Computers are at the heart of innumerable modern products, most of which would not be identified as computers. Computer engineering involves the development, both electronics and software, of such 'embedded' computers. It requires a combination of technical knowledge, science and creativity with a strong emphasis on design to develop practical solutions to real-world problems.
Applications, industries and devices associated with computer engineering include computer systems, portable electronics, autonomous robotics, biomedical devices, household electronics, telecommunications and networks, and manufacturing and infrastructure.
Why study at UC?
- The Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Computer Engineering brings together the learning of circuit theory and digital electronics from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree and computer programming, systems and networking covered in the Computer Science degree. This provides students with the knowledge and expertise to create the next era of reliable, smart electronic embedded devices.
- UC has world-class engineering facilities including a futuristic augmented reality lab.
- UC operates BlueGene, the first IBM Supercomputer in the southern hemisphere. UC HPC operates this high performance computing facility, which is available to staff and students and is an essential research tool.
- The College of Engineering has specially-designed computer laboratories and software as well as a specialist Engineering and Physical Sciences library.
- See the Engineering subject page for a host of other reasons why UC's College of Engineering is a globally recognised destination for engineering studies.
Minor in Communications and Network Engineering
If you have an interest in the internet, set-up and running of networks and the communications side of computing then the minor in Communications and Network Engineering may be a route to take within your Computer Engineering degree.
New Zealand has a larger number of internet providers, communication and networking equipment manufacturers and infrastructure providers spanning both major exporters and smaller companies. A number of these companies are based in Christchurch.
Currently, there is a shortage of engineers to fulfil the roles in this area and a need to increase the number of graduates with these skills. Employment opportunities for graduates in this field are extensive especially in the overseas marketplace.
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Computer Engineering students, this is made up of:
Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:
- ENGR100 Academic Writing Assessment*
- ENGR101 Foundations of Engineering
- EMTH118 Engineering Mathematics 1A
- EMTH119 Engineering Mathematics 1B
- PHYS101 Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves and Thermal Physics
* No EFTS, no fees.
Plus courses specific to Computer Engineering:
- COSC121 Introduction to Computer Programming
- Either EMTH171 Mathematical Modelling and Computation or MATH120 Discrete Mathematics
In addition you must study at least 30 points of elective courses
To ensure a total workload of 120 points in the first year. It is advisable to check with the College of Engineering student advisor for suggested electives.
- To see how this qualification is structured, see the degree diagram on the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours page.
- See the Regulations for the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Intermediate Year.
- For guidance on how to structure your Intermediate Year, visit the College of Engineering.
The professional years
Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Computer Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.
The First and Second Professional Years consist of courses that provide a wide, basic knowledge for the computer engineering professional. These include embedded computing, systems and control, digital electronics, electronics and devices, circuits and signals, networking, operating systems, computer science and mathematics.
In the Third Professional Year, students take courses in embedded systems, computer architecture and embedded software engineering. You can select specialised subjects, which can include topics on machine learning, computer vision, communication and network engineering, and signal processing, as well as complete a research project.
Most courses consist mainly of lectures, with laboratory work included to complement the theory and show practical application. Some formal laboratory periods are replaced by independent and group projects.
With approximately 50% of New Zealand’s ICT industry located in the Canterbury region, Christchurch is the ideal location for such a programme, offering abundant opportunities for work experience and excellent employment opportunities for graduates.
There are plenty of exciting job opportunities locally, nationally and internationally for computer engineers, as they are in high demand. Many find employment with companies that create devices with embedded systems such as Tait Electronics, Allied Telesis, Fisher & Paykel, Dynamic Controls and Trimble.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Computer Engineering.
More informationDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Please see the Department's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800