Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Software Engineering with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Learn how to create Software systems that are integral part of modern society. This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build both a strong foundation in computer systems and programming so you are ready to progress on to the full BSc (Hons) Software Engineering degree.

This pathway is designed for students who are want to study the full honours degree, but don’t meet the direct entry requirements. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full honours software engineering degree, which is accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying software engineering, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Build practical skills, subject knowledge and real-world understanding to become a professional software engineer
  • Learn theoretical knowledge needed to adapt your skills as programming, languages and techniques evolve
  • Develop methodical approaches to the analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance of object-oriented systems using the Java language
  • Gain the ability to translate concepts into reality through the use of technology
  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the software engineering undergraduate degree

options available

This is for you if...


You want to study software engineering but don't have the requirements for direct entry onto the full Honours degree


You're interested in how things work rather than just wanting to use them


You've got a keen attention to detail, enjoy problem-solving and like to use your initiative

Course details

All about the course

Computer science students working together

Foundation year

The foundation year pathway is designed to help you to build solid knowledge and skills, so you are ready to progress on to one of our industry-accredited computing degree courses.

Along with introducing you to essential study skills, you will explore programming for standalone applications and websites. You will also enhance your mathematical problem-solving, and learn to describe how computer systems work.

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the first year of the full BSc (Hons) Software Engineering undergraduate degree course.

BSc (Hons) degree

Course delivery

Delivered across three years - or four, if you choose to include an industry placement, our BSc Software Engineering degree is designed to develop your in-depth knowledge and understanding of software specification, design, implementation and deployment using software development methodologies. You'll also study core and optional specialist modules in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, virtual reality and more. 

Learn more about the course modules in the section below. 

Learning experience 

Embedding collaboration with industry and working on real-world software projects is an essential aspect of studying computing at Salford. In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to take-part in our three-week long industry challenge, Hackcamp. Working in a team with other computing students, you'll develop a web-hosted dashboard or application to meet a real-life brief, set by one of our industry partners. At the end of the three weeks, you can present your finished project at our Hackcamp showcase day. 

Working on real-world set briefs alongside your specialist studies will give you the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for an exciting career in tech. You will also bring all of your learning together by completing an individual project in your final year, where you can focus on an area of software engineering of your choice. 

Industry placement

On the full degree, you will have the opportunity to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final report.

By completing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your degree award. Industry placements are an excellent way to improve your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections.

 Read about Kareem's industry placement at local company Awareness Software Limited.

Foundation year

Computer Systems

This module will explore low-level details of some key computer components. It will teach you how to decompose some real-world systems into smaller subsystems, and how to make complex operations out of simple operations.

Computer Programming

This module will introduce object-oriented programming in Python using Visual Studio Code, covering console based and desktop applications.

Computing Mathematics FY

This module will cover some core mathematics in order to get you up to something between GCSE and A2 level. The maths included is targeted at what will be useful later in the course, such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, coordinate geometry, probability and statistics.

Web Programming

This module gives an introduction to developing content and applications for the Web. The module covers the basics of the WWW followed by core technologies and standards such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Further topics are design principles, development as a process, testing and validation. The module is delivered as a blend of lectures and hands-on workshops. Successful completion of this module will enable you to create standard compliant websites following best practice.

Inside Computer Systems

The module is delivered as a blend of lectures and hands-on workshops. Successful completion of this module will enable you to understand computer components and computer architecture, convert numbering systems from one type to another, and how to data pass through input, memory, processor and output.

Year one

Programming 1

You will be introduced to a practical, hands-on approach to programming where workshops will provide focused practical activity on a managed learning curve. You will learn excellent programming practice through design, implementation and testing, and will be introduced to the basics of structured programming language using an integrated programming environment.

Programming 2

You will strengthen your syntax and semantics base of Java developed in the ‘Programming 1’ module. You will develop an appreciation of recursion as well as your knowledge of dynamic data structures. Additionally, you will learn how to test and debug code, along with an appreciation of more sophisticated programming behaviour.

Professional Development and Practices

You will be introduced to the business context and application of computing and information systems. You will explore this through societal, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project delivery to a professional standard.

Web Development and Human Computer Interfaces

You will be introduced to theory and practice of website design and development and develop knowledge and understanding of human-computer interaction and techniques for designing and analysing user interfaces. You will also gain skills and practical experience of designing, developing and testing websites using HTML5 & Cascading Sheets (CSS).

