BSc Hons Software Engineering


Key facts

  • UCAS Code: G600
  • Accreditation: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
  • Work placement: 12-month paid placement, in the UK or abroad

Study with us

Studying a BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, you'll be learning at a multi-award-winning academic institution - the only university to have won Times Higher Education University of the Year twice (2012 and 2019).

  • gain the skills to become a professional developer of high-quality software, focusing on large-scale software systems
  • combine theory and practice to maximise your career options
  • develop an understanding of software, hardware, communication technologies and strong design and team-working skills
  • 12-month paid industrial placement in the UK or abroad


Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT:

  • for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional
  • on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer
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Why this course?

Software engineers design and develop large, complex systems. These include the systems used in vehicles, phones, large-scale financial systems and secure web and medical applications.

As a software engineer, you’ll need a good understanding of software, hardware, communication technologies and strong design and team skills. You’ll also need to understand the impact of the development strategies of different systems.

Our Computer Science courses combine theory and practice. Many of the core subjects are similar in the early years, which means it’s possible for you to transfer between courses.

Transfer to MEng Computer Science is possible for students who perform well in the first year of the BSc (Honours) Software Engineering.

Software Engineering: Cameron's story

Watch our video to find out what Cameron enjoys about studying Software Engineering and what he plans to do after graduation:

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

Year 1

You’ll take classes in areas such as software construction, theory and algorithms, information and information systems, computer systems and hardware, and business analysis and technology. Small-group tutorials cover personal and professional development issues and there’s a choice of elective classes.

Year 2

Subjects covered include algorithms, logic, databases and the design of user interfaces. There is a significant emphasis on programming and on the architecture of machines.

Year 3

You’ll be introduced to more specialised areas such as communications, the design of new programming languages, the variety of internal machine architectures, artificial intelligence, graphics, and the technologies behind web-based applications.

This year also includes a large group-based software development project.

Year 4

You’ll choose optional classes to build on the experience gained from your industrial placement. You’ll specialise in particular aspects of software engineering, such as software architecture and design.

A major practical computing project may involve working with one of our departmental research groups.

Work placement

You’ll undertake a 12-month paid industrial placement between Years 3 and 4, typically within a software development team. The placement may be in the UK or abroad.

Major projects

Several companies work with us to develop student projects, either individual or group final-year projects that are suitable for both parties.

Projects are supervised by members of academic staff with individuals from the sponsoring organisation providing occasional advice and feedback.


We have three large undergraduate teaching laboratories, plus a restricted-access laboratory (primarily for fourth and fifth-year students). There are printers in each main lab. All departmental machines are linked by a high-speed local area network and operate under a single network file system so you can access your files from any of our machines.

Student competitions

Young Software Engineer of the Year Award

The award is given to the project, which in the judges' opinion most clearly embraces sound software engineering principles.

Charles Babbage Prize – Best Computer Science Project

The prize is awarded annually to the undergraduate student who completes the best project in computer science in that academic year.

The project must include practical computing and the assessors will take into account the originality and potential applications of the work.

Andrew McGettrick Prizes

Two prizes are awarded annually – one to a graduating Honours student and one to a graduating Integrated Masters student, for outstanding performance in their studies.

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Course content

Compulsory Modules

Modules cover foundation skills, such as programming and computer systems organisation and look at the concepts of computation and information. In addition, you’ll take a business technology class.

Semester 1 & 2

Machines, Languages & Computation (20 credits)

This module will help you to achieve a broad knowledge of the essence of computation and computational systems, as embodied by the notions of computable functions, formal languages and recursion, logic and computability and abstract machines.

Information & Information Systems (20 credits)

This module will help you understand a broad knowledge of information systems and how information is created, used and disseminated within an information society.

Programming Foundations (20 credits)

The module will provide you with a solid foundation in the principles of computer programming. On completing this class you should have the necessary skills to be able to design, build and test a small system in a high-level language (Java is currently the language used).

Computer Systems & Organisation (20 credits)

Semester 1: You'll develop an understanding and appreciation of a computer system's functional components – both hardware and software, their characteristics, their interactions, and their fundamental role in the manipulation of data.

Semester 2: You'll further your knowledge of the design parameters of a typical computer system and the impact these have on the functionality, and implementation, of the hardware and software components.

Topics in Computing 1 (20 credits)

This module will help you to develop a broader perspective of computer science and to develop problem solving, team working, presentational skills, as well as personal and professional development skills.

Semester 1

Introduction to Business Analysis & Technology (10 credits)

This module will help raise awareness of the real world problems encountered by industry that can be solved through management science methodology.

  • develop an understanding of the tools and techniques used by business analysts
  • highlight the integrative role of technology within organisations
  • demonstrate the dynamic nature of technology 

Elective Module (10 credits)

In first year most students take an elective module from a range of topics, normally by other departments, to give a taste of other subjects and broaden your curriculum.

