This is a degree apprenticeship. Those applying to the programme will be employed as an apprentice of a leading technology employer and will combine traditional university study with work-based learning.

Software is a fundamental part of today’s digital society, controlling everything from the results that are displayed when you use a search engine, through to how we interact with others on social media or access on-demand content on mobile devices. In the future, virtually all of our human processes will be affected by the design and development of software.

Developed through a very close partnership with employers, the degree apprenticeship is designed to equip graduates with the analytical, reasoning and practical skills they will need to succeed as professional software engineers. This includes developing software systems in a manner that is efficient, intuitive, reliable and affordable.

Software Engineering with Digital Technology Partnership Degree highlights

Industry Links

  • Our computing courses are well established and are closely aligned with the needs of employers. Over the last decade, we have enabled thousands of graduates to succeed as professionals within the technology sector. Northern Ireland has an excellent international reputation for the quality and supply of its software engineers. Indeed many companies, both national and international, have opted for Northern Ireland as a base for their computing divisions in recognition of the high quality of graduates produced by the local universities. Given this situation, it is not surprising that our graduates have had unparalleled job opportunities over the years, both locally and internationally. Because of the achievements of Queen's graduates already in the software engineering profession, a Software Engineering degree from Queen's is a highly respected qualification. Employers, from large multinational firms to small local organisations, actively target our students, recognising that Queen's Software Engineering graduates are equipped with the skills they need. On graduating the majority of graduates take up posts associated with software design and implementation. Opportunities exist in fields as diverse as finance, games, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research, consumer products, and public services - virtually all areas of business. The types of career open to Software Engineering graduates include: Software Developer; Systems Analyst; Web Designer; Games Developer; Programmer; IT Consultant; Project Manager.

World Class Facilities

  • Our courses are delivered within a recently constructed, start-of-the-art facility that provides access to hundreds of modern computers alongside a diverse and flexible range of individual and group study spaces.

Student Experience

  • Other than a providing a high-quality education, we also run a wide range of extra-curricular events that expose our students to emerging technologies and provide an opportunity to explore how technology can be used to tackle important problems.

Course content

Course Structure

Course content
The degree teaches the fundamental principles of Software Engineering together with the necessary skills, tools and techniques to enable our graduates to succeed as professional software engineers. In the first two years of the programme, apprentices will develop a broad technology foundation that will underpin later learning. During the final two years of the programme, apprentices will flexibly combine specialist university modules with employer-based work experience.
Year 1
Apprentices will establish a solid foundation in:
• Programming
• Computer Architecture and Networking
• Databases
• Software Engineering
• Rigorous Problem-solving
Year 2
Apprentices will build their foundational knowledge to include more:

• Software Development Processes and Practices
• Software Engineering
• Information Modelling
• Computer Architectures and Networking
• Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis
• Professional Computing Practice

In addition to establishing a solid foundation in the above area, apprentices will also develop though on-the-job learning with their employer outside of term-time (for example, working with their employer over the summer months).
Year 3 / 4
In Year 3 and Year 4 of the programme, apprentices will study a number of modules that will permit them to develop specialism in key areas of software engineering. Currently this includes the following options:

• Data Analysis and Visualisation
• Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Data Analytics
• Agile and Lean Software Development
• Machine Learning
• Advanced Computer Architecture
• Concurrent Programming
• Software Design Principles and Patterns
• Information System Security
• Secure Software Design
• Malware Analysis
• Software Testing
• High Performance Computing
• Software Engineering Project

Apprentices will complete one semester of University study in both Year 3 and Year 4. The remaining time will be devoted to on-the-job learning with their employer.

People teaching you

Dr David Cutting
Programme Leader
E: d.cutting@qub.ac.uk

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
9 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures
Personal Study
24 (hours maximum)
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
6 (hours maximum)
hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials each week

Learning and Teaching

The School has a world class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

On the Software Engineering with Digital Technology Partnership degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

Read more


Additional Information

Students have access to a wide range of computers (laboratories are equipped with several hundred PCs) and specialised software packages. Networks link the School and University computers to powerful machines in Great Britain.

