Software Development (Part-Time)

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

3 year(s)

Places available





Engineering and Physical Sciences


Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

* 3 years part-time


This MSc provides a thorough 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, e.g. 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.

Did you know?

This course is also available for full-time study. Search our course listings for more information.

Course Details

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

Project Element: The MSc project will take place during the third year of study and can be taken individually or as part of a team. Supervision will be given by a member of the School's lecturing staff. Where possible, the project will be set by a company who will also provide mentorship during the project. The companies involved may be either industrial partners of the School (which represent potential employers for the students) or a student’s actual employer if they have already gained employment in a suitable computing related role.



Year 1:
Software Testing


Year 2:
Software Engineering
Web Development

Year 3:
Software Development Project

Each taught module generally involves approximately 3 hours of contact time in interactive tutorials/computer lab sessions per week along with approximately 2 hours per week of guided online study. Alongside these structured activities, students are expected to work on group and individual assignments and projects.

Assessment & Feedback

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

Learning and Teaching

Teaching takes place on two evenings per week with approximately 6 to 8 hours of contact time.

The course will be delivered in a blended format. This involves students working through guided online course materials in their own time and then attending the university on two evenings each week to participate in active learning sessions with their lecturers in lecture rooms and computer labs. If students require assistance while they are working through materials at home then they will be able to contact their lecturers using a number of methods.

Each taught module generally involves approximately 3 hours of contact time in interactive tutorials/computer lab sessions per week along with approximately 2 hours per week of guided online study. Alongside these structured activities, students are expected to work on group and individual assignments and projects.

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.

Applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements may be considered for admission under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL). Please visit for the University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and information on application procedures.

In addition to the above qualification/RPEL 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.


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


As this is a part-time course, international applicants will not be able to obtain a Tier 4 visa for this course and the University is not permitted to provide a CAS for the purpose of applying for one.

Only international applicants with alternative immigration permission that they have sought and obtained independently will be permitted to join the course.  This will be thoroughly checked before admission to the course on a part-time basis. 

International applicants, or applicants who have not completed their primary or higher degree at an institution where the language of instruction and of assessment is English, will require a recognised English Language qualification equivalent to at least a British Council IELTS* qualification scored at a standard of 6.0 or TOEFL 550 (paper); 213 (computer), 80 (Internet based).

*Taken within the last 2 years.

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

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Darryl Stewart
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Tel: 028 9097 5439

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

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.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website:


Queen's Direct Applications Portal
Steps to Postgraduate Study Guidance (HEFCE)
Queen's Postgraduate Admissions Policy

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