All four computing degrees at UNSW have a common core of computing and mathematics. This core provides the fundamentals in good design and techniques that are essential for a deep understanding of the field. It also covers the skills that most employers are looking for, like problem solving skills, in a way that makes our graduates highly flexible and widely sought after. As shown below, the degrees all overlap to an extent and therefore so do job prospects, but each degree also contains unique fields of study.
What differentiates the four Degree Programs are the other courses studied beyond this core - in choosing a degree you are choosing a different emphasis in your major but are not locked into a particular type of employment. Transferring between the four degrees is also relatively easy in most cases.
Bioinformatics mixes computing and life sciences; it incorporates biology and chemistry with the common computing core. The field largely involves the analysis of genes and proteins to propose cures and solutions in Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, through computer analysis rather than laboratory experimentation. Graduates work in the fields of Biosciences, Pharmaceuticals and all industries requiring data analysis - for example financial institutions.
Computer Engineering is the study of hardware and software components for the integrated design of computerised systems; it incorporates electrical engineering with the common computing core. Examples include: super computers; personal computers such as laptops; embedded systems such as smart phones; safety- critical controllers for aircraft and electronic prostheses to improve quality of life. This field teaches the principles and techniques necessary to design these systems with maximal impact.
Computer Science is the most flexible computing degree at UNSW. Students study the common core, but are then free to choose other courses to specialise in their own way. The choices can be within Computing or in fields outside of Computing, like Engineering, Science, Arts or Business. Psychology, Philosophy, Information Systems and Japanese are popular, but there are many more. Even though this is a Science degree, at UNSW it is taught with strong Engineering principles with a focus on design.
Software Engineering combines the common computing core with design and project management skills. Software Engineering goes beyond Programming and a feature of the Program at UNSW is a series of software engineering workshops that give students experience in designing a large system, working in teams and managing projects. The focus is on the design of software systems that have the required functionality and are secure and reliable.
60 days of Industrial Training (IT) is a requirement for all Bachelor of Engineering programs. It is recommended that students start thinking about IT in the summer after Year 2 and Year 3. Graduation may be delayed if a satisfactory report for 60 day industrial training has not been received and approved by the release of final year results.
Final Year Thesis
A full year thesis is compulsory in all Bachelor of Engineering programs and the Bachelor of Science Honours. The course outline is availalbe on the Thesis Website, together with information on topics and supervisors, assessment requirements and deadlines, in addition to a sample thesis report library which is accessed via myCSE but currently enrolled students.