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Unit information: Software Engineering and Group Project in 2016/17

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Unit name Software Engineering and Group Project
Unit code COMSM1401
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Holyer
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This is an MSc-only unit. The aims of this unit are to introduce you to the basic principles of software engineering, reinforce your software development skills, and to apply these skills as part of a team.

This unit teaches the use of well-established software engineering techniques, and involves you working in groups to design, specify and implement some software system.

Software Engineering: structured programming; modularisation; object-oriented techniques; specification; verification; validation; testing; debugging; the software engineering life-cycle; extreme programming.

Project Management: introduction to project management - how to manage teams; PM and team roles; requirement specification; task allocation; scheduling and planning.

Intended learning outcomes

Specific objectives include: become familiar with programming issues, object oriented design, design patterns, and different types of software development including the different stages of the software development lifecyle gain experience with techniques such as task allocation, project management, agile programming, version control, unit testing, continuous integration, and a range of related tools find out about a variety of industrial areas and possible career directions, and reflect on the 'philosophy' of the subject.

Teaching details

20 hours of lectures, spread from weeks 1 to 10, these may include invited guest lectures. A further 180 hours are nominally set aside for design, implementation, etc.

Assessment Details

Coursework 100%. The marking criteria assesses the implementation of good engineering practice, as taught in lectures, as well as the final prototype product you have produced. For example coming up with a good concept product idea is important but implementing a prototype professionally is also recognised. The marks will be distributed based on your individual contribution. Credit points are awarded on achieving an assessment mark of 40%.

Reading and References

A. Diller. Z: An Introduction to Formal Methods. Wiley. 1994. Second edition. ISBN: 0471939730 Background

M Field and L Keller. Project Management. Thomson Publishing. 1998. ISBN: 1861522746 Recommended

I. Sommerville. Software Engineering (7th edition). Addison-Wesley. 2004. ISBN: 0321210263 Recommended