Software Engineering

When you study software engineering, you'll be learning about how to use a scientific and disciplined approach to designing and developing complex software systems. You'll also learn how to operate and maintain such systems.  From ATM machines to smart phones to cars - many aspects of modern society are driven by software which we expect to operate correctly and be reliable and flexible at all times.

Simon Campbell

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
University of Waikato software engineering graduate Simon Campbell is enjoying his job as a developer at Hamilton company Enlighten Designs.

Alena Choong

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
"...the degree structure at Waikato prepares you to become an engineer fit for any industry."

During your studies at Waikato, you'll develop an understanding of reliable processes and formal methods for software engineering. You'll learn how to use systematic techniques to test software systems. You'll develop the skills you need to be able to prove that safety-critical systems operate correctly under all possible operating conditions.

You'll work with a range of software systems, from operating systems and networks to real-time and embedded systems. You'll learn about distributed and parallel systems. You'll also develop knowledge and skills relating to engineering, scientific and business application software.

There's a strong connection between critical, complex systems and the people who use them or are affected by them. At Waikato, the relationship between systems and human interaction is emphasised.

You'll be able to develop your professional skills by doing 800 hours of real-world work experience. This work is supported by the Cooperative Education Unit. You'll be able to work on major research design projects which have a commercial focus and have an opportunity to showcase your work to industry at the annual Oji Fibre Solutions Engineering Design Show.

You can complete a BE(Hons) in Software Engineering at the University of Waikato. This is an innovative four-year degree. In the first year, you start with C# programming and building model boats. You progress to advanced programming techniques and computer hardware labs in the second year. In the final two years, you learn a wide variety of software development skills.  As well as these skills, during the degree you’ll study design, marketing and engineering management.

Waikato's BE(Hons) in Software Engineering is internationally accredited by Engineering New Zealand (formerly IPENZ). This means that once you graduate your degree will be recognised by engineers and employers worldwide.

Computing facilities at Waikato

The computing facilities at the University of Waikato are among the best in New Zealand, ranging from phones and tablets for mobile application development to cluster computers for massively parallel processing.

You will also have 24 hour access to computer labs equipped with all the latest computer software.

Build a successful career

As a Software Engineer, you can work in a wide range of roles, from building and maintaining traditional applications to developing the programs that drive newer devices. There is demand in a range of industries, from healthcare software, to entertainment and telecommunications.

 Career opportunities

  • Network Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Software Consultant
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Test Engineer


Study Software Engineering in any of these qualifications

Year 1

Introduction to Computer ScienceCOMPX10115.0 Points
Object-Oriented ProgrammingCOMPX10215.0 Points
Engineering and SocietyENGEN17015.0 Points
Foundations of EngineeringENGEN18015.0 Points
Linear Algebra and Statistics for EngineersENGEN18315.0 Points
Calculus for EngineersENGEN18415.0 Points
Discrete StructuresMATHS13515.0 Points

and 15 points from the following

Physics in ContextAPHYS11115.0 Points
Chemistry in ContextCHEMY10015.0 Points
Structure and SpectroscopyCHEMY10115.0 Points
Chemical ReactivityCHEMY10215.0 Points
Engineering MechanicsENGEN11015.0 Points
Electricity and ElectronicsENGEN11115.0 Points
Materials Science and EngineeringENGEN11215.0 Points
General PhysicsPHYSC10015.0 Points
Physics for Engineers and ScientistsPHYSC10115.0 Points

Year 2

Computer SystemsCOMPX20315.0 Points
Practical Networking and Cyber SecurityCOMPX20415.0 Points
Database Practice and ExperienceCOMPX22315.0 Points
Software Engineering DevelopmentCOMPX24115.0 Points
Software Engineering ProcessCOMPX24215.0 Points
Logic and ComputationCOMPX36115.0 Points
Engineering Mathematics 2ENGEN20115.0 Points
Engineering Professional Practice 1ENGEN27015.0 Points
Industry Placement 1ENGEN2710.0 Points

Year 3

Students must take the papers listed below including one of COMP321 or ENGG381 and 20 points chosen from COMP301, COMP311, COMP312 and COMP313.

Year 4 (BE(Hons))

Students must take ENGG492, at least one of COMP424 or COMP439 or COMP448, at least one of COMP426 or COMP452 or COMP454, and points chosen from any other 400 level Computer Science papers, if needed, to complete 120 points at 400 level. COMP401, COMP413, COMP414, COMP424, COMP426, COMP439, COMP440, COMP448, COMP452, COMP453 and COMP454 are recommended.

Topics in Interaction DesignCOMP42415.0 Points
Engineering Interactive SystemsCOMP42615.0 Points
Usability EngineeringCOMP43915.0 Points
Developing Mobile ApplicationsCOMP44815.0 Points
Model CheckingCOMP45215.0 Points
Specification Languages and ModelsCOMP45415.0 Points
Honours Research and Management ProjectENGG49260.0 Points

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-05-31 23:59:00

CMS International Exchange Scholarship

For students who have completed at least one year of study in the Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (FCMS), applied for a University of Waikato exchange programme, and who are currently enrolled full-time in FCMS.

Closing Date: 2018-03-31 23:59:00

Computer Science Undergraduate Scholarship

For students who are currently in Year 12 or Year 13 and who are studying at a New Zealand High School. Students should be intending to enrol in a BCMS(Hons), BSc, BSc(Tech), BE(Hons) or BDes degree, in one of the computing streams, at the University of Waikato. Students will sit a Scholarship exam. The exam will be held on 20 and 21 October 2017.

Closing Date: 2017-09-22 17:00:00

Engineering Admission Fees Scholarship

For students who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering(Honours) degree in the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Waikato and are currently completing the final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00

Smartrak Software Development Scholarship

For students enrolled full time in the second to last year of study towards a BE(Hons) majoring in software engineering or a BCMS with a focus on software development or a BSc(Tech) majoring in computer science with an emphasis on software development. The scholarship will have a value of $4,000.

Closing Date: 2017-09-01 23:59:00


Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences

Phone: 0800 924 528 ext: 4322 or +64 7 838 4322