University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Software Engineering

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Information Systems

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will focus on the basic heuristic, formal and practical principles for software engineering. A systematic insight into software quality aspects and their indicative potential will be presented. Students will be offered insight into how to develop models for software systems. Formal software specification techniques will be explained. RAD and Agile approaches will be presented.

Quality categorization and management along with fundamental concepts of adaptive testing and maintenance will be discussed.

Object oriented development using UML and RUDP. These will complement the previous topics.

Along with these topics, different software development methods will be expounded from a practical and problem solving perspective within the context of organizational information systems. These are SSADM, DSDM, Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), ETHICS.

Software cost estimation techniques including IT procurement, application of product and process metrics will be presented.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the unit is to provide the student with a working set of concepts and tools for solving software engineering related problems in a formal, structured and practical approach. The student will be exposed to a broad spectrum of techniques and problem solving approaches in this domain.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify the different types of software development structures.
- Explain the concepts behind software life cycles and system behaviour.
- Identify the need for proper software development methods and structure.
- Explain the philosophies and principles underpinning different software development methodologies.
- Explain the structures and principal components of the main software development methodologies.
- Distinguish between the various analytical techniques used for software software engineering e.g. formal software specification techniques, object oriented development.
- Explain basic notations of sets, propositional statements, predicates and algebraic specifications based on sets and sequence theories.
- Explain quality frameworks based on applicable quality criteria.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Set up appropriate software development structures.
- Identify effective life-cycles and populate these life-cycles with appropriate models to describe system behaviour.
- Rationalise about software solution structure and complexity.
- Measure and manage software construction, and verify its correctness (through formal specification, starting with basic notions of sets, using propositional statements, introduction of predicates, and culminating in Algebraic Specifications based on set and sequence theory).
- Set up quality frameworks based on applicable quality criteria linked to software products.
- Create software solutions of demonstrable quality and relevance.
- Reason about software solutions in a structured way through the appropriate use of abstraction.
- Direct software development on a personal and small-scale level.
- Plan and assess software solution development processes.
- Take part in requirements specification activity.
- Apply various modelling techniques effectively to describe various aspects of system behaviour, particularily in an organizational context.
- Select and apply the most appropriate method to the type of organizational problem efficiently and professionally with software solution development stakeholders.
- Estimate cost of design and development of software.
- Appreciate the pivotal need of software maintenance in terms of solution longevity.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

An Introduction to Systems Analysis Techniques, 2nd Ed.
M. Lejk & D. Deeks,
Addison Wesley, 2002,
ISBN: 0-20179713-5.

Fundamentals of Software Engineering 2nd Ed.
C. Ghezzi et al,
Prentice Hall, 2003,
ISBN: 0-13-305699-6.

Information Systems Development, methodologies, techniques and tools
Avison David and Fizgerald Guy,
MacGraw-Hill Education,
ISBN: 13-978-0-07-711417-6.

Software Design 2nd Ed.
D. Budgen,
Pearson-Addison Wesley, 2003,
ISBN: 0-201-72219-4.

Software Engineering A practitioners approach, 7th Ed
Pressman Roger S.,
MacGraw-Hill Education,

Additional Textbooks:

Software Engineering - a Programming Approach 3rd Ed.
D. Bell,
Addison Wesley, 2000,
ISBN: 0-201-64856-3.

Software Engineering for Information Systems
McDermod Donald C.,

Software Engineering Theory and Practice 2nd Ed.
S. L. Pfleeger,
Prentice Hall, 2001,
ISBN: 0-13-029049-1.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students taking this study-unit need to have a technical background.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Michel Camilleri
Anthony Spiteri Staines

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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