With the increase in the use of technology in almost every industry, the education of software engineers is becoming more important. In a society that is heavily technology-orientated, you will need to be able to deal with the problems that software can create. You will need the technical and theoretical knowledge required to work with computers and their various software systems.
Highlighted courses and degrees in software engineering
An undergraduate degree in software engineering will give you a good foundation of knowledge around computer systems, information technologies, and computer programming, as well as other areas. Covering a wide range of topics will mean that you have a full understanding of software engineering, and are prepared to pursue a career.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and computer laboratory sessions. You may also be required to take part in a work placement year or module as part of your course.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree course. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work post-graduation. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or complete a final year project, this will give you the opportunity to further explore a favoured area of software engineering.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study, as well as the specific content of your course. Generally, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), or a Bachelor of Science (BSc).
Certain degrees might also be accredited or approved by the professional body of software engineering in your country of study. For example, in the UK, some courses are accredited by the British Computer Society.
Typically, an undergraduate degree in software engineering will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a degree in software engineering will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their software engineering programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can differ greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Graduates of a software engineering degree will be able to pursue a career in many different areas of computer science. You could work within fields such as finance, pharmaceuticals, public services, healthcare, and gaming, as well as many other areas.
You will have developed a variety of transferable skills during your degree, meaning you would be a useful member of a team in any career path. Skills include project management, time management, problem solving and the ability to work independently.
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