Program Comparison

Degrees Offered by CSE

Download a copy of the UNSW ICT degree comparison table (pdf) for a full description on the content and differences between a number of degrees in this area offered by UNSW.






YearComputer EngineeringComputer ScienceSoftware EngineeringBioinformatics
Year 1
COMP1917 Computing 1
COMP1927 Computing 2
ENGG1000 Engineering Design*
    SENG1031 Software Engineering Workshop 1  
Year 2
  COMP2041 Software Construction
    COMP2111 System Modelling and Design  
COMP2121 Microprocessors and Interfacing  
COMP2911 Engineering Design in Computing
COMP3222 Digital Circuits and Systems      
    SENG2011 Software Engineering Workshop 2A  
    SENG2021 Software Engineering Workshop 2B  
Year 3
      COMP3121 Algorithms & Programming Techniques
    COMP3141 S'ware Sys. Design & Implementat'n  
COMP3211 Computer Architecture      
COMP3231 Operating Systems      
    COMP3311 Database Systems
    COMP3331 Computer Networks and Applications  
COMP3601 Design Project A      
      BINF3010 Bioinformatics Methods & Applications
    SENG3011 Software Engineering Workshop 3  
Year 4
COMP4601 Design Project B      
COMP4930 Thesis part A COMP4910 Thesis part A SENG4910 Thesis part A COMP4930 Thesis part A
COMP4931 Thesis part B COMP4911 Thesis part B SENG4911 Thesis part B COMP4931 Thesis part B
COMP4920 Management and Ethics COMP4920 Management and Ethics** SENG4921 Professional Issues and Ethics COMP4920 Management and Ethics

* ENGG1000 is a recommended elective in Computer Science.


Computer Engineering

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 degree teaches the principles and techniques necessary to design these systems with maximal impact.

Computer Science

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

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.


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.