael King

Software engineering is fantastic! There are lots of incredible people to learn from, be friends with and work with. The department helps with everything from assignment to personal projects; they will even help you find an industrial year placement and achieve that all-important perfect CV. Will Molyneux

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Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28 points overall

European Baccalaureate:
75% overall

Key Information Set