Software Engineering (MSc) 2021 entry
The MSc in Software Engineering is an advanced research-led course in the study of software engineering, developing students' knowledge and skills in software reuse, agile development, software architecture and critical systems engineering.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 September 2022
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
One year full time or two years part time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in Computer Science. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency
For direct entry to a Masters in Computer Science, you will be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes. To maintain staff-student ratios, the University reserves the right to stop accepting applications once the programme is full.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- personal statement (optional)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates. Please only provide certified copies with official English translations if applicable. Do not send original documents as they cannot be returned.
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
Discover the University of St Andrews
Watch current students and staff discuss the teaching facilities, research opportunities and student life at Scotland's first university.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020-2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
- Object-Oriented Modelling, Design and Programming: introduces and reinforces object-oriented modelling, design and implementation to provide a common basis of skills, allowing students to complete programming assignments within other MSc modules.
- Software Engineering Practice: introduces advanced software engineering methods supporting the development of complex, composite software systems with an emphasis on software configuration management, reuse and test-driven development practices.
- Software Engineering Principles: examines the key concepts in small and large-scale software development.
You will also take one or both of:
- Critical Systems Engineering: delivers an understanding of the concepts and development techniques used for critical, socio-technical systems.
- Software Architecture: introduces students to the concept of software architecture, as an aid to software design, reuse and evolution.
The following modules are optional for Computer Science programmes. Not all combinations of modules will be available for all programmes, and some modules are subject to pre-requisites being satisfied.
Students choose two or three optional modules. In the 'Additional modules' lists below, students can only take up to two of the modules in each list. See the module catalogue for further descriptions.
Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.
- Artificial Intelligence Practice
- Artificial Intelligence Principles
- Critical Systems Engineering
- Data-Intensive Systems
- Human Computer Interaction Principles and Methods
- Information Visualisation
- Interactive Software and Hardware
- Knowledge Discovery and Datamining
- Language and Computation
- Masters Programming Projects
- Principles of Computer Communication Systems
- Software Architecture
- Software Engineering Practice
- Software Engineering Principles
- User-Centred Interaction Design
Additional optional modules
Students may take up to two of the following:
- Advanced Communication Networks and Systems
- Computer Architecture
- Computer Graphics
- Computer Security
- Concurrency and Multi-Core Architectures
- Constraint programming
- Distributed Systems
- Logic and Software Verification
- Programming Language Design and Implementation
- Video Games
Students may take up to two of the following:
- Database Management Systems
- Green Information Technology
- Information Security Management
- Information Technology Projects
- Web Technologies
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).
During the second semester, students work with staff to define and agree upon a topic for the extended project, which they will work on during the final three months of the course, and which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation. Dissertation projects may be group-based or completed individually (students are assessed individually in either case).
The dissertation typically comprises:
- a review of related work
- the extension of existing ideas or the development of new ideas
- software implementation and testing
- analysis and evaluation.
Students are required to give a presentation of their work in addition to the written dissertation.
Each project is supervised by one or two members of staff, typically through regular meetings and reviews of software and dissertation drafts.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma instead, finishing the course at the end of the second semester of study.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date list of modules in the module catalogue.