Compulsory Modules

Subjects covered include algorithms, databases, logic, the analysis and design of large systems, and how to ensure that the systems are usable. You’ll also undertake an individual programming project and further programming skills.

Semester 1 & 2

Advanced Programming (20 credits)

This module will further your skills in object-oriented programming, provide knowledge of key abstract data types along with their implementation and usage, and to provide experience in the development of larger scale software and an introduction to design.

Your main goal is to be able to develop larger programs with specialized data structures and utilizing APIs from a specification, and being able to ensure and show how the system they developed matches the specification.

Logic & Algorithms (20 credits)

This module will equip you with the tools to model and measure computation. To build on the module Machines, Languages and Computation, and develop further understanding of the mathematical foundations of computation. To foster an analytical and empirical appreciation of the behaviour of algorithms and the use of abstract data types.

User & Data Modelling (20 credits)

This  module will provide you with a critical appreciation and understanding of how to model user activities and the data to support them, together with how to implement systems and databases to support user activities.

Computer Systems & Architecture (20 credits)

This module will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of typical computer architectures and their instruction sets and the complex tradeoffs between CPU clock speed, cache size, bus organisation, number of core processors, etc, that influence their design and have a fundamental impact on their performance.

Semester 1

Professional Issues in Computing (10 credits)

This module helps you to become aware of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues commensurate with the practice of information systems engineering.

Quantitative Methods in Computer Science (10 credits)

This module will teach the quantitative and numerical methods that underpin modern Computer Science, such as (but not restricted to) Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. The module will also provide students with the numerical methods needed to perform quantitative evaluations of algorithms and software.

Semester 2

Functional Thinking (10 credits)

This module will introduce the core concepts and methods of modern functional programming.

Elective Modules

In second year most students take an optional module. You can choose Agile Software Engineering in Practice or from a range of other topics offered. These are normally from other departments to give a taste of other subjects and broaden your curriculum.

Agile Software Engineering in Practice (10 credits)

The module will enable you to gain practical experience of agile software delivery and developing for the cloud.  You will learn how great teams work together and how robust dynamic software is created in practice.  It will provide you with valuable insights into these important areas, knowledge of cutting-edge development processes, and the opportunity to enhance your software development skills.

Compulsory Modules

You’ll study more specialised areas such as communications, how new programming languages can be designed, the variety of internal machine architectures, artificial intelligence, graphics, and the technologies behind web-based applications. You’ll also take part in a large group-based software development project.

Semester 1

Building Software Systems (20 credits)

This module will extend and deepen your understanding of the analysis, design and implementation of software systems; to provide further experience in the activity of designing and implementing non-trivial systems; and to enable you to demonstrate practical competence in a group environment.

Your goal is the development in a group setting of significant systems from scratch aiming not just at any solution but a good solution, and to be introduced to more general Software Engineering topics.

Functional Programming (20 credits)

This module aims to provide you with skills in basic functional programming and experience in integrated deployment of those skills.

Web Applications Development (20 credits)

This module will give you an understanding of the technologies used in the development of N-tier Internet-based applications.

Semester 2

Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)

The module will give you a broad appreciation of the scale and nature of the problems within Artificial Intelligence. It will also give you a detailed understanding of some of the fundamental techniques used to address those problems.

Computer Systems & Concurrency (20 credits)

This module will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of highly concurrent hardware and software systems. The module will also further your knowledge of the need for, and the design and implementation of, those other vital hardware and software components of a concurrent system, namely multiprocessors and their interconnections, operating systems and networks.

The interactions between many of these components will be investigated by means of significant practical work that consolidates the lecture content in the context of: (i) multiprocessor architectures, (ii) concurrency, (iii) protection and security and (iv) networked and concurrent applications. Software developed in appropriate programming languages will form the basis of much of the practical work thus enabling the student to enhance their software design and implementation skills in this domain.

Mobile App Development (20 credits)

The module will provide you with a good understanding of the issues in developing for mobile environments, approaches to handling these issues and skills in developing for a widespread mobile platform.

Compulsory Modules

Industrial Placement (20 credits)

Software Engineering students in year 4 do a one-year placement between third and fourth year.

This is so you can experience the application of aspects of your degree course in an industrial context and understand the complexities of commercial software development

Semester 1 & 2

Individual Project (40 credits)

The aim of the module is to enable you to demonstrate practical and documentary competence. You'll also be expected to give a demonstration of your work.

Semester 1

Computer Security (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to develop a security mind-set by introducing you to core material in the area of computer security. This should enable  you to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities for a range of situations, and propose appropriate actions to mitigate these issues.

Software Architecture and Design (20 credits)

This module will enable you to understand the challenges of advanced software design and the issues associated with large-scale software architectures, frameworks, patterns and components.

You'll also develop your understanding of the tools and techniques that may be used for the automatic analysis and evaluation of software.

Optional Modules

In fourth year, in addition to the compulsory modules, you will take four modules chosen from the options below

Semester 1

Project Management (20 credits)

This module will familiarise you with the basic concepts associated with project management. It is designed around seven main areas:

  • Project Management Basics
  • Setting Objectives and Defining Project Deliverables
  • Work Breakdown, Structures and Milestones
  • Project Planning
  • Project Finance
  • Risk Management
  • Project Strategies

These areas will provide you with a general understanding of project management that will complement your studies in other areas of the course, such as management finance and strategy, where the execution of company strategy may require the use of project management techniques.

Semester 2

Advanced Functional Programming (20 credits)

The module will allow you to further your skills in functional programming and gain an appreciation of the mathematical structures which underpin powerful general programming concepts and techniques.

Theory of Computation (20 credits)

Building on the previous material in software development, this module will extend and formalise your abilities in the area of computational complexity.

Information Access & Mining (20 credits)

This module will enable you to understand the fundamentals of information access and information mining.

The module will cover a range of techniques for extracting information from textual and non-textual resources, modelling the information content of resources, detecting patterns within information resources and making use of these patterns.

Human Centred Security (20 credits)

This  module will focus on making you more aware of human-centred security design.

IBM IT Architectures (20 credits)

This module will make it possible for you to work with IBM IT architects and learn from industry experts.

Learning & teaching

We aim to help you gain knowledge and understanding as well as the development of intellectual skills (problem-solving and critical evaluation skills), practical skills (designing and implementing a software system, team-working skills) and transferable skills (investigative skills, presentation skills, report-writing skills, time management skills, independent learning skills).

Knowledge and understanding is gained through lectures and supported in tutorials or laboratories as well as individual and group project work. You’re encouraged to read and research independently to help broaden your understanding of the subject.

You’ll develop intellectual skills through weekly laboratory or tutorial exercises. You’ll also be set challenging problems while further coursework and group and individual projects will help you enhance your skills.

The industrial placement will allow you to appreciate the significant engineering problems involved in the construction of software systems.

You’ll learn practical skills through lectures, tutorials, laboratory, coursework and project work.


You’ll be tested on your knowledge and understanding, intellectual, practical and transferable skills. This will be done through written exams, laboratory submissions, presentations, coursework, project and industrial placement reports.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.


Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: AAAB/AABBB

(Maths B, Computing Science recommended)

Minimum entry requirements**:


(Maths B; Advanced Highers at B/C count as A/B in grade pattern)

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: Maths and Computing Science at AB/BA and three other Highers at ABB

A Levels

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: BBB

(Maths, Computer Science is recommended)

Year 2 entry: ABB

(Maths and Computer Science)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 30

(Maths HL5, Computer Science recommended)

Year 2 entry: 32

(Maths HL5, Computer Science HL5 including option D: Object-oriented Programming, in Java)


Year 1 entry: relevant HNC with A in Graded Unit and Maths Higher at B

Year 2 entry: relevant HND with AA in Graded Units and Maths Higher at B

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Not accepted

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Darren Lowe, Software Engineering student
Strathclyde is a great place to learn the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the tech industry... The tech industry within Scotland is currently crying out for more talent, the job market is huge with loads of possibilities.
Darren Lowe

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland


Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.



University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional costs

There is no charge for lecture notes or equipment. Students are supplied with 500 free print units - but must purchase any additional units. However, most coursework is submitted electronically.  

Books are recommended, but not a compulsory purchase. The department ensures that the University library is stocked with copies of textbooks. 

Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Contextual Admissions for Widening Access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background.

Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential, and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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This degree produces graduates with the technical knowledge and skills, and the communication and management expertise essential to participate in and lead teams of professional engineers that deliver robust and reliable software.

Our Software Engineering degree will open doors for careers in research, software development, consultancy and business analysis with companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Logica and Kana.

Career opportunities are not limited to technology. The problem-solving, creative and personal skills you learn on this course will be sought after in many industries.

How much will I earn?

Typical graduate software engineers’ salaries range between £22,000 and £27,500. With experience, this can vary between £36,500 and £50,000.

At senior management level, salaries can rise to around £70,000 a year.*

Where are they now?

Job options**

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Applications developer
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Game developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Web developer
  • Web designer
  • Software engineer

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Application analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Forensic computer analyst
  • IT technical support officer
  • Software tester
  • Sound designer
  • Systems analyst

**Information taken from Prospects 2022.

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Start date:

Software Engineering (1 year entry)

Start date:

Software Engineering (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Software Engineering (1 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date: Sep 2024

Software Engineering (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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