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  • Software Engineering / with Management Studies Masters (MSc)

Software Engineering MSc

Why choose this course?

Some of the most challenging problems in industry and commerce are associated with software development. This course will equip computing professionals with advanced knowledge of the latest methods and tools in software engineering, as well as practical skills in software development. 

The knowledge and skills learnt on this course will enable you to make an effective contribution as part of a team building software systems, delivering optimum results in terms of cost, time and software quality.

You can combine this course with Management Studies, which will enable you to develop the skills to successfully lead teams and manage innovation.

Software Engineering MSc

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
January 2021
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2020
January 2021
Part time 2–3 years September 2020
January 2021

Software Engineering with Management Studies MSc

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
January 2021
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2020
January 2021
Part time 2–3 years September 2020
January 2021
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will gain in-depth understanding of strategies and architectures for designing and developing modern high quality software applications.
  • Through a project dissertation you will study an area of interest in depth. This can offer valuable industry experience and is an excellent selling point when seeking a job or promotion.
  • The Management Studies pathway option will develop skills for managing teams and innovation. These skills are often sought by employers and are invaluable if you aim to start your own business.

Accreditation

The British Computer Society (BCS) accredits this course. This means that you can gain some exemption against BCS professional examinations, leading to Chartered membership and CEng, IEng or CSci status. For full details of exemption and accreditation levels, please check the BCS course search.

Please note: The programme delivered at our partner institution overseas is not currently accredited by the BCS.

The Faculty is a long-time member of BCS. For many years we have hosted meetings of the local BCS Kingston and Croydon Branch, contributing to members' continuing professional development programmes.

What you will study

You will study state-of-the-art concepts in software engineering and will focus on the fundamental concepts and principles of systems analysis, design, implementation and testing. The course focuses on the cost-effective development of high-quality software. You will also have an opportunity to improve your practical skills so that you can plan and conduct complex systems development projects to meet customer needs and integrate software solutions into an evolving business environment.

The Software Engineering course can be combined with Management Studies enabling you to set your technical knowledge in a management context and enable you to work effectively with business managers to develop systems for business advantage. An understanding of the business and management context is a key skill employers look for and essential for those aiming to set up their own business.

The full MSc course consists of an induction programme, four taught modules, and project dissertation. Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). For further details please contact secpgstudentoffice@kingston.ac.uk.

Software Engineering MSc modules

Software Engineering with Management Studies MSc modules

Core modules

Modelling Enterprise Architectures

30 credits

The module focuses on various components of modelling an Enterprise Architecture. It deals with modelling the business and the underlying information and software system to support the business. It follows the object-oriented paradigm for the development lifecycle, and utilises UML as the modelling language. Indicative contents include aspects of enterprise architectures, business analysis, business modelling, business process reengineering, requirements engineering, object oriented concepts and principles and UML.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate and utilise a specific enterprise architecture framework.
  • Apply the principles of requirements engineering to capture, priorities, model and document functional and non-functional requirements, whilst appropriately collaborating with relevant stakeholders.
  • Perform business analysis and business process reengineering to develop business models.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise a software development lifecycle.
  • Apply object oriented development concepts, tools and techniques utilising the UML modelling language.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise research methods, tools and techniques, taking into account legal, professional and ethical issues in the development of information and software systems.
Software Architectures and Programming Models

30 credits

This core module aims to provide a strong theoretical and practical skills and techniques necessary to build high quality software architecture and system models. This module includes concept of software architecture as part of software design and reuse which can be viewed as components and interfaces. Practical aspects of service-oriented and component-based technologies, and the corresponding programming models and paradigms will be covered.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse architectural styles of software systems and evaluate the role of software architecture in the design and evolution of software.
  • Apply the principles of software architecture construction, particularly using component- and service-oriented programming.
  • Evaluate the benefits of software architectures and their corresponding programming paradigms in terms of software quality factors such as reusability, maintenance and extendibility.
  • Apply technical proficiency in the component and service oriented analysis and design.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of service-oriented and component technologies.
  • Build a complex business application that satisfies in architectural design using a service-oriented component technology.
Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the masters programme where you will carry out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research.
  • Critically identify the need to position your research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions.
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits.
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation.
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation.
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.
Software Quality Engineering

