Software engineers create and maintain software applications using best practice from computer science, project management, engineering, application domains and other fields. This programme is designed to teach students how to apply state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies to develop high quality software to professional standards at an advanced level. Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is ranked 6th in Scotland by The Complete University league tables (2021).
Students will be able to specialise in particular areas, such as the development of dependable systems, parallel or big data applications, advanced interactive systems like games, or novel applications using biologically inspired models of computing.
In some cases the project can be carried out in collaboration with an outside industrial or academic organisation.
Graduates from the programme can expect to find employment with software houses, IT companies, R+D divisions of companies, financial services organisations, defence contractors or government IT agencies and as researchers or research students within universities.
- MSc: 12 months (full-time), 24 months (part-time)
- PG Diploma: 9 months (full-time)
This full-time programme starts in mid September.
This programme is accredited by the British Computer Society.
Full-time students take 4 courses each semester and must normally take all core courses.
- Advanced Software Engineering
- Information Systems Methodologies
- Research Methods and Project Planning
- Industrial Programming
- Masters and Dissertation
- Advanced Interaction Design
- Big Data Management
- Biologically Inspired Computation
- Computer Games Programming
- Computer Network Security
- Distributed and Parallel Technologies
- Data Mining and Machine Learning
- 3D Graphics and Animation
- Project Management
- Software Engineering Master Class
After semester 2 students continue full-time on the MSc project.
Further details are available here for study in Edinburgh.
In the third semester (May-August) students undertake a specialist MSc project which is written up as a 15000 word dissertation. This project enables further development and consolidation of skills introduced in the taught courses, applying them to a challenging practical problem in this subject area.
Entry requires a good honours degree in Computer Science. Candidates holding a little less than a good honours degree or its equivalent but with compensating qualifications or experience may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme. Transfer to the MSc will be possible later on if exam and course work are at MSc level.
English language requirements
Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.
The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 (with no component under 5.5), we also accept TOEFL (scores of 90 and higher).
We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s programme:
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)
- Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
- Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
- Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.
Scholarships and bursaries
We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.
View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.