CS1SE16-Software Engineering

Module Provider: Computer Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Pat Parslow

Email: p.parslow@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the concepts, practice and management of software engineering. It addresses the lifecycle activities associated with developing software as part of a system as well as the management activities required to ensure that the software is developed on time, within budget and is fit for purpose. The module also incorporates case studies and examples to show the application of the concepts and principles to real-world systems.

A learning approach is adopted which reflects software engineering theory and practice. Students are given course material to read/view prior to the lectures, and are required to produce a number of assessments in teams. 

This module will provide an understanding of the concepts, practice and management of software engineering and how it relates to the wider context of systems engineering.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

• Describe how software engineering fits within the wider context of systems engineering;

• Articulate the business and ethical drivers for promoting quality products and practices;

• Describe the software life cycle and the activities associated with each phase of it (feasibility, requirements, design, implementation, testing, handover, maintenance, evolution and decommissioning);

• Describe the essential concepts of project planning, risk analysis, configuration management and testing;

• Distinguish the difference between plan-based and agile-based approaches to software development;

• Appreciate the importance of software engineering to real-world projects;

• Apply software lifecycle activities and project management concepts to a given specification (linked to the assignment);

• Apply software engineering principles to their learning approaches.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of the following skills:

• Working with others in a group project and understanding a team approach to projects;

• Explaining why planning is important in their own work;

• Appreciating the need for back-ups and contingency plans;

• Innovation and creative thinking;

• Communication and documentation;

• Critical evaluation of technical matters, and of team and individual performance.

Outline content:


The module draws on the IEEE’s articulation of knowledge on the topic, as presented in the Software Engineering Book of Knowledge v3 (SWEBOK).

• Introduction to the module, Learning as an engineering process;

• Introduction to software engineering and assignments.


• Introduction to Engineering, Mathematical and Computing foundations of Software Engineering.

Quality drivers:

• Software Engineering Economics, Professional Practice and Software Quality;

• Life Cycle, Risk and Uncertainty, Capability Maturity;

• Professionalism, Ethics, Complexity;

• Value, Models, Safety, Verification and Validation.

Software Engineering Models and Methods:

• Modelling, Analysis, Methods.

Processes and Management:

• Process Definition, Life Cycles, Process Assessment, Measurement;

• Project initiation, Planning, Enactment, Measurement, Review, and Closure;

• Software Configuration Management.

Software Requirements;

• Fundamentals, Process, Elicitation, Analysis, Specification, Validation, Practical considerations.

Software Testing:

• Fundamentals, Test Techniques, Measures, Processes.

Software Design:

• Fundamentals, Key Issues, Structure and Architecture, User Interface Design, Quality, Notations, Strategies.

Software Construction:

• Fundamentals, Managing Construction, Practical Considerations, Technologies.

Software Maintenance and Decommissioning:

• Fundamentals, Key Issues, Processes, Techniques, Quality and Legal.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Two hours of lectures each week.  The lectures provide theory and space for team discussions and topic exploration.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20 0
Seminars 5 5
Guided independent study 66 66 18
Total hours by term 91.00 91.00 18.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 30
Set exercise 70

Other information on summative assessment:

The set exercises are:

• Team work throughout the Autumn and Spring terms;

• Individual project plan in Autumn term;

• Individual reflections in Spring term.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative feedback occurs throughout the module through the set exercises, and in class discussion.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    2 hours.

    Requirements for a pass:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    One examination paper of 2 hours duration in August/September - the resit module mark will be the higher of the exam mark (100% exam) and the exam mark plus previous coursework marks (30% exam, 70% coursework).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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