School of Computer Science

MEng Computer Science/Software Engineering with an Industrial Year - 2015

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.


  • Note 1 Students with a C or better in Mathematics at A-level (or equivalent as approved by the School) must choose one 20 credit or two 10 credit modules from the list of 'modules from outside the main discipline' (MOMDs), excluding modules provided by this School. Students without this level of mathematics must take the 20 credit mathematics module. Those required to take this module should note that it must be passed to allow progression to Year 2.
  • Note 2 Some of the modules in the option block are prerequisites for options available in years 3 and 4, so that choices need to be considered across years.
  • Note 3 Module Failure: The Syllabus web page for every module defines the resit rules if they are different from the first attempt -- follow the links under the module code.
  • Note 4 Progress Decisions: Refer to the University Regulations for further information on the general rules governing progression. There are no specific programme requirements for progression beyond the University regulations. To be eligible for progression to Year 3 of the MEng programme, students must have acquired at least 100 credits in Year 2, at least 220 credits altogether, and an average of at least 55% in Year 2 modules.
  • Note 5 In order to proceed to Year 3 (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.
  • Note 6 See also the web page for Programmes with an Industrial Year.
  • Note 7 Not all options may be available in any particular year. Some option combinations are only available if the timetable permits. As students may have to make preliminary option choices before timetables are available, changes may be needed later if there are clashes. In selecting options, students need to pay attention to pre- and co-requisites.
  • Note 8 MEng students should note when choosing options that some topics may be studied either in the third year or in the fourth year but not both. Hence it is important to plan option choices across both years. Module descriptions for each module list the prohibited combinations.
  • Note 9 There are no progress decisions between Year 3 and Year 4 of an MEng programme; they form in effect a 'double final year'.
  • Note 10 Degree Classification: Refer to the University Regulations for further information on the general rules governing degree classification. It is a specific requirement of this programme that students pass the Computer Science Project in order to be awarded an Honours Degree.
  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.