Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Software Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

With placement

Course

Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2020

Introduction

In a nutshell

Software systems are an integral part of modern society. Embedded in all aspects of daily life, including commerce, industry, healthcare and communication, the pace of change and innovation in this field is rapid. Organisations of all sizes need talented people who can create software systems that are usable, robust and maintainable.

Our industry-designed software engineering course, accredited by the British Computer Society, the chartered institute of IT, will equip you with advanced computing knowledge and a hands-on ethos, so you graduate ready to build a successful and lucrative career in programming and software.

The University of Salford is a leading regional study centre for computer science - and a great place for you to further your software engineering journey. We are excited to be part of the GM Cyber Foundry, the Greater Manchester city region's blueprint to be a global leader in cyber and digital research and intelligence.

You will:
  • Build practical skills, subject knowledge and real-world understanding to become a professional software engineer
  • Learn theoretical knowledge needed to adapt your skills as programming, languages and techniques evolve
  • Develop methodical approaches to the analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance of object-oriented systems using the Java language
  • Gain the ability to translate concepts into reality through the use of technology
  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the software engineering undergraduate degree
Placement

options available

This is for you if...

1.

You want to study software engineering but don't have the requirements for direct entry onto the full Honours degree

2.

You're interested in how things work rather than just wanting to use them

3.

You've got a keen attention to detail, enjoy problem-solving and like to use your initiative

Course details

All about the course

This foundation year provides the basis for further study on a range of our accredited computing courses. You will cover the basics of programming, as well as looking at the detailed operation of computer systems. Furthermore, you will cover essential mathematics and gain the correct skill set for success on several of our undergraduate computer science courses.

On the full undergraduate course, you will develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of software specification, design, implementation and deployment using software development methodologies. Throughout the course you will address professionalism and ethics, building a critical awareness of diverse approaches to software development.

In year one of the undergraduate course, you will begin your degree by studying the basic principles of software engineering, including programming, computer systems and database systems. In year two, you'll progress to explore specialist modules, including server-side programming, AI and data mining, and design patterns.

Your final year requires you to complete a range of compulsory modules specific to quality management and formal development of software systems, with optional modules in development, virtual reality and information security. You'll also complete an individual project to demonstrate your subject understanding.

When accepting your offer to study on this course, please be aware that not all optional modules run each year. Your tutor will advise you of the available options at the start of term. Whilst we try to try to ensure that you can select your preferred options, we cannot guarantee this.

INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS

If you are studying full-time, you'll have the opportunity to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final report. By completing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your degree award. Industry placements are an excellent opportunity to improve your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build connections within your chosen industry. 

Foundation year

Computer Systems

This module will explore low-level details of some key computer components. It will teach you how to decompose some real-world systems into smaller subsystems, and how to make complex operations out of simple operations.

Computer Programming

This module will introduce object-oriented programming in C# and Javascript using Visual Studio, covering desktop applications and web-based programming.

Computing Mathematics FY

This module will cover some core mathematics in order to get you up to something between GCSE and A2 level. The maths included is targeted at what will be useful later in the course, such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, coordinate geometry, probability and statistics.

Year one

Programming 1

You will be introduced to a practical, hands-on approach to programming where workshops will provide focused practical activity on a managed learning curve. You will learn excellent programming practice through design, implementation and testing, and will be introduced to the basics of structured programming language using an integrated programming environment.

Programming 2

You will strengthen your syntax and semantics base of Java developed in the ‘Programming 1’ module. You will develop an appreciation of recursion as well as your knowledge of dynamic data structures. Additionally, you will learn how to test and debug code, along with an appreciation of more sophisticated programming behaviour.

Professional Development and Practices

You will be introduced to the business context and application of computing and information systems. You will explore this through societal, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project delivery to a professional standard.

Web Development and Human Computer Interfaces

You will be introduced to theory and practice of website design and development and develop knowledge and understanding of human-computer interaction and techniques for designing and analysing user interfaces. You will also gain skills and practical experience of designing, developing and testing websites using HTML5 & Cascading Sheets (CSS).

Computer System Internals and Linux

This module will provide you with an in-depth low-level knowledge of computer systems, concentrating on computer architecture, operating systems and communications technology. You will also start to develop skills in the use of Unix-like operating systems at command-line level, writing and using simple scripts and batch files and the simple system administration of a standalone Linux PC.

Database Systems

This module will share fundamental knowledge of database management systems, their design, implementation and applications. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of relational database management system, and how to implement and maintain an efficient database system.

Year two

Design Patterns

You will receive a broad overview of software development methods and techniques, focusing on various modelling and design approaches. You will develop understanding of the application of generic pattern-based strategies for resolving common high-level problems in object orientated design. You will develop problem recognition and categorisation and learn how (and when) established pattern-based solutions can be identified and applied as solutions.

Data Structures and Algorithms

In this module you will be introduced to some of the most important data structures used in the design and implementation of computer software and shown how these are implemented using Java. You will then learn to analyse the requirements of algorithm resources to allow you to provide a sound basis for objective choice when dealing with competing algorithms.

Software Project with Agile Techniques (Salford HackCamp)

This module combines technical work in computer programming with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of using an “agile” software development technique. You will work in a group to design, develop, document and demonstrate a solution to a problem, working to a professional standard, often under the direction of an external client. This module starts with an introduction to agile techniques and methodologies followed by the opportunity to apply, evaluate and reflect on these techniques.

Networking and Security

You will learn in detail how the Internet works, from local area networks to global networks. This will include designing and troubleshooting networks, and configuring and testing network applications. You will also look at security vulnerabilities, cryptographic principles, protocols, C-I-A trade-offs, firewalls and legal implications. You will apply these principles to designing solutions for some realistic case studies.

Career Development

You will develop a range of employability 'soft skills' to give you an advantage when applying for (and carrying out) a placement as well as graduate roles. Employers value a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. This module will draw from our extensive industry contacts to demonstrate the range of skills needed to succeed in your career and to help you develop a career plan.

Client Server Programming

You will learn how to develop sophisticated web browser-based business and consumer software. This include client-side and server-side programming languages, styles and technologies. You will lean how to follow good practice in terms of security and legal compliance.

Software Evolution

In software evolution, you will learn how to analyse and enhance existing systems that have already been deployed and are currently being used. You will learn about the techniques and processes required to change live systems, including automated testing and continuous integration.

Year three

Software Quality Management

You will study more advanced software engineering techniques including reuse, security, component-based and service-oriented software engineering. These more advanced topics will help you to understand how recent technical innovations are affecting the practices you need to build high quality software. You will undertake some online research to explore a practical, industry-based scenario involving advanced software engineering decision-making. You will have to think about the trade-offs between software product quality and developer productivity.  

Dependable Software Engineering

In some applications, mistakes in software can put lives at risk. Software used in healthcare, transportation and “safety-critical” areas require specialist techniques. This module will explore the principles, strategies and techniques used in the engineering of computer software systems that have stringent dependability, reliability and safety as primary requirements. You will learn more about engineering fault-tolerant and secure software systems.

Project for Software Engineering

You will undertake an individual project that will demonstrate your understanding of software engineering. You can select your own area of study, identify and develop a realistic problem and, working independently and in a professional manner, organise, sustain and report on your project in a way which is both detailed and reflective.

Optional modules (choose two)

Virtual Reality and 3D Games

This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices and measures of virtual reality technology and the development of interactive 3D worlds. Applications of the technology that will be used are from across sectors including the computer games industry, medicine, energy, engineering and science. You will develop your programming to an advanced level of understanding and experience of modern interactive 3D engine development.

Mobile Development

The module will provide an introduction to the key technologies used to provide interactive web sites and interactive applications for use with mobile devices, taking into account the unique environment in which these applications operate. Consideration will be given to how to use these technologies whilst still maintaining web standards, particularly accessibility.

Information Security Management

This module will prepare you for the creation and implementation of information security policies in organisations, with an emphasis on risk management and business continuity planning, taking account both the practicalities of implementation in a real-world setting and the various legal and ethical issues involved. You’ll learn to identify assets, vulnerabilities, threats and controls and to consider issues of security culture.