30 credits

Software Quality Engineering
This module aims to provide a systematic view of principles in software quality engineering and the formal theories and practical techniques involved in software quality assurance and software testing. The module will cover what software quality means and to how to achieve high quality in software developments.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts and terms defined in software quality assurance, and the metrics together with related industrial standards for software evaluation.
  • Explain the functions and importance of software quality assurance in the context of software development lifecycle management.
  • Analyse the benefits and pitfalls of applying software quality assurance and testing plans in different software development contexts.
  • Compare, evaluate and select appropriate tools for different software processes to achieve high quality software developments.
  • Develop software quality assurance and testing strategies and plans for given projects.

Optional modules

User Experience Design (Systems)

30 credits

This module focuses upon the usability testing, detailed design and prototyping of single-user interaction with data-intensive, web services and applications via the desk-top, particularly for information seeking and shopping. The emphasis is upon quantitative measurement for optimisation and efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction.

  • Coursework: usability test report, prototype, presentation
  • Schedule: allow approximately two one-week blocks in the first semester
  • Class size: approximately 20–30
  • Staff: Dr Martin Colbert
Mobile Security

30 credits

(For NCSC Certified Pathway)

This module will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge into the main areas of mobile computing and its security aspects. Mobile communication modalities will be covered, including 3G/4G communication networks, Wi-Fi and personal area networks, mobile privacy and ethical issues. The gained knowledge will be applied in different mobile computing business environments such as mobile healthcare (m-health), mobile commerce (m-commerce), mobile learning (m-learning) and mobile web services (m-WS). Mobile security assessment will be introduced in order to formulate appropriate security requirements. Key management protocols in typically ad hoc, wireless and location-dynamic environments will be presented and analysed. Emerging topics such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile clouds and distributed social network security will also be discussed. The module also provides hands-on practical exposure to apps development in location and context aware environments.

Agile Project Development

30 credits

This core module focuses on various approaches to agile development and deals with agile project and risk management, techniques, documentation and testing.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and explain the concepts, strengths, limitations and suitability of agile development techniques.
  • Develop appropriate use of project management qualitative techniques within an agile framework, such as feasibility study, planning, control and estimating, risk management and configuration management and quantitative techniques such as PERT and CPN.
  • Apply management and team-building techniques to appropriately managing an information systems development project.
  • Select and apply object oriented development techniques within an agile development environment.
  • Critically discuss social and professional issues associated with information systems project and risk management.
  • Manage the development of a system by applying an agile framework.

Core modules

Modelling Enterprise Architectures

30 credits

The module focuses on various components of modelling an Enterprise Architecture. It deals with modelling the business and the underlying information and software system to support the business. It follows the object-oriented paradigm for the development lifecycle, and utilises UML as the modelling language. Indicative contents include aspects of enterprise architectures, business analysis, business modelling, business process reengineering, requirements engineering, object oriented concepts and principles and UML.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate and utilise a specific enterprise architecture framework.
  • Apply the principles of requirements engineering to capture, priorities, model and document functional and non-functional requirements, whilst appropriately collaborating with relevant stakeholders.
  • Perform business analysis and business process reengineering to develop business models.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise a software development lifecycle.
  • Apply object oriented development concepts, tools and techniques utilising the UML modelling language.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise research methods, tools and techniques, taking into account legal, professional and ethical issues in the development of information and software systems.
Software Architectures and Programming Models

30 credits

This core module aims to provide a strong theoretical and practical skills and techniques necessary to build high quality software architecture and system models. This module includes concept of software architecture as part of software design and reuse which can be viewed as components and interfaces. Practical aspects of service-oriented and component-based technologies, and the corresponding programming models and paradigms will be covered.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse architectural styles of software systems and evaluate the role of software architecture in the design and evolution of software.
  • Apply the principles of software architecture construction, particularly using component- and service-oriented programming.
  • Evaluate the benefits of software architectures and their corresponding programming paradigms in terms of software quality factors such as reusability, maintenance and extendibility.
  • Apply technical proficiency in the component and service oriented analysis and design.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of service-oriented and component technologies.
  • Build a complex business application that satisfies in architectural design using a service-oriented component technology.
Business in Practice

30 credits

This module runs on Saturdays.

