Bachelor of Software Engineering Degree Program
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Open University of Sri Lanka
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have tried to compile answers to common questions of those who are interested in the BSE program in this page. Please go through this document if you have any questions.
The Guidebook gives a lot of information too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
About the Program
1. What is the Bachelor of Software Engineering Honours (BSE) degree of the OUSL?"]
BSE is a UGC-approved degree program offered by the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL). It is the first software engineering degree programme offered in Sri Lanka. The programme is designed according to the ACM/IEEE, global standards for computing degree programs, and is delivered in close association with the Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM). SLASSCOM is an umbrella organisation with over 400 of the largest software development companies in Sri Lanka.
2. Where can I find more information about the BSE Degree Program?
The Faculty of Engineering Technology (FET) publishes an Annual Student Guide Book that contains details about all the degree programs offered by it. Students can find more information about the degree program in the Student Guide Book 2020-2021.
3. Can anybody follow this degree?
4. Do I need strong mathematical knowledge to follow the degree?
All the mathematical knowledge required for the degree program is included in the curriculum. In the first year, you will learn the basic mathematics that is required for the rest of the mathematics courses. However, we have also designed a bridging mathematics course for those who have studied arts or commerce subjects at the Advanced Level.
5. Does a student have to take 30 credits each year?
The OUSL has a flexible learning methodology. A student can decide the workload he/she wants to take at the beginning of each year. This allows for students who are employed to take a lesser number of credits per year over a longer period or a student who is free to take a full load of 30-33 credits a year and finish in 4 years.
You have to complete 130 credits within 4 years if you hope to complete the degree in minimum time.
6. How much time does a student have to spend when following the program?
The BSE degree program consists of 130 SLQF credits. Each credit requires a learner to spend 50 notional hours. This includes face-to-face interactions, self-study time, lab classes, assignments and all other academic activities. Each course will be delivered for 15 weeks, thus students are expected to spend around 3 hours per week for each credit they take from the course.
7. Can a student do the BSE program while following another course of study at another institute?
A student following a course at another institute may register for the BSE program. However, such a student should keep in mind the workload of the program. In practice, it will be very hard to manage time to do more than one study program at a time.
8. Can a student do the BSE program while following another course of study at the OUSL?
Yes. But the total combined credits that can be offered in a year cannot exceed 38.
9. Is the BSE offered by the OUSL recognised?
Degrees offered by the OUSL are recognised by the UGC and professional bodies such as IESL. Like any other state sector university, OUSL also goes through rigorous review process every 5 years to ensure that its degree programs are of the highest standard. Students who graduated from OUSL are occupying the highest positions in the industry.
10. Can I take a year off and still continue my studies?
Yes. The flexibility offered by the OUSL allows you to take a year off. A Student can register to maintain only the studentship by paying a nominal fee without taking any courses within the year. Students are allowed 12 years to complete the BSE degree from the date of first registration
11. Do we need to come on weekdays to the university for lectures?
We are not conducting lectures. We are conducting Day Schools (DS) to guide students on the respective course. Day Schools are scheduled on the weekend. A Day School will be continued for two hours. There can be four or five Day Schools scheduled on weekends per course based on the course requirement. Due to the pandemic situation in the country currently, we are conducting all the DSs through Zoom (Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Webinars, Screen Sharing – Zoom).
12. When will the course start?
The following is the tentative timeline:
|11 April 2021||Application Deadline|
|19 April to 24 April 2021||Selection Test at all OUSL Regional and Study Centers|
|3 May to 21 May 2021||Registration|
|30th May – 31st August 2021||Start@OUSL – Compulsory Orientation
Includes Course on Empowering for Independent Learning Course on English for General Academic Purpose 14 basic ICT Challenges in FutureCareersBridge site
|4th Sept – 19th Dec 2021||Semester 1|
|10th Jan – 23 Jan 2022||Final Examinations – Semester 1|
|5th Feb – 29th May 2022||Semester 2|
|20th June – 30th June 2022||Final examinations – Semester 2|
13. Can I exit the program without completing the degree and still get a certificate?
Yes. The flexible learning structure of the OUSL allows a student who satisfy the requirements to obtain a Higher Diploma in Software Engineering. Visit the Student Guide Book 2020-2021 for a list of requirements.
About Fees, Scholarships and other financial matters
14. How much will it cost to follow this program?
At the OUSL, course fees are calculated based on the number of credits. For the BSE degree program course fee for credit is LKR. 3,000. To get the degree a student needs to pass a minimum of 130 credits. Each year course fees are increased by 10% to account for inflation, . In addition, students should also pay the following registration fee and facilities fees.
Registration Fee: LKR 400.00
Facilities fee: LKR 1,500.00
Library Facility LKR 100.00
15. Does a student have to pay all the fees at the beginning of the year?
The OUSL allows students to pay the course fee in two instalments, 60% of the course fee at the beginning of the academic year and the balance at the beginning of semester 2. Other fees such as the facilities fees, registration fees have to be paid at the beginning of the academic year.
