Computer Science (Software Engineering) BSc
About the course
This BSc in Computer Science, specialising in software engineering, will provide you with a good understanding of computer science and the important elements of a computer system.
You will learn how to build different types of software – from web-based systems to mobile solutions – and in the final year you’ll take compulsory modules in advanced computer science and choose options from a range of computing topics.
By specialising in software engineering, you’ll focus on how to build high quality systems which will be easier to maintain and develop in the long term as the requirements of the system change, and the available technologies evolve. The techniques involved include testing, service-oriented architectures, and refactoring.
All our degrees emphasise acquiring knowledge and skills to develop your new understanding creatively and professionally. Although this is an academic degree, the course balances theory with ‘real world’ practice in information and computer management.
To view the Made in Brunel - Software Innovation showcase video please click here.
Skilled software engineers with the ability to problem solve, innovate and communicate effectively will always be in demand with employers.
One of greatest challenges that the computing world faces is delivering software that is reasonably free of bugs. Software that fails can cost lives in safety-critical systems such as medical applications.
More widely, all businesses rely on the quality of their staff to plan, design and construct software properly and these embody what software engineering and software engineers are all about.
Brunel’s Computer Science course with a software engineering specialisation will expose you to the foundations, theory and practical aspects of these subject areas. It will teach you from first principles all aspects of systems, from the design side to the human aspects of systems development – and provide the basis for a career as a software engineer.
Our Level 1 course meets the needs of students joining us from a wide variety of backgrounds and with diverse computing experience. These classes build a firm foundation for the rest of your degree by introducing you to the style and ethos of both the College and the computing profession. Foundation units include:
By the end of Level 1, regardless of your degree programme, you’ll have covered the fundamental concepts of computer science and information systems, with a particular emphasis on programming. You’ll then be ready to explore them in greater depth at Level 2. See below for typical modules.
- Systems architecture
- Systems analysis
- Software development
- Relevant mathematics.
This consolidates Level 1 learning but places more emphasis on judgement and evaluation skills. You’ll expand your understanding of:
You’ll further specialise to cover systems analysis and design by the end of Level 2 – plus aspects of formal logic, important preparation for the final level advanced study in software engineering. You’ll also have studied foundation topics such as logic and compilers, operating systems and network architectures.
- Processes for developing large and complex software systems
- Roles and technologies to help you control such projects
- Human-computer interface
- How to develop sound criteria such as ‘user friendliness’ – and make reliable and repeatable judgements based on them.
Final year project
This is a substantial individual project for which you research a software engineering topic in-depth. If you’re on a sandwich course it’s quite likely that this project will be of interest to future employers. This is assessed and is worth a third of your Level 3 marks.
In this final year, you’ll will continue to specialise in software engineering. At the same time you’ll study options to broaden your understanding of computing. You’ll begin to address research-level issues in areas such as information systems, simulation modelling, digital media and games, network computing and artificial intelligence.
We revise the options available each year to reflect the range of specialist interests among our staff, and industry trends.
Typical Level 1 modules
- Level 1 Group Project Lectures and Tutorials
- Introductory Programming
- Data and Information
- Information Systems and Organisations
- Logic and Computation
Typical Level 2 modules
- Level 2 Group Project
- Software Development and Management
- Usability Engineering
- Algorithms and their Applications
- Networks and Operating Systems
Typical Level 3 modules
- Final Year Computer Science Project
- Software Project Management
- Advanced Topics in Computer Science
- Software Engineering
Level 3 Options (choose one)
- Artificial Intelligence
- Network Computing
- Digital Media and Games.
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- ‘Project centric’ – one third of the programme is project-based
We know that when you graduate, you’ll be working on large projects. That’s why one third of each year of our programmes is project-based. In Level 1 and 2 you’ll build a software solution in a team, and in your final year you’ll carry out an individual project.
- Flexible programmes – choose as you go along
We know that many computer science and information systems students don’t know exactly which programme they wish to study. Our programme is designed to allow you to specialise gradually during your time with us. If you choose one of our programmes, you’re free to alter it as you go: choose information systems or computing in level 2, and then choose your specialist options in level 3.
- Excellent links with business
Our lecturers often work as consultants for major blue chip companies at home and overseas. This means: Our lecturers often work as consultants for major blue chip companies at home and overseas. This means:
- Your degree is designed to meet the needs of industry and the marketplace
- The latest commercial world developments are included in your course
- You've a greater choice of high quality, professional placements and more contacts to help you find a job when you graduate.