This module is aimed at the practical needs of students from different academic contexts such as, but not limited to computing, science, medicine, biotechnology and the health services who are aspiring team leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs in business within the context of the commercial, public, voluntary, or academic sector.

The module introduces and uses activities and problem-solving to investigate business topics ranging from finance, accounting, budgeting, and marketing, to organisational management by developing the leadership skills to meet business challenges and cope with its complexity.

Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the masters programme where you will carry out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research.
  • Critically identify the need to position your research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions.
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits.
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation.
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation.
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.
Software Quality Engineering

30 credits

Software Quality Engineering
This module aims to provide a systematic view of principles in software quality engineering and the formal theories and practical techniques involved in software quality assurance and software testing. The module will cover what software quality means and to how to achieve high quality in software developments.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts and terms defined in software quality assurance, and the metrics together with related industrial standards for software evaluation.
  • Explain the functions and importance of software quality assurance in the context of software development lifecycle management.
  • Analyse the benefits and pitfalls of applying software quality assurance and testing plans in different software development contexts.
  • Compare, evaluate and select appropriate tools for different software processes to achieve high quality software developments.
  • Develop software quality assurance and testing strategies and plans for given projects.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses occurs in two stages: The standard course fee is payable in Year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in Year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2020 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,385 in September 2021. Students commencing the course in September 2021 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2022 (fee tbc).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not complete your prior modules successfully or manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A good honours degree or equivalent in an information technology/computing science/software engineering subject; or substantial relevant work experience, such as two years as a programmer.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Year 1 Core pathway

15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 224 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1276 hours

Year 1 Management pathway

16% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 284 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1516 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Core pathway

  • 99% coursework, 1% practical

Management pathway

  • 95% coursework, 5% practical

(repeat for each year, if part time)

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Computing and Information Systems

The School of Computing and Information Systems offers high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses, designed to reflect the developing needs of business and industry. We deliver our teaching in an exciting and challenging learning environment, and make use of modern, well-equipped facilities.

Our courses cover the range of modern technologies in computer science, information systems and software engineering, with specialisations in games technology; network and wireless technologies; information security; electronic business; and embedded systems.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

What this course offers you

  • This course equips you with an advanced knowledge of the latest methods and tools for software engineering.
  • The project dissertation project gives you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. It is usually relevant to your career so provides an excellent selling point when you are looking for a job or promotion. For example, one student produced an engineering design advice site in association with the Steel Construction Institute.
  • If you are an overseas student, we will help you to carry out a project either based in your home country or that will be of specific relevance when you return home.
  • The taught modules aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you gain skills in:
    • problem solving and organisation;
    • data collation, review and synopsis;
    • communication (oral, written and electronic);
    • time management; and
    • co-operation and teamwork.
  • Each module offers a stimulating balance of study, which may include lectures, practical lab work, group working, case studies and presentations. Industry experts often teach on the courses, enhancing your studies.
  • You also have the chance to network with other professionals in the same situation as yourself. Our postgraduate students often set up study groups to support and encourage to each other.
  • We offer part-time options to help you fit your studies around other commitments. This course is modular, with each module taught in a week-long block, allowing you to attend as you would for a short course.
  • September and January start dates give you extra flexibility.
  • Provided you choose appropriate modules, students initially registered for the Informatics MSc can often transfer to the Software Engineering course.
  • We also offer a course in Software Engineering with Management Studies, which allows you to develop key business and management skills.

