Without software engineering, you wouldn’t be reading this page. Software innovation has transformed the way we think about, and interact with, technology. In fact, all the forms of communication, interaction and access that we take for granted today are made possible by software in some shape or form. Which is why the demand for software engineers has never been greater.
From improving the efficiency of the apps we use in order to make them more sustainable, to developing scalable and secure app infrastructure, Software Engineers have skills that drive innovation. In essence, they are problem solvers with the ability to take an existing software system and creatively refine, enhance and transform it into something even better.
This degree programme is designed to equip you with the analytical, reasoning and practical skills you will need to design, develop and deploy large software systems. Plus, our project-based learning approach enables you to craft a degree pathway that fits your own areas of interest. You could find yourself working on anything from apps to virtual and augmented reality; lifesaving smart medical implants to consumer space travel or automated intelligence.
Employer experience is embedded in this course and allows students to engage and learn from prospective employers from day one. Through placements, sponsored projects and hackathons, you will engage with employers and begin making a difference to real-world problems.
Our students are constantly given the opportunity to put theory into practice. We regularly consult a large number of employers including, for example, Civica and Sensata Technologies, who provide sponsorship for our students as well as Kainos and Liberty IT who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
Students taking this programme may spend a year gaining professional experience in the industry in a paid full-time post. Students are helped to obtain suitable places and the School has excellent links with over 500 local, national and international employers such as Citi, BT, Liberty IT, and Kainos in Belfast, IBM in England, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems in Dublin, Fujitsu in Japan and Siemens in Germany.
These degrees teach the fundamental principles of Software Engineering, together with the necessary skills, tools and techniques to enable our graduates to embark on careers as professional software engineers. Special emphasis is placed on individual and team-based software development projects in preparation for industry.
The programme contains the following themes which may change due to the nature of the IT Industry and keeping up with industrial trends.
Introduction to Software Engineering
Reasoning for Problem Solving
Foundation of Computing Systems
Stage 2 modules build on Stage 1 to include core aspects of Software Engineering such as database design and networking.
Students taking the Single Honours BEng spend a year on a paid full-time placement. The School has links with over 500 local, national and international employers eg BT, Liberty, Asidua, Kainos (Belfast), IBM (England), Microsoft, Sun Microsystems (Dublin), Fujitsu (Japan) and Siemens (Germany), and students are assisted in obtaining placements. It is expected that students would gain a Licentiateship of the City & Guilds from this period of work experience.
Courses are outlined below:
Professional Computing Practice
Architecture and Networks
Data Structures Algorithms and Programming Languages
These advanced modules permit each student to tailor their skills towards one or more areas of software engineering specialism
Courses are outlined below:
Agile & Component-Based Development using NET
Information System Security
Software Design Principles and Patterns
Advanced Computer Architecture
This four-year extended degree has been established to provide a supply of particularly well-qualified graduates who will become industry leaders. It has a blend of Software Engineering knowledge and skills and business practice and management. Students can undertake a year of professional experience.
The first two years and much of Stage 3 are common with the BEng, and transfer from the BEng to the MEng is possible for selected students at the end of Stage 2, subject to satisfactory performance.
Courses are listed below:
Research and Development Project
Advanced Software Engineering
HPC Principle Parallel Program
Advanced Intelligent Information Systems
Algorithms: Analysis and Application
Contact Teaching Hours
Large Group Teaching
9 (hours maximum)9 hours of lectures
24 (hours maximum)22-24 hours where we expect students to spend time on completing assignments, working on projects (individual or group), preparing for practical classes, alongside studying and reviewing taught material.
Small-Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
6 (hours maximum)6 hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials each week
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Asidua and Liberty IT, who provide sponsorship for our students as well as Citi and Kainos who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
Employment after the Course
Studying for a Software Engineering degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by employers (local, national and international).
The School has links with over 500 IT companies both here and abroad. We benefit from the fact that there are more software companies located in N Ireland than any other part of the UK, outside of London. This offers benefits on many levels for our students, from industrial input to the content of our courses, through to year-long and summer placements as well as activities such as competitions organised by the companies etc.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's, you can have the opportunity to gain a wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Learning and Teaching
The School has a world-class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the Software Engineering degree, we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Additional InformationStudents have access to a wide range of computers in world-class laboratories (equipped with several hundred PCs) and specialised software packages. Networks link the School and university computers to powerful machines in Great Britain.The course emphasises the professional and practical application of software engineering. As such, students are encouraged to build strong links with local software engineering companies through employer involvement within projects, lectures and other forms of teaching contact.
E-Learning technologiesThe Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is called CANVAS and may be associated with communication relating to lectures and assignments. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
LecturesIntroduce information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
Peer MentoringQueen’s runs a peer mentoring scheme for Computing students – a group of students from all year groups (except the first year) are trained to provide support for the 1st year students, in terms of offering advice and guidance, organising social events etc. The School has an active body of EEECS Student Mental Health Ambassadors. The School also has a Computing Society (QCS – Queen’s Computing Society) who organise a range of activities, including social events and more formal activities such as industry lectures, for all Computing students. Charity games evenings are open to all computing students in the School.
Personal TutorUndergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
PracticalsWhere you will have significant opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Comprehensive demonstrator support is provided – typically one demonstrator per 8-10 students.
Projects and teamworkA number of modules throughout the degree will use supervised projects as a means of enabling you to put your technical understanding into practice. The extensive use of team-based projects will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills widely used by employers. In the final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you.
Self-directed studyThis is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Work placementsA student taking this programme can spend a year gaining professional experience in the industry in a paid full-time post. Students are helped to obtain suitable places and the School has excellent links with over 500 local, national and international employers such as Microsoft, Liberty IT, Kainos, IBM, Deloitte, BT, Citi Group, SAP and Dell.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Placement employer comments or references.
Online or emailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
A level requirements
AAB including Computing, Mathematics or Software Systems Development + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or
AAA including Chemistry, Digital Technology, GCE A-level ICT (not Single Award Applied ICT), Physics, Technology and Design or Double Award Applied ICT + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematicsor
H2H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry or Physics + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
34 points overall including 6,6,5 at Higher Level to include Higher Level Mathematics.or
36 points overall including 6,6,6 at Higher Level to include Higher Level Chemistry or Physics.
If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.
BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
Relevant computing, engineering or scientific QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 160 credits at Distinction grade and 20 credits at Merit grade+ GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
A relevant computing, engineering or scientific RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 900 GLH at Distinction grade (minimum 240 GLH to be externally assessed) and 180 GLH at Merit grade + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4.
A minimum of a 2:1 Honours Degree provided that subject-specific requirements are met
Computer Science, Computing Information Technology and Software Engineering share a common core of modules in the first year, so students may, therefore, transfer between these degrees at the end of the first year, subject to meeting the normal progression requirements.
Applicants for the MEng degree will automatically be considered for admission to the BEng degree if they are not eligible for entry to the MEng degree both at initial offer making stage and when results are received.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
Northern Ireland (NI)
England, Scotland or Wales (GB)
Other (non-UK) EU
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Software Engineering With Placement costs
Students may wish to become a student member of BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT - at an annual cost of £20, or £30 for four years (subject to change).
Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.