Master of Software Systems Engineering

Course 361AA (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 027897J
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Peter Schachte


Melbourne School of Engineering
Ground Floor, Old Engineering (Building 173)

Current Students:
Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
+61 3 9035 5511

Prospective Students:
Phone: + 61 3 8344 6944

Course Overview:

The MSSE allows graduates of computer science to study current computer science and software engineering topics at an advanced level. The course allows considerable flexibility and students select their own program from the available subjects. The technological skills presented in the MSSE are in high demand throughout the computing industry.The course covers a wide range of subjects enabling students to choose areas a variety of specialisations, for example:

  • Artificial Intelligence: understanding and building intelligent systems
  • Information Management: database and information retrieval systems and associated technologies for the management of data
  • Software Engineering: modern software engineering principles and methodologies

The Master of Software Systems Engineering is designed to:

  • Provide a solid foundation for students who want to develop their career in the broad field of computing
  • Provide a thorough understanding of key areas of Computer Science
  • Provide an introduction to research skills in a selected area
  • Improve computer related oral and written communication skills
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The recommended or standard course structures are listed below. When setting the timetable every effort will be made to avoid clashes between the times of classes associated with these sets of subjects. Students should be aware however, that if it proves to be impossible to achieve a timetable without clashes in these sets of subjects, the Faculty reserves the right to modify course structures in order to eliminate the conflicts. Students will be advised during the enrolment period of the semester if the recommended courses need to be varied. Where the courses include elective subjects these should be chosen so that timetable clashes are avoided. In particular, students in combined degrees should plan their courses so that the subjects chosen in the other faculty do not clash with those recommended for the engineering component.

Subject Options:

All MSSE students must pass SWEN90003 IT Project Management.
Additionally, students may take either seven subjects of 12.5 points each or five subjects of 12.5 points plus a small research project of 25 points (COMP90030 Minor Research Project). The research project involves an investigation and preparation of a substantial written report under the supervision of an academic staff member. Enrolment in this subject requires the approval of the Program Director. Students must complete a minimum of six subjects at study level-9, including SWEN90003 IT Project Management, from those taught by the Department.

Students should note that not all subjects are offered every year. Students seeking definitive details should contact the department prior to commencement. International students should check subject availability before commencing the course.

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

In addition to these subjects, students may with the approval of the Program Director take up to two of the following subjects from the Master of Telecommunications Engineering:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

Academic Requirements

Academic entry requirements are:
a four year degree with a substantial computing content with an average final year mark of at least 70% (University of Melbourne equivalent)
a four year degree in a related discipline together with considerable industry experience in the field of computing or software engineering
consideration will also be given to applicants with a three year degree in a computing-related discipline or equivalent and who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Computer Science) at the University of Melbourne with a mark of 75% or higher.

Computer Background

An applicant's computing background should include solid programming experience as well as a good knowledge of:

  • data structures and algorithms for sorting, searching and graph manipulation
  • software development principles and tools
  • software design including object-oriented design.

An applicant's computing background should also include good knowledge of several specialised areas, such as: artificial intelligence; computability and logic; operating systems; databases; human-computer interaction; computer networks; compilers; computer graphics and software engineering.

An applicant must have studied mathematics or statistics at the equivalent of a second year University level.

English Language Requirement

International students and students whose prior qualifications are from a university overseas where English is not the official language of instruction and examination need to supply proof of academic English language competency. Proof acceptable to the University includes:

Original evidence of an English Language test score at a sitting within the last 24 months of either -

TOEFL - at least 577 and a TWE of at least 4.5 (paper based) or a TOEFL of at least 233 with an Essay Rating of at least 4.5 (computer based)
IELTS - at least 6.5. (A minimum band score of 6 is required in the Academic Writing module).

Entry under a slightly lower Engineering alternative* English Language entry requirement is available as follows:

TOEFL - at least 550, with a TWE of 4 or the computer based TOEFL of at least 213 with an Essay Rating Score of at least 4 and agreeing in writing to undertake and pass an ESL subject in the first semester of study at The University of Melbourne
IELTS - at least 6 and agreeing in writing to undertake and pass an ESL subject in the first semester of study at The University of Melbourne.

* The Faculty of Engineering's English Language alternative may affect the duration and cost of your course.

All students studying at the University of Melbourne must satisfy the University's English language entry requirements in accordance with Regulation 11.1.R3 Principles of Selection for Entry to Courses Academic Board Resolutions on Selection:
For graduate students the University's English language entry requirements are set out at:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Graduate Attributes:

Graduate Attributes:

  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance
  • Capacity for creativity and innovationAbility to manage information and documentation
Generic Skills:

An Engineering graduate has a unique skill set comprising a blend of technical, business and interpersonal skills. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, students will have strong analytical skills, the ability to lead teams and projects and the creativity to look at problems in a way that provides innovative solutions. Our graduates are known for their high standards and professionalism, their understanding of global issues and their outstanding communication skills. For details, see "Objectives".


The program is accredited by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Download PDF version.