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Before choosing course

aintenance costs amount up to 90% of the software life cycle cost. Today, maintenance is mainly conducted in an ad hoc way. The course Software Evolution and Maintenance rovides a broad spectrum of software processes that take place after delivery of the first version of a newly developed software system. This includes processes for correcting, continuously developing, re-engineering, supporting and retiring software, as well as rocesses for managing emergency problems and for managing software quality. The course ill also focus on processes that go in parallel with new development during which one repares software systems for future continuous development and maintenance.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

* Retrieved from Course syllabus ID129V (Autumn 2021–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Definition of the software life-cycle.
  • Types of refinement and maintenance of software.
  • Process models for most types of refinement and maintenance of software.
  • First, second, and third lines of support.
  • Testing in refinement and maintenance of software.
  • Transition from development to refinement and maintenance of software (software transition).
  • Aging of software.
  • Phasing-out (retirement) of software.
  • Revision (reengineering) of software.
  • Evolvability and maintainability of software.
  • Process models on organizational structures.
  • Handling of quality and reverse engineering.
  • Current position for the area in industry and research.

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the participant should be able to:

  • describe the software life-cycle process and its component processes
  • explain the interplay between software development and software refinement and maintenance
  • apply their knowledge in software refinement by defining, following and following up on software life-cycle processes and the roles that are involved in each respective process
  • apply their technical knowledge to develop and maintain software systems
  • handle software problems that have appeared in an existing software system and take appropriate measures
  • explain current trends in managing the software life-cycle
  • act in an ethical way in and maintenance of software system
  • work in a team when handling complex problems
  • communicate about their work and its result in writing

in order to

  • obtain an understanding of the extent and complexity of the development and maintenance of an already existing software system.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

At least one year of industrial experience in refinement and maintenance. The experience can apply to many different professional roles such as programmers, business leaders, analyticists, testers, roles in first, other and third line of support, responsibles for quality assurance and the like. 

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • SEM1 - Seminar, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • SEM2 - Seminar, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • SEM3 - Seminar, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • SEM4 - Seminar, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

To pass the course, the course participant should normally be present on all seminars. In case of absence, an individual report about the subject that was treated on the seminar should be written. 

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web ID129V

Offered by

EECS/Computer Science

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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