Business Management

You will learn business and enterprise concepts so you can analyse and evaluate business practices, concepts, theories and frameworks and their relationship to the strategic and operational management of an enterprise or a project. This is intended to complement the technical project management content of the course and provide a real-world context linked to current enterprise activities at the university. You will also learn about freelancing.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:

  • Practical laboratories

  • Case studies
  • Group work
  • Project work

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Examinations which will assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
  • Assignments which will assess your response to a larger problem
  • Practical tests which will assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to a problem
  • Projects which will assess your ability to create a plan, identify possibilities, make decisions, carry out the plan, and reflect on the choices and outcome
  • Software development tasks to apply the techniques you have learned and demonstrate your work

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENT

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.

Learning Environment

Networking and project laboratories

The School has high quality facilities for students.The Cisco networking laboratory is based in MediaCityUK; all Cisco-related laboratory classes on the programmes are now delivered at MediaCityUK. There are also opportunities for undertaking a CCNA via CPD.

We also have a second networking laboratory on the main campus and a dedicated Final Year Project laboratory, both of which provide a variety of facilities and equipment for students on Computer Science and Computer Networking degrees.

Specialist computer laboratories

Computer suites are equipped with Macs and PCs configured with the specialist software required for modules such as Database Systems, Web Content Creation, Mobile Networking & Network Simulation, and Internet Security & Computer Forensics. Our flagship computing labs offer a range of formal and informal settings, supporting laptop and desktop computer working. These labs are specifically designed to support collaboration, such as during the Salford HackCamp. You can use large whiteboard spaces for collaborative design and large digital display screens to demonstrate your software to clients. These lab spaces have been commended by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

As a software engineering graduate you will be well equipped to work in a wide range of roles, such as software engineering, systems analyst, programming, system administration or computer analyst.

Previous course graduates secured roles with leading companies such as BNFL, British Aerospace, PricewaterhouseCooper, IBM, ICI, ICL and Riva Software International.

Industry placements increase your employability as many companies look for graduates with work experience. 

FURTHER STUDY

Upon completion of this Foundation Year, you will be able to go on to study on one of our Computer Science or Software Engineering courses. 
 

A taste of what you could become

A software engineer

A systems analyst

A programmer

A system administrator

A computer analyst

And more...

Career Links

Our experienced team maintain strong links with the construction industry and professional bodies, which provides our students with benefits including site visits, guest speakers and placements.

We run an industrial liaison committee to provide us with industry-focused advice and ensure that our modules are relevant. Organisations involved are a mixture of IT-led businesses and those who make advanced of IT, including Web Applications UK, AutoTrader, Cooperative, DAI and FastWebMedia.

This broad approach ensures we gain multiple perspectives from the IT industry, and keeps our courses as relevant as possible and our graduates highly employable.

Requirements

What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page

APPLICANT PROFILE

We're looking for applicants with a strong interest in computing and software. The Foundation Year is recommended for applicants who:

  • feel that their background makes them more 'keen users of computers' rather than 'curious about low-level details', but who want to increase their depth of knowledge

  • feel that their mathematics would benefit from some improvement before embarking on a degree course

  • have not studied a computing or numerate subject at school/college, but want to pursue a computing career

  • wish to return to education after a long time in employment

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

Where English is not your first language you must show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no band below 5.5, is proof of this.

 

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language and Mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either Mathematics or Computing to A-Level or equivalent standard. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics or Computing.

A level

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either Mathematics or Computing. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics or Computing.

BTEC National Diploma

MPP from Computing or a numerate subject. MMP from other subjects.

Access to HE

Pass from a QAA-approved computer-related subject.

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either Mathematics or Computing. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics or Computing.

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either Mathematics or Computing. 72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics or Computing.

European Baccalaureate

Contact Admissions for further information.

International Baccalaureate

Contact Admissions for further information.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we receive your application, we'll assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

 
Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID G601

Institution S03

Start this course in September. Call 0300 555 5030 to apply through Clearing.

Our phone lines are open during the following hours:

  • 13 August: 07:30 – 19:00
  • 14 August: 08:00 – 18:00
  • 15 August: 10:00 – 16:00