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Study Computer Science at Otago

Student on a laptop

Overview

Computer Science is the study of computers and the work they do. We need a science of computers because, unlike other machines, computers are general purpose; the same machine can perform many different tasks and the same tasks can be done equally well by different computers.

Because of this, the study of what a computer can do is more than the study of a particular machine. It is the study of what can be done by a device which processes information. Naturally Computer Science papers deal with the practical matter of making the computer do what we want it to (programming). But we also deal with many other questions about computing and computers. How do they work? How are they used? How do they fit into our society? What are their limitations?

Today computers are used not only as a tool in commerce and science, but also for research in many disciplines, such as Anthropology and Linguistics. Computer Science can be taken as a major for both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees and can also be included as a supporting subject in a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Some knowledge of computing is useful to all science students and many arts and business students even if you do not intend to major in Computer Science.

Also see the subject entries for Computer and Information Science and Information Science.

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Information for new applicants

There are no specific academic entry requirements over and above the usual university entrance requirements. Some familiarity with using computers is assumed, such as using an email program or web browser, but no prior programming experience is needed. You are encouraged, but not required, to enrol in COMP150 in first semester. The main first year paper however is COMP 160 and you can enrol in it without having completed COMP 150. Hence, you can change majors mid-year and carry on into second year without adding extra time to your degree. You can also enrol in COMP 160 in summer school, so it is possible to change majors after your first year and continue into second year Computer Science.

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Contact details

Department of Computer Science

Email computer-science@otago.ac.nz
Website Computer Science

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Qualifications

Papers

See the full list of Computer Science (COSC) papers.

See the full list of Computer and Information Science (COMP) papers.

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Programme Requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Computer Science

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 101  Foundations of Information Systems

COMP 160  General Programming

ENGL 127  Effective Writing

One of MATH 151, MATH 160, MATH 170, COMO 101, STAT 110, STAT 115, BSNS 112, FINC 102, or an approved alternative

COMP 150  Practical Programming  (recommended) or another Arts paper

18

18

18

18

18

200-level

COSC 241  Programming and Problem Solving

COSC 242  Algorithms and Data Structures

COSC 243  Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

COSC 244  Data-communication, Networks, Internet

18

18

18

18

300-level

COSC 326  Effective Programming

Three of:
COSC 301  Network Management
COSC 341  Theory of Computing
COSC 342  Computer Graphics
COSC 343  Artificial Intelligence
COSC 344  Database Theory and Applications
COSC 345  Software Engineering
COSC 346  Object-oriented Programming and User Interfaces
COSC 360  Computer Game Design

18

54

Plus

126 further points; must include 36 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

126
Total   360

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Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Computer Science

Papers

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Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Computer Science

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Computer Science

Thesis
  • Thesis: COSC 5

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Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Computer Science

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 101  Foundation of Information Systems

COMP 160  General Programming

ENGL 127  Effective Writing

One of MATH 151, MATH 160, MATH 170, COMO 101, STAT 110, STAT 115, BSNS 112, FINC 102, or an approved alternative

another Science paper (COMP 150  Practical Programming recommended)

18

18

18

18

18

200-level

COSC 241  Programming and Problem Solving

COSC 242  Algorithms and Data Structures

COSC 243  Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

COSC 244  Data-communications, Networks, Internet

18

18

18

18

300-level

COSC 326  Effective Programming

Three of:
COSC 301  Network Management
COSC 341  Theory of Computing
COSC 342  Computer Graphics
COSC 343  Artificial Intelligence
COSC 344  Database Theory and Applications
COSC 345  Software Engineering
COSC 346  Object-oriented Programming and User Interfaces
COSC 360  Computer Game Design

18

54

Plus

126 further points; must include 36 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

126
Total   360

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Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Computer Science

Papers

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Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Computer Science

Papers

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Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) in Computer Science

Papers

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Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science

Papers and Thesis

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Minor Subject Requirements

Computer Science as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, or BASc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 160  General Programming

One of:
COMP 101  Foundations of Information Systems
COMP 111  Information and Communications Technology
COMP 112  Web Development and Digital Media
COMP 150  Practical Programming

18

18

200-level

Two of:
COSC 212  Web Application Development
COSC 241  Programming and Problem Solving
COSC 242  Algorithms and Data Structures
COSC 243  Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
COSC 244  Data-communications, Networks, Internet

36

300-level One of COSC 301, COSC 326, COSC 341, COSC 342, COSC 343, COSC 344, COSC 345, COSC 346, COSC 360 18
Total   90

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