Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

BE(Hons) in Software Engineering



What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering is behind many of the things we now take for granted – internet banking, online shopping, mobile payments. It is the apps on your smart phone, the games on your computer, and the cloud storage you depend on to back up your devices. Software engineers combine their expertise in computer science, engineering and mathematics to design, develop and test software for various uses.

The sub-discipline as a whole involves software architecture, system performance, testing and quality assurance, requirements engineering, computer and human interaction, and documentation, all amongst considerations of ethical, social, legal, economic and safety issues. This area of engineering is complex and fast-paced, but propelled by the momentum of intuitive software and app development, the possibilities stretch as far as your imagination.


What will I study?

The Software Engineering specialisation produces graduates capable of engineering large, complex and fault-tolerant systems which function reliably and can be effectively developed and maintained. As a student of Software Engineering, you will build on the general engineering literacy you acquired in Part I by developing specialist software and programming knowledge.

Alongside fundamental mathematics, project management and professional ethics, you will learn about:

  • operating systems
  • programming languages
  • computer organisation and architecture
  • software design and construction
  • data communications
  • algorithm design and analysis

Our degree is co-taught with the Department of Computer Science, meaning you will receive a strong engineering perspective in addition to skills and knowledge relating to leading-edge computing applications, computing technology, and computer systems. By the end of Part IV, you will not only have superior ICT training, but an ability to understand and work through the entire lifecycle of software development and maintenance.


Where will it take me?

We consider Software Engineers to be the newest generation of IT workforce leaders, and believe graduates of this sub-discipline will continue to be ‘in demand’ for the foreseeable future. Infrastructure, government agencies, businesses, and individuals are increasingly reliant on intuitive, dependable, cloud-based software, and this movement is not expected to slow. With a BE(Hons) in Software Engineering, you could end up in virtually any company, managing their information storage and sharing technologies.

You will also find ample opportunities in dedicated software consultancy firms; here, you won’t just be writing programs, you’ll be discussing requirements with clients and designing solutions, making quotes and meeting budgets, and potentially directing your own team. You might end up in management, as an IT CEO, CTO, project leader or specialist technical lead. Other graduates of ours have extended their Part IV projects in postgraduate research, using this to kick-start their very own start-up companies.


Meet our students

Juhi Kamal Goswami is studying towards a BE(Hons) in Software Engineering.

Software - Juhi Goswami

“The world around us is changing rapidly due to the constant development of new technologies. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this change. The technological community sees every day as a new day, and every new day we evolve. This outlook made me fall in love with Software Engineering. The atmosphere of betterment that surrounds studying and working with technology is what drives me.

“A huge advantage of pursuing an engineering degree at the University of Auckland is having the common first year. I got a good feel for what it would be like to study in each of the specialisations, and this helped me a lot in deciding which path I wanted to follow for the remainder of my degree.

“I really enjoyed making my first android app. It was a plain old contacts manager (found on even the simplest of phones), but that development experience helped me to secure my first job as a handset tester. I plan to go on to develop some really worthwhile software that will make the world a better place to live in.

“Besides making some really good friends, I’m glad I chose to study at one of the best engineering faculties around the world. It is a proud feeling to find out that your very own lecturer writes the textbook you are learning from.”


Meet other past students and read about their experiences