Computer System Internals and Linux

This module will provide you with an in-depth low-level knowledge of computer systems, concentrating on computer architecture, operating systems and communications technology. You will also start to develop skills in the use of Unix-like operating systems at command-line level, writing and using simple scripts and batch files and the simple system administration of a standalone Linux PC.

Database Systems

This module will share fundamental knowledge of database management systems, their design, implementation and applications. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of relational database management system, and how to implement and maintain an efficient database system.

Year two

Design Patterns

You will receive a broad overview of software development methods and techniques, focusing on various modelling and design approaches. You will develop understanding of the application of generic pattern-based strategies for resolving common high-level problems in object orientated design. You will develop problem recognition and categorisation and learn how (and when) established pattern-based solutions can be identified and applied as solutions.

Data Structures and Algorithms

In this module you will be introduced to some of the most important data structures used in the design and implementation of computer software and shown how these are implemented using Java. You will then learn to analyse the requirements of algorithm resources to allow you to provide a sound basis for objective choice when dealing with competing algorithms.

Software Project with Agile Techniques (Salford HackCamp)

This module combines technical work in computer programming with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of using an “agile” software development technique. You will work in a group to design, develop, document and demonstrate a solution to a problem, working to a professional standard, often under the direction of an external client. This module starts with an introduction to agile techniques and methodologies followed by the opportunity to apply, evaluate and reflect on these techniques.

Networking and Security

You will learn in detail how the Internet works, from local area networks to global networks. This will include designing and troubleshooting networks, and configuring and testing network applications. You will also look at security vulnerabilities, cryptographic principles, protocols, C-I-A trade-offs, firewalls and legal implications. You will apply these principles to designing solutions for some realistic case studies.

Career Development

You will develop a range of employability 'soft skills' to give you an advantage when applying for (and carrying out) a placement as well as graduate roles. Employers value a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. This module will draw from our extensive industry contacts to demonstrate the range of skills needed to succeed in your career and to help you develop a career plan.

Software Evolution

In software evolution, you will learn how to analyse and enhance existing systems that have already been deployed and are currently being used. You will learn about the techniques and processes required to change live systems, including automated testing and continuous integration.

Client Server Systems

You will develop data-driven interactive web applications, with client-side and server-side components, using industry-standard software development tools and techniques. You will design, create, test and demonstrate software implementing a data-driven web application, programming, industry standard scripting languages (such as PHP and Javascript), connecting to industry standard databases, identifying security risks, and working within legal constraints such as data protection, accessibility and copyright.


Deep Learning

Introducing you to the field of deep learning and its applications, you will learn about the deep learning architectures and algorithms that are used in applications such as face recognition, speech recognition and medical diagnosis. You will also have the opportunity to develop your professional skills using the Python programming language and utilizing a deep learning framework to develop predictive models and applications. 

Year three

Software Quality Management

You will study more advanced software engineering techniques including reuse, security, component-based and service-oriented software engineering. These more advanced topics will help you to understand how recent technical innovations are affecting the practices you need to build high quality software. You will undertake some online research to explore a practical, industry-based scenario involving advanced software engineering decision-making. You will have to think about the trade-offs between software product quality and developer productivity.  

Dependable Software Engineering

In some applications, mistakes in software can put lives at risk. Software used in healthcare, transportation and “safety-critical” areas require specialist techniques. This module will explore the principles, strategies and techniques used in the engineering of computer software systems that have stringent dependability, reliability and safety as primary requirements. You will learn more about engineering fault-tolerant and secure software systems.

Project for Software Engineering

You will undertake an individual project that will demonstrate your understanding of software engineering. You can select your own area of study, identify and develop a realistic problem and, working independently and in a professional manner, organise, sustain and report on your project in a way which is both detailed and reflective.

Optional modules (choose two):

Virtual Reality and 3D Games

This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices and measures of virtual reality technology and the development of interactive 3D worlds. Applications of the technology that will be used are from across sectors including the computer games industry, medicine, energy, engineering and science. You will develop your programming to an advanced level of understanding and experience of modern interactive 3D engine development.

Mobile Development

The module will provide an introduction to the key technologies used to provide interactive web sites and interactive applications for use with mobile devices, taking into account the unique environment in which these applications operate. Consideration will be given to how to use these technologies whilst still maintaining web standards, particularly accessibility.

