Computer Science

Major/Minor/Specialisation !290AA-MAJ+1005 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012


Dr Aaron Harwood




The program in Computer Science allows students to study a selection of topics in some depth and to work independently on a medium-sized project. It provides an introduction to research methodology and greater experience in system development. It may be used as a preparation for postgraduate studies in computer science, and opens additional career opportunities in systems design and implementation and in research support.

Entry Requirements: To be eligible for the course, a student must have a three-year degree with substantial computing content as well as an average final-year mark at the level of at least the equivalent of 65. Industrial experience may also be taken into account. As a minimum, computing background should include solid experience with Unix and C programming, as well as good knowledge in the areas of data structures and algorithms for sorting, searching and graph manipulation, software development principles and tools, and software design, including object-oriented design. A student's computing background should also include good knowledge of several more specialised areas, such as artificial intelligence, computability and logic, operating systems, databases, human-computer interaction, computer networks, compilers, computer graphics, and software engineering. Finally, a student must have passed the equivalent of at least 25 points of level-1 Mathematics or Statistics.

Assessment: Assessment consists of written assignments, oral presentations and written examinations.

Seminars: The Department of Computing and Information Systems holds regular seminars; attendance at these is required for Postgraduate Diploma students. Other talks may also be recommended by the teaching staff; these, too, are considered to be part of the course.


The Postgraduate Diploma in Science is designed to:

  • allow students to study a selection of Computer Science topics in depth and to work on an investigative project;
  • provide an introduction to research methodology;
  • provide experience in system development;
  • improve career opportunities in research-oriented jobs, or in systems design and implementation;
  • encourage critical thought and novel ideas in computer science;
  • improve abilities to evaluate information and analyse experimental data;
  • improve oral and written communication skills.

It can be taken full time over 2 semesters or part-time over 4 semesters.

Structure & Available Subjects:

The course consists of:

  • Coursework (75 pts); and
  • Research (25 pts).

The coursework is shared with BCS (Hons) and BSc (Hons) in Computer Science.

Subject Options:

Coursework Component

Students (full-time or part-time) must pass 6 subjects from the following list (including up to three level-3 subjects).

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2012
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Students may also ask the Honours Coordinator's permission to take one relevant masters-level subject outside the Department.


Research Component

As well as advancing the student's knowledge of computer science, the Postgraduate Diploma is intended to introduce students to the world of research. Part way through their first semester, students will select a supervisor and project from a list of topics that academic staff have indicated they are willing to supervise. These projects involve a search of the relevant literature, some investigation or application by the student, and preparation of a final written report summarising the results of the investigation and its relation to other work in the area.

Students are required to present a written summary of their project proposals towards the end of their first semester, and to give a final oral presentation of their research shortly after the deadline for theses. The thesis should not exceed 12,000 words. The thesis contributes 25% towards the final mark. The thesis will be examined by the supervisor and two other members of academic of staff. Guidelines for marking will be made available to students.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Science

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