Software Engineering


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Master of Engineering

Engineering and Physical Science library computer suite


Our society relies in many ways on software or software-based systems, for example in transportation, entertainment, telecommunications, government, business, health, and avionics.

Very often software systems have a high degree of complexity, often consisting of millions of lines of code produced by large teams of engineers or programmers. We critically depend on their timely and cost-effective completion, and on their reliable and efficient operation. To meet all these targets, a disciplined and well-founded approach to the design, creation and operation of software (or software-based systems) under real-world constraints (economical, ethical, technical, legal) is needed.

The Software Engineering programme at UC provides a unique blend of foundational courses in Computer Science and Engineering, and practical work through a series of projects.


100-level courses

The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Software Engineering students, this is made up of:

Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:

* No EFTS, no fees.

Plus courses specific to Software Engineering:

In addition you must study at least 15 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.

More information:

The professional years

Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Software Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.

See all courses (Years 2-4) required to complete a BE(Hons) in Software Engineering.

In all three professional years students take foundational and advanced courses in core Computer Science and Software Engineering topics, such as databases, operating systems, human-computer interaction, web-based systems, software design and testing. Courses use a mixture of lectures, lab work and practical projects. 

An important feature of studying Software Engineering at UC is the projects, one for each professional year. The projects enable students to work in teams and use the latest software technologies to develop and implement creative solutions to complex problems.

  • The project in the First Professional Year focuses on team work and gaining experience with contemporary software engineering tools for testing, or configuration and build management.
  • The Second Professional Year project is a whole-year project with a focus on team work and interaction with customers and other stakeholders.
  • The final-year project in the Third Professional Year is a capstone project in which students apply all of their software engineering skills.

Career opportunities

There is a strong demand for Software Engineering graduates; New Zealand employers have been complaining that they have to look overseas to find sufficiently qualified candidates who combine technical expertise with good communication skills and teamwork ability.

Software engineering is a widely applicable discipline and graduates are not only needed in software production companies, but also in many companies whose products involve significant amounts of software.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Software Engineering.

More information

Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering

Phone +64 3 369 4222

Please see the Department's website for up-to-date location details.

Postal address
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Kusal Ekanayake

Kusal Ekanayake

'I’d like to eventually work for one of the greats, like Google, Microsoft or Apple...'

Isabelle Taylor

Isabelle Taylor

'There are so many great things about software engineering...''