Best Software Engineering Universities In Europe

Last Updated on May 31, 2022

Software engineers, sometimes called software developers, create software for computers and applications. If you’re an analytical thinker who enjoys solving problems and making digital products easier to use, you may find a career as a software engineer rewarding.

Software engineers commonly work in industries like computer systems design, manufacturing, software publishing, and management. Many software engineers work on teams in offices, but some are self-employed and work at home. Software engineering students and professionals benefit from strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on best software engineering universities in europe, top software engineering universities in the world, systems developer vs. application developer, software engineer school online, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

What is software engineering?

Software engineering is the branch of computer science that deals with the design, development, testing, and maintenance of software applications. Software engineers apply engineering principles and knowledge of programming languages to build software solutions for end users.

Software engineer tasks and responsibilities

Successful engineers know how to use the right programming languages, platforms, and architectures to develop everything from computer games to network control systems. In addition to building their own systems, software engineers also test, improve, and maintain software built by other engineers. 

In this role, your day-to-day tasks might include:

  • Designing and maintaining software systems
  • Evaluating and testing new software programs
  • Optimizing software for speed and scalability
  • Writing and testing code
  • Consulting with clients, engineers, security specialists, and other stakeholders
  • Presenting new features to stakeholders and internal customers

Systems developer vs. application developer

Software engineers will usually fall into one of two categories, systems developers or application developers. 

As a systems developer (sometimes called a backend engineer), you’ll build things like computer systems and networks that front-end (user-facing) applications will need. You can do this by:

  • Ensuring that different types of software programs communicate with each other on one platform
  • Creating and enforcing IT standards within an infrastructure 
  • Maintaining documentation of IT systems 
  • Updating to new technologies as needed
  • Collaborating with development teams, senior systems architects, and data science professionals 

Working as an application developer is more client-focused. You may work on either the front or back end of the system, designing software that the end user will interact with. Tasks might include:

  • Developing applications for iOS, Android, Windows, or other operating systems
  • Conducting an analysis of requirements and tweaking software as needed
  • Releasing software updates
  • Working with graphic designers, customer service staff, project managers, and other customer-facing departments 

Why should I pursue a career as a software engineer?

If you enjoy solving problems and have strong analytical skills, a career as a software engineer can be both fun and challenging. And as technology continues to evolve, the need for software developers continues to grow (much faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

Choosing a career as a software engineer gives you opportunities to work in many different industries and fields, as nearly all businesses use software. Whether you enjoy finances, entertainment, sports, real estate, or some other industry, there’s a good chance there are jobs for software engineers. 

It’s also a career that allows flexibility in where you work. You may be able to work from home for companies in other states or even other countries. The important thing is that you’re able to meet deadlines and deliver a project on time.

Software engineer salary

Working as a software engineer can be challenging and engaging, and it also tends to pay well. The annual median salary for a software engineer in 2020 was $110,140, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in software publishing tend to draw the biggest salaries. 

Career paths in software engineering

Once you become a software engineer, you can choose which path you want to take (applications or systems) and how far you want to progress with it. You can decide to advance toward a role as a senior software engineer, or you can continue gaining certifications and experience to advance to roles like project manager or systems manager. As a software engineer, you have both flexibility and mobility to create the career experience that is most appealing to you. 

How to become a software engineer 

Getting a job as a software engineer typically involves building the right technical and workplace skills. Some jobs might also require a certain degree or certification to validate your skills. Let’s take a closer look at some of the requirements for becoming a software engineer.

