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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • BT
  • CITI
  • IBM
  • Kainos
  • Liberty IT
  • Whitehat Security

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Applications Security Specialist
  • Graduate Software Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Technical Analyst
  • Web Developer


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

Computing@Ulster - striving to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, research and technology transfer; empowering the Graduates of tomorrow.


This course is offered at the Jordanstown campus by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment . The course provides an education in software engineering, supported by fundamental topics in computing science, equipping its graduates to apply best-practice software engineering skills to the development of a wide range of information systems in organisations. The course includes systematic study of the theory and principles of programming and software engineering, computer hardware and software technologies, and the role of computing systems in organisations.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course will be ‘refreshed’ during the 2017/18 academic year, with changes put in place for students entering from September 2018. For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact the Course Director:Dr Nicola Ayre.

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About this course

In this section


The course structure is centred on three broad themes: programming and software engineering, hardware and software technologies, and computing in organisations. Years 1 and 2 consist of a set of modules addressing these themes, enabling students to achieve the basic competencies in software development and equipping them for a period of professional practice.

You undertake six modules in Year 1 covering subjects such as programming, mathematics for computing, databases, computer technologies, academic skills for computing and professional awareness. In Year 2, further core modules extend your skills in programming and software development and introduce topics relevant to professional software engineering. In Year 3 you undertake a year's work experience, in the UK, Ireland or Europe.

You return to the University in Year 4 for a final year of academic study which consists of four compulsory modules and two optional modules. The compulsory modules reflect the core theme of the course at an advanced level. Optional modules in areas such as artificial intelligence, healthcare technologies and network technologies are available. You also undertake a major project which involves the analysis, design, implementation, testing and evaluation of the solution to a substantial software-related problem.

Why study Software Engineering?
Computing pervades every aspect of our day to day lives from the gadgets in our homes, our workplaces to our mobile phones. Industry needs dynamic, enthusiastic graduates with interests across the software engineering spectrum.

What types of jobs are available?
Given the variety of applications of computing, there are jobs available in numerous fields for example: software development, education, manufacturing and healthcare.

Do I need to have studied Computing Science or ICT at school or college?
A discipline with such diversity requires students with a variety of interests and backgrounds therefore you do not need to have studied Computing Science or ICT however, we will look for evidence of a passion and enthusiasm for this dynamic, fast-moving discipline.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


Four years including placement.

New students are expected to attend a pre-semester induction. Years 1, 2 and 4 of the course are delivered over two taught semesters (September to May) with a supplementary assessment period over the summer. Year 3 students are expected to undertake a placement working for a company, typically over a calendar year.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Mathematics for Computing

Year: 1

An introduction to topics in discrete mathematics commonly encountered in computer science. A variety of mathematical structures are introduced and their notation, properties, and uses are discussed. The analytic skills and conceptual thinking required for sound performance in areas such as computer programming, software specification, and systems design are developed in this Module. These skills are developed through examples and practical applications.

Computer Technology

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to the basic hardware components from which a computer system is constructed and the organisation of these components. The components of the computer system that are involved in the execution of a software program will be investigated, as will the main features of typical operating systems. The students will also gain an appreciation of the evolution of computer systems and will be introduced to problem solving using a digital logic and computer arithmetic.

Introduction to Databases

Year: 1

Database management is a fundamental skill expected of Computing & ICT graduates. This module will introduce students to the foundational concepts of database design, querying and management. Students will also develop and enhance their design skills as an integral part of the module.

Programming I

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the fundamental principles of software development. It introduces key concepts in object-oriented programming and gives students the opportunity to develop event-driven software. It also provides a solid foundation for more advanced study of this topic.

Academic Skills for Computing

Year: 1

The purpose of the module is to allow students to learn about and more importantly apply core academic and professional skills, in doing so it will consider the role of personal profiling and self-evaluation. These skills will provide an underpinning for other modules in the programme as well as for further study.

Professional Awareness

Year: 1

The module is designed to enable students to become aware of the nature of the professional computing work environment, acquire knowledge and understanding of professional issues which may arise, and to initiate planning of their professional development, towards preparing for employability and the workplace. In addition students are challenged to foster entrepreneurial awareness.

