Degree in Computer Science

Degree in Computer Science

Computer Science is the most science- and maths-oriented qualification for work in the digital/IT industry, and is generally offered as a major or specialisation within a three-year Level 7 Bachelor of Science degree.

Alternative programmes include the four-year Level 7 Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato, and Massey University's Bachelor of Information Science, which combines Computer Science and Information Technology.

Computer Science involves studying the underlying principles of how computer systems and software work, as well as a range of programming languages and algorithms. You may be able to specialise in areas such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Hardware & Electronics
  • Games & Multimedia
  • Information Systems
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Networks & Security
  • Software Development

What jobs can I do?

Computer Science graduates are employed in a wide range of different jobs from software developer/engineer to user experience (UX) designer, programmer, web developer and computer animator. They may also find employment doing high-level systems administration for complex computer networks, or move into a research & development role.

They can also be involved in planning and managing the technology infrastructure of companies and other large organisations. Computer Science graduates' demonstrated skills in computing, analytical thinking and communication can also be applied outside of the digital/IT industry.

What are the entry requirements?

  • University Entrance
  • A strong background in Calculus/Algebra, as many Computer Science programmes involve compulsory first-year Maths courses
  • Most universities offer introductory Maths papers and/or bridging courses to help you catch up – these may be offered during the summer or during the academic year
  • You don't need previous computer programming experience, but Level 3 Digital Technologies credits in Computer Science and Programming will give you a head start

Should I study Software Engineering or Computer Science?

Both the Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science qualifications are valued by the digital/IT industries, and graduates of either degree are employed as software developers and engineers.

Advantages of Software Engineering include:

  • Focus on problem-solving and applying technology
  • More group projects and opportunities to develop communication and team work skills
  • Internationally recognised degree

Advantages of Computer Science include:

  • Focus on how computers work and how they can be faster, smarter and easier to use
  • Develops strong programming skills
  • Covers data structures and algorithms in depth
  • Can combine with other subjects and/or complete a double/conjoint degree
  • Three-year degree

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