Software engineering skills

As a software developer, you’ll be designing software to help solve problems that real people face. This requires a combination of technical know-how and solid communication skills. If you’re considering this as a career, here are some skills you should focus on building:

  • Coding languages like Python, Java, C, C++, or Scala
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Database architecture
  • Agile and Scrum project management
  • Operating systems
  • Cloud computing
  • Version control
  • Design testing and debugging
  • Attention to detail

Software engineering certifications

By earning a certification, you can build new skills and validate those skills to potential employers. Some jobs might require a specific certification, so it’s a good idea to research some job listings of roles you’re interested in before preparing for a certification exam. Here are some common options:

  • Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)
  • Certified Software Engineer
  • C Certified Professional Programmer (CLP)
  • C++ Certified Professional Programmer (CPP)
  • AWS Certified Developer
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Best Software Engineering Universities In Europe

Masters in Computer Science – ETH Zurich

Cost: CHF 580 per semester for all students. 
What You Will Study: This course at ETH Zurich in Switzerland takes students 2 years to complete studying on a full-time basis and is taught in English. Students can specialise in fields such as Software Engineering. 

MPhil in Advanced Computer Science – University of Cambridge

Cost: £14,832 for UK and EU students / for international students £34,296
What You Will Study: This 1-year full-time MPhil at the University of Cambridge is highly competitive and is designed for those who wish to move onto a PhD in Software Engineering. It offers students a chance for in-depth study and research into the cutting edge of Computer Science. 

MSc in Software Engineering – University of Oxford

Cost: £9,215 registration fee plus £2,260 per module for UK and EU students / £15,375 registration fee, plus £2,260 per module for international students. 
What You Will Study: This MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Oxford is aimed at people already working as Software Engineers and is completed on a part-time basis over 2 to 4 years. Students cover subjects such as research skills, ethical and social issues in Software Engineering and a topic of their own for a research dissertation. Students complete 10 modules plus a dissertation. 

MSc in Computing (Software Engineering) – Imperial College London

Cost: £14,750 for UK and EU students / £32,000 for international students. 
What You Will Study: Students at Imperial College London can specialise in Visual Computing and Robotics, Computational Management, Security and Reliability, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This MSc takes 1 year with full-time study to complete. 

Masters in Computational Science and Engineering – EPFL

Cost: CHF 660 per semester for all students. 
What You Will Study: This is an interdisciplinary course at EPFL in Switzerland attracting students from a variety of backgrounds. It takes 2 years with full-time study to complete, and students can study modules such as Software Engineering and Computational Physics. It is taught in English. 

Masters in Computer Science and Engineering – Politecnico di Milano 

Cost: Between €895.20 and €3,726 per year for Italian and EU students / €3,726 per year for international students. 
What You Will Study: This is a full-time masters course that takes 2 years to complete and is conducted in English. Students at the Milan-based institution can choose modules such as Software Engineering, Computer Security and Advanced Computer Architecture. 

Masters in Computer Science – Delft University of Technology

Cost: €2,083 per year for Dutch and EU students / €18,750 per year for international students. 
What You Will Study: Students at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands can focus on a range of different areas include Software Technology. The course is taught in English and takes 2 years to complete with full-time study. 

Masters in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems – KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Cost: No fee for Swedish or EU students / SEK 310,000 total cost for international students. 
What You Will Study: This course at KTH Royal Institute of Technology focuses on networks and systems and the software required to design, manage and run them. Students study full-time for 2 years and the course is conducted in English.

MSc in Software Systems Engineering – RWTH Aachen University

Cost: No tuition fees for all students. 
What You Will Study: This course at RWTH Aachen University in Germany is taught in English and takes full-time students 2 years to complete. Students gain the skills to develop and manage large computer system projects. 

MSc in Software Systems Engineering – University College London

Cost: £12,750 for UK and EU students / £27,040 for international students. 
What You Will Study: This is a 1-year course when studying full-time at UCL, and modules include Software Abstractions and Systems Integration, Validation and Verification, and Information Retrieval and Data Mining.

Top software engineering universities in the world

1. University of Oxford

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

The University of Oxford is an English institution for higher education, autonomously operating at Oxford, England. The university was established during the 12th century, having academic studies in theology, law, medicine, and the liberal arts.

