Software Development for Business BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

Surrey is one of the best universities in the UK, with a high student satisfaction and graduate employment rate, benefiting from excellent facilities and prioritising students’ wellbeing.

I started off as a complete beginner, but now I have learnt to code and create apps. My degree-based knowledge has enabled me to teach programming to primary school children and I have also secured a place on an IT graduate scheme with Net-A-Porter.

What you'll study

There are more technology jobs available in the UK than there are suitably qualified computing graduates to fill them, and this trend is set to continue.

Do you want to be involved in working on exciting web development, phone applications or large-scale systems, or in identifying innovative business solutions? For anyone who wants to be at the cutting edge of technological science, a computing degree is a natural first step.

The Software Development for Business programme will prepare you for a variety of leading roles in software development.

These range from helping to keep society running smoothly – since hospitals, public transport, governments and banks all rely heavily on computers – to retaining business advantage, organising our lives and supporting our leisure activities.

Programme overview

This programme, developed in conjunction with the Tech Partnership and top graduate employers, will prepare you for a variety of leading roles in software development and software engineering.

During the programme you will develop your programming skills, with modules including Programming Fundamentals and Alternative Programming Paradigms, and build around these with principles and practices of software engineering.

You will also learn extremely valuable analytical and problem-solving skills that will be useful in a wide range of career paths.

Throughout the programme, academic study is combined with other experiences including networking events, guest lectures, work experience and industrial placement opportunities, and with group projects based on real-world problems.

Read about the experience of Computing and Information Technology students Irina Tsyganok and Nicholas Elia.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 offers a broad base, with much of the content common across the three programmes. By the end of Year 1, our aim is that you will have developed good practical skills and be proficient in the programming language Java, using industry-standard tools.

You will have a broad base from which to build during subsequent levels. We will also develop your understanding of the foundations of computing and the design and analysis of computational systems.

Developing professional awareness is incorporated from the beginning of your studies with the inclusion of lecturers from industry. You will be introduced to topics specific to your specialist pathway.

During Year 1, you will also participate in CV workshops and receive support in order to prepare for internships and placements.

Core module:

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 will develop and deepen your understanding of the core areas and focus in more detail on developing your specialist skills and knowledge, for example, in intelligent systems and web technologies.

Many Year 2 modules will equip you with strong teamwork, communication and presentation skills. Employers see these personal development skills as giving you an added value in addition to your technical competence, and they will help give you a head start in the job market.

These skills will be particularly useful should you choose to undertake a Professional Training year.

Modules include:

Professional Training placement (optional)

A Professional Training placement with an employer is available on our programmes, organised and supported by the Department. Every year sees our students taking up placements at a wide range of companies, in a broad variety of roles.

Companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • IBM
  • Eli Lilly
  • Microsoft
  • Accenture
  • Nokia
  • BAE Systems Detica
  • Research In Motion

At the end of the Professional Training placement year, many students receive offers of graduate employment from their placement employers, which means you can focus on completing your programme without worrying about the graduate recruitment cycle, a concern for most of today’s graduates.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

During Year 3, you will undertake an individual project that contributes approximately one third of the marks for the year, together with a range of optional modules. The project gives you the freedom, and is your opportunity, to explore a topic of your choice in greater depth.

It may build on an interest that was awakened during your Professional Training year or during another part of your degree programme. It is also your chance to get involved in some of the cutting-edge research that we undertake in the Department.

Modules in Year 3 reflect recent advances in computer science and are influenced by the Department’s research interests. These are particularly intellectually stimulating for our students. Modules are continually kept up-to-date to meet emerging industrial challenges.

During Year 3, students also have the opportunity to get involved in career preparation workshops.

Core module:

Compulsory modules:

Professional recognition

The Software Development for Business degree is accredited as a Tech Industry Gold degree by the Tech Partnership, a network of over 800 employers working to creating skills for the UK's digital economy.


Professional Training placements

The experience and skills gained on placement really do equip our students for success, and their enhanced job prospects can be seen in our outstanding employment record.

Many students continue their collaboration with their placement employers by basing their final-year project on work related to their placement. This results in a project with a strong industrial focus that can demonstrate their ability to apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems.

The Professional Training year counts towards the experience required for professional membership of the British Computer Society (BCS).

As an integral part of our Professional Training year and as an entry point to the Skills Framework for the Information Age, students document their experiences on the way to their professional membership of BCS using the BCS Professional Development Scheme.


Teaching styles vary, from large group lectures to small group tutorials, computing laboratories and drop-in sessions for programming. You will benefit from an integrated range of learning methods - from tutorials, case studies, projects and coursework to practical and discussion classes, including the use of interactive voting handsets.

In the early stages of the programmes, the methods of teaching and assessment aim to ensure the acquisition of techniques and relevant knowledge. This includes practice in finding information and deciding whether it is relevant or not.

The methods adopted in Year 3 are influenced by the need to broaden and deepen the knowledge that you have gained at the earlier levels and to develop the higher order skills that you will need as a professional.

The teaching approach is enhanced by a coordinated series of lectures that will be given by a range of IT professionals, in person, broadcast over the internet, or provided in recorded form for self-paced learning through e-skills (so-called Guru Lectures).

These will share industry experiences, address case studies and generally lead to evaluating the evolution of products, practices and perspectives in software development. The lectures will be used to form the topics for follow-up discussions and for specific learning opportunities centred on the benefits and drawbacks of conventional and unconventional practices.

Year coordinators are available to help with any problems or questions concerning your degree programme, or personal matters, throughout your period of study at the University. They provide support to discuss your exam results, your options and any other academic advice you require.


You will be formally assessed through examinations and by coursework. Examinations take place at the end of each semester on the modules studied during that semester. The assessments we use are tailored to what is being taught.

For example, we strongly believe that practical examinations are more appropriate for Java programming. To ensure that you are fully prepared for your assessments, we provide plenty of practice with diagnostic tests throughout Year 1.

This helps you check that you are on the right lines and that you understand the material. This support is essential to develop your ability to learn.

Marks from Year 2 onwards count towards your final degree grade, forming the basis of your award.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 3 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 2 per cent medium group teaching
  • 30 per cent large group teaching
  • 65 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Career opportunities

Computing skills are the foundation of numerous professional careers in many dynamic sectors, such as technology, business, finance, health and the games industry. Our programmes are designed to prepare you to work at the cutting edge of computing and its applications.

Our Software Development for Business programme aims to produce highly employable graduates who will be capable of filling the current technology skills-gap in industry.

Employers are increasingly seeking people with a broad range of skills that encompass management and leadership, as well as technical ability. Our programmes produce graduates with this well-rounded skillset of strong academic knowledge and Professional Training.

Former Surrey students are now involved in all areas, from software development and building simulation systems to devising IT strategies and managing organisations. Recent employers include:

  • Eli Lilly
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • McLaren Cars
  • Accenture
  • BAE Systems Detica
  • The Foundry
  • Thomson Reuters

Graduate prospects

Our combination of technology, industrial relevance and Professional Training means that our graduates are among the most employable of any university.

Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:

  • Accenture, Technical Solutions and Business Consultant
  • Altius Consulting, Junior Consultant
  • Credit Suisse, Technical Analyst
  • Deloitte UK, IT Security Consultant
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Global IT Strategy Analyst
  • IBM, Foundation Business Consultant
  • Microsoft, Consultant

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



An A-Level in Maths is required.

We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE in Maths at B/5 or above and English at C/4 or above are required (or international equivalent - see relevant country page).


Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years B52S View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years L30N View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training Placement

Professional Training placement at the Department of Energy and Climate Change

Professional Training placement students talk about their experiences at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

Our alumni

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