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Study Computer Science at Otago

Computer Science forms the basis for all information technology.

Study Computer Science at Otago and take control of your future. Doors open to many areas – from machine learning, computer animation, computer games, software design and robotics, through to legal, financial and business careers.

Computer Science forms the basis for all information technology and it is a fast-changing and rapidly growing field. Computing is now central to the way our modern society works, and it will remain that way. Computer scientists analyse, design and implement computer algorithms and computer systems. Their skills are desperately needed in New Zealand and worldwide.

At Otago, we cover all core areas of Computer Science and actively research at the cutting-edge in areas as diverse as artificial intelligence, computer graphics and vision, distributed computing, databases, search, biological data science and theory.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science (PGCertAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science (PGDipAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Computer Science?

Computer scientists are in demand across the world and attract excellent salaries. Technologies change rapidly and there is always something new and exciting to learn – whether as a programmer, software engineer, systems architect or chief technical officer.

A career as a Computer Scientist is challenging and rewarding. If you like solving problems, then a major in computer science is for you. It is hard to describe the joy involved in designing and implementing a complex system and then seeing it all work in front of your eyes.

A minor in Computer Science is an invaluable supplement to any degree, whether in science, health sciences, business or the humanities. Technical expertise in computing in addition to expertise in another field opens doors to many exciting careers. It will change the way you think about your chosen field and make you more effective in your work.

Choosing Computer Science papers as electives will open doors in your mind to the possibilities of computers, will make you more effective at using computers, and will look great on your CV.

Career opportunities

There is currently a worldwide shortage of IT professionals and they are in high demand in New Zealand, Australia, the USA and the UK.

You will find Otago Computer Science graduates at work worldwide in every aspect of commerce, government, education, research and media in a variety of interesting roles: programmers, software engineers, systems analysts, network managers, consultants and advisers, web programmers, interface designers and database administrators.

Some of our recent graduates have exciting careers: making CGI movies, developing software for driverless vehicles, writing control software for Formula 1 racing cars, designing computer games, and programming the latest high-performance computers. Others are working in medical informatics, as an entrepreneur, as a weapons engineering officer in the Navy, as a database analyst, and as a patent attorney.

Background required

There are no special requirements or prerequisites, but taking Digital Technology for NCEA is useful. For students wishing to major in Computer Science, NCEA Level 3 Mathematics (preferably Calculus) would be helpful.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Computer Science

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 101  Foundation of Information Systems

COMP 161  Computer Programming

COMP 162  Foundations of Computer Science

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

18

18

18

18

200-level

COSC 201 Algorithms and Data Structures

COSC 202  Software Development

COSC 203  Web, Databases, and Networks

COSC 204  Computer Systems

18

18

18

18

300-level

One of:
COSC 326  Effective Programming
COSC 345  Software Engineering

Three further 300-level COSC papers

18

 

54

Plus

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

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts.

Notes: (i) Students are exempt from COMP 161 if they have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test. (ii) Students who have passed at least one of MATH 151, 160, 170, COMO 101, STAT 110, 115, BSNS 112, or FINC 102 as part of another subject’s requirements do not need to pass another one of these papers to fulfil the Computer Science requirements.

144
Total   360


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

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Computer Science

Papers

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Computer Science

Thesis
  • Thesis: COSC 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Computer Science or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Computer Science must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Computer Science prior to undertaking the thesis.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Computer Science

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 101  Foundation of Information Systems

COMP 161  Computer Programming

COMP 162  Foundations of Computer Science

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

18

18

18

18

200-level

COSC 201 Algorithms and Data Structures

COSC 202  Software Development

COSC 203  Web, Databases, and Networks

COSC 204  Computer Systems

18

18

18

18

300-level

One of:
COSC 326  Effective Programming
COSC 345  Software Engineering

Three further 300-level COSC papers

18

 

54

Plus

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

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

Notes: (i) Students are exempt from COMP 161 if they have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test. (ii) Students who have passed at least one of MATH 151, 160, 170, COMO 101, STAT 110, 115, BSNS 112, or FINC 102 as part of another subject’s requirements do not need to pass another one of these papers to fulfil the Computer Science requirements.