The University of Oxford currently offers a wide array of educational and research fields, including software engineering. The software engineering program started in the 1980s in the Computing Laboratory, now the Department of Computer Science.

The DCS focused on the merger of theory and practice, further improving the study. The software engineering discipline in the department has continued to improve as the years go on. The department’s drive has kept the University of Oxford among the top software engineering schools in the world.

2. Stanford University

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

Stanford University was founded in the US in 1885 and officially opened its gates in 1891. The university intended to create a non-sectarian, co-educational, and affordable academic institution.

Stanford consistently encouraged the study and research of various fields and disciplines such as software engineering. The Stanford School of Engineering established itself in 1925 and, over the years, has pushed forth technological innovations that improved the industry in the country.

The School of Engineering has consistently put Stanford on the global rankings by acquiring numerous awards and honors spanning nine decades. Stanford University remains at the top bracket of software engineering universities worldwide.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology officially incorporated and established itself in 1861. “Mens et manus” (“mind and hand”) is the private university’s motto as a reminder of MIT’s focus on combining academic theories and practical applicability.

As one of the best software engineering schools, MIT is fully committed to making the world better through education, research, and innovation. The Department of Electric Engineering was formed in the fall of 1902 then renamed the Department of Electric Engineering and Computer Science in 1975. MIT

The DEECS made vital, lasting contributions to software engineering that placed MIT at the top of global rankings. Its graduates remained some of the best software engineering professionals in the field.

4. University of Cambridge

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

The University of Cambridge established itself in 1209 in Cambridge, England. As decades went by, developments in the creation of new colleges specializing in ground-breaking studies and the rise of notable scholars from obscurity have allowed the recognition of the university as one of the premier educational institutions in the country.

The Department of Computer Science and Technology was founded in 1937. The department continued to train world-class computer science experts and further improved its facilities to elevate its research – making it one of the best software engineering schools.

DCST includes software engineering in its plethora of research disciplines. The department gave considerable contributions to the field throughout its years of existence. The efforts of its students and faculty have put Cambridge in the yearly worldwide rankings and international awards.

5. ETH Zürich

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), or the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, has remained at the forefront of modern technological studies in Switzerland. The national university focuses its efforts on training its faculty and students to advance Swiss industrialization further.

The year 1984 marks the start of the establishment of the Department of Computer Science. The DCC continued to improve the discipline by producing better software engineers and teachers and adding innovations to the field. Such efforts have allowed the consistent presence of ETH Zürich in worldwide awardees and top brackets of global university rankings.

6. Carnegie Mellon University

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

Hailing from humble beginnings, American self-made steel magnate Andrew Carnegie founded Carnegie Mellon University in 1900. Initially named the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie Tech educated the working-class men and women of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Tech later merged with Mellon Institute, which further improved the studies of the sciences in the institution. Carnegie’s Computer Science Department is one of the best software engineering schools and has consistently led in software engineering and produced top-notch graduates since its establishment in 1956.

The Computer Science Department’s track record shows numerous grants and awards for its contributions to the advancement of the discipline. Evidence of the efforts of its students, faculty, and researchers, Carnegie has remained at the uppermost part of university rankings for software engineering institutions.

7. Harvard University

  • Degrees Offered: Undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD

Harvard University established itself in 1636 and was given its current name in 1638 in honor of its benefactor, John Harvard. Due to its extensive history, numerous notable alumni and societal contributions trace back to its more than four decades of knowledge production and application.

Software Engineering is under the umbrella of the Computer Science Department at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Its areas of research and education include theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, privacy and security, data management systems, intelligent interfaces, and operating systems, to name a few. The department excelled in all areas, as validated by its numerous awards and honors globally. Graduates and researchers of this excellent software engineering institution continually contributed to the field, putting Harvard in the worldwide rankings yearly.

About the author

The Editorial Team at is dedicated to providing the best information on learning. From attaining a certificate in marketing to earning an MBA, we have all you need. If you feel lost, reach out to an admission officer.
Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.