Software Development MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
Couple of male students in smart shirts looking at laptop

This master’s degree aims to equip you with the professional and technical skills to specify, design, develop and test modern software systems in a variety of contexts and organisational settings.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time
3 years part-time sandwich
2 years sandwich

Course code


Start date

September 2024
May 2025

Course overview

This course has been designed for those with previous experience of programming, and for those who would like the opportunity to pursue employment or further research in software system design and development.

  • The course is designed with inputs from industry experts to deliver a syllabus that is up-to-date and reflects employment trends. You will have the opportunity to learn how to construct and deliver software solutions on real-world case scenarios.
  • The degree combines theories and practices in the design and development of software systems. It covers a wide range of key topics, including software architecture design solutions, database management and big data, security, web and mobile applications development, and agile software development.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘work placement’ opportunity2 which if secured, is designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.
Hand selecting a user icon in a coloured circle.

Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

Five stars in a speech bubble.

5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

City buildings next to a tree.

Top 5 UK Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

The curriculum has been designed with the aim of supporting you in pursuing employment or further research opportunities in the field of software design, development and management.

  • If you are interested in learning about programming or wish to update your existing software development skills, this course provides opportunities to equip you with the skills and knowledge of software development professionals.
  • The course aims to provide a sound understanding of essential development platforms, protocols and standards with an emphasis on object-oriented modelling, design and programming, big data, security and the development of web-based and mobile applications.
  • We offer excellent facilities4, so you have the opportunity to learn core technical competencies of disciplines for software development using industry-standard or open-source tools.
  • You will be required to focus on advanced topics and investigate areas at the forefront of the software development research community and industry.


Visual Paradigm supports Coventry University with the use of UML tools, BPMN tools and agile story mapping tools, under the Academic Partnership Program.

I was initially sceptical about what a school could offer regarding software development that could not be learnt from online tutorials and trainings, but the Software Development MSc program of Coventry University quickly eliminated this scepticism. We were exposed to principles and concepts we either had never heard of or did not know there was a name for.

Adebayo Faboro, Software Development MSc, quoted 2022
Two male students looking intently at a computer monitor.

What you'll study

The course focuses on core technical knowledge of and skills in the software development lifecycle, from requirements, design, implementation, to testing with emerging technologies and industry recognised best practices. This will include the key technological advancements in software architecture design solutions, big data analysis and security, as well as web-based and mobile applications development, in frameworks such as Java and Python.

You will also undertake a software development project in a teamwork environment and an in-depth individual research project. Guided by an experienced tutor, the projects will help develop your research skills and experience the work of IT professionals.


  • This module aims to critically evaluate different software development paradigms and architecture design patterns for modern software systems development. The module will review current tools and techniques for each of the software processes, from requirements to automated testing. It should enable you to acquire in-depth knowledge of software design principles, software quality in relation to different architectural patterns.


  • The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to develop well-designed and tested software systems. The module will adopt the object-oriented (OO) approach to software design and development and apply industry-standard frameworks and practices.


  • This module aims to deliver significant practical experience of developing modern full-stack, cross-platform Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) supported by REST Web APIs. The module will cover the entire design, develop and deploy process, focussing on the application of open standards to produce responsive and adaptive designs that will run in the browser but can also be installed as apps on mobile devices. The module will make extensive use of practical programming examples.


  • This module will introduce technical security controls used to prevent, detect and recover from security violations at the application or system level. You will investigate how security controls are implemented alongside business needs in product development, learning the tools, standards and protocols of secure design and development.


  • This module will discuss the features and benefits of developing native applications and cross-platform mobile apps. Different approaches to cross-platform app development will be evaluated, including hybrid mobile app development and rapid mobile app development (RMAD) or codeless mobile app development. The module will then focus on the process of building hybrid or native apps that can run on multiple operating systems.


  • The module aims to enable you to develop a range of professional skills and enhance your employability prospects by undertaking a software development project in a team environment. These include team working, leadership, problem-solving, communication, analytical skills and project management, such as project planning and monitoring.


