School of Computer Science

MEng Computer Science/Software Engineering with an Industrial Year - 2014

Final Award MEng
Programme TitleComputer Science/Software Engineering with an Industrial Year
School/DepartmentSchool of Computer Science
Banner Code9501
Length of Programme5 years
Total Credits600
Awarding InstitutionThe University of Birmingham
Designed for accreditation by IET (IEEE) BCS
QAA Benchmarking GroupsComputing

Educational Aims Of Programme

  • Thorough coverage of the core areas of computer science, with a systematic grounding both in its theoretical underpinnings and in practical software development, through a focussed programme offering an extensive choice of advanced and specialist options in the third year.
  • Flexibility to change programmes after the first year, e.g. to the BSc in Computer Science, or the BSc Artificial Intelligence/Computer Science.
  • A basis for a career as a software engineer, producing graduates who are equipped to work effectively in a professional capacity, with transferable skills in numeracy, problem-solving, team working and general communication and information technology.
  • A solid foundation for advanced study in computing/IT, producing graduates who are self-motivating and are able to take responsibility for their continuing personal and professional development
  • An accredited degree satisfying the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer status.
  • The vocational aspect of an honours degree in Computer Science is considerably enhanced when students are able to augment their academic study by working in a commercial environment. The integration of an industrial placement of one year's duration in the programme aims to provide the opportunity for a student to: (1) understand how theoretical and academic work completed within the university environment relates to its practical application in the work place; (2) learn how computing professionals operate within a commercial organisation; (3) improve his or her skills of organisation, time management and record keeping over a significant period of work; (4) undertake technical project work in a commercial environment.

Programme Outcomes and Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Mathematical, theoretical, scientific and engineering principles and methodologies relating to Computing and computer applications, for use in the analysis and solution of Computing problems and to enable appreciation and understanding of their context and of historical, current and future developments and technologies.
  • Appropriate theory, practices and tools for the analysis and evaluation of computer-based systems and their components, including appropriate analytical and quantitative methods and modelling techniques.
  • The context of the development of computer-based systems, including commercial and economic aspects, management techniques, relevant legal requirements, professional and ethical issues and the need to promote sustainable development.
  • Current problems and issues at the forefront of Computing/software engineering, including an awareness of emerging technology.
  • The role of computing professionals within a company and the interactions that normally take place with other disciplines.
  • The application of technical knowledge in a commercial context at an appropriate level for the student's qualifications.
  • The standard of professional presentation and reporting skills required in industry and commerce.

Skills & Other Attributes

  • The ability to analyse, specify, design and construct computer-based systems, by: *applying the knowledge and understanding noted above *using appropriate information sources to obtain further information where required *identifying and understanding a range of relevant issues (e.g. environmental issues, risks, customer and user needs, cost drivers, fitness for purpose) *showing creativity and innovation where appropriate *making use of appropriate tools *documenting all stages of the process *employing appropriate management techniques throughout *evaluating the outcomes.
  • A professional software engineering ethos, showing commitment to quality, understanding and respecting appropriate legal frameworks, codes of practice and standards, with a responsible, ethical and open-minded attitude to their work.
  • The ability to critically evaluate and apply areas of current research and advanced scholarship in Computing/software engineering.
  • The ability to construct high quality computer-based systems in a professional manner, based on a thorough understanding of design processes and methodologies and of their contexts.

Transferable Skills

  • The ability to work both independently and as an effective team member.
  • The ability to use and apply general IT facilities, including those required for effective information-retrieval.
  • Numeracy, in both understanding and presenting cases involving quantitative or similar formal, symbolic dimensions.
  • Management of learning and development, including time management, organizational skills, and the ability to pursue independently further professional development.


  1. The Learning & Teaching and Assessment Methods above are not intended to be exclusive, but to indicate the main methods in use. Module Descriptions contain more detail.
  2. Whether to award accreditation is a decision made from time to time by a professional body according to criteria which are then current; hence there is no guarantee that the programme will actually be accredited for any particular year of entry by any particular professional body.