The course emphasises the professional and practical application of software engineering. As such, students are encouraged to build strong links with local software engineering companies through employer involvement within projects, lectures and other forms of teaching contact.

E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.


Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).

Peer Mentoring

Queen’s runs a peer mentoring scheme for Computing students – a group of students from all year groups (except first year) are trained to provide support for the 1st year students, in terms of offering advice and guidance, organising social events etc. The School also has a Computing Society (QCS – Queen’s Computing Society) who organise a range of activities, including social events and more formal activities such as industry lectures, for all Computing students. A games club also meets once a week and this is open to all computing students in the School (not just those studying for the games degree).

Personal Tutor

Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.


Where you will have significant opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Comprehensive demonstrator support is provided – typically one demonstrator per 8-10 students.

Projects and teamwork

A number of modules throughout the degree will use supervised projects as a means of enabling you to put your technical understanding into practice. The extensive use of team based projects from first year will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills widely used by employers. In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you.

Self-directed study

This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.


A number of modules will make use of seminars/tutorials (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.

Work placements

A student taking this programme can spend a year gaining professional experience in industry in a paid full-time post. Students are helped to obtain suitable places and the School has excellent links with over 500 local, national and international employers such as Microsoft, Liberty IT, Kainos, IBM,Deloitte, BT, Citi Group, SAP and Dell. It is expected that students will gain a Licentiateship of the City and Guilds from this period of work experience.


Details of assessments associated with this courses are outlined below:

Read more

The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction


As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

Read more

Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.

Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.

Placement employer comments or references

Online or emailed comment

General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.

Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time

Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.

Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
BBB including Computing, Mathematics or Software Systems Development + GCSE Mathematics grade C
ABB including Chemistry, Digital Technology, GCE A-level ICT (not Single Award Applied ICT), Physics, Technology and Design or Double Award Applied ICT + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry or Physics + Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

BTEC Extended diploma
A relevant computing, engineering or scientific BTEC Extended Diploma with 100 credits at Distinction and 80 credits at Merit + GCSE Mathematics grade C.

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65-70%. Must be relevant Access Course (eg: Mathematics and Computing). GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.

Please note that the course is open only to applicants who are Northern Ireland, Great Britain or European Union for tuition fees purposes.

Applications will be academically assessed by the Admissions and Access Service. Academically eligible applicants will be asked to complete a supplementary application form which will be assessed by the employer. Applicants successful at this stage of the process will then be invited to attend an assessment centre from which the final successful candidates will be chosen.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Once your application has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service and, if appropriate, the Selector from the School. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS. However, offers will not be processed until after completion of all assessment centres.

For entry last year, applicants must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is normally the same as the offer for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Edexcel National, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered. The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.

For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with two Distinctions and remainder Merits.

Applicants offering relevant Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas will be considered on an individual basis for entry to Stage 1. Please note that advanced entry to this course is not possible.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.


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

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

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.


INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)


Career Prospects

Employment Links
As this is a degree apprenticeship, by applying for this course you will also be applying for a job with a leading technology employer. If you are accepted onto the course, as an apprentice, you will receive a salary to cover your university study and the on-the-job learning. In addition to this, you will not have to pay any student fees.

At the end of the degree apprenticeship you can look forward to receiving a highly regarded software engineering degree from Queen’s University alongside career progression opportunities with your employer.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus 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 Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,160
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,160
International £19,500

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

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.

Read more

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. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

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 final year 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.

Software Engineering with Digital Technology Partnership costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

How and When to Apply

A. How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

B. When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing: 15 January 2018 (18:00).
Applications received after this date will not be considered.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

Download a prospectus


Register your interest

Stay in touch

Course location

Electronics, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sci
Computer Science Building
18 Malone Road

Open Days and Tours

Visit our beautiful campus.

Our Undergraduate Open Days will take place from 6 - 8 September 2018, or book a campus tour.

Discover events


Some of the most affordable, purpose-built student accommodation in the city.

Student accommodation in Belfast

Life at Queen's

9th in the UK for student experience
Times Higher Education, 2017

Explore more

Your Questions Answered

Get in touch

Search again

Back to search