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MSc|Postgraduate Taught

Software Development (Part Time)

Entry year
Entry requirements
3 years (Part-time)
Places available
TBC (Part Time)

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

This part-time option is taught in the evenings (one to two evenings a week per semester) and spread over 3 years to allow you to study while in full-time employment. The course is completed entirely online, with our innovative live online lectures and interactive lab sessions. All learning materials are hosted on our virtual learning environment, in addition to pre-recorded bite-sized lecture content videos (available before each lecture), feedback quizzes to check your progress, as well as individual support from our lecturers and tutors. You can also optionally attend our on-campus labs on the teaching nights for additional tutor support or if you need a quiet environment to work in.

You also have the option of completing in 2 years. A dissertation project or specialised Mini Project modules can be commenced in the third semester of the second year of the course, once all the taught modules are successfully completed. The project or Mini Project modules must be undertaken full time to enable successful completion in that semester.


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.


Applications for this course received after 12th August 2024 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

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

Software Development (Part Time) highlights

Student Experience

The course is the highest rated for overall student experience Computing Master course in the UK (2019). This includes excellence in student experiences in the quality of teaching and learning, student engagement, quality of assessment and feedback, organisation and management, learning resources and careers and employability.

The course encourages a hands-on approached to learning, with an emphasis on learning by doing. We provide videos of lecture content and continually offer you with opportunities to gauge your progress in each module through self-assessments and practical activities and challenges.

Industry Links

Alongside the core course curriculum, students are also encouraged to take part in a series of Employment and Professional Skills Workshops, which run at regular intervals during 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.

Career Development

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.

Course Structure


Course Structure

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.


Year 1:
Computing Fundamentals

Year 2:
Software Engineering
Web Development

Year 3: (or completed fulltime in fast track in Full Time mode Semester 3 of year 2)
A substantial project based element

The foundational modules are studied in the first year and cover introductory programming using the Java programming language and progressing to advanced algorithmic and object-oriented programming. This runs alongside the computing foundations module which includes foundation knowledge of computing including an introduction to software engineering and software testing.
The second year concentrates coverage on Web programming (php and javascript) and Software Engineering (with a team based project) and Databases.

Alongside these structured activities, students are expected to work on group and individual assignments and projects.

Project: Three-month projects are taken individually (in part time mode) or if you choose to go full time at the end of semester two, year 2 then you have the option to study Mini Project modules, which are constantly updated giving you a opportunity to study some specialisms in computing such as Machine Learning, Software Design patterns etc. The DL modules on offer are updated each year to reflect industry trends.

Project Element

The MSc project will take place during the third year of study.

People teaching you

Software Development Course Director

School of EEECS

Teaching Times

Teaching takes place on two evenings per week with approximately 6 hours of timetabled activity each week.

Learning and Teaching

The course will be delivered in a distance based blended format. This involves students working through guided online course materials in their own time, with teaching contact on two evenings each week to participate in active learning sessions with their lecturers. 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.

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Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Individual and group-based projects
  • Assignments
  • Practical examinations
  • Computer-based examinations
  • 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.

What our academics say




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Programming (40 credits)
  • Year 2

    Core Modules

    Web Development (20 credits)
    Databases (20 credits)

Entrance 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 entry requirements, all applicants will be required to pass an online aptitude test. If you are successful in the first stage of the application process, we will be in touch to organise this.

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.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 12th August 2024 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.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

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.



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.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £8,800
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £8,800
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £8,800
EU Other 3 £25,800
International £25,800

Software Development: The tuition fees quoted are for 2024-25 and apply to completing the programme full-time in one year. The fee will be apportioned accordingly for studying part-time over a 3 year period based on the modules taken. 


1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications:

1.1  Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications. 
1.2  You will be required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the course.
1.3  This condition of offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.

Read the full terms and conditions at the link below:

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 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 £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

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

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

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

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