Software Development

The MSc in Software Development is designed in collaboration with industry to provide a year of intensive education in software development and is specifically designed for graduates of non-computing disciplines. It has an extremely high graduate employability rate and is the highest rated MSc computing course for student satisfaction in the UK.


You will learn the foundations of computing and acquire industry relevant skills. These core skills include programming, databases, web development, software engineering and problem solving. You need no computing background at all to do this course, but on successful completion, you will be equipped with the technical, analytical and professional skills required to take on a range of roles in the computing industry.

The curriculum was designed and is continually reviewed in collaboration with significant industrial partners, who helped ensure the most relevant module content. This helps ensure that our graduates are highly trained and much sought after by employers.

Many of the course teaching team have worked in the computing industry and have particular research specialisms in developing novel and effective methods for teaching computing. Several of the team have been awarded student-nominated teaching awards for their work.


You'll learn how to analyse problems and design robust and elegant software systems to solve the problems. This includes gaining skills in programming, web development, database design, software testing and software engineering.

You will also have the opportunity to learn how to work as part of a development team using modern development techniques and tools.

Learning and Teaching
Each module generally involves 3 hours of lectures per week along with up to 2/4 hours per week
for tutorials and computer lab practicals. Alongside these timetabled activities, students are
expected to:

• Work through blended-learning resources and activities on the Canvas Virtual Learning
environment which includes watching videos, reading online materials and taking online quizzes
and practical assignments

• Work on group and individual assignments and projects

Modern software development is typically carried out within a team environment and employers
are very keen for students to have gained significant experience working within teams. Therefore,
many of the project and assessment activities on the course have been designed to give students
exposure to the variety of team-based roles and responsibilities they will encounter in the software

Subjects taught

Course Structure

The programme has two key parts:

1. A set of taught modules which build from foundational to advanced topics of software
engineering and programming

2. A substantial project based element or three Specialised Distance Learning based modules

The foundational modules are studied in the first semester and cover introductory programming
using the Java programming language alongside computing foundations, including software
engineering, software testing and databases.

The second semester concentrates coverage of more advanced algorithmic and object-oriented
programming, together with Web programming (php and javascript) and Software Engineering
(with a team based project).

Each module generally involves 3-4 hours of lectures per week along with up to 2-3 hours per
week for tutorials and lab practicals. Alongside these timetabled activities, students are expected
to work on group and individual assignments and projects

Project: You can choose either a single three-month long individual self-directed project or you can take 3 x smaller Distance Learning-based projects. The Distance Learning projects give you a chance to study some state-of-the-art specialisms in computing such as: User Experience Design, Secure Softwarized Networks, Data Analysis & Visualisation, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning

Software Engineering
Web Development
Computing Fundamentals

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any discipline excluding Computer Science or other similar Computing degree.

In addition to the above qualification requirements, all applicants will be required to pass an on-line aptitude test. If you are successful in the first stage of the application process, we will be in touch to organise this.

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Application dates

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Please note: a non-refundable deposit (which will be deducted from tuition fees) of £400 is required.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 12th August 2022 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.


1 academic year (Full Time)

Teaching Times
Teaching takes place in the morning and afternoon (3 days a week); there are between 15 and 18 hours of contact teaching hours per week.

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Employment opportunities in software engineering are excellent, as evidenced through the consistent and continued growth of the software sector. A career within the profession is not only well remunerated but also rewarding, with software professionals able to select between a range of career progression paths. Given the diversity of careers, the variety of skills gained from a non-IT primary degree are strongly valued by IT employers and will help augment the employment opportunities of graduates from this programme.


You could be working for the largest companies on the planet (IBM, Citi, Allstate, Liberty to name a few). You could be doing cutting edge computer science research in topics such as Cyber security or Video Analytics, or creating a software start-up or the next killer app.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider