Short Course in Agile Software Engineering

This new course is intended for students who have some knowledge of programming but wish to learn more about software engineering. The terms “programmer” and “software engineer” are often used interchangeably but there are key differences between these two roles. Generally, a programmer uses their knowledge of programming languages to write computer code that (hopefully) meets a given specification.

Software Engineers use their knowledge of scientific method, engineering practices, and programming to determine what should be built and the best way to build it. In short, software engineers are focussed on creating value with minimal waste.

This course has been built from core modules from The University of Manchester’s undergraduate course in Computer Science. This content has been developed by leading academics in the field of computer science in partnership with industry professionals. You will learn the modern software engineering methods which are currently in use in industry as well as gain an understanding of how and why these practices were developed.

How the course works

Software Engineering is a practical skill. Generally, your learning will be structured around a practical activity that will give you the chance to practice new concepts and methods. Activities also allow you to check your understanding of the material and ensure you are progressing through the course at the correct pace.

Software Engineering is also a highly collaborative endeavour. Several of the activities will give you the chance to work in groups with fellow students. Dates for live events and activities will be provided.

Although the live events are hosted at specific times, this course has been designed to be flexible so that you can fit it around your own schedule and learning style. As you progress through the course you will be able to choose which activity you undertake next. In order to complete an activity, you may have to complete several associated lessons.

You can get a flavour of the course topics, materials and delivery approach from this taster.

What you will learn

Technical software engineering skills
  • Experience team-based software development, simulating industrial greenfield and brownfield development environments with customer needs, budget constraints, and delivery schedules.
  • Learn common workflows and best practises for project planning, code reading, issue tracking, test coverage, continuous integration, automated build, and version control tools.
  • Use architecture patterns (MVC) to develop RESTful a user-facing application; giving experience of API development and consumption, testing code quality, release management strategies, and building software libraries.
Agile practises for software development
  • You will use agile feedback-oriented practices (peer review, retrospectives, etc.) to identify and correct development blockers.
  • Learn agile practices for planning and tracking progress throughout software projects, and understand DevOps’ role in agile teams.
  • Employ agile development practices to coordinate the movement of artefacts through software pipelines, maximising value delivered, and return on investment for the client.
The UX (User Experience) engineering mindset
  • Understand how psychology and cognition relate to human-computer interaction and UX, then use these insights to develop and employ both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to improve and evaluate throughout development projects.
  • Understanding how experiment design and ethical processes must be carefully considered and applied when using UX methodologies.
  • Apply UX understandings to gather user’s real requirements, prototype solutions, and develop software that is effective, efficient, affective, dynamic, and engaging.

Course Pathways

The course is offered as a Continuing Professional Development course or as a full short course which is acredited and bears 40 credits.

The content of both versions of the course are the same, however the accredited version of the course is formally assessed.

Course Fees

The course fees for the Continuing Professional Development version of the course are £2000 for 2022/2023 entry.

The course fees for the 40-credit bearing version of the course are £3080 for 2022/2023 entry.

At the moment, this course is not active. We hope to be able to update with new course dates soon.

Entry Requirements

Your English language skills should be of CEFR B2 level or higher.

Further information on English language requirements

You should have a good knowledge of programming; you may have recently completed a coding boot camp or occasionally code for work.

Your proficiency as a programmer will not be assessed in this course, however, you will need to be able to program and understand code in order to take part and learn from the course.

How to apply

Continuing Professional Development version

This version of the course costs £2000 in the 2022/2023 academic year.  This gives full access to the course materials for up to 12 months, through our lifelong learning portal, and the chance to join our online face-to-face learning and activity sessions.  It does not include any element of assessment or on-campus learning.  Completion of the course results in award of a certificate of attendance only. Sign up to this version of the course here. 

Higher Education Short Course version

This version of the course costs £3,080 in the 2022/2023 academic year.  This gives full access to the course materials for up to 12 months, and enrolment as a student of the University of Manchester.  Enrolled students will also have the opportunity to join our regular online face-to-face learning/activity sessions, as well as joining our undergraduate cohorts for on campus learning when convenient.  This version of the course is also assessed, and if successful enrolled students will be awarded a certificate equivalent to 40 credits of our undergraduate BSc degree. 

The HESC version of the course is also supported by a new pilot loan from the UK Student Loans Company, for applicants who are eligible to receive it. More information (including eligibility criteria) can be found here 

Apply for a place on this course for March 2023 entry at this link. 

This guide to help you apply for this course may be helpful.  

If you encounter any issues when applying, or would like to discuss your application further, please email us at:  We’ll do our best to reply promptly. 

Further Information

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Alternatively, please direct all questions regarding the course to