Computer Science/Software Engineering with a Year in Industry MEng

Start date
September
Duration
5 years (including a year in industry)
UCAS code
GG6L
Course Type
Undergraduate, Industrial professional experience, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£21,180 (International)
Further information

Our stimulating Computer Science/Software Engineering with a Year in Industry MEng degree programme will prepare you to become a future leader in the IT industry by not only developing your technical understanding of building large software systems, but also your management and teamwork skills.

Software Engineering is at the core of the computer science industry and the demand for experts in software engineering is set to grow. At the University of Birmingham we understand the increasing demand for software engineers with a range of expertise. Our Computer Science/Software Engineering MEng programme ensures you leave us with not only a thorough understanding of the principles of the subject but also the key transferable skills to be able to adapt and work in a demanding and ever-changing industry which are developed through team projects and group work.

In the first year you will gain a firm foundation in programming, plus the principles of data structures and algorithms; artificial intelligence; and relevant logic and mathematics. Our main teaching language is Java but you will also learn functional programming, both of which are widely used in enterprise systems and will prove crucial after you graduate.

During the second year you move on to study enabling technologies and their application. Your programming repertoire will be broadened by exposure to the C programming language and you will be taught professional software engineering techniques and apply them to develop a large team project in Java such as a multiplayer networked game.

In your third year you will be able to choose from a range of optional modules allowing you to specialise in areas of computer science that interest you and that will help prepare you for your future career.

Your final year modules from our range of Masters programmes will be open to you. You will also undertake a much more in-depth project which involves a major software or research element, and brings together all of the computer science skills you have acquired. Your choice of modules alongside your choice of project will allow you to specialise in a field such as computer security, human-computer interaction, theoretical computer science, robotics or natural computation.

Why study Computer Science/Software Engineering with a Year in Industry MEng at Birmingham?

  • State-of-the-art facilities which include: research labs for Medical Imaging, Intelligent Robotics, HCI and security; Computer Science reference library; Robotics teaching labs and exclusive computing labs just computer science students
  • We are a leading centre for Computer Science teaching and research in Europe and we are home to many acclaimed research groups which filter into teaching on the course
  • Year in Industry opportunities are available for you to gain skills and experience which will help to prepare you for a career after university
  • Friendly and sociable department, where staff and students harness great relationships
  • Flexible module choices throughout your degree allow you to tailor your education to suit your interests and strengths

If you’re thinking about coming to study Computer Science at Birmingham (and I hope you are), I’d advise learning a programming language, if you don’t program already. Whilst it’s not essential for the course, as currently our first year Software Workshop module is taught from scratch, it really does help make your transition into university work smoother. As you’ll be familiar with some of the concepts, those first few exercises are a little easier to understand. You don’t have to be a fully-fledged developer or able to code Google, but having a go with Java (or a similar language) over the summer will really help you when joining the course.

Poppie Simmonds, MEng Computer Science with software Engineering

Modules

Year 1

The first year provides a thorough coverage of the fundamentals of computing: mathematics for computer science, algorithms, data structures and grounding in object-oriented programming using Java, which is widely used in industry. You will also have an introduction to the basic themes of large software systems, and work on a team project.

Core modules

  • Artificial Intelligence 1 (20 credits)
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (20 credits)
  • Logic and Computation (20 credits)
  • Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (20 credits)
  • Object Oriented Programming (20 credits)
  • Full Stack Application Development (20 credits)

Year 2

In the second year you study databases, graphics, and human–computer interfaces. Our approach is to teach these in conjunction with further work on object-orientated programming. This allows you to gain a much deeper understanding of the techniques involved by implementing them yourself. You also take comprehensive courses in software engineering, computer architecture, logic, and the mathematical theory of computation. You learn how to use complex software tools and to work effectively in a team.

You must perform well academically in the first two years to progress to the MEng stream of the degree. 

Core modules

  • Functional Programming (20 credits)
  • Security and Networks (20 credits)
  • Software Engineering and Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Systems Programming in C/C++ (20 credits)
  • Team Project (Artificial Intelligence) (20 credits)
  • Artificial Intelligence 2 (20 credits)

Year 3

In the third year of the MEng you study the principles of advanced databases, work on a larger team project and select four options from a choice of around 20. These include: Computer Networks; Imaging and Visualisation; Operating Systems; Virtual Reality; and Intelligent Robotics. 

Choose 120 credits of modules

  • Advanced Networking (20 credits)
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (20 credits)
  • Computer Graphics (20 credits)
  • Computer Vision and Imaging (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Verification (20 credits)
  • Human-Computer Interaction (20 credits)
  • Individual Study (20 credits)
  • Intelligent Robotics (20 credits)
  • Language and Cognition (20 credits)
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis (20 credits)
  • Programming Language Principles, Design and Implementation (20 credits)
  • Security of Real-World Systems (20 credits)
  • Teaching Computing in Schools (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security (20 credits)

Year 4 (in Industry)

We encourage our students to gain as much real world experience as they can during their studies. The University has strong links with a number of employers offering internships or formal placements that can range from two months over the summer vacation to a full sandwich year as part of your degree course. 

