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Study Software Engineering at Otago

Future-proofing software.

Computer information and control systems have become increasingly embedded into the very fabric of human society. They control our clocks, washing machines, motor vehicles, traffic lights, the electric power to our homes, and the essential processes of our production economy.

These computer systems are complex and can no longer be thought of as standalone entities. They are typically components of much larger, complex systems involving hardware, software, people, and all the unpredictable events in the natural world. So it is essential that those building these complex systems be equipped with advanced techniques not taught in ordinary computer programming courses.

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

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Apply for the Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours (BAppSc(Hons)) 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 Commerce and Science (BComSc) 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 Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Software Engineering?

Software engineering requires modelling and understanding complex interactive systems, as well as identifying how the performance of computer information systems can be improved. It also includes managing the construction of the information system components, and ensuring procedures are in place for continual testing and maintenance.

You’ll be able to join a highly sought-after profession. New Zealand’s (and the world’s) future depends on having technical experts who can oversee the construction of the complex information systems that will underpin the new knowledge-based society.

You’ll gain the expertise to enter a fast-growing industry with highly-paid job opportunities, where innovation is rewarded.

You’ll discover the satisfaction of devising and modelling systems, and then testing them under a range of operating conditions.

What will I learn?

You’ll learn about databases, mathematical applications, software development, and strategies for using computers to solve real-life problems. You’ll cover issues like systems design, where you’ll assess software on issues like usability and visual appeal. You’ll also learn how to manage and coordinate a software project, taking into account modelling, costing, risk, organisation and resourcing.

Career opportunities

Software Engineers are among the highest-paid professionals in most countries of the world. Countries like Japan and the United States are relaxing their immigration laws in order to address critical shortages in this area.

Software engineers are not only in demand at software companies, but are also sought after in a range of other organisations involved in the development of significant information systems. This includes governments, telecommunications companies, the chemical industry, biomedical industries, financial institutions, agribusinesses, pharmaceuticals, healthcare sector corporations, engineering and manufacturing firms.

While the work of software engineers can often involve developing interactive, user-friendly applications to be used by companies and individuals, it can also involve the development of a considerable amount of “behind the scenes” software. This can include systems to improve the management of e-commerce, or to improve the security and privacy of Internet transactions.

There is enormous scope to establish new start-up organisations throughout the information technology and telecommunications industries. This might mean anything from designing an interactive application for use on the Web, to developing your own line of software to meet the needs of a particular sector, such as tourism or finance.

Background required

Students from a range of backgrounds are welcome to study for Otago’s BAppSc in Software Engineering. There is some flexibility in entry requirements, but Year 13 mathematics is recommended. Experience or familiarity with computing also helps, but it is not essential.

What is the Bachelor of Applied Science?

The strength of the Applied Science programme is its outward focus – developing market-ready graduates with wide-ranging skills and practical experience in the workplace.

Applied Science is a three-year undergraduate degree with open entry at 100 level. An Honours year is offered to those students who achieve an appropriate academic standard. This will be offered at the end of the undergraduate degree.

Every Applied Science degree has a compulsory minor or second major, in a subject area that’s directly relevant and will deliver complementary skills. The programme encourages real-world business awareness, enabling you to apply what you have learned to any organisation you work for.

What will I study?

The required papers at 100-level are: COMP 101, COMP 160, and one of MATH 151, 160, 170, FINQ 102.

From second year, you’ll study a wide range of information science and computer science papers, which lay the foundation for advanced papers in Software Engineering. There you’ll look at the development process of large scale, reliable, and maintainable software.

NB: Check the latest paper details in the Guide to Enrolment published with enrolment material each year.

How will I study?

As well as attending lectures, you’ll spend a lot of time in Otago’s well equipped computer labs, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Can I combine my Software Engineering study with other subjects?

A minor or second major is compulsory for the Bachelor of Applied Science. Your first year course is very flexible and you can select papers that keep your options open for second year – for example you can tailor a course that will also cover the prerequisites for most of the other BAppSc subject majors, or you could carry on with a BSc in Energy Studies, Mathematics or Physics.

The minor or second major you choose will tailor your studies to match your own particular strengths and passions, but also match demand from industry, for the skill-sets most needed.

Qualifications

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

*It is a requirement that every Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) normally includes an approved minor subject or an approved second major subject. Usually such a minor or second major subject must be selected from the approved combinations of major subjects with minor or second major subjects. Some exceptions may apply. For details see:

Full list of available approved minor and second major subject areas

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) majoring in Software Engineering

Year Papers Points
100-level

COMP 101  Foundations of Information Systems

COMP 161  Computer Programming

COMP 162  Foundations of Computer Science

One of:
FINC 102  Business Mathematics
MATH 151  General Mathematics
MATH 160  Mathematics 1
MATH 170  Mathematics 2

18

18

18

18

200-level

INFO 201  Developing Information Systems 1

INFO 202  Developing Information Systems 2

COSC 201  Algorithms and Data Structures

COSC 202  Software Development

COSC 203  Web, Databases, and Networks

18

18

18

18

18

300-level

COSC 349  Cloud Computing Architecture

INFO 303  Enterprise Information Systems Infrastructure

INFO 310  Software Project Management

COSC 345  Software Engineering  or  INFO 301  Applied Project

18

18

18

18

 

126 further points, including either requirements for an approved minor or approved second major subject or other approved papers.

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, or FINC 102 as part of another subject’s requirements do not need to pass another one of these papers to fulfil the Software Engineering requirements.

126

Total   360

Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours (BAppSc(Hons)) in Software Engineering

Papers
  • SENG 490  Dissertation

  • Four further 400-level papers normally drawn from COSC, INFO or SENG papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Software Engineering

Papers

Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) in Software Engineering

Papers

Minor subject requirements

Software Engineering 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 101  Foundations of Information Systems

COMP 161  Computer Programming

COMP 162  Foundations of Computer Science

Note: 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.

18

18

18

200-level

INFO 201  Developing Information Systems 1

One of:
INFO 202  Developing Information Systems 2
COSC 202  Software Development

18

18

300-level

INFO 310  Software Project Management

18
Total   90

Papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
SENG490 2021 Dissertation 40 points Full Year
SENG580 2021 Research Project 40 points Full Year

Key information for students

Contact us

Associate Professor Tony Savarimuthu
Tel +64 3 479 5143
Fax +64 3 479 8311
Email tony.savarimuthu@otago.ac.nz
Website otago.ac.nz/sciences/study/applied-science