Software Engineering BSc (Hons)
BSc (Hons) Software Engineering
Create software that could help save lives – and even the planet.
Software powers society, from smartphone apps and laptops to healthcare systems and cyber security. This BSc (Hons) Software Engineering degree will help you master the software development process, from inception to maintenance, so you can play an integral role in the future of society.
You'll develop systems across diverse infrastructure and build the confidence to discuss complex solutions to issues around software application, such as security considerations and how user lifestyles impact the evolution of software engineering.
- Specialise in topics such as data science, AI, robotics, educational computing, graphics, and ethical hacking
Apply your skills through our work with charities and organisations such as Code Club, where you'll help 9-13-year-olds with their Scratch, HTML/CSS, and Python projects
- Benefit from our Student Union clubs and societies, such as the IT Society, AI and Robotics Club and Gaming Society
- Get the opportunity to study abroad at one of our international partner universities in Europe, South Asia or North America, boosting your global experience and employability skills
100% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)
This course is currently going through the process of re-accreditation with the British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT) after the 2020 assessment visit was delayed due to Covid-19.
BSc (Hons) Software Engineering degree entry requirements
- A levels – ABB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–128 points, including an A Level in a relevant subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
3D Vision Laboratory
The 3D Vision Lab is the School of Computing’s newest development, hosting various virtual reality headsets, including Oculus Rift, a room-scale implementation of the HTC Vive and a 3D scanner.
Test your applications with eye-tracking equipment and find out if your subject is looking where you'd expect them to look when interacting with your product.
Mobile Computing Laboratory
A dedicated space you can access to develop Android and iOS apps.
Careers and opportunities
100% of our graduates from this course are in work further study 15 months after graduation, with 100% of those in work in highly skilled roles. Which isn't surprising, given that 94% of tech employers believe there is an industry-wide skills shortage.
Our graduates have worked for companies such as:
- Office for National Statistics
- Khipu Networks – cyber security specialists
- General Dynamics – global aerospace and defence company
What jobs can you do with a software engineering degree?
Our graduates now work in roles including:
- business developer
- software engineer
- cloud software engineer (DevOps)
- IT support specialist
- technical analyst
- test analyst
- android developer (self employed)
Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.
Get experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work experience. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role.
Louis Capitanchik is one of our #PlasticHeroes
Software Engineering graduate, Louis, co-founded the Jetsam app that allows anyone to map plastic pollution in Portsmouth. He's collaborating with the University to run the world’s first programme of city-wide plastic pollution surveys.
Listen to Louis’ story in our Making Waves podcast:
Placement year (optional)
Taking an optional placement year will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation.
We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.
Previous students have taken placement roles such as:
- business analyst
- software developer
- junior android developer
- marketing technology specialist
- business applications developer
They've completed placements at organisations including:
- BAE Systems
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Software Engineering degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Application Programming – 40 credits
- Architecture and Operating Systems – 20 credits
- Core Computing Concepts – 20 credits
- Database Systems Development – 20 credits
- Networks – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Application Engineering – 20 credits
- Data Structures and Algorithms – 20 credits
- Database Principles – 20 credits
- Software Engineering Theory and Practice – 20 credits
- Usability Engineering – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- 3D Computer Graphics and Animation – 20 credits
- Business Systems Analysis – 20 credits
- Computing Undergraduate Ambassador – 20 credits
- Discrete Mathematics and Functional Programming – 20 credits
- Ethical Hacking – 20 credits
- Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
- Virtualisation and Cloud Computing – 20 credits
On this course, you can do an optional exchange study abroad or work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Engineering Science – 20 credits
- Individual Project – 40 credits
- Scalable Software Engineering – 20 credits
Optional modules in this year include:
- Advanced Database Concepts – 20 credits
- Distributed Systems and Security – 20 credits
- Educational Computing – 20 credits
- Fuzzy Systems and Networks – 20 credits
- Graphics and Computer Vision – 20 credits
- Hacking 4 MoD – 20 credits
- Interaction Design – 20 credits
- Internet of Things – 20 credits
- Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms – 20 credits
- Practical Data Analytics and Mining – 20 credits
- Professional and Academic Research Development – 20 credits
- Robotics – 20 credits
- Security and Cryptography – 20 credits
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Antonio's studies led to an award for Best Computer Science Project of the Year
"I’ve included the novel research results from my project in a draft paper that will soon be submitted for possible presentation at an established international scientific event – the 2021 IEEE Symposium Series in Computational Intelligence."
Teaching methods on this course include:
- project work
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- multiple choice tests
- written exams
- mini projects
- written reports
- review articles
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Year 1 students: 33% by written exams and 67% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 45% by written exams and 55% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 18% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.
They can help you:
- master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
- understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
- solve computing problems relevant to your course
- develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
- understand and use assignment feedback
All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2022 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship)
- International students – £18,300 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying and memory sticks.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
How to apply
To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – G600
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.