Computer Science (Software Engineering) BEng

2024-25 entry
Department of Computer Science

Our software engineering degree focuses on the art of engineering complex software systems. The course not only teaches you state-of-the-art software design and programming technologies, but also lets you practise your skills in project management, teamwork and working with customers - skills expected by employers.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Group of students working together at some computers

    Learn the art of engineering complex software systems, and how to apply that knowledge to this ever-expanding industry.

    Sheffield’s software engineering MEng gives you a solid grounding in the fundamentals of software engineering, as well as computer science and the opportunity to explore aspects of artificial intelligence.

    The course not only teaches you state-of-the-art software design and programming technologies, but also lets you practise skills that employers want in every candidate – project management, teamwork and working with customers.

    The main focus of your final year is a dissertation project, where you’ll enjoy scope for creative and intellectual exploration. You'll take a specialist module on software testing and analysis giving you the skills to create robust software systems. Optional modules which cover topics such as software re-engineering, cybersecurity, and software for mobile devices give you the scope to tailor your degree to your interests.

    Why study this course?

    • Professional skills and group work - professional, communication and presentation skills help to create more employable computer scientists and software engineers.
    • Specialist teaching facilities - you'll have access to the latest hardware, software and operating systems, plus high-spec graphics computers and a robotics arena in our dedicated computer labs in The Diamond.
    • Support throughout your degree - our dedicated student welfare advisor is available to provide support, for example, if you are feeling down, overwhelmed or struggling to adjust to student life.

    This course is accredited by the British Computer Society. The courses fully meet the requirements for Chartered Information Technology Professional and partially meet the requirements for Chartered Engineer.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Computer Science (Software Engineering) BEng (nee Software Engineering) course structure
    UCAS code: G600
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    Core modules:

    Introduction to Software Engineering

    This module introduces the Software Engineering concepts that are needed to develop software systems that can meet basic functional requirements within a given problem domain. It covers the main steps in the process of developing such systems, from requirements analysis through to their implementation and testing. A major part of the module involves students working in teams to develop a web-based software system, which gives practical experience in teamwork and managing software projects and their products.

    20 credits
    Foundations of Computer Science

    The course consists of (around) 10 blocks of 2-3 weeks work each. Each block develops mathematical concepts and techniques that are of foundational importance to computing. Lectures and problem classes will be used. The intention is to enthuse about these topics, to demonstrate why they are important to us, to lay the foundations of their knowledge and prepare students for future computing courses. It is not expected that the course will cover ALL of the maths that is needed later either in terms of depth or scope.

    20 credits
    Java Programming

    This module introduces programming concepts through the Java programming language. Program design and the use of testing to drive program creation are also covered. Initial focus is placed on the structured aspects typical of many programming languages: the ideas of a sequence, selection and repetition. The object-oriented approach to building large software systems from components is then presented. Throughout the module, emphasis is placed on the practice of writing well-structured and readable programs to solve problems.

    20 credits
    Machines and Intelligence

    This module provides an introduction to Artificial Intelligence, and to key concepts and problems in the field, such as whether a computer is capable of understanding, and whether humans should themselves be viewed as machines. It also provides a brief historical overview of the subject and reviews the state-of-the-art and open questions in some of the major sub-areas of AI, pointing out connections to research work in the Department. As well as providing a first encounter with the main issues that underlie attempts to create Artificial Intelligence, the module also has a more practical component that introduces algorithms and data structures for AI problem solving through practical programming examples, as well as hands-on experience with simple programming of robots. The emphasis here is on identifying the abstract nature of the problem that is to be solved, matching this to an appropriate algorithm or technique and implementing a solution. It also serves as an introduction to programming for research rather than for software engineering.

    20 credits
    Devices and Networks

    This module runs throughout the academic year, starting in Autumn and ending in Spring. The module consists of two parts. In the first, important elements of computer architecture are covered including digital logic, computer arithmetic and instruction set architecture. The approach in the module is to show how the basic elements of a computer are constructed and combined to give sophisticated architectures that support accelerated performance via cache memory and pipelining. The second half of the module shows how computing devices can be connected into networks, and covers the principles of layered protocols, error detection/correction and reliable transmission over networks. 

    20 credits
    Web and Internet Technology

    This module is for students studying Computer Science as a main subject. The Web and the Internet are now pervasive in modern life, providing an information resource, and promoting novel, interactive solutions to computing-related activities. The main focus of the module is on practical use of HTML, CSS and JavaScript in front-end development of interactive websites. As part of this, the module covers responsive web design, accessibility and legal issues when creating websites and an introduction to information security.

    10 credits
    Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures

    Algorithms and algorithmic problem solving are at the heart of computer science. This module introduces students to the design and analysis of efficient algorithms and data structures. Students learn how to quantify the efficiency of an algorithm and what algorithmic solutions are efficient. Techniques for designing efficient algorithms are taught, including efficient data structures for storing and retrieving data. This is done using illustrative and fundamental problems: searching, sorting, graph algorithms, and combinatorial problems such as finding the shortest paths in networks. 

    10 credits
    Global Engineering Challenge Week

    The Faculty-wide Global Engineering Challenge Week is a compulsory part of the first-year programme. The project has been designed to develop student academic, transferable and employability skills as well as widen their horizons as global citizens. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of 5-6, for a full week, all students in the Faculty choose from a number of projects arranged under a range of themes including Water, Waste Management, Energy and Digital with scenarios set in an overseas location facing economic challenge. Some projects are based on the Engineers Without Borders Engineering for people design challenge*.