Information Security Management

This module will prepare you for the creation and implementation of information security policies in organisations, with an emphasis on risk management and business continuity planning, taking account both the practicalities of implementation in a real-world setting and the various legal and ethical issues involved. You’ll learn to identify assets, vulnerabilities, threats and controls and to consider issues of security culture.

Business Management

You will learn business and enterprise concepts so you can analyse and evaluate business practices, concepts, theories and frameworks and their relationship to the strategic and operational management of an enterprise or a project. This is intended to complement the technical project management content of the course and provide a real-world context linked to current enterprise activities at the university. You will also learn about freelancing.

Advanced Web Development

You will learn the common stages of creating a large-scale web application. This consists of the following: development of a scalable web application using design patterns, frameworks and other industry best practices; discussion of the concepts of APIs; designing a fully RESTful API for the application; and create a client to consume the application API .


Deep Learning

Introducing you to the field of deep learning and its applications, you will learn about the deep learning architectures and algorithms that are used in applications such as face recognition, speech recognition and medical diagnosis. You will also have the opportunity to develop your professional skills using the Python programming language and utilizing a deep learning framework to develop predictive models and applications. 

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:

  • Practical laboratories
  • Case studies
  • Group work
  • Project work


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Examinations which will assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
  • Assignments which will assess your response to a larger problem
  • Practical tests which will assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to a problem
  • Projects which will assess your ability to create a plan, identify possibilities, make decisions, carry out the plan, and reflect on the choices and outcome
  • Software development tasks to apply the techniques you have learned and demonstrate your work
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

What does a software engineer do? 

Software systems are at the heart of all industries in the modern world. Software engineers are hired to create and maintain software systems, ensuring that they are usable and robust. 

Is software engineering a high-paying job? 

A degree in software engineering could lead you to a software engineer role. Graduate-level salaries could be around £28,000. Other career pathways also provide promising income. 

Is software engineering hard? 

Studying software engineering can be challenging since it involves many complex technological topics, however, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies.    

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

How many years does it take to become a software engineer? 

This programme is delivered on a full-time basis over 3 years (or 4 if a placement year is chosen). Most of our programmes also offer an added foundation year, taking your studies up to 4 years but requiring more relaxed entry requirements. After graduating with your degree, you will have the necessary technical and employability skills to land your first job on your career path. 

School Of Science, Engineering And Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a software engineering student, you will learn in our specialist computing suites and laboratories, including a networking laboratory and dedicated final year project laboratory. You can also use Cisco-enabled facilities to gain additional Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) status.

Industry Collaboration and Research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global computing and informatics issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Computer scientist with two monitors


Once you complete the full honours degree, you will graduate with exciting and rewarding careers opportunities ahead of you. Equipped with demonstrable software engineering skills, supported by a large portfolio of practical work, you will be in demand across many different industries. 

Software applications are embedded in all aspects of daily life, including commerce, industry, healthcare and communication, and the pace of innovation is rapid. Organisations of all sizes need talented people who can create software systems that are usable, robust and can bring operational gains.

As a software engineering graduate, you will be well-equipped for roles in software engineering, systems analyst, programming, system administration or computer analyst. Previous course graduates have secured roles with major companies, such as BNFL, British Aerospace, PricewaterhouseCooper, IBM, ICI, ICL and Riva Software International.

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about computing. Building on our expertise, we offer postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni receive a significant fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A software engineer

A systems analyst

A programmer

A system administrator

A computer analyst

And more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile

We're looking for applicants with a strong interest in computing and software. The Foundation Year is recommended for applicants who:

  • feel that their background makes them more 'keen users of computers' rather than 'curious about low-level details', but who want to increase their depth of knowledge
  • feel that their mathematics would benefit from some improvement before embarking on a degree course
  • have not studied a computing or numerate subject at school/college, but want to pursue a computing career
  • wish to return to education after a long time in employment

International students

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing to A-Level or equivalent standard.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.


64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

BTEC National Diploma

MPP from computing or a numerate subject.

MMP from other subjects.


Access to HE

Pass from a QAA-approved computer-related subject.

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

European Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information: admissionssee-ug@salford.ac.uk

International Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information: admissionssee-ug@salford.ac.uk

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.  

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.  To be considered for the scheme, you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID G601

Institution S03