Year two

Systems Software

Year: 2

The principal aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of the underlying systems that support the applications software. The theoretical concepts covered are illustrated by considering their practical application in modern real-world solutions.

Data Communication and Networking

Year: 2

The principal aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of the underlying systems which support networks. The theoretical concepts covered are illustrated by considering their practical application in modern real-world solutions.

Systems Development

Year: 2

Delivering effective information systems requires a structured and systematic approach to software development. This module provides an introduction to software engineering, emphasizing the role of design in delivering usable and maintainable systems. The practical nature of the subject material is supported through group work on a mini-software engineering problem, and reinforces technical skills taught elsewhere on the course.

Database Engineering

Year: 2

This module gives students an opportunity to deepen their theoretical understanding of relational databases and strengthen their practical experience. Object-relational databases which overcome some of the limitations of relational databases by extending them with object capability and object databases which constitute an entirely different paradigm for databases are introduced.

Professional Development

Year: 2

This module is intended to support students in developing the broad professional awareness necessary for seeking and obtaining employment.

Programming II

Year: 2

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year I programming. Students extend their skills in Object-oriented programming through the development of Graphical User Interfaces, drawing and event-driven programming involving the use of Classes.

Programming III

Year: 2

When working in industry, software professionals may be expected to develop systems using a range of different programming languages and development environments. This requires the ability to transfer underpinning programming competencies to new situations and an understanding of the tools available to support the entire programming process.

Year three

Professional Practice - Computing

Year: 3

This module enables students who have secured a placement job to complete a period of appropriate work experience in a supportive environment. Students will have opportunities to gain employability skills, reflect upon the applicability of their subject specific skills, and gain insight into the graduate job market. Students who successfully complete the module are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or Diploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI).

International Academic Studies

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year four

Computing Project

Year: 4

Students are required to undertake a computing project during the final year of the course. The project module allows a selected problem area and software solution to be investigated in depth. Within the project, the student is expected to integrate and apply material from other modules in the course.

Software Engineering Management

Year: 4

The careful planning and control of project activities is essential to the delivery of successful software systems. The unique nature of software engineering projects requires a blend of generic project management skills and software specific project management and quality assurance capabilities. This module seeks to extend the student?s knowledge of software engineering by introducing techniques and methods for the management of industrial software engineering projects.

Software Reliability Engineering

Year: 4

The content of the module provides an overview of principles, steps, methods and tools in building more reliable software systems, and an in-depth treatment of formal requirements specification and formal verification phases, the role such phases play in reliable software development and techniques. The module considers a range of reliable software development models, formal requirement specification and verification techniques. Practical work will require students to apply these techniques in a range of problems domains.

Project and Process Engineering

Year: 4

This module will provide an understanding of the process perspective of problem solving for modern software engineers. It will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to evolve engineering capability at an organisational level. It will assist with understanding the processes which underpin final year projects. It presents modern project management principles and techniques as a means to help deliver successful software development projects.

Intelligent systems

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module introduces fundamentals of data analytics, machine learning and data mining and applications with a focus on data handling and analysis. This module is for final year students who wish to (a) acquire knowledge and understanding of analytics intelligence that is essential for data scientists and computing practitioners; (b) develop and enhance their problem solving skills in practical applications by using machine learning, data mining and data analytics methods and techniques.

Advances in Computer Networks

Year: 4

This module is optional

Although computers can carry out their intended function in isolation, in nearly all instances the exchange of information with other computers in a distributed computer environment is desirable. The ubiquitous use of Personal, Local Area Networks, the Internet and Cloud Computing requires the computing student to have an understanding of the underlying communication protocols. As most applications utilise data intensive GUI formats and multimedia content, bandwidth is readily consumed and faster communications are demanded. There is also an increasing demand for mobile computing. This module introduces high performance broadband and wireless networking and discusses emerging technologies.

Interactive Web Computing

Year: 4

This module is optional

Web Applications have become a major focus of software development. This module will enable students to understand relevant technical principles and develop practical software development skills to achieve the levels of interactivity, visual richness, functional capability and usability expected of modern web applications.

Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Year: 4

This module is optional

A concurrent system in which a collection of programs can execute in an interleaved fashion has many features in common with a distributed system in which processes on independent computers co-operate across a network or internet. This module presents the fundamental concepts of both concurrent systems and distributed systems and introduces the various techniques that can be used to program them. It provides students with the foundations for using the technology in computer applications.

