Software engineering and technology, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Sign up for informationSoftware is rapidly becoming the main driving force for innovation and the future development in many different industries such as automotive, telecom, defence and software. This programme offers a unique combination of advanced technical knowledge and management skills.

Software engineering and technology​ master's programme at Chalmers

Society is increasingly searching for hardware and software solutions that are dynamic rather than static, which can grow and develop during their life cycle. The current evolution is also creating growing importance of software in several areas of society. At the same time, the size and complexity of software is constantly increasing alongside the pressure of speedy supply in turbulent environments with rapidly changing demands. To meet these challenges and the demands of delivering reliable and high-quality software.

​Your studies will benefit greatly from the use of real industrial projects and collaboration with industry representatives from for example Ericsson, Volvo AB, Volvo IT, Volvo Cars, Saab and Astra Zeneca. In your future career, you will be the team player with the important holistic software engineering perspective the industry demands for, able to handle technical and organizational challenges.

The master's programme combines a number of perspectives on software engineering, all of which promote the common goal of educating engineers who are skilled in designing quality software at low development and maintenance costs. Software engineering and technology is also a platform for future researchers who get qualified to perform advanced technological and methodological experiments in software engineering.

Software engineering and technology​ master's programme at Chalmers

The programme focuses on three main competences in software engineering:

  • Advanced technical knowledge and skills
  • Advanced knowledge of methods and processes
  • Advanced knowledge of industrial activities and practices

The combination of this knowledge is highly valued and in great demand in the software industry in order to support, innovate, and improve practices with new methods and tools. 

The programme offers a mixture of conventional lectures, seminars, and project work in close collaboration with real industrial projects and industry representatives. Projects, group work, and student presentations are also important parts of the programme.

Topics covered

The subjects of software system and information science are fundamental areas in the Software Engineering and Technology master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as systems technology, human-computer interaction, human-centered design, software architecture and process management, software and modeling, software and real-time systems, software and security, and software and algorithms. 

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of compulsory courses, compulsory elective courses and elective courses. ​

Programme overview

The programme comprises of a number of compulsory courses that provide essential knowledge in order to become a highly skilled and advanced professional software engineer. These are: 
  • Advanced Requirements Engineering: learn how to capture customer as well as market needs, and learn to build software that the customers really need (as opposed to what they think they want)
  • Empirical Software Engineering: learn empirical methods used in software engineering practice and research, including how to plan experiments and case studies as well as prepare reports for managers and scientists
  • Quality Assurance and Testing: learn how to assess functional and non-functional properties of software
  • Project Management: learn how to plan and execute large projects, as well as how to lead software development teams at small and large enterprises
  • Software Evolution Project: apply what you have learned in the previous courses in a real-life software project, combining both innovation and engineering aspects.
In addition to this mandatory block, the programme gives you significant freedom to choose further courses for deeper studies. This is done through a mixture of semi-electives (which are selected from a pre-defined list) and electives (which can be chosen from the full course offering at Chalmers).

Semi-electives are offered in tracks. Students are required to take at least 15 credits from these courses, but can mix-and-match different tracks:
  • Software and user experience: Human-computer interaction, Human-centered design, Designing User Experiences
  • Software engineering, architectures and languages: Architectures for scale-out systems, software language engineering for domain-specific languages
  • Software engineering, process and behavior: Behavior software engineering, agile development processes
  • Software and real-time system: Real time systems, Principles of concurrent programming, Parallel functional programming
  • Software and security: Computer security, Network security
  • Software and Algorithms: Algorithms for machine learning and inference, Algorithms

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Software engineering and technology. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. 
  • Empirical software engineering
  • Advanced requirements engineering
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance and testing​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.​
  • Software evolution project​
  • ​Master’s thesis 


Studying software engineering opens up a wide range of career opportunities within development, design, management, and research at manufacturing and engineering companies, consultant organizations, and supplier companies. Examples are:
  • Software Developer: Design and implement the software modules of a system.
  • Test Engineer: Design test cases and carry out system testing.
  • Project Manager: Organize and lead software development projects.
  • Software Architect: Design system architecture and make key technical decisions.
  • Software Quality Manager: Select processes and check software quality.
  • Doctoral Student/Scientist: Study and conduct research to obtain a PhD degree in software engineering.
In these roles, graduates contribute to the technological devel¬opment of society, its well-being, and competitiveness. They can be found in companies such as Volvo AB, Ericsson, Spotify, or various software companies within and outside of Sweden. 

Research within Software engineering and technology

The research group behind the programme has a long-term, and established, track record of performing industrial research with partners such as Ericsson, Volvo AB, Volvo IT, Volvo Cars, Saab, RUAG Space, and Astra Zeneca. As a student, you will take part in the group’s research through seminars, thesis projects, and individual research projects. The programme offers various ways for participation in international research opportunities.

One concrete example is our link to the established research centra, Software Center, at Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg. In Software Center, seven companies and four universities work together to accelerate the adoption of novel approaches to software engineering. The centra is operating in four research themes. In each theme researchers and industry meet in research projects directly connected to industrial challenges
 Department of Computer Science and Engineering​

Sustainable development​

The programme is highly interlinked with the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). The table below provides an overview of the sustainable development goals and the associated targets within the programme.
Sustainable development goals for Software engineering and technology at Chalmers

Goal 4: Quality education
The program is committed to an international, multi-cultural education. Further, teachers in the program are actively engaged in educational collaboration with universities in developing countries (e.g., the Bright project in collaboration with Makerere University, Uganda).

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Software and digitalization are currently the largest drivers of industrial innovation and development. In this program, students will learn to drive software engineering and digitalization projects, hence contributing to sustainable future development.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
Software (and the data centers it runs in) is a main source of energy consumption. In the program, students learn how to design, architect, and build efficient software that minimizes energy waste.

Student interview

I have been learning through collaboration
Mosope, Nigeria, Software engineering and technology

Why did you choose this programme?

– I was interested in a new challenge after finishing my bachelor's degree in computer science. I am very interested in learning how to build effective software using really efficient engineering methods.

What have you been working on?
– In the Scale-out architecture course, I have been working on building CI (continuous Integration) pipelines and DevOps for large scale software applications including how to split monoliths into Microservices. While in the Agile development course, I have been learning how to build software with a team using collaborative tools and techniques.

What do you like the most about your programme?
– I like how much my programme and even my professors are so connected to the Industry. We once had a senior project team lead from Saab visit our class, giving us a talk about team dynamics. My professors are also accessible people that I feel really comfortable talking to.
What do you want to do in the future?
– After graduating, I want to put my knowledge to use, working in a team and building software either as a frontend developer, a DevOps Engineer or a cloud engineer. This programme enables me to have multiple options to explore in the Software industry based on whatever interests I have.

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Tue 17 Jan 2023.