Software Engineering BSc (Hons)

Master software development, from inception to maintenance, so you can play an key role in the future of society. Specialise in topics such as data science, AI, robotics and ethical hacking.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:



This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points from 2 or 3 A levels

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Course information

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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.

The University of Portsmouth is ranked 5th of the modern universities for research quality in computer science and informatics

Research Excellence Framework (REF), 2021

Read more about our computer science research

Course highlights

  • 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


of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT


This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT), partially meeting the educational requirement for CITP and CEng.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Software Engineering degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - BBB-BBC, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Mathematics; Further Mathematics; Statistics; Computer Science; Software Systems Development; Electronics; Physics; Information Technology; Economics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Digital: Digital Production, Design and Development, T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Digital Business Services, T Level in Digital Support and Services, T Level in Science, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept at UCAS.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.

Your facilities

10th December 2018
CCI Facilities and Students

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.

Close up of female eye

Usability Laboratory

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.

Learn more

18/05/2021.B-Roll - day 4..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

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.

The current average salary of a graduate software engineer is £48,787 – over £20k more than a marketing graduate (£26,454), Paralegal (£22,803) or teaching assistant (£19,802).

Business Leader

Supply of computer science skills still isn’t meeting demand for ‘swelling tech sector’ (29 June 2021)

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • IBM
  • Trainline
  • 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.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Headshot of Louis Capitanchik

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:

External Audio

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.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement. 

Potential roles

Previous students have taken placement roles such as:

  • business analyst
  • software developer
  • junior android developer
  • marketing technology specialist
  • business applications developer

Potential destinations

They've completed placements at organisations including:

  • BAE Systems
  • IBM
  • Radweb
  • Verint
  • ParkNow


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.

What you'll study

Core modules

You'll explore the development and function of CPUs and operating systems, understand the mathematical basis of technical computing, and develop your knowledge of decision logic.

You'll dig into the history and current trends of web design, cyber security, usability, and a further topic specific to your choice of degree. When you complete the module, you'll have the intellectual springboard to excel in the next years of your degree.

You'll simplify complex information, using the concepts of normalisation theory, then apply accurate SQL queries that can deliver the information in intuitive formats. You'll complete this module able to develop and operate industry-standard databases to meet specific business briefs.

In this module you'll study the protocols, topologies and security systems that go into global data transfer. Through lectures and practical lab sessions you'll master networking terminology, professional standards, and put your understanding to work in Windows and Linux operating systems.

You'll learn algorithm development, object-oriented programming, and how to compare these approaches. You'll also design and implement programs to meet given specifications, using Python and Dart, with the guidance and support to ground your further computing study.

Core modules

In this module, you'll study the problems of scale in software systems, and the industry's solutions to those issues. You'll then work in a team to develop a medium-sized software application, review each other's work, and engage in the thoughtful and reflective discussions that inform the professional software engineering process.

You'll learn the User Experience (UX) design method in this module, blending empirical analysis, rapid prototyping and heuristics, as you assess and enhance end user experiences. Applying Human Computer Interface (HCI) methods, you'll design and deliver an intuitive application, optimized for accessibility and satisfaction across many devices.

You'll learn how choosing the right structure impacts the efficiency of algorithms. Through coding exercises, you'll construct data structures from scratch and see first-hand how they enable solving complex problems. You'll review different implementation options and analyse the tradeoffs in memory usage, speed, simplicity, and more. By the end, you'll have developed core skills for designing optimized data structures tailored to algorithm needs. The module builds a strong foundation for writing efficient, scalable code that handles real-world data.

You'll master specialized skills like data modelling, normalization, transaction analysis, and relational algebra. In practical sessions, you'll optimize SQL queries, extract insights, and handle complex information requests. A key focus is learning to analyse client requirements in order to develop databases that meet real business needs. You'll apply best practices around security, performance tuning, backup/recovery, and more. The module culminates in a multifaceted coursework project where you can apply your new database talents. Upon completion, you'll have the practical abilities and theoretical knowledge to build effective databases that organizations can rely on.

In this module, you'll study industry theory and best practice, before using your knowledge to create a dynamic web application to meet client specifications. As you build your app, you'll gain experience with client-side and server-side programming, and API integrations.

Optional modules

You'll apply modeling, texturing and lighting skills as you learn the algorithms rendering each scene, and optimise your projects for real-time interactivity and visual fidelity. On completion, you'll be ready to apply your skills to areas such as medical imaging, autonomous transport UIs and smart city simulations.

