Master of Engineering Leadership in Dependable Software Systems (MEL)

The Master of Engineering Leadership is not administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please check the UBC Applied Science Professional Programs website for admission requirements, deadlines and application procedure.


The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Dependable Software Systems is a professional degree for engineers who want to excel and drive innovation in this rapidly evolving field. This hybrid master’s program combines graduate-level engineering courses with UBC Sauder School of Business courses – giving you the skills and confidence to take your career in new directions.



The MEL in Dependable Software Systems program offers a unique combination of technical and business classes – giving you the strategic skills to play a leading role in forward-thinking organizations. Engineering courses explore software testing and verification, error-resilient computing, and security and privacy. Business courses offered by the top-ranked UBC Sauder School of Business give you a solid foundation in business strategy and innovation, operations and logistics, project management, and organizational leadership.



In this 12-month program you will:

  • update your technical and analytical skills, enabling you to develop and maintain dependable systems
  • complete a major capstone project and gain specific domain expertise
  • study under renowned faculty and industry experts
  • expand your professional network while collaborating with other MEL students
  • gain the fundamental business, project management and interpersonal skills to advance your career and confidently take on positions of increased responsibility

What makes the program unique?

A Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) degree from UBC gives you the credentials and knowledge to confidently take on positions of greater responsibility or make the shift into a new industry sector.

In addition to updating your technical skills in software testing and verification, error-resilient computing, and security and privacy, you’ll also explore the latest tools in software project management.

Technical knowledge is not enough. Through courses offered by UBC Sauder School of Business, you’ll gain foundational business skills, improving your understanding of broad-based management concepts.

Leadership development is embedded throughout the program, giving you ongoing opportunities to lead teams and projects and strengthen your interpersonal skills.

Engineers who have mastered both a technical specialization and have an understanding of business have a distinct competitive advantage. In demand locally, nationally and internationally, our graduates have successfully moved into sought-after positions and new industry sectors.


Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Meet a UBC representative

Reaching Out Strategies: Approaching letter writers and potential supervisors

Date: Thursday, 22 October 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00

An essential part of the graduate school application process is reaching out to potential supervisors and referees. Learn strategies on how to do this and make your application as strong as possible from graduate programs team members and current students.



Date: Wednesday, 21 October 2020 to Friday, 23 October 2020
Time: 08:30 to 15:00
From October 21 – 23, Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia will be hosting their annual conference. This year’s virtual conference focuses on education, and will include ten professional development streams covering a variety of topics related to engineering and business in BC. Participants will be able to customize their learning experience by selecting sessions of their choice, ranging from renewable energy and geoscience to leadership and networking. The conference also includes keynote speeches from Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space; Bob Joseph, founder and President of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.; and Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Professor of Civil Engineering and Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at UBC. Planning on attending the conference? Be sure to visit our virtual booth! Chat with a UBC Master of Engineering representative about how you can advance your career and move into positions of increased leadership.


Date: Monday, 26 October 2020 to Friday, 30 October 2020
Time: 08:00 to 14:00
During the week of October 26 to October 30, the Chemical Institute of Canada will be hosting their 70th annual conference. The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering leads the nation’s premier conference for chemical engineers with the goal of driving global innovation so attendees may foster growth, learn from one another, create meaningful connections, and recognize their impact on the world. The conference program will cover a range of topics on the theme of Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Future: from the development of innovative solutions for clean energy and greater energy efficiency to carbon capture, storage and utilization, as well as emerging materials for medicine, catalysis, transportation and energy among many others. Will you be attending the conference? We hope that you’ll visit our virtual booth! Chat with a representative from the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership in Sustainable Process Engineering program about how you can advance your career and create positive change in your industry. Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference: 2020 Virtual Date: Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30 Time: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM PST / 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST / Location: CCEC 2020 Virtual

iTech West 2020

Date: Thursday, 12 November 2020
Time: 09:00 to 17:00
A leading conference and exhibition in IT technology, iTech will focus on infrastructure, cloud, security, data centre and mobility to deliver an exciting and educational event for all IT professionals to attend. Attendees will network with peers from the industry, discover new cutting-edge products and services, and update their knowledge on the latest technology trends and parents. Best of all, this event is free to attend for all IT professionals! Register for your complimentary e-ticket. We’ll be there and hope you’ll pay our virtual booth a visit to discuss the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership in Dependable Software Systems and how it may transform your career.

MEL Online Information Session - December

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2020
Time: 08:00 to 09:30
The MEL Online Information Session is for established engineering professionals considering study in 2021. This session is an easy opportunity for you to learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and initial application steps. Have your initial questions answered by our expert recruitment specialist and program-specific coordinators.

Tuition & Financial Support


FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$9,936.72$18,122.36
Program Fee$29,810.16$54,367.08
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) Not applicable
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)
Deposit to accept offer (if admitted)
Deposit requirement$5000.00$5000.00
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options.

Program Funding Packages

Being a professional program, there are no UBC scholarships, grants or funding offered directly for MEL or MHLP students. Students who require financial assistance are encouraged to look for external scholarships or loans that may be available to them. Please find a list of options and areas for you to independently explore and investigate on our webpage:

Employer support

Organizations may provide their employees with tuition benefits as part of an employment package to support lifelong learning of their workforce.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

Professional / course-based programs usually do not provide merit-based funding. Some programs may offer bursaries.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally, with government and industry employers constantly seeking experts in this field. Read some of alumni stories on our website to find out how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Dependable Software Systems degree. Graduates of the program started in positions, such as Product Manager, Software Engineer, Software Consultant.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Engineering Leadership in Dependable Software Systems (MEL). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

New registrations9101156
Total enrolment192116106
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Further Program Information

Our world is increasingly reliant on dependable software. Leading companies across a range of industries – from health care and finance to transportation, power generation and telecommunications – need software engineers with the technical knowledge to design and maintain safety-critical software systems. Engineering courses within dependable software systems explore software testing and verification, error-resilient computing, and security and privacy. Business courses provide a solid foundation in business strategy and innovation, operations and logistics, project management, and organizational leadership.

Faculty Overview


Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

Considering Vancouver as your next home?

This city won’t disappoint. It has it all: sea, parks, mountains, beaches and all four seasons, including beautiful summers and mild, wet winters with snow.