CS547 – Advanced Topics in Software Engineering

Credits 20
Level 5
Semester 1
Prerequisites CS409 Software Architecture & Design
Availability Available only to MSc Advanced Computer Science, MSc Advanced Software Engineering, fifth year MEng Computer Science and fifth year MEng Computer & Electronic Systems students
Contact Lectures: 20 | Tutorials: 0 | Labs: 20
Assignments: 100 | Self study: 60
Assessment 100% coursework. Assessment will take a variety of forms: individual and group work, presentations, essays, tool demonstrations, and may also include class tests which are likely to make use of non-traditional formats (e.g. lab-based assessment or a 24-hour paper).
Resit TBC
Lecturer Dr Marc Roper

General Aims

To introduce students to a selection of recent advances in software engineering, along with some of the challenges and outstanding problems.

The detailed aims of the class are:

  • To make students aware of key aspects of current software engineering research.
  • To familiarise students with the state-of-the-art in terms of what problems can be solved and what are the current exciting challenges.
  • To develop the necessary skills in students to allow them to contribute to the software engineering research community.
  • To equip students with the skills and background to appreciate the contributions to software engineering research across the full range of material presented at the key international conferences in the field.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this class students will be able to:

  • Recognise the limitations of current approaches and systems and identify unsolved problems in the field
  • Apply and or employ any implementations of recent developments (e.g. tools, languages, frameworks etc.)
  • Build prototype or proof of concept tools to demonstrate and/or evaluate recent developments
  • Read, review, and critically appraise software engineering research papers


The material from the class will be drawn from recent major conferences in software engineering (e.g. ICSE, ICSM, ASE, RE) and journals (e.g. IEEE TSE, TOSEM, EMSE). The class will study a relatively small number of subjects (between 3 and 6) in depth, typically examine a number of associated articles, and where possible enable to students to gain hands-on experience with any associated tools.

The class also maintains a strong practical focus and students will be required to develop prototype tools to explore some of the topics covered in greater depth.

Recommended Text/Reading*

* This list is indicative only – the class lecturer may recommend alternative reading material. Please do not purchase any of the reading material listed below until you have confirmed with the class lecturer that it will be used for this class.

See the conferences and journals identified in the syllabus.