    *The EWB challenge provides students with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural development projects identified by EWB with its community-based partner organisations.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    Learning will be delivered through a combination of lectures, practical sessions, tutorials and seminars. You will also learn important group work skills and will have the opportunity to work with clients to solve real-world problems. As well as formal teaching you will be expected to undertake independent study.

    At the end of your third year you will submit a written dissertation and present your findings during a poster session. Your dissertation project could be supervised by one of our research staff or an external supervisor from industry.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Assessment

    You will be assessed using a mixture of exams/tests, coursework and practical sessions.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    A*AA; AAA
    A*AA including Maths; or AAA including Maths and Computer Science

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAA including Maths + A in a relevant EPQ; AAB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science + A in a relevant EPQ; AAA including Maths + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths; AAB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    38, with 6 in Higher Level Maths
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    D*DD in Engineering, Applied Science, IT or Computing + A in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    D*D in Engineering, Applied Science, IT or Computing + A in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    AAAAA + A in Maths
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    A + A*A including Maths; or A + AA in Maths and Computer Science
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 42 at Distinction (to include 18 credits in Maths), and 3 at Merit
    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB; ABB
    AAB including A in Maths; or ABB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAA including Maths + A in a relevant EPQ; AAB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science + A in a relevant EPQ; AAA including Maths + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths; AAB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    34, with 6 in Higher Level Maths
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering, Applied Science, IT or Computing + B in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering, Applied Science, IT or Computing + B in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    AAABB + A in Maths
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA including A in Maths; or B + AB including A in Maths and B in Computer Science
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction (to include 18 credits in Maths), and 9 at Merit
    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Graduate careers

    Department of Computer Science

    Some of our graduates have gone on to become IT consultants, software engineers, software developers, project managers, and data scientists in companies such as Amazon, ARM, BT, Bank of America & BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Plusnet. Others have begun their research careers by starting a PhD.

    Department of Computer Science

    Three Miro robot dogs in a group - image

    Here in Sheffield our world-class research is advancing our understanding of computer science, and leading to practical applications that are enhancing people’s lives. From cutting-edge artificial intelligence that could transform dementia treatment, to text engineering methods that fight the spread of disinformation online, our research is delivering tremendous impact.

    Many of our lecturers are leading computer scientists with international reputations, and their research shapes and inspires what you will be taught. This means that what we teach you at Sheffield is right up to date. Also, through a research-led education we hope to inspire a sense of creativity and curiosity that will set you on a life-long path of learning and discovery.

    As well as our first-class teaching, the hands-on practical skills and industry experience you’ll gain in Sheffield will pave the way for an exciting career. Every year our students go on to work for some of the biggest and most innovative companies in the world.

    We teach using industry-standard tools so that you can hit the ground running, and we also help you to develop the problem solving and communication skills that employers really value. We also prepare you for making decisions that will affect others: it’s crucial that as a computer science professional you understand the ethical implications of your work and are mindful of its environmental impact.

    Our department is a vibrant, diverse and supportive community of like-minded people. If you decide to join us at Sheffield, you’ll be welcomed as part of that community and presented with a multitude of opportunities for extracurricular activities. That is why studying in our department is an excellent investment in your future, whatever path you choose.

    Your lectures, practical classes, tutorials and seminars are usually held on the University campus. The Diamond is a world-class building, home to all engineering undergraduates and where most of your practical sessions will take place. Our investment of £81m in the building and £20m for lab equipment is helping us to develop innovative teaching and learning experiences.

    Dedicated teaching staff will support you and assist your development into a computer scientist of the future. We regularly host guest lectures from industry, with recent guests including Microsoft, Google, GitHub, IBM and ARM.

    Facilities

    We use a multitude of cutting edge hardware in our teaching. We have MiRo robots and Robotis turtlebots which are used to teach robotics and programming. These are also used in third year dissertation projects.

    We have facilities and equipment exclusively for software development on mobile devices including phones and tablets.

    As a computer science student within the Faculty of Engineering, you will have access to specialist facilities in our state-of-the-art hub, The Diamond. Here you will have access to the latest hardware, software and operating systems in our dedicated computer labs. Virtual Reality facilities, high-spec graphics PCs, a robot arena, media editing suites and video and podcast recording studios are all available.

    Take one of our MComp or MEng degrees and you will have the opportunity to work in Genesys Solutions, the first student-run software development organisation in the UK, where you will pitch, develop and market ideas for a startup company.

    Department of Computer Science

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    Department of Computer Science

    Number 1 in the Russell Group for student voice

    National Student Survey 2023

    Rated 8th nationally for the quality of our research environment

    Research Excellence Framework 2021

    11th for computer science

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Placements and study abroad

    Placement

    You may have the opportunity to add an optional placement year as part of your course, converting the three year course to a four-year Degree with Placement Year. 

    A placement year will help you to:

    • gain an insight into possible careers
    • develop a range of transferable skills
    • build a professional network
    • get a feel for what you do and don’t like doing
    • add valuable work experience to your CV
    • gain experience of applying for jobs and interview practice
    • apply elements of academic learning in the workplace

    Study abroad

    Spending time abroad during your degree is a great way to explore different cultures, gain a new perspective and experience a life-changing opportunity that you will never forget. 

    You can apply to extend this course with a year abroad, usually between the second and third year. We have over 250 University partners worldwide. Popular destinations include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

    Find out more on the Global Opportunities website.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    Our software engineering degree focuses on the art of engineering complex software systems. The course not only teaches you state-of-the-art software design and programming technologies, but also lets you practise your skills in project management, teamwork and working with customers - skills expected by employers.