16. Is there any financial support to follow the program?
Yes. The Government of Sri Lanka has arranged an interest-free/low-interest loan from the government banks. The loan can be paid over a period of 60 months after graduation. In addition, the OUSL also has several bursary schemes to support dedicated students:
Besides, member companies of SLASSCOM are willing to provide the students who have the right aptitude and attitude internship opportunities and scholarships to follow the program. Visit the SLASSCOM Future Careers Bridge site and do the challenges given there. If a company becomes interested in your abilities and mindset, they will contact you.
17. Does OUSL provide hostel facilities?
No. OUSL does not have hostel facilities. However, it provides temporary residential facilities (TRF) for those students who have to travel to Colombo, Kandy or Matara regional centres for scheduled academic activities such as Lab evaluations, CAT examinations, final examinations etc. The student has to obtain a TRF card by paying a fee of Rs. 1,500 which would allow the students to stay at the facility for 30 days. A student may use the TRF facility for 60 days in an academic year However, a student is allowed to stay only 6 consecutive days on any occasion.
18. How can I obtain a letter from the university to confirm the studentship?
You have to request the letter from Student Affairs/Student Welfare division.
19. What is Coursera and what does the BSE program has to do with Coursera?
COURSERA is an online platform that offers Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) from some of the world’s top universities. Some examples are Imperial College – London, Stanford, Duke, and large multinationals such as IBM, Google, CISCO etc.
OUSL has signed an agreement with Coursera where each student following the BSE program is provided with unlimited access to courses offered on Coursera. Some of these courses are part of the BSE program and hence credits earns through these courses will count towards your degree. Only a selected list of courses from Coursera is considered for the BSE degree but students are free to follow any number of other courses and get internationally valid certificated offered by these universities and organisations.
Exemptions for qualifications obtained elsewhere
20. Does OUSL provide exemptions for qualifications obtained elsewhere?
Yes, You can request exemptions for qualifications that you have obtained elsewhere. The student will need to provide all the required information and pay a small fee to process the request. Once a request has been received, a departmental committee will evaluate the contents of the certification the student has obtained from some other institute and decide whether an exemption can be granted and recommend the same to the Faculty Board and the Senate.
The student guidebook contains a list of qualifications already accepted by the OUSL for exemptions. These exemptions are automatically granted if the student produces the relevant certificate at the time of registration.
21. Currently, I'm working in a company as a Software Engineer/ Quality Assurance Engineer. I have 1 year of experience. Can I get an exemption for the Industrial Training Course (EEW5811 Industrial Training – Software)?
All students have to undergo one year full-time training period to obtain the degree. Training placements, assessments etc are handled by the Training Engineer. After the second year, training can be completed at any time. Due dates for submissions are announced by the Training Engineer.
Please visit the Industrial Training section on the Faculty web page.
The required documents should be given to the Training engineer.
Contact details: Training Engineer – Mr IMNP Illangakoon – 011 2881223
Ex: Refer page no. x in the 202/21 activity diary release by the faculty of engineering. https://www.ou.ac.lk/home/images/Faculty_and_institute/Eng/Downloads/Activity%20diary%202020%202021.pdf
Contacting us and other information
22. How can I contact respective course coordinators?
You can get the contact details from the activity diary. There are two types of activity diary. One is Date Wise Activity Diary and the other is Course Wise Activity Diary. Respective course coordinator name, mail address, and contact numbers are updated in the course wise activity diary. You can download the latest activity diary from the faculty website.
Ex: Refer page no. Vii and Viii in the 202/21 activity diary release by the faculty of engineering technology. https://www.ou.ac.lk/home/images/Faculty_and_institute/Eng/Downloads/Activity%20diary%202020%202021.pdf
23. There are many abbreviations used in all the documents. How can I know the meaning of those abbreviations?
Detail descriptions for all the abbreviations are given in the activity diary. You can download the latest activity diary from the faculty website.
Ex: Refer page no. V in the 202/21 activity diary release by the Faculty of Engineering Technology. https://www.ou.ac.lk/home/images/Faculty_and_institute/Eng/Downloads/Activity%20diary%202020%202021.pdf
When will the selection test be held?
One hour Computer-based selection test will be held at all OUSL Regional and Study Centers from 19 April 2021 to 24 April 2021. Candidates should select the Center, Date, and Time to sit the test before downloading the admission card after paying the application fee.
What type of questions will be there in the selection test?
There will be 20 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) on Logical Reasoning, Mathematical Reasoning and English Comprehension
Are there any past-papers?
No past papers are available. However for candidates to practice sitting the test, a mock site will be made available from 12 April 2021.
Does OUSL provide classes to sit for the Selection Test?
No. OUSL does not provide any classes to sit for the selection test. However, there are many practice questions available on the web.
If I fail the selection test, can I still follow the program?
No. All candidates must pass the selection test to be selected to follow the program.
How many candidates will be selected to follow the program based on the selection test?
All candidates who have the necessary qualifications (for e.g. 3 passes at A/Ls) will be admitted to the program.