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • dedicated postgraduate computing laboratories - fully equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors;
  • state-of-the-art hardware and the latest software, including:
    • development software and tools - such as Linux, Microsoft.net, Dreamweaver MX, Flash 8, Eclipse, Java 2 Standard and Mobile Editions, tools for Motorola and Nokia phones, UML and CASE tools and NXP Processors Development Kits;
    • Digital Signal Processors (dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers);
    • IP Set Top Box development environment (NXP's STB810);
    • Electronics Laboratory; and
    • a mix of wireless LAN technologies;
  • the learning resources centre - offering subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials;
  • a postgraduate teaching suite; and
  • the dedicated Graduate Centre on campus, providing seminar rooms and social spaces.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30 minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access a wealth of additional libraries and archives, including the British Library and the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Software Engineering MSc

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060
  • PG part time £2,200

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Software Engineering / with Management Studies MSc

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

After you graduate

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

What our graduates say

I did a lot of research into the options and applied to a number of UK universities but I was really impressed with the course content and structure of the MSc courses at Kingston. This, as well as the University's reputation for computing courses and the quality of the information provided, made Kingston my first choice.

After passing my course with a distinction, the University's job shop helped me get my first position with an IT company dealing with financial services located at the heart of the City of London. The job was fantastic and I gained a lot of experience and knowledge, which helped me to secure a new role as a software engineer with GlaxoSmithKline.

Zayd Rasool

Deciding to study my MSc at Kingston was probably one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. After three years' study at Kingston for my Software Engineering BSc degree, I was very much aware of Kingston's reputation for quality of teaching, course content and the good relationship between students and staff.

I found the structure of the course very good. Focusing on each module for a whole week was good as it made it easier for me to plan my personal study time table. As a full-time course, I expected it to be tough, and indeed it was, but the friendliness and willingness of lecturers and staff made it an enjoyable year.

Eric Oppong

Examples of student work

Wireless remote for Avolites' lighting consoles

During his Software Engineering MSc, Des Willans was working for Avolites, a small but specialist company based in west London, which manufactures lighting consoles, dimmers and a number of other lighting control units for the production lighting industry. Its products are used worldwide for TV, film and music events, including the recent Bond film Casino Royale and The Killers tour.
Des developed an application enabling remote control of Avolites' consoles over a wireless LAN. This allows lighting fixtures to be controlled so that pre-programmed scenes and effects can be triggered from anywhere in an event arena.

Avolites' consoles run on an embedded Windows XP operating system, including Microsoft's Web Server IIS, which hosts Des' user interface. Des enhanced the console with a .NET Web Service written in C# to expose console commands to applications and an ASP.NET application to provide a user interface accessible by handheld PDA browsers.

Links with business and industry

Industrial Advisory Board

To ensure your studies are kept up to date and answer the needs of business, our courses are created and reviewed in consultation with an advisory board of key industry experts and senior academics. The Board also provides input and advice on our research portfolio.

With members from Google, Microsoft, Easyjet, games developer Colossal and Chief Information Officers from local government - our Advisory Board represents the diverse spectrum of industries and public sector organisations that make up the jobs market for our graduates.

Links with the British Computer Society

The Faculty is also a long-time member of the British Computer Society (BCS). For many years we have hosted meetings of the local BCS Kingston and Croydon Branch, contributing to members' continuing professional development programmes.

Dissertation projects

Modules often feature guest speakers from industry and in recent years students' project dissertations have been hosted by such companies as:

  • the Steel Construction Institute;
  • Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew)
  • ITV;
  • ANS Ltd; and
  • The Camden Society.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Computing research activities are focused around the following main research centres:

  • Digital Imaging Research Centre - offering expertise in computer vision, medical imaging, visual surveillance, ambient intelligence, machine learning and computer graphic.

The Software Engineering Group

The Software Engineering Group is a cross-centre, cross-department cluster of around eight academic staff interested in the design, development and documentation of computer software. They aim to make development a more explicit, structured process that achieves software of ever higher quality.

Events and Lectures

Extra activities for this course

The range of events and lectures in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing enhances your studies and adds an extra perspective to your learning.

For example, the Digital Information Research Centre (DIRC) runs seminars which have recently covered:

  • How social media affects police operations
  • Dimensionality issues in weighted differential entropy
  • Link quality based routing framework for wireless sensor networks
  • Data integration for smart urban transport
  • HTTP video streaming adaptation
Postgraduate study
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