Software Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng MEng

2024-25 entry
School of Computer Science

If you want to study software engineering but don't meet our standard entry requirements, our foundation year could be for you. You'll learn the fundamentals of maths, physics and engineering in a variety of innovative ways to prepare you for your degree.

Key details

Explore this course:

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2024-25 entry. View 2025-26 entry or find another undergraduate 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.

    If you don't have the scientific or mathematical background for our engineering courses, this degree with a foundation year is for you. The foundation year will build your skills and knowledge in related areas to ensure you're ready to move on to your degree.

    Sheffield’s software engineering BEng 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 BEng 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.

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


    After successfully completing the foundation year modules, you can start your main degree.

    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.

    Title: Software Engineering with a Foundation Year MEng or BEng course structure
    UCAS code: G651
    Years: 2022, 2023
    Foundation year

    Core modules:

    Core Foundation Mathematics

    The syllabus for MAS003 covers the common core A Level curriculum. The unit is tailored for students who have been away from mathematics for a period of time, but who will have gained some A-Level or similar qualifications. The unit covers the basic principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Following the introduction of new material in the lectures, students have the opportunity of extensive problem solving, both in the tutorial sessions with the lecturers and in their own time.

    40 credits
    Introduction to Engineering

    This module will introduce the application of engineering principles to foundation year students and give the student an appreciation of the breadth of engineering activities across the faculty and identify to students what knowledge areas and skills are needed in order to contribute to their development and be successful. It will also help create links with departments and draw on the other modules that students will take in the foundation year especially maths and physics.

    40 credits
    Foundations of Physics with Computing

    This module will introduce essential concepts in mechanics and electronics in the context of computer science, to develop an understanding of real world interactions with electro-mechanical devices and producing simplified programming code.

    30 credits
    Further Foundation Mathematics

    The syllabus for MAS004 covers important material which appears on the A level maths and further mathematics A Level curriculum. The module is for students who are taking MAS003 and need a deeper background in mathematics for their degree course. The module covers advanced principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Following the introduction of new material, students have the opportunity of extensive problem solving, both in the problem classes with tutors and in their own time.

    10 credits
    Foundation Core and Enhanced Mathematics

    This module builds on the common core curriculum from A level maths (which is a prerequisite). This unit covers enhanced comprehension of topics in pure maths, statistics, probability, and numerical methods. These topics are chosen to further prepare students for their undergraduate studies in the science and engineering faculties.

    40 credits

    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 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.

    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


    You will be assessed by a combination of exams and tests, coursework and practical work. The proportions for each will vary depending on the modules you choose.

    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

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB; BBC
    BBB (any A Level); BBC, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology

    International Baccalaureate
    32 (any subjects); 31, with Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Higher Level 5 or Standard Level 7
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering or IT + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering or IT + A at A Level (no STEM at A Level) + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering or IT + B in an A Level science subject (Physics, Chemistry, or Biology) + GCSE Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering or IT + C in A Level Maths + GCSE Science grade 6/B
    T Level
    Distinction in the Digital Production, Design and Development T Level, including grade B in the core component + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
    Scottish Highers
    AABBB (any subjects); ABBBB, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + BB (any A Levels); B + BC in Maths and either Physics, Chemistry or Biology
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction (to include 12 Maths units), and 21 at Merit + GCSE Maths grade 7/A
    Other requirements
    • If you are studying both Maths and a science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology) at A Level or equivalent, there are no additional GCSE requirements. If you are studying any other subject combination, we require GCSE science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A

    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

    Due to the competitive nature of applying for the course, meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer. All applicants up to 31 January 2024 will be considered, ranked and offers made after this date. Late applications will not be considered.

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

    Graduate careers

    School 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.

    School 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

    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.


    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.

    Science and Engineering Foundation Year

    University rankings

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2024 (based on aggregate responses)

      University of the Year and best for Student Life 
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024

      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 2024, 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

    Student profiles

    Fees and funding


    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.


    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 for this course

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2024-2025 entry. View 2025-2026 entry or find another undergraduate 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 Science and Engineering Foundation Year

    If you want to study software engineering but don't meet our standard entry requirements, our foundation year could be for you. You'll learn the fundamentals of maths, physics and engineering in a variety of innovative ways to prepare you for your degree.