144
Total   360


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

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Computer Science

Papers

Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) in Computer Science

Papers

Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science

Papers and Thesis

Minor subject requirements

Computer Science as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc 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), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

COMP 162  Foundations of Computer Science

One of:
COMP 101  Foundations of Information Systems
COMP 151  Programming for Scientists
COMP 161  Computer Programming

Note: COMP 161 is usually required as a prerequisite for COMP 162, but is not necessary for students who have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test.

18

18

200-level

One of:
COSC 201  Algorithms and Data Structures
COSC 202  Software Development
COSC 203  Web, Databases, and Networks
COSC 204  Computer Systems

18

300-level One of COSC 301-385 18
Plus One further paper from COSC 201, COSC 202, COSC 203, COSC 204, COSC 301-385 18
Total   90

Papers

COSC papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
COSC201 2021 Algorithms and Data Structures 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
COSC202 2021 Software Development 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
COSC203 2021 Web, Databases, and Networks 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
COSC204 2021 Computer Systems 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
COSC212 2021 Web Application Development 18 points Second Semester
COSC241 2021 Programming and Problem Solving 18 points First Semester
COSC242 2021 Algorithms and Data Structures 18 points Second Semester
COSC243 2021 Computer Architecture and Operating Systems 18 points First Semester
COSC244 2021 Data-communications, Networks, Internet 18 points Second Semester
COSC301 2021 Network Management and Security 18 points First Semester
COSC326 2021 Effective Programming 18 points First Semester, Second Semester, Summer School
COSC341 2021 Theory of Computing 18 points First Semester
COSC342 2021 Computer Graphics 18 points First Semester
COSC343 2021 Artificial Intelligence 18 points First Semester
COSC344 2021 Database Theory and Applications 18 points Second Semester
COSC345 2021 Software Engineering 18 points Full Year
COSC349 2021 Cloud Computing Architecture 18 points Second Semester
COSC360 2021 Computer Game Design 18 points Summer School
COSC385 2021 Research Project 18 points Full Year
COSC402 2021 Advanced Computer Networks 20 points Second Semester
COSC410 2021 Logic for Artificial Intelligence 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC411 2021 Combinatorial Game Theory 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC412 2021 Cryptography and Security 20 points Second Semester
COSC420 2021 Neural Networks 20 points First Semester
COSC421 2021 Neural Models of Language 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC422 2021 Computational Neuroscience 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC430 2021 Advanced Database Topics 20 points First Semester
COSC431 2021 Information Retrieval 20 points First Semester
COSC440 2021 Advanced Operating Systems 20 points Second Semester
COSC441 2021 Concurrent Programming 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC450 2021 Computer Vision and Graphics 20 points First Semester
COSC470 2021 Special Topic: Machine Learning 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC471 2021 Approved Special Paper 20 points Not offered in 2021
COSC480 2021 Applied Project 40 points Full Year
COSC490 2021 Dissertation 40 points Full Year

COMP papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
COMP101 2021 Foundations of Information Systems 18 points First Semester, Summer School
COMP111 2021 Information and Communications Technology 18 points Second Semester, Summer School
COMP112 2021 Web Development and Digital Media 18 points Not offered in 2021
COMP120 2021 Practical Data Science 18 points First Semester, Second Semester
COMP151 2021 Programming for Scientists 18 points First Semester
COMP160 2021 General Programming 18 points Summer School
COMP161 2021 Computer Programming 18 points First Semester, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
COMP162 2021 Foundations of Computer Science 18 points Second Semester
COMP210 2021 Information Assurance 18 points Second Semester
COMP270 2021 ICT Fundamentals 15 points First Semester
COMP371 2021 ICT Studio 1 15 points First Semester
COMP372 2021 ICT Studio 2 15 points First Semester, Second Semester
COMP373 2021 ICT Studio 3 15 points Second Semester
COMP390 2021 ICT Industry Project 30 points 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period, 3rd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Department of Computer Science
Email computer-science@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/computerscience