University of Chester

Programme Specification
Software Engineering BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2016 - 2017

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Software Engineering

Software Engineering

University of Chester

University of Chester

Thornton Science Park

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

4 years full-time

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Science & Engineering Computer Science

The Subject Benchmarking Group that applies to this degree programme is: Computing (2016) by QAA.

For direct access to the subject benchmarks, please click here

This programme has been accredited by the Tech Partnership as an Industry Gold degree programme.

Computer Science Undergraduate MAB

Tuesday 21st April 2015

This degree programme has been designed to satisfy the accreditation requirements of The Tech Partnership, the UK's Sector Skills Council for Business and IT. Our aim for this programme is:

  • To offer an interesting, challenging, industrially relevant degree programme;
  • To promote the academic, vocational and personal development of students;
  • To encourage a critically and theoretically informed and reflective approach to academic study;
  • To foster learning and research related to the academic, personal and vocational concerns of its students and staff; 
  • To facilitate access to higher education and lifelong learning by flexibility in admissions procedures, and learning and teaching styles; 
  • To develop skills and knowledge appropriate to preparation for postgraduate study or further research, and to a range of vocations and careers, particularly in the area of Software Development and Software Engineering; 
  • To provide effective, structured learning opportunities for undergraduate study in Software Engineering which promote the development of knowledge and understanding, research skills, skills of analysis and interpretation, skills of coherent argument, skills of communication and presentation, innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • To increase self-awareness and insight into both professional and ethical issues relevant to the discipline of Software Engineering.

Key knowledge areas are a firm grasp of Software Engineering and a systematic knowledge of the core areas as identified in section 27 (subject benchmark for Computing); in addition, on this applied programme students should have an understanding of ways in which software has influenced practice in business and other industries.

FHEQ Level 4: This level will examine the foundations that underpin this subject, including an introduction to programming, web technologies and software engineering principles.

  • CO4005 - (communication, presentation, data analysis and research skills)
  • CO4023 - (computer systems and themes)
  • CO4025, CO4027 - (computer development platforms)
  • CO4049 - (software architectures, modelling and security)

Specialist knowledge at this level includes an understanding of the work of professional software engineers and the application of software in organisational contexts (CO4029).

FHEQ Level 5: Continues the themes from level 4 and extends the theoretical knowledge of students enabling them to put their combined knowledge to practice.

  • CO5022 (database development)
  • CO5025 (further programming)
  • CO5027 (website development)
  • CO5029 (software testing, software deployments)
  • CO5049 (project management and business planning)
  • CO5019 (placement)

Year in Industry: Between level 5 and 6 students are expected to organise a yearlong placement in industry to consolidate the previous two years learning and to develop their personal and professional skills.

FHEQ Level 6: an in-depth knowledge of software engineering:

  • CO6021 (advanced software design)
  • CO6025 (advanced programming)
  • CO6026 (artificial intelligence and knowledge management)
  • CO6029 (legacy systems and quality issues)

In the innovation project module (CO6008) students will be capable of applying taught knowledge learned in previous years to complete a large-scale software development project showing competencies in the analysis, design, development and evaluation of a project.

Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the three years of study, with progression from an emphasis on clear description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills by the end of the studies. The ability to reason scientifically, to synthesise information and data from various sources, to analyse, evaluate and interpret theories.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Find, read and understand software-specific texts, including primary sources, and reference them using an appropriate referencing format (all modules)
  • Making connections between subjects taught in separate modules (all modules)
  • Interpret basic and big data sets (CO4005)
  • Be able to write reports in a standard format (CO4005)
  • Analyse data using appropriate level tests of relationship, association, and difference (CO4005)
  • Problem-solving (CO4025, CO4027)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Synthesis and integration of information from a variety of sources (CO5022)
  • Further problem solving (all modules)
  • Planning a software project (CO5049)
  • Business planning (CO5049)
  • The ability to synthesise knowledge across a range of modules and applying these in a work-based context (CO5019)

Year in Industry: students will likely find themselves problem solving real-world problems. Students are expected to develop skills taught at level 4 and 5 and should prepare themselves for the skills expected at level 6.

