Why study Software Engineering with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Accredited by the British Computer Society
- Opportunity to undertake a year's industrial placement
- Strong links with local and national companies including Corus, Unilever, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and IBM
- £6 million invested in state-of-the-art teaching facilities including 150 high-performance computers and industry-standard software
- Excellent career prospects, with most students finding employment soon after graduation
About your course
The BSc (Hons) Software Engineering with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.
Software engineers design, implement and maintain all kinds of software ranging from large systems to websites and for all areas of business from banks to small companies. To be successful in the software engineering field, you need to be proficient in programming languages such as java and C# and to be able to apply them to a variety of problems. This requires an understanding of specific requirements and designing a viable solution that must be tested and then maintained to ensure that it can adapt to a changing world. This degree is designed to enable you to do this and more.
About the Foundation Year
The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but dont have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Software Engineering honours degree programme. Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree.
If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).
"My understanding of software as a whole has vastly increased due to the carefully designed modules. I like the mixture of technical and non technical materials which makes it suitable for people with different competences."
This course is accredited by the British Computer Society.
Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
This course provides the skills to work in any area of the software industry. Many of our students have found employment with their placement provider and most find employment quickly after graduation.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Algorithms and Computing
This module aims to provide an introduction to technical computing and the application of computers in the implementation of simple algorithms.
Foundation Mathematics for Engineering and Technology 1
This module aims to provide you with the mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills which are required to use mathematics as an analytical tool in engineering and technology subjects.
This module will introduce you to the software development process in order to be able to use a range of computer programming environment and their applications. You will also be able to develop problem solving skills in computing and wider engineering or technology areas.
Personal, Academic and Skills Development
This year long module supports you in developing the academic and practical skills needed to become an effective and independent learner. It includes regular contact with personal tutors, encouraging a smooth transition into the Higher Education environment.
Information Systems Development
This module enables you to identify the importance of information and how information can be transformed into developing logical designs in order to develop a working database. This database will manipulate data to produce meaningful information for the end user. You will participate in student-focused learning activities based on a combination of formal lectures and practical, experiential learning in laboratories, with supporting tutorials and seminars designed to reinforce and increase your learning experience.
This module provides you with the concepts, methods, techniques and experience to design, develop and manage digital multimedia productions. Lectures will concentrate on the necessary theory of these topics while hands-on practical sessions and workshops will develop the capabilities to design, create, produce and deliver media rich experiences.
The emphasis of this module will be on the underlying computing challenges of large-scale applications of the kind regularly featured in the general media. The intention is to demystify these applications and spark your interest in the underlying computing challenges and solutions. Lectures on contemporary applied computing topics will be complemented with lab sessions encouraging you to research information and develop high-level solutions to related problems.
Introduction to Programming
In this module you are delivered programming and problem solving skills with no prior assumptions of programming experience. Given the importance of programming to computer science, this module will encourage you to study more specialised software development topics. You will gain an understanding of how software is developed and become familiar with a range of computer programming paradigms.
This module provides you with a basic knowledge in relation to the computing platform (hardware, operating systems, networks) upon which applications are developed and hosted. You will need this as support knowledge for subsequent modules at Level 5 and 6.
This module provides you with an opportunity to consider your future role as a computing professional. The tutorials and workshops will be used to develop strategies that you can use, providing opportunities for you to understand the field of Computing in a more effective way. You will develop your understanding of professionalism in computing, of working in the computing industry, and of the ethical frameworks and codes of conduct for the computing industry.
The module develops your ability to model data in various differing scenarios. You are initially required to manipulate and present data in spreadsheet based applications. Then, you are required to solve problems using a data modelling methodology (e.g. entity relationship models/normalisation), ultimately leading towards the construction of database based applications.
Software Engineering Principles
This module aims to introduce you to the fundamental principles of best practice in software engineering and system modelling, focusing on key topics that are central to all development processes and aspects concerned with the engineering of reliable distributed systems. The major issues of systems thinking and development are addressed utilising software process models and relevant techniques of project management.
Software Engineering Workshop
This module is intended to give you a comprehensive introduction to applied software development on real-world problems, utilising team-working methods and industry-standard practices. In addition to the scheduled contact hours, teams will need to utilise private study time to research and develop solutions. Teams will have considerable supported study activities to assist them in this significantly, regular (student-led) team meetings with module staff to update progress and gain assistance.
Introduction to Web Development
Increasingly, much of the world's software is being run in a web browser. Software offered over the Web provides many sought-after benefits in software deployment: ease of implementation, universality and ubiquity of access, and availability of server-side data and services. This module seeks to endow you with the necessary knowledge and underpinning technologies to develop for the World Wide Web. You will learn techniques and technologies to develop web applications, hosted on a web application server, using a server-side programming language to dynamically generate standards compliant mark-up, driven from a data source. You will use design principles which abstract content from aesthetic and utilises client-side dynamism to enhance the user's experience, using industry standard toolsets and web-focused API.
The module has two main purposes. First, you will be equipped with adequate research skills and experience of working on subject-related research topics, to lead into your final year project. Second, this module works to enhance your professionalism, including teamworking, which boosts employability and your awareness of what is expected in an employment scenario.
