Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering - Computer Science and Software Engineering - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours- Software Engineering

The software engineering programme provides a unique blend of foundational courses in computer science and engineering, and practical work through a series of projects. The projects provide excellent opportunities to develop skills as a team player, to develop creative solutions to complex and challenging problems, to implement these solutions and turn them into usable systems, and to work with recent and exciting software technologies.

We’re often asked about the difference between a Software Engineering degree and a Computer Science degree. Both degrees have many courses in common, but here are some key differences:

Software Engineering is part of a B.E.(Hons), which is a four-year degree that has a fairly strict structure, including prescribed first year (intermediate) courses, and three professional years with most courses prescribed; you must also complete practical work requirements. There is a strong focus on large projects and teamwork.

Computer Science is part of a B.Sc. degree, which is initially a three-year degree, but if you do well you can then continue to a 1-year B.Sc.(Hons), or a 1-year Post-graduate diploma in Science, or a two-year Masters degree. The degree is extremely flexible, and can be done with a very heavy emphasis on computer science, or could have a minimal core of computing and be combined with a second major. Computer Science undergraduate majors can take all of the software engineering papers except SENG202, but usually do more of the technical computing topics such as graphics, artificial intelligence, networks and security. There are no practical work requirements for the B.Sc., although students are well advised to get experience where they can via summer jobs.

There is strong demand for graduates in both areas, and our advice is to choose the direction that suits your interests the best.

If you aren't sure whether you should take a Computer Science major or a Software Engineering degree, you can leave both options open by taking the Software Engineering intermediate courses as these include all the pre-requisites for second year Computer Science.


Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Telephone: +64 3 364 2362

  • Phone: +64 3 364 2362
    Fax: +64 3 364 2569
  • Computer Science and Software Engineering
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
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