Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

BE(Hons) in Computer Systems Engineering



What is Computer Systems Engineering?

Computer systems now pervade almost all aspects of our world and ubiquitous computers are hidden within vast numbers of electro-mechanical environments. Their influence on our daily lives is only expected to increase. In these contexts, computers are used as the controllers and components of systems, in things like wireless communication systems, home automation systems, appliances, automobiles, factory processes, mechatronics, instrumentation, embedded systems and nano-systems.

Computer Systems Engineering is the crucial branch of the discipline that solves practical engineering problems by creating computer-based systems – in particular, systems that have a computer embedded in a large system operation. Such systems must sense, make decisions and act in the real world, and their design requires specialist knowledge that encompasses both hardware and software. A degree in Computer Systems Engineering will provide you with the fundamental tools and knowledge to enable you to keep up with this fast-paced area of innovation.

What will I study?

The pace of change in computer systems is phenomenal; it is simply not possible to provide a lasting professional education based only on the technology.

For this reason, the Computer Systems specialisation provides a combination of:

  • fundamental knowledge in computer systems
  • practical skills in hardware and software design
  • general problem solving skills required in design and building systems
  • project work
  • verbal and written communication
  • exposure to a variety of existing and leading-edge electronic, hardware and software technologies

You will learn about embedded systems, computational intelligence, distributed computing, information engineering, intelligent robotics, industrial decision support systems, home automation, automobiles and instrumentation, supplemented by a solid grounding in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Programme structure

  • Part II introduces fundamental strands of electrical and electronic engineering, including computer hardware and software.
  • Part III involves considerable project work in computer systems.
  • Part IV is predominantly comprised of elective courses, allowing you to choose courses that align with your preferences and skills. You will also complete a Part IV Research Project, with a weighting of 25% of the year’s work. This represents the culmination of the engineering design strand.

Explore the BE(Hons) Computer Systems Engineering programme in detail


Where will it take me?

Opportunities for computer systems engineers are vast, and as innovative design and product development continues at a rapid pace, so does the demand for qualified engineers. As a graduate, you might end up working in the mainstream computer industry or in other areas of electrical and engineering disciplines. Opportunities are available in multinational computer companies, consulting firms, the telecommunications industry, research and development of new intelligent systems, manufacturing and resource industries.

You might become a Computer Network Manager, a Product Development Engineer, a System Test or Automation Engineer, an Embedded Systems Designer, or a Field Specialist. You might extend your Part IV Research Project, develop a new technology and form your own start-up company, or commit to a more research-orientated career pathway and continue into postgraduate study. Whatever your path, we are confident that you won’t be short of options.


Meet our students

Humaa Yaqoob has recently completed a BE(Hons) in Computer Systems Engineering.


CompSys - Humaa Yaqoob

“Because Computer Systems Engineering has elements of both electrical and software engineering, I now have the flexibility to go into either field. My goal is to use my qualification in a job that is enjoyable, challenging and that makes other people’s lives easier. Soon I will be starting my career as a Graduate Software Developer at Xero.

“I decided to pursue engineering because physics and maths were my favourite subjects at school, I enjoyed being up for a challenge, and I knew it would give me skills in a field that has a shortage of workers so I wouldn’t have trouble finding a job afterwards.

“My Part IV project involved building a cloud-based manufacturing system using an ice-cream factory setup. At the Project Exhibition day, my partner and I had a lot of people come to order ice-cream and watch the factory make their order!

“The highlight of my time at the University of Auckland is definitely the lifelong friendships I’ve made. The atmosphere in Engineering is friendly and supportive, which makes it easy to make friends. I’ve been a leader of the Women in Engineering Network (WEN) for the past three years and have loved talking to girls about why I chose engineering.”


Meet other past students and read about their experiences