Computer Science Industrial Placement (120 credits)
In order to proceed to Year 4 (the industrial year), students must:

  • Not have any modules to repeat during the year. If they have resit examinations, they must arrange for time off to take these.
  • Have found a company willing to provide a placement which meets the School's requirements, which include providing an Industrial Tutor. The placement must involve a component of skills training (approximately 40%) and technical project work (approximately 60%). The skills training can include formal taught and/or self study courses and apprenticeship style learning "on the job". The training and project work must be of a technical nature relevant to the degree programme. The project work will most typically involve programming but other types of project work are acceptable.
  • Students who do not meet the academic requirements or cannot find a suitable industrial placement will transfer to the degree programme without the Year in Industry component.
  • A student who fails the Industrial Studies module will be permitted to transfer to the degree programme without the Year in Industry component.

Year five

In the fifth year of the MEng you study the design of safety-critical systems, such as fly-by-wire systems for aircraft control, and learn how to manage the quality of large software projects. You also spend half your time on your degree project, which is typically based on a large piece of software you have produced. 

Core modules

  • Computer Science Masters project (60 credits)

Optional modules

Choose 60 credits of optional modules, examples listed below:

  • Advanced Networking (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Verification (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer Graphics (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Computer Vision and Imaging (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Human-Computer Interaction (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Individual Study (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Intelligent Robotics (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Language and Cognition (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Machine Learning and Intelligent Data Analysis (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Programming Language Principles, Design and Implementation (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Security of Real-World Systems (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Teaching Computer Science in Schools (Extended) (20 credits)
  • Theoretical Foundations for Security (Extended) (20 credits)

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2019/20

UK/EU £9,250
International £21,180

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

 

Tuition fees for placement years

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code GG6L.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
A*AA
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics grade A. If you are taking any reformed science A levels, which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015, you must pass the practical element.

General Studies or Critical Thinking not accepted.
It is desirable, but not essential, to have some experience of writing computer programs. Please note that Access qualifications are not suitable for this programme.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

7, 6, 6 required at Higher Level (including 6 in Mathematics), with a minimum of 32 points overall. We also require 5 in Standard Level English.

BTEC 

Only considered when combined with other qualifications.

Typical offer grades are for guidance only, other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Are you a UK/EU student and would like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? If you are not studying A Level Mathematics you can consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.

 

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Hear from our students talking about their experiences during one of our modules.

You will benefit greatly from an overhauled and re-designed curriculum in order to give you the chance to really dig deeper into your subjects of interest

How you will learn

You will be taught using a combination of lectures, labs and tutorials with lecturers available to provide additional help throughout your degree.

How you will be assessed

Each module is assessed independently with all containing some components of continuous assessment. Some modules are completely assessed by coursework. Assessment methods include end-of-year examinations in May and June, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, computer-based tests, marked exercises, and laboratory and project reports. Feedback is an essential part of learning and the way we help to shape your success.

We use a wide range of methods, such as written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor.

Your personal tutor

We know that starting university can be daunting, and is a big step into a new way of living and learning, that’s why from the beginning of your time with us you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies and support your academic progress, developing your transferable skills and any welfare issues.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate and discuss lecture material with your tutor and fellow students. 

Self-study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world-leading researchers

Being taught and challenged in a range of ways and by a range of people helps to not only broaden your knowledge but to allow you to build your network and discover your interests. Allowing you to meet and learn from different leaders in their fields is key to the course, that’s why during your studies you will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, offering you a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience.

Resources and facilities

We know that life as a student can be busy and that juggling work and a social life can be hard. That’s why our purpose built multi-million-pound building offers 24-hour swipe access for all our students to access our state-of-the-art facilities whenever they need to.

We encourage group work and face-to-face interaction with your fellow students and academics, that’s why there are plenty of student areas in the building and collaborative student and staff spaces.

Contact Hours

Depending on the programme, the modules you select, and the number of optional help sessions you choose to take part in, each week you will have between:

Year 1: 15 and 25 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours. During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.
Year 2: 13 and 22 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside thos hours.
Year 3: 9 and 20 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.
Year 4 - MEng programmes only: 7 and 18 hours of lectures, labs and tutorials, with lecturers available to provide additional help outside those hours.

Please note the above data is based on the most common module selections for the each year group and does not include hours for self-study. This data does not include modules taken during a Study Abroad.

Our courses are especially designed, at every stage, to equip you with the knowledge, academic skill and transferable skills you need for a successful career in industry or research. 

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 shows that 93% of our Computer Science graduates are in graduate-level employment or further study six months after graduation.

We hold specialist careers fairs throughout the year for computer science students to help you network and find opportunities to secure placements and graduate employability once you leave us.

Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers:

  • Accenture
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Honda
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Logics
  • Rolls Royce
  • UBS
  • QinetiQ

Example careers: 

  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Cloud Computing Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Lecturer/Teacher
  • Applications Developer

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience: