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Joint Master's Programme in Software Engineering

Master's degree programme

Through the study you will learn about modern technologies and methodologies for program development, and the theoretical foundation for programming languages and algorithms.

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    This is a joint degree program offered by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bergen. The program will give a solid scientific background and practical skills in software engineering.

    The master's program is particularly well-suited for those with a BSc in computer engineering or a BSc in a field of study such as computer science or information technology.

    Software engineering is using ideas and techniques from computer science to solve problems and challenges we face in the world today. Software engineers tackle areas like: 

    • Optimal performance in cloud computing  
    • How to process scientific imaging data (for example from medical or geological instruments) in real time 
    • The ways that programming languages have evolved over time 
    • How to optimally engineer digital resources like multi-layer maps for best performance 
    • Visualisation of multidimensional data to make it easier to work with and understand 
    • Developing secure computing systems that are also ethical 

    What will I learn? 

    You will finish the study programme with a broad knowledge of contemporary software engineering practice, as well as specialization within your master’s thesis topic. You will have: 

    • The ability to design, build, and test fairly large information systems 
    • An appreciation for the theoretical, practical and ethical issues in software engineering and scientific research  
    • An ability to apply your knowledge in different domains (for example civil engineering or medical imaging) 
    • The capacity to innovate and push the field of software engineering forward 


    The programme covers two academic years (four semesters) and usually starts in the autumn, though you may be able to start in spring.  

    The degree is worth 120 ECTS: Courses worth a total of 60 or 90 ECTS, and a master’s project, worth 60 or 30 ECTS, respectively. 

    Suggested study plan 60 ECTS thesis: 

    • Semester 1: DAT250 Advanced Software Technologies (10 ECTS), elective courses (20 ECTS)
    • Semester 2: INF222 Programming Languages (10 ECTS), DAT251 Modern Software Development Methods (10 ECTS), Elective course (10 ECTS) 
    • Semester 3 and 4: DAT300 Master Thesis (60 ECTS)

    Suggested study plan 30 ECTS thesis: 

    • Semester 1: DAT250 Advanced Software Technologies (10 ECTS), INF234 Advanced Algorithms (10 ECTS), elective courses (20 ECTS) 
    • Semester 2: INF222 Programming Languages (10 ECTS), DAT251 Modern Software Development Methods (10 ECTS), Elective course (10 ECTS) 
    • Semester 3: Elective courses worth (30 ECTS)
    • Semester 4: DAT301 Master Thesis (30 ECTS)

    Electives must be chosen in cooperation with your supervisor. Alternatives could be INF222INF223INF225INF226, INF329, INF234 or UiB mathematics courses, or DAT355, DAT254, DAT259 or other HVL courses. 


    At HVL, you can choose assignments linked to various research groups such as, model based software development, computer graphics, grid computing, machine learning, data security and health information technology. In cooperation with the supervisor, the student will choose elective courses or special curriculum courses which are relevant for the thesis’ topic.

    Academic life 

    You will find the department of Computer science, Electrical engineering and Mathematical sciences to be friendly and welcoming, with an international body of students and staff. As a master’s student, you will get your own desk in the department.  

    The Master’s in Software Engineering is taught as a combination of PC-labs, seminar groups, and lectures. The courses are usually based around lectures and groups, around 6 hours per week. While only lab attendance is mandatory, we recommend that you attend all learning activities to get the most out of your study programme. The course is usually taught in English, unless all students speak Norwegian to a suitable level. 

    During your first semester you will find your project supervisor, and meet your research group. The second year of your course will be spent planning, conducting and writing up your master’s project. 

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