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A comparison of computer science and software engineering programmes in English universities

By F Meziane and S Vadera


Recent years have seen much debate about the appropriate content of software engineering (SE) programs and how they relate to computer science (CS) programs, culminating in the distinguishing knowledge areas identified in the ACM/IEEE CS and SE curricula. Given these publications, a reasonable question to ask is: how do current SE programs differ from CS programs and to what extent do the differences reflect the characterizing features given in the ACM/IEEE curricula? We aim to answer these questions for SE programs offered in England. The content of a third of the SE programs in England are analyzed and summarized with respect to the knowledge areas of both the ACM/IEEE CS and SE curricula. The results reveal interesting features; such as intelligent systems is a more distinguishing feature between the CS and SE programs than the expected knowledge areas given in the SE curriculum. The main finding is that there are relatively few differences between existing SE and CS programs offered in England. We conclude with a discussion of the reasons for this situation and its likely implications

Topics: QA75, other
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