Software Engineering

Software engineering is the scientific, disciplined and quantifiable approach to developing, operating and maintaining complex software systems. These software systems include operating systems, networks, real-time and embedded systems, distributed and parallel systems, as well as engineering, scientific and business application software.

Career Opportunities

  • Product Development Engineer
  • Programmer  
  • Software Consultant  
  • Software Developer  
  • Systems Analyst

Potential Employers

  • Communication Industries
  • Computer Systems Design Industry
  • Consultancies
  • Electronic Equipment Manufacturers
  • Government Agencies
  • Software Publishers

The Software Engineering programme at Waikato emphasises the software engineering process, formal methods for software engineering, and human-computer interaction. This means that, wherever possible, we develop and use processes that are demonstrably reliable, we use systematic techniques to test software systems, we work on formally proving that safety critical systems operate correctly under all possible operating conditions, and we place strong emphasis on the vitally important interface between critical, complex systems and the people who use them or are affected by them.

Once you graduate you will be well suited for all areas of employment that require development of high quality software that is possibly safety- or mission-critical.

School subjects

You must gain University Entrance, including a minimum of 16 credits in NCEA at Level 3 in Calculus and at least 14 credits in NCEA at Level 3 in two or more approved subjects. Some first-year papers, such as MATH101 and MATH102, have specific prerequisites so check the paper list carefully.

Planning Your Degree

All of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (BE(Hons)) specified programmes have full IPENZ accreditation, making them both nationally and internationally recognised qualifications.

Below is a list of a standard papers taken in each year under this subject. Please note, this is indicative only and may differ depending on each student's individual situation.

Core Papers

Papers are worth 15 points.
  • COMP103 – Introduction to Computer Science 1
  • COMP104 – Introduction to Computer Science 2
  • ENGG180 – Foundations of Engineering
  • ENMP102 – Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
  • MATH101 – Introduction to Calculus
  • MATH102 – Introduction to Algebra
Plus choose a further 30 points from the following:
  • CHEM100 – Chemistry in Context OR
    CHEM111 – Structure and Spectroscopy OR
    CHEM112 – Chemical Reactivity
  • ENEL111 – Introduction to Electronics
  • PHYS103 – Physics for Scientists and Engineers 1
  • STAT111 –  Statistics for Science OR
    STAT121 – Introduction to Statistical Methods

Core Papers

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.
  • COMP200 – Computer Systems (10 points)
  • COMP202 – Computer Communications (10 points)
  • COMP219 – Database Practice and Experience
  • COMP235 – Logic and Computation
  • COMP241 – Software Engineering Development (10 points)
  • COMP242 – Software Engineering Process (10 points)
  • ENGG279 – Preparation for the Professional Work Place (0 points)
  • ENGG282 – Engineering Design (10 points)
  • ENGG283 – Linear Algebra for Engineers (10 points)
  • ENGG284 – Differential Equations for Engineers (10 points)
  • ENGG371 – Engineering Work Placement 1 (0 points)
  • ENMP282 – Engineering Design (10 points)

Core Papers

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.
  • COMP314 – Software Engineering Project
  • COMP317 – Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMP325 – Human-Computer Interaction
  • COMP340 – Reasoning about Programs
  • ENGG372 – Engineering Work Placement 2 (0 points)
  • ENGG379 – Reflection on Professional Workplace Experience (0 points)
  • ENGG381 – Engineering Statistics OR
    COMP321 – Practical Data Mining

Plus choose a further 20 points from the following:

  • COMP301 – Operating Systems
  • COMP311 – Computer Systems Architecture
  • COMP312 – Communications and Systems Software
  • COMP313 – Programming Languages

Core Papers

Papers are worth 15 points unless specified.
  • ENGG492 – Honours Research and Management Project (60 points)
Choose at least one of:
  • COMP424 – Interaction Design
  • COMP439 –  Usability Engineering
  • COMP448 – Developing Mobile Applications
Choose at least one of:
  • COMP426 –  Engineering Interactive Systems
  • COMP452 – Model Checking
  • COMP454 – Specification Languages and Models
The remaining papers can be made up of any 400 level Computer Science papers. Some recommended papers are listed below. Together with the papers above, you must take a total of 120 points of 400 Level Computer Science papers (ENGG492 and four others).


  • COMP401 –  Topics in Operating Systems
  • COMP413 – Topics in Computer Networks
  • COMP414 – Carrier and ISP Networks
  • COMP440 – Software Engineering Methodologies
  • COMP453 – Extremely Parallel Programming