FHEQ Level 6

  • Solving problems and communicating solutions in a professional and rigorous fashion (CO6008)
  • Advanced problem solving with programming languages (CO6025, CO6026)
  • Planning and conducting an innovation project (CO6008)
  • Evaluation of methodologies within the discipline (CO6008 and CO6029)
  • To capture knowledge and expertise and to document it appropriately (CO6021)

Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research in a variety of
formats, and deal with statistical and textual analysis of data. Students will gain experience in project management
consistent with practice in professional contexts, as well as knowledge of ethical standards. They will
demonstrate numerical skills appropriate to the interpretation of large data sets; the ability to work effectively in
a team; the ability to plan and carry out work individually, keeping to deadlines; the ability to reflect upon their own
learning and performance and enhance their abilities in the light of that reflection.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Time management (CO4029)
  • Reflection skills (CO4029)
  • Ability to design appropriate solutions in a range of application contexts using software development approaches that deliver business value (CO4029)
  • An awareness of ethical issues raised when working with technology (all modules)
  • Ability to use library resources in order to identify and retrieve source material, compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations (all modules)

FHEQ Level 5

  • The ability to work as a key member of a team (CO5029, CO5019)
  • Enhanced reflection skills (CO5019)
  • Project management (CO5049, CO5019)
  • Reconcile conflicting project objectives, finding acceptable compromises recognising the limitations of capability, capacity, cost and time (CO5049, CO5019)
  • Appreciate the need for continuing professional development in this discipline (all modules)
  • Build and test software solutions for a range of application contexts (CO5029)

Year in Industry: students will likely find themselves working both individually and as part of a team working on projects within an organisation. Students will be expected to develop the skills at level 4 and 5 and prepare themselves for those that are developed at level 6.

FHEQ Level 6

  • The ability to plan, manage, conduct and report a complex individual project (CO6008)
  • Demonstrate an understand of current theories, models and techniques that provide a basis for problem identification and analysis, software design, development, implementation, verification and documentation (CO6008)
  • Apply software engineering techniques to a range of real-world problems and issues (all modules)
  • Show competence in customer software development processes, including the knowledge, skills and professional competences necessary to begin practice as a software engineer in a business environment (CO6008).

FHEQ Level 4

  • Describe and discuss technological issues clearly and accurately both orally (CO4029 and CO4005) and in written work (all modules)
  • Be able to write for an academic audience (all modules)
  • Ability to work as an individual and as part of a team to develop and deliver quality software deliverables (CO4029)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Communicate fluently with members of a team (CO5019)
  • Ability to communicate with multiple stakeholders in an appropriate way, in a variety of forms (CO5019)
  • Ability to negotiate and compromise on possible solutions to software project problems (CO5019)

Year in Industry: students will likely find themselves developing a full range of communication skills. Students are expected to develop skills taught at level 4 and 5 and should prepare themselves for the skills expected at level 6.

FHEQ Level 6

  • Fluent and accurate written communication, based on clear and critical argument and evidence-based reasoning (all modules)
  • Fluent oral communication suitable for an academic audience (CO6008)

Programme Summary

Students have no optional modules during the programme.

At level 4 students are introduced to programming (CO4025), website development (CO4027), computer systems (CO4023), software engineering principles (CO4049), information analysis and presentation (CO4005) and a collaborative working module (CO4029).

At level 5 these themes are largely expanded on with the introduction of database design (CO5025) and software management (CO5029) which will benefit these themes.

Between level 5 and 6 students will undertake a year in industry (CO5000).

At level 6 students will study advanced topics in programming (CO6025) and intelligent technologies (CO6026), systems analysis and design (CO6021) and study in detail about software quality (CO6029). In parallel to these modules students will also undertake a major piece of individual work in the innovation project module (CO6008).

The below diagram shows the themes a student will study and the progression from year to year. 