- A vibrant, friendly, safe campus in a great location near London
All the advantages of affordable living costs, an international community, world-class sports and social facilities and a thriving arts and social scene.
The course offers full exemption from the British Computer Society’s professional examinations, allowing graduates to attain professional membership of the Society (MBCS) after a shortened period of relevant experience and training. The course also fulfils the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (full IEng accreditation) and part of the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (partial CEng accreditation).
Facts and Figures
- A Brunel Computer Science degree is a recognised symbol of quality. Brunel has roots in education dating back to 1798 as well as a very strong technological heritage.
- More than 50 academic staff teach Department of Computer Science courses, many having a background in the computer industry. Practically all are involved in our applied computing research which includes information systems, software engineering, knowledge-based systems, and simulation modelling.
We also have a high quality infrastructure to match including more than 250 computers and servers for exclusive student use – all running state-of-the-art software. The Department is a member of the Microsoft Alliance, the Apple iOS Academic Developer Programme and is an nVidia CUDA Teaching Center.
Teaching and Assessment
We take great care to make the transition from school or college to university as smooth as possible. Project groups of four students meet for weekly reviews with a personal group tutor. This both ensures continuity and helps you get to know your tutor – something that’s particularly important in your first year.
Overall we take an innovative, dynamic and highly participative approach to teaching that’s supported by state-of-the-art subject understanding and the advice of our Industry Advisory Board. Our staff are always willing to support and provide practical guidance to students.
How many hours study a week are involved?
About 12 hours of directed study. Staff are normally also happy to answer queries outside of classes. In addition we expect you to put in an average of 25 to 35 hours of private study weekly.
How will I be taught?
These offer a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to computer science or information systems – a useful framework from which you can pursue more in-depth study.
- Laboratory work
This helps you to develop and understand the technical skills for building software using methods and techniques introduced in lectures. You’ll do individual work – but with a tutor always on hand to lead discussion on common issues as they arise.
- Small groups
In the first and second years you’ll work on a computing-related problem with regular guidance from a member of staff. He/she will be available week by week to help your group with any problems. These small-group activities will enable you to develop key professional skills such as report writing, evaluation and, crucially, communication skills.
In your final year you’ll normally have one-to-one supervision for your major project. The department has a team of personal tutors so there’s always someone available to discuss personal or academic problems. If you go on placement, your personal tutor will help you set objectives and monitor your progress – and provide further support if you need it.
- Talks from guest speakers
We invite guest speakers from prominent organisations to present on relevant subjects. We also host weekly talks on topical computing research issues. If you do work experience, this will also be an important part of your professional development.
This varies from one module to another and may be based entirely on coursework, entirely on examination or on a combination of both. It’s just as important for you to learn how to establish your own criteria for assessment as it is to be able to assess the quality and value of your own work reliably.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree classification. Level 2 is worth a third and Level 3 accounts for two thirds. Your final year project is worth a third of the Level 3 marks.
Overall the ‘exam to coursework’ split is usually about 50:50.
As a Brunel Computer Science (Software Engineering) graduate you’ll enjoy excellent employment prospects. Our combination of work experience and up-to-date teaching means that you’ll be well-equipped to follow the career you want after graduation.
Our graduates are high quality experts able to handle the increasing demands of scientific, technological and commercial development in the new millennium. Not unexpectedly, they’re in high demand with the wide-ranging companies and organisations increasingly dependent on computer technology.
Our graduates have a wide range of careers open to them. Perhaps you’ll start by becoming a general analyst/programmer. Or join a consultancy firm – often just a first step toward setting up your own business. The industry’s major companies all have openings for well-qualified personnel. Students with ‘sandwich’ experience are particularly in demand for the better graduate appointments.
Recent graduates have gone on to work for well-known companies and organisations including:
As a good honours graduate you may also be able to study for a higher degree in one of our research areas such as information systems/machine interface, simulation modelling and software engineering.
- Anderson Consulting
- British Airways
- British Telecom
- The Meteorological Office
- Morgan Stanley
We know just how much experience counts in the job market. So you’ll have the opportunity to gain invaluable paid work experience alongside experts in industry, the public sector and commerce – both in the UK or overseas.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- GCE A-level BBB. (all subjects considered).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in IT.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a computing subject with an A-Level at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade BB.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit in all units. Applicants must also have 2 years Computing or IT related work experience.
- Foundations of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics course For Brunel Foundation of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics progression requirements, see the course page.
GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.