University of Oxford Logo University of OxfordSoftware Engineering - Home
On Facebook
Follow us on twitter
Linked in
Linked in
Google plus
Google plus
Stumble Upon
Stumble Upon

Statement of Provision

A brief summary of the Programme, under standard headings, for reporting and quality assurance purposes.

University department and division

The Department of Computer Science, within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division.

Course director

The Programme Director for Software Engineering, currently Prof. Jeremy Gibbons.

Induction arrangements

All students are members of a college, and the colleges run induction sessions.

Course length and time spent in Oxford

For an MSc: 10 modules studied over a minimum of two years, each requiring one week attendance in Oxford, plus dissertation, requiring participation in a project week.

Pattern of work

Each module consists of three weeks of preliminary study, followed by an intensive teaching week, and then a six week assignment. The teaching week involves a combination of seminars, classes, and practical exercises: the balance between these components depends upon the subject matter of the module. There is an additional module associated with starting work on the project and dissertation: here, the emphasis is upon supporting research activity, with one-to-one meetings between student and supervisor.

One-to-one and small group teaching

Depending upon the subject matter and location, class sizes are restricted to 12, 16, or 18 students per module. Students working on their project and dissertation receive one-to-one supervision.


Each student is assigned a supervisor at the start of their period of study. Students and supervisors complete a termly report on progress, which is reviewed by the Director of Studies and by the student's college. The Programme Director has responsibility for student monitoring and report completion.

Workspace and facilities provided

Students have access to the Programme's computing facilities, and to the University's library facilities, during the teaching weeks. Outside these periods, they can access electronic resources, including University email, groupware, and electronic versions of journals, through the University's Virtual Private Network (VPN) facility.

Research opportunities and skills

Students on the Programme are members of the Department of Computer Science, and are generally welcome to attend research seminars and talks associated with the various research groups in the department. These are advertised on the departmental web page.

Research, study, time management, and project planning skills are addressed in the teaching week for the project module. However, the requirement for these is tempered by the fact that students on the Programme already have professional experience.

Student feedback and response

A student representative, elected annually from the student body, serves on the Supervisory Committee for the Programme.

Students complete a standard questionnaire after each module, and periodic surveys are undertaken to canvas opinion regarding proposed changes to the Programme, or regarding perceived changes in the operating environment. Most students have significant professional experience and are ready and willing to offer criticism and feedback directly.

Students at MSc level have additional representation through their college: through an annual student questionnaire or survey, and through representation at meetings and on college committees.

Accommodation, meals and social facilities

Students are asked to make their own arrangements for accommodation during the teaching week, but lunch is provided on each day. Refreshments are also provided at morning and afternoon break times.

The Programme has social media fora that students may follow or participate in, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Each student is a member of an Oxford college, and all students can become members of the University Club. Both will afford the opportunity to take part in social and sporting activities, as far as their geographical situation allows. Both the colleges and the Club may be able to provide accommodation at a reduced rate, and access to additional library and computing facilities.

Pastoral and welfare support

Each student has a supervisor who will offer assistance in selecting courses, monitor progress, and provide advice and direction if and when the student embarks upon their project work. The Director of Studies and the Programme Director are also ready to provide general advice and support.

The Disability Advisory Service can provide information and advice if you feel a disability or medical condition might impact on your experience at the University, and can assist you with organizing disability-related study support, possibly including examination adjustments if appropriate. More information and details of how contact a Disability Adviser are available from:

Departmental Disability Co-ordinator

Rachel Breward - tel. +44 1865 273833, email:

Students who have reached the MSc stage will be assigned a college advisor, who will connect with the Programme team to ensure a coordinated response where appropriate. These students have access also to the University's Student Counselling Service, which offers assistance with personal, emotional, social, and academic problems:

It is relatively unlikely that MSc students on the Programme would wish to seek advice from the University Careers Service, but they have the opportunity to do so: