Our Software Systems Engineering (SSE) MSc provides an ideal foundation for PhD study. The programme is underpinned by a Software Engineering Research group that is regularly ranked among the top ten of its kind in the world (CSRankings.org); its work is used by leading global companies including Google, Facebook and Amazon. You will be taught by those who are setting the international agenda, and our research has been repeatedly rated as world-class.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.
Fee deposit: All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in computer science, computing, computer engineering or software engineering, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students are trained in the principles and techniques of engineering large, complex software systems and gain the opportunity to apply these techniques in a realistic group project setting. The programme analyses current practice in software systems engineering, looking at the most significant trends, problems and results in complex software systems.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), and either a group project (60 credits) or research project (60 credits). Students will be able to select two modules (30 credits) from electives.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Software Systems Engineering.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Professional Practice (15 credits)
- Requirements Engineering and Software Architecture (15 credits)
- Research Methods in Software Engineering (15 credits)
- Software Abstractions and Systems Integration (15 credits)
- Tools and Environments (15 credits)
- Validation and Verification (15 credits)
Students must select either the Group Project in Software Systems Engineering (60 credits) or Research Project in Software Engineering (60 credits) in addition to two elective modules (30 credits).
- Optional modules (Choose 60 credits)
- MSc Software Systems Engineering Group Project (60 credits)
- MSc Software Systems Engineering Research Project (60 credits)
- Elective modules (Choose 30 credits)
- Complex Networks and Web (15 credits)
- Computer Security I (15 credits)
- Financial Institutions and Markets (15 credits)
- Financial Market Modelling and Analysis (15 credits)
- Malware (15 credits)
- Multi-agent Artificial Intelligence (15 credits)
- Networked Systems (15 credits)
- People and Security (15 credits)
Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
Most students participate in a group industrial project, generally in close collaboration with one of our industrial partners.
Other students undertake either an individual or small-group research project, under the supervision of academics in UCL's Software Systems Engineering group.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, written and laboratory exercises, and group project supervision. Student performance is assessed through written exercises with modelling notations, laboratory exercises with tools and environments, unseen examination papers, and a significant, comprehensive group project.
The department typically does not hire postgraduate students on research or teaching assistantships because the students need to work full-time on their studies for the programme.
For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science postgraduate programmes, please see the departmental Scholarships and Funding pages: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/computer-science/study/scholarships
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This professionally oriented programme provides an ideal foundation for graduates who wish to pursue a career as a software architect or leader of software development organisations. It also provides an excellent introduction for those who want to pursue research in software systems engineering.
Graduates from UCL are keenly sought after by the world's leading organisations, and many progress in their careers to secure senior and influential positions. UCL Computer Science (UCL-CS) graduates are particularly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London.
Graduates have found positions at global companies such as Barclays and RBS.
There is, throughout the world, a strong demand for software engineers with solid foundations covering not only the programming aspects of software development, but also aspects related to requirements engineering, software architectures, system integration, and testing.
Following graduation, our students are generally hired as software engineers or software architects, sometimes by companies they have engaged with in the context of their MSc project.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world-leader in teaching and research.
UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
Our Master's programmes have some of the highest employment rates and starting salaries, with graduates entering a wide variety of industries from entertainment to finance.
We take an experimental approach to our subject and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations. In the recent past, students have worked on projects and coursework in collaboration with Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, Citigroup and BNP Paribas.
Department: Computer Science
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
Aimed at graduates wishing to develop an advanced understanding of the engineering of complex software systems, the programme is particularly suited to software systems engineering professionals wishing to enhance their understanding of the principles and techniques that they apply in their work. It also provides a foundation for further doctoral research.
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is closed as of 30 June 2020.
Due to competition for places on this programme, no late applications will be considered.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Software Systems Engineering at graduate level
- why you want to study Software Systems Engineering at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
- what programming experience you have
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.