This module provides hands-on experience mentoring computing teachers and students in local schools. Spend 5-6 days immersed in a classroom environment, assisting with lessons, special projects, and illuminating possible careers. You'll need to be adaptable, creative, and passionate about sharing knowledge. This opportunity allows you to apply computational thinking in a practical setting, developing leadership, communication and pedagogical skills. Gain insights into teaching while challenging yourself.

You'll learn to cut through complexity in your data, using software like R and Anaconda, to present useful metrics in the dashboards and reports that influence management decisions.

In this module, you'll learn to design, write and test in a functional programming language, and grasp the concepts that underpin it. You'll apply proof techniques and logic to verify solutions, use graph algorithms, and understand the use of mathematical notation for modern computer science.

Master an ethical hacker's mindset and toolkits to spotlight vulnerabilities before threats do. Evaluate insider threats, footprinting networks, exploiting, pivoting - and recommend defences to make systems watertight. Multiply your career options with high-demand penetration testing skills spanning web apps, networks, embedded devices and humans themselves.

In this module, you'll first synthesise a safety-critical system, then explore cryptographic techniques and attack vectors it could be vulnerable to. You'll use your vulnerability analysis to close weaknesses, and get ready to work in hostile digital environments.

Core modules

On this module, you'll integrate technical knowledge with project skills - proposing and implementing solutions that address real industry challenges. Your key activities span literature analysis, design, prototyping, testing, and critical evaluation against project objectives. Adhering to legal, ethical and professional standards, you'll produce high-quality artefacts and written reports that showcase your readiness for workplace application or postgraduate research.

You'll work in a team to analyse the issues, engage closely with the client to match your understanding to their needs, and bring your fresh insights to their problem. By the end, you'll have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to propose to your client, and demonstrable evidence of using team-based approaches to complex industry issues.

In this module, you'll gain an insider perspective into the experiences of working in software engineering. You'll review the history of the field, from early mainframes to today's cloud-native landscape, and learn how to work and communicate in today's ICT industry.

Optional modules

You'll examine the philosophy of AI, its methods of representing knowledge, and what this implies about the nature of learning. You'll also apply and evaluate different AI approaches in different situations, covering neural networks, fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms.

You'll gain fluency developing 3D graphics for emerging web frameworks, alongside use of computer vision tools and techniques for facial recognition and object tracking. When you complete the module, you'll be able to bring vision and graphics together to solve real world challenges.

In this module, you'll design, model and implement cloud data warehouses to empower decision-making. As you gain experience with predictive mining tools like regression, neural networks and clustering, you'll also learn to communicate clearly with data owners, learning how to present visualisations of your results or to describe the information that different mining techniques could deliver.

In this industry-focused module, you'll evaluate multiple project management methods, their application to IT projects, and associated soft skills - from communication and risk planning to team leadership. You'll cover concepts, tools and techniques employed across the project management lifecycle.

You'll study distributed databases, complex query formulation, transaction control, data visualization, and emerging technologies like NoSQL. You'll also prepare for business applications, scalability and architectures such as web, mobile, and distributed databases.

You'll model and query cloud data warehouses, identify statistical outliers and patterns, and develop visually engaging reports that provide management recommendations.

In this future-focused module, you'll look at the effects of innovative technology in enterprise, the contexts in which advances are created, and frameworks for understanding future developments. You'll also prepare for your early career development as you appraise the current IT employment landscape.

Examine embedded systems and sensors powering smart watches, homes, cities and more. Evaluate networking protocols and data analytics techniques to realize value from machine information. Develop IoT applications while considering security, interfaces and human needs. With the ability to blend hardware, software and cloud services, you’ll be at the forefront as IoT transforms business and society.

You'll work with real robotic systems as you implement practical programming skills, alongside study of various approaches to robot sensing and control systems. Through guest lectures, theoretical learning and practical challenges, you'll develop specialised knowledge of this rapidly developing field.

You'll look at the major influences on the interface between human users and computer systems - such as human psychology, engineering and sociological aspects of technology - as you appraise and use various tools and techniques designed to evaluate the usability of software applications.

On this course, you can do an optional exchange study abroad or work placement year after your 2nd or 3rd year of study 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.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Headshot of Antonio J.Cefalo Y

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."

Discover Antonio's journey


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • project work

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • written exams
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • 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.

Supporting you

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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from 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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • 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 (non-EU) students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

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.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight 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, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.


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.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – G600
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS


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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.