In this module you will explore the operation of database systems through a scrutiny of modern RDBMS (Relational Data Base Management Systems), the SQL (Structured Query Language) and database connectivity APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The module continues by exploring some of the managerial considerations of large-scale RDBMS. The module concludes by exploring the operation of emerging NoSQL (Not Only SQL) database systems. Overall, you will design relational databases, develop date driven applications, critically evaluate applications, and design appropriate non-relational databases.
In this module you will explore the object oriented paradigm from analysis and design through implementation and testing to maintenance. The UML (Unified Modelling Language) is employed alongside OOP (Object Oriented Programming) to demonstrate key concepts, resulting in mature, fully functioning object oriented systems. You will apply principles and patterns to object oriented systems with test driven development and source control playing a supporting role. The module concludes by exploring the various architectures that object oriented systems may embrace.
Data Structures and Algorithms
This module introduces you to the fundamentals of Abstract Data Types (ADTs) and complexity of operations on ADTs followed by an implementation-based exploration of common data structures and operations, their implementations and application. You will be exposed to the development and optimisation of software based on both theoretical and applied evaluations.
Automata, Languages and Computation
This module introduces you to automata theory and formal language theory and emphasises real life application. Particular attention is paid to compiler design considerations using regular expressions and context free grammars. You will also investigate the limits of effective computation by studying undecidable problems.
Mobile and Web Development
This module provides you an overview of developing web applications for mobile platforms. It will illustrate the main platforms available for mobile-focused web development, drawing data from a variety of sources including other web services and databases. The module will conclude with an overview of alternative mobile development techniques, familiarising you with the fundamentals of native focused and cross-platform frameworks-focused mobile developments.
Sandwich Year - Software Engineering
The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.
Study Year Abroad - Software Engineering
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
This module presents you with the opportunity to complete a substantial project in a chosen area relevant to your programme. The scope of what is an appropriate artefact varies between programmes and you will discuss this with your programme teams. This module will enable you to use rigorous development or scientific methods to produce an artefact, resulting in an oral and written report.
User Experience Design
The aim of this module is to enhance your technical knowledge of systems development with an appreciation of the social-technical aspects of design. It covers the evolving area of User Experience (UX) design. This involves you using UX methods to design and prototype an interactive system and then validate your design against user requirements using UX evaluation techniques.
Applied Data Science
This module works with a growing area of database systems, that of the analytical database. The module begins by enabling you to explore the rapid growth of business intelligence data and the complex data models that are needed to support it. The module continues by exploring the platforms and processes that report such data through both web based and service oriented platforms.
Virtualisation and Cloud Computing
This module enables you to explore often overlooked yet key disciplines in modern computing infrastructure. It serves to impart upon you both a conceptual and practical insight into three key disciplines, namely virtualisation, distributed and cloud computing. It neatly complements two associated modules at NQF6, namely Embedded Systems and Applied Data Science in providing you with a complete coverage of modern computing infrastructure.
This module broadens a Software Engineer's horizon to include system and software development for embedded systems, with consideration of the Internet of Things. You are required to have considerable high-level programming knowledge by Level 6. This will be expanded to consider working with lower-level architectural concerns and development software for "baremetal" systems.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
You will begin the course with a three day induction and then spend approximately 15 hours per week in the classroom.
Independent study is a fundamental element of the course and accounts for about 70% or 35 hours of your weekly study time.
Teaching is mostly via lectures with more informal lab sessions, online activities and small-group tutorials to reinforce ideas discussed in the lectures and to give you a chance to develop ideas with staff and other students.
There are many paid work placement options for you to choose from in your third year and extensive support is provided to enable you to apply for and gain a relevant placement in the computing industry. The department maintains wide-ranging links with industry, promoting successful placements, with global companies such as Microsoft, Barclays, Experian, GlaxoSmithKline, Sony, IBM, etc. as well as many local software and IT businesses. These placements facilitate the practical application of the skills learnt on the course and provide invaluable industry experience. The vast majority, if not all, students completing this sandwich degree go on to obtain full-time employment in the computing industry.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
From the moment you enrol at LJMU, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will work with you on setting targets for yourself as part of your personal development plan, and provide one-to-one support on course-related or other matters.
Should you choose to undertake a years work placement, this support will continue as a supervisor will stay in close contact and visit you two or three times at your workplace.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams plus an independent final year project, which contributes substantially to your final mark.
Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or as written comments. This will help you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
This programme is delivered in the Byrom Street complex of LJMUs City Campus. Here you'll find high quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Grades/points required from qualifications: CCD-CCC (88-96)
GCSEs and equivalents
Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.
GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
• NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
• Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
• Higher Diploma in Maths/English
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
Extended Diploma: MMM (96)
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
Pass overall with a minimum of 88 points.
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
OCR Cambridge Technical
Extended Diploma: MMM (96)
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.
You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.
6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
We are looking for students who are keen to learn new skills and develop those they already possess. We want students with the ability to: be creative with ideas and concepts, moderate their creativity with logic, be enthusiastic and thirsty for knowledge, communicate effectively and confidently and understand and adapt to a wide range of issues connected with the subject.
It is also important that students are able to manage time and tasks effectively as an individual and as part of a team, use appropriate sources to find and organise information and select and critically evaluate information in order to analyse problems.If you would like to develop these skills further, have a strong interest in this subject area and want to work effectively within it, then this is the course for you.
International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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