Computer Engineering

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering is changing the way we lead our lives. Technology such as the World Wide Web, not thought of 20 years ago, is now a fundamental element of our daily existence. Cars, which until a few years ago had only rudimentary electrics, today boast over a hundred microprocessors. Half the world's population uses mobile phones. Increasingly, physically challenged people interact in ways not previously possible, and tomorrow we might all be extending our physical presence into virtual worlds. Modern gaming machines provide a level of virtual realism and entertainment that surpasses actual reality. Our very survival may depend upon better sensing, understanding and responding to the changes in our environment. Computer Engineering empowers you with access to the methods and skills necessary to create systems that can change lives.

Computer Engineering encompasses the structured and integrated design of the hardware and software components of computerised systems. Not only do personal computer systems, such as desktops and laptops fall into this category, but so do embedded systems for gaming, cars and PDAs, supercomputers used in climate modelling and gene analysis, and prosthetic systems such as ocular implants intended to improve quality of life. The challenge for the engineer is to design these systems with maximal impact, and to trade off competing factors using engineering, scientific and mathematical principles. This degree teaches the principles and techniques necessary to engineer high quality systems.

Computer Engineers learn theoretical concepts in engineering, computer science, mathematics and physics, along with the skills to utilise the theory in practice. Computer Engineers at UNSW are offered advanced courses in Computer architecture, Operating Systems, Chip design, Embedded Systems design, Reconfigurable Computing, Software Engineering, Telecommunications, and Algorithms design. In addition to the technical skills, students are exposed to problem solving skills, people skills, and management skills as part of the program.

Career Opportunities

In an age of instant communication and high speed computation, the opportunities for graduates are rapidly expanding. Companies in the areas of Embedded Systems, VLSI Design, Software Design, Communication Systems, Computer Networks, Gaming, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive and Computer Systems are just a small sample of the industries in which graduates are employed.

UNSW's Computer Engineering program is recognised by the Institution of Engineers in Australia for professional engineering purposes. International professional engineering bodies which are signatories to the Washington Accord also recognise the degree. This enables UNSW graduates to contribute in many countries and societies. Potential employers include "hi-tech" companies, software companies, hardware companies, government agencies, educational institutions, large private sector companies, and small firms producing systems.

Program Content and Flexibility

The Computer Engineering Program focuses on both hardware and software, including rapidly developing areas from embedded systems to telecommunications. It promotes an understanding of systematic hardware and software design practices and of the technologies that enable designs to be implemented in practice. This program provides the basis for a challenging and rewarding career at the forefront of technological innovations in computing.

Students have a choice of electives in the latter stages of the program that allows them to focus on specific areas of interest in both hardware and software.

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Assumed Knowledge 

Maths Ext 1, Physics. Those who do not have HSC Physics will need to complete an additional Physics course (PHYS1111).

Students who do not meet these levels should contact our Student Office about alternatives, including bridging courses and alternative program structures.

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Advantageous Knowledge:

Maths Ext 2.

Obtaining a result in Band E4 in Maths Ext 2 allows students to take the higher level maths course MATH1141.