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Software Development

The programme has two key parts:
• A set of taught modules which build from foundational to advanced topics of software engineering and programming
• A substantial individual project

Most foundational modules are studied in the first semester and cover introductory programming using the Java programming language alongside the foundations of software engineering and databases.

Coverage of more advanced algorithmic and object-oriented programming continues into the second semester.
Project Element: Three-month summer projects are taken individually with supervision from a member of the School's teaching staff. Where possible, the project will be set and co-supervised by an industrial partner and may involve an on-site placement.

This MSc provides a year of intensive education in software engineering and is specifically designed for graduates of non-computing disciplines. Students on this conversion Masters degree will develop the technical, analytical and professional skills required to take on a range of roles within the IT industry.

Software development skills, such as programming, are essential to the advancement of most sectors within local and global economies. As a result, there is a very strong demand for software professionals. Graduates of this MSc will be able to maximise their career opportunities by offering solid software engineering skills along with the skills gained through their primary degree.

The programme aims to:
• provide a solid understanding of software engineering principles and techniques
• develop the ability to analyse software problems, create and evaluate software designs and develop and appropriately test software solutions
• foster critical analysis and evaluative skills pertaining to software engineering
• encourage students to uphold professional and ethical standards and actively engage with future technological and theoretical developments

Why Queen's?
The School has a team of staff specifically dedicated for the development of student employability skills alongside technical capabilities. They provide a range of services to help students gain employment during the course, eg one-on-one CV advice and mock job interviews etc.

They have also developed a series of Employment and Professional Skills Workshops, which the MSc students can voluntarily attend at regular intervals throughout the year. The workshops cover CV writing, Technical Interview Technique, Assessment Centres, etc. and later involve events to allow students to network with representatives from some of the largest employers in the Software Development sector in Belfast. Students get the opportunity to mix with a diverse industrial group, ranging from testers and developers up to senior managerial level staff. Students also have the opportunity to get involved in other industrially sponsored events such as hackathons etc.

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 aptitude test.

The next dates for the MSc Software Development Aptitude Test will be Thursday 23 March and Thursday 22 June. Applicants who want to be considered for these tests need to have applied at least one week before the test.

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information For International Students
International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. 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

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 programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

For additional information, please visit our website.
• English for University Study - 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
• See Also The Into Graduate Diploma In Finance Which Combines Academic Study, Intensive English Language Teaching And Study Skills To Prepare You For Entry Into A University Masters Degree.


1 year full-time.

Teaching takes place in the morning and afternoon; there are between 13 and 15 hours of contact teaching hours per week.

Careers or further progression

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.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Darryl Stewart
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Tel: 9097 5439

Subjects taught

• Programming
• Databases
• Software Engineering
• Software Design Principles and Patterns
• Web and Mobile Application Development
• Software Testing

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

Assessment method

A mixture of individual and group-based projects, assignments and practical examinations provide the primary means of assessment within modules, with written examinations are also employed for some modules. The summer project is assessed through a written dissertation alongside the presentation and demonstration of the created software artefact.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research
There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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