Diagram of Student Journey


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CO4005 4 Information Analysis and Presentation 20 Comp
CO4023 4 Introduction to Computer Systems 20 Comp
CO4025 4 Introduction to Programming 20 Comp
CO4027 4 Introduction to Web Based Technologies 20 Comp
CO4029 4 Collaborative Software Development 20 Comp
CO4049 4 Software Engineering Principles 20 Comp
CO5000 5 Year in Industry 120 Comp
CO5019 5 Experiential Learning (Computing) 20 Comp
CO5022 5 Database Principles and Practice 20 Comp
CO5025 5 Further Programming and Problem Solving 20 Comp
CO5027 5 Website Production and Development 20 Comp
CO5029 5 Software Testing and Deployment 20 Comp
CO5049 5 Software Management 20 Comp
CO6008 6 Innovation Project 40 Comp
CO6021 6 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design 20 Comp
CO6025 6 Advanced Programming 20 Comp
CO6026 6 Intelligent Technologies 20 Comp
CO6029 6 Software Quality 20 Comp

  • Level 4 - 120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
  • Level 5 - 240 credits at Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
  • Year in industry placement – Students successfully completing the one-year placement (or who are granted APEL on the basis of equivalent experience) will be awarded 120 credits
  • Level 6 - The acquisition of 120 credits at level 6, giving a total of 480 credits, will qualify the student for the award of BSc Software Engineering. Any student who does not successfully complete the year in industry, and is not granted APEL on the basis of equivalent experience, will achieve a total of 360 credits for the programme and will qualify for the award BSc Software Development Studies.

(See the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland—August 2008 for more information)


Students are encouraged to apply to a professional body such as the British Computer Society (BCS).

This programme has been accredited by the Tech Partnership as an Industry Gold degree programme.

The admissions data provided below was correct at the time of creating this programme specification (May 2016). Please refer to the prospectus pages on the corporate website for the most recent data.

  • A minimum of 300 UCAS points, of which 260 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A Levels (12 or 6 unit awards), including a grade B in one subject. The remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or from Level 3 Key Skills certification
  • GCSE Maths grade C or above (or equivalent) is also required
  • BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit profile
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 30 points
  • European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%
  • QAA approved Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits

For international entry requirements, you will need to visit and select the appropriate country.

This programme has been designed specifically to meet the computing (2016)  benchmarking statements issued by the QAA. Below is a summary of how this programme meets those benchmarking statements

  • The course has a range of modules in computing topics and specialist software development modules that will develop a student to be thorough in this subject.
  • This programme has been accredited by the Tech Partnership as a 'Gold' degree and has been designed with employability at its core.
  • All LO's are clearly stated at programme and module level with further information provided on teaching methods, assessment and module content.
  • Progression through the programme can be seen in section 24 of this programme specification. 
  • Students are taught about professional practice and ethics relating to the computing industry.
  • Students are encouraged to develop a number of key skills, this is particularly apparent in the practical modules of this programme including programming, website development, database development and placement-based modules.
  • Students are encouraged to take part in a year in industry.

Also, in line with the current benchmark statement the course matches the typical outcomes for a programme in a computing related discipline, namely that students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the main areas of the body of knowledge within their programme of study, with an ability to exercise critical judgement across a range of issues
  • critically analyse and apply a range of concepts, principles and practice of the subject in an appropriate manner in the context of loosely defined scenarios, showing effective judgement in the selection and use of tools and techniques
  • produce work involving problem identification, the analysis, the design and the development of a system, with accompanying documentation. The work will show problem solving and evaluation skills, draw upon supporting evidence and demonstrate a good understanding of the need for quality
  • demonstrate transferable skills with an ability to show organised work as an individual and as a team member and with minimum guidance
  • apply appropriate practices within a professional, legal and ethical framework and identify mechanisms for continuing professional development and lifelong learning
  • explain a wide range of applications based upon the body of knowledge.


QAA (2016) “Computing benchmark statement” QAA for Higher Education


Level 4: Learning is predominantly tutor-designed and guided, and students are offered opportunities for individual initiative within this framework, which provides groundwork in subject-specific and transferable study skills and encouragement to communicate accurately.

Level 5: Learning remains largely tutor-guided and students are encouraged to work in collaboration with tutors and fellow students. There is opportunity for consolidation and development of appropriate study skills and for experiencing a range of appropriate methods for tasks in hand.

Year in Industry: Between level 5 and 6 students are expected to organise a year long placement in industry to consolidate the previous two years learning and to develop their personal and professional skills. 

Level 6: Students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. There is a consolidation of appropriate study skills and their application to independent enquiry in the form of a major individual research development project.

Summative Assessments 

Opportunities for the student to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes are provided through the following summative assessment methods:

  • Written Examinations are typically of 2 hours duration.  The content of these exams is previously unseen by the student, and many modules use written exams to assess knowledge and understanding, and selected subject-specific intellectual skills.  Different modules will use open or closed book, multiple choice, open-ended and essay type exams as appropriate to the subject matter.
  • Coursework Assignments are used throughout the curriculum where students are required to seek additional information so that they can develop and demonstrate their understanding of the course material.  The exact form of assignment reflects the subject matter.  In particular practical implementations are used where the attainment of a subject specific practical skill is relevant. Reports are used where the use of primary source material and some form of evaluation or analysis is required. Coursework may constitute the only or the major form of assessment in some modules, and can be conducted on an individual basis at the beginning of the degree programme, or as small groups. 
  • Oral Presentations are often included as part of coursework assignments.  These presentations allow students to develop their communication skills.
  • Peer Assessment is often used in modules that involve a substantial team-working element.  Normally, students will moderate the final marks for the group project to reflect the contributions of different team member to encourage full an equal participation by each student.  Students may also peer review other students' coursework to develop their critical thinking skills, but in this case, the quality of the peer review is assessed.
  • The Innovation Project is the largest project and is undertaken during the third year of the degree programme with students working individually on an innovative technology product for a real client.  The project is assessed via a written report, the practical implementation, an oral presentation and the student’s response to questions. It is expected to be at a professional level.

Formative Assessments 

do not contribute to the final marks achieved for each module, but provide an opportunity for students to monitor their own academic progress.  They also provide a useful opportunity for lecturers to give feedback to the students and to monitor and improve the students learning experience. Students will have opportunities to develop their oral and presentation skills during workshops.

Assessment Criteria

There are clear assessment criteria and a marking scheme for every assessment. Marking schemes identify levels of performance against specific learning outcomes. They indicate how the final mark will be derived, and are designed to facilitate second marking and constructive feedback to students from the tutor. 

The programmes clearly offer students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a graduate. Successful achievement of the learning outcomes as mapped to benchmarks throughout this document will evidence the level that the students have achieved.

On completion of their study a graduate will be able to enter a range of careers, typically:

  • Software Developer
  • Software Test Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Programmer Analyst
  • Systems Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Application Support Analyst
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Project Management
  • Programme Manager
  • Quality Engineer

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression. 

The programme is delivered in English and provided the student has attained the defined standard there are no other cultural issues. 

As a technology-oriented degree there is a high likelihood that the majority of disabilities can be addressed using appropriate specialist hardware and software; individual applicants will be invited to discuss their individual needs with the programme leader and the applicant will be advised as to the provision that can be made for them, prior to accepting a place.

Year in Industry: Between level 5 and 6 students are expected to organise a yearlong placement in industry to consolidate the previous two years learning and to develop their personal and professional skills. 

In the course of level 5, prior to the year in industry, students are given guidance and advice in the form of meetings and documentation. Our partners at the Tech Partnership will facilitate access to a network of employers to aid students in finding an appropriate placement.

Any student who does not successfully complete the year in industry placement will qualify, on completion of level 6, for the award of BSc Software Development Studies instead of the full degree award of BSc Software Engineering.

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