Pervasive Computing in Healthcare

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module will provide the opportunity to gain an understanding of developing applications for sensing devices, the theory of activity recognition and the design and evaluation of healthcare applications.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is grades ABB. All subject areas considered.

Desirable Subject Offer

For those applicants offering desirable subjects at A level (Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry/Software Systems Development/Computing (not IT/ICT)) one grade reduction will be applied at the time of offer. The desirable subject must be achieved at a minimum grade B.

Applicants offering qualifications as an alternative to A-levels will receive the equivalent reduction when those qualifications include a significant proportion of mathematics, software development and/or physical science.


The requirement for this course is BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with overall award profile of DDM to include a minimum of 10 unit distinctions. All subject areas considered.

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment accept combinations of the following qualifications:

A Levels with:
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact Admissions staff by telephone on +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or email

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate (higher level) grades H2,H3,H3,H3,H3. English Grade H6 or above (HL) and Maths Grade H5 or above (HL) or English Grade O4 or above (OL) and Maths O3 or above (OL) if not sitting at higher level is also required. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBBC. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is BCC. All subject areas considered.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 27 points to include 13 at Higher Level. Specific grades and Higher Level subjects may be required. Grade 5 in Mathematics and Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route with an overall mark of 70% to include 70% in NICATS Maths (level 2) or GCSE Mathematics grade B (or equivalent) for entry to year 1.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact admissions staff:
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305


GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade B or above in Mathematics and Grade C in English Language.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Envionment accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals. Please contact Admissions staff for further information.

HNC requirement is overall Distinction in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only.

HND requirement is overall Distinction in a relevant subject area. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full-time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 60% in level 5 modules and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants who present a Grade C in GCSE Mathematics must also achieve 50% in the Foundation Degree Mathematics module. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).

For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact the Faculty admissions staff on T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or E: Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent).

Please check the following link

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures are used to present and illustrate basic theory and fundamental principles. Tutorials elaborate lecture content, provide problem solving opportunities and examine problem solutions in greater detail. Most modules will have laboratory classes to enable the practical application of theoretical concepts, facilitating deeper understanding of key topics. In programming laboratories there is an emphasis on small group tutoring and support. Timetabled sessions are supplemented by directed private study and may require access to additional online tutorial and study material.

Assessment of the knowledge base is through a wide variety of methods including log books, class tests, individual and collaborative coursework assignments and examinations. In final year, assessment of knowledge and understanding is supplemented through assessment of the project dissertation and oral presentations.

Exemptions and transferability

During the course you may be permitted to transfer to the generic BSc Hons Computing Science course. Students who have successfully completed Year 1 of a similar honours degree course may be permitted to enter into Year 2. Suitably qualified candidates from a Foundation Degree in Computing Science also may be permitted to enter into Year 2.

Transferability is dependent on academic performance and availability of places.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • BT
  • CITI
  • IBM
  • Kainos
  • Liberty IT
  • Whitehat Security

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Applications Security Specialist
  • Graduate Software Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Technical Analyst
  • Web Developer

Career options

Graduates with software engineering skills have many career opportunities available to them in a wide range of commercial and industrial organisations. For example, developing new software, as project managers, systems analysts, planning and technical management, information management and database environments. Average salaries are often higher than that of other graduates. Opportunities for postgraduate study in computing or a related area are broad.

Work placement / study abroad

In Year 3 you undertake a year's work experience, in the UK, Ireland or Europe. You can also study in the USA. This leads to either the Diploma in Professional Practice for a placement year based in UK or Ireland; Diploma in Professional Practice (International) for a placement year based outside the UK or Ireland; or the Diploma in International Academic Studies if Year 3 is spent in study abroad.

Professional recognition

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

Academic profile

Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body; BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry. Many modules on the course are directly informed by the research activities of staff. This is reflected in the provision of specialist topics such as artificial intelligence, network technologies and healthcare technologies - topics which are closely related to computer science research at the Jordanstown campus.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

A variety of scholarships, awards and prizes are available each year to reflect individual academic excellence in specific areas of study or across year groups.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty of Computing and Engineering

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305