  • This module aims to enable you to learn about the theory and technology required to make the correct decisions when developing data-intensive software. It is anticipated that you will gain an understanding of big data and its sources, the theoretical and practical approaches to storing and accessing such data, the architecture that are available to develop data-intensive systems and how to evaluate such systems to meet the requirements.


  • The project is intended to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate competence in applying the knowledge and skills acquired during the taught part of the course. The project may be a solution to a practical requirement or focus on a research topic. The module will require investigation and research as core activities, leading to analysis, final summations and insightful recommendations. The project will culminate in a comprehensive, thorough and professional report, documenting the approach, conduct and outcomes of the project, further supported with a critical review of the project conduct and management.


With work placement pathway

The ‘With work placement’ opportunity enables you to apply in semester 1 for an optional work placement of up to 12 months, extending the duration of your master’s to 24 months. The placement provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability upon graduation. The work placement would take place in semesters 3, 4 and 5.

Please note that the optional placement modules incur an additional tuition fee of £4,000. Placement opportunities2 may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Work placements are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the work placement option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

Teaching and learning methods may include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Workshops
  • Practical laboratory sessions4

For online teaching and learning, our platform provider is currently Aula.

This course can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Please request information about studying this course part-time.

Teaching contact hours

The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is estimated 12 contact hours per week in the taught semesters with self-study approximately 36 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The MSc project-based semester will include supervisor meetings about 1-2 hours per week (depending on the arrangement with the supervisor), with self-study approximately 45 hours per week.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should hold:

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a computing related subject. Applications from graduates in other disciplines (such as mathematics or engineering) with sufficient knowledge, skills or experience in programming would also be considered on individual merits.
  • An unclassified degree plus at least two years' further study or professional experience in the programming related areas.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

Chat with us

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

To enter the course you need to have one of the following:

  • A minimum of a second class honours degree in a computing related subject. Applications from graduates in other disciplines, such as mathematics, physics or engineering, would also be considered on individual merits.
  • An unclassified degree plus at least two years' further study or professional experience in the programming related areas.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

Chat with us

Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year with EU support bursary**
£20,050 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £20,050 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


The course offers facilities4 in the modern Engineering and Computing Building (EEC) and Beatrice Shilling Building (BSB), located on the Coventry main campus, with laboratories equipped with the latest workstations and virtual applications, which may include Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, Microsoft Azure software packages.

Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate methodology, tools and techniques to develop software effective solutions through the development lifecycle to real-world problems
  • Critically evaluate software architectures, applications and related security issues to deliver appropriate and reusable software solutions to real-world problems
  • Develop relevant technical skills in emerging technologies to adapt to the challenges in building modern software systems in a global context
  • Develop a wide range of postgraduate level professional and transferable skills in building modern software systems in a team-work environment
  • Develop the awareness of professional, social, ethical, and legal issues along with commercial risk and management for software systems
  • Develop research skills required for advanced software development topics selected according to the interests of individual students.

The course provides potential career aspirations and exciting opportunities for any graduates who wish to pursue employment in software systems development and consultancy, such as software engineer, system analyst, architect, designers, programmers and testers. The programme also enables graduates to further their research as an academic researcher. The inclusion of theories and practical applications supported by industry case studies makes this course highly focussed and relevant to future employability and professional development.

The practical nature of our course means that upon successful graduation, you should have developed a wide range of technical, analytical and professional skills which will support a move into a range of areas in software development. This includes system requirements, design, implementation, to testing with emerging platforms, protocols and standards as well as key technological advancement in big data analysis, security as well as web-based and mobile applications development.

Where our graduates work

Career opportunities in the areas of software development are many and varied, including a software system architect, system analyst, software designer, software developer, software engineer or project leader. You could find yourself working in the private or public sector in software engineering or IT related areas, in sectors such as business, health, education, finance and manufacturing.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

You may also like

Coventry University (Coventry) fingers on a keyboard

Computer Science MSc