Course Advice - Computer Engineering - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Computer Engineering Course Advice

Director of Studies

Dr Steve Weddell
Senior Lecturer
ICT, Room 203
Ph: +64 3 369 4419 ext 94419

Entry into the Computer Engineering programme

While there are a number of different pathways into the programme, most students enter at the 1st Professional (Year 2) level

The pathways for entry into the Computer Engineering programme are:

  • High school graduates entering at the Intermediate level, and on successful completion enter the professional programme through the competitive pool based on their Grade Point Average.
  • International Students entering at Intermediate Level, please contact the College of Engineering.
  • Direct Entry students into the 1st Professional Year, based on prior learning or excellent high school grades
  • Direct Entry students into the 2nd Professional Year, based on prior learning - such as a BSc.
For specific information on entry requirements, please consult the College of Engineering Student Advisors.

Degree Structure

The specific degree regulations can be found at the University of Canterbury Relations website

Programme themes

Below are details on the various themes within the programme.

Computer Engineering Core

Computer Engineering, at the University of Canterbury, is centered around embedded devices. In the core Computer Engineering papers topics on computer systems board level design, operating systems, computer architecture and digital electronics and logic are covered. The core courses are:

Design and Management

The design papers bring together mathematical, scientific and technology concepts studied at depth in other courses into a single cohesive unit. They allow students to develop experience in complex problem solving on projects that span topics that, when studied in isolation, may appear loosely connected. These courses also introduce specific technical skills (such as drawing and simulation). The final project (ENEL400) is a capstone course, which takes a concept through to realisation in teams of four, often working in conjunction with industry in real world applications.

The management papers cover core business, economics and soft skills (finance, marketing, legal and ethics) that all engineers need to be able to interact meaningfully with other professions in the workplace.

The papers in this theme include:

Signals, Systems and Control and Robotics

This theme of papers covers circuit analysis at the fundamental end through to its application in systems analysis, signal processing and control. Students progress from foundation concepts through to current research in analogue and digital signal processing, and continuous to discrete computer control.

The papers in this theme include:

Networks and Communications

Modern computer systems are not stand-alone isolated machines, but complex systems consisting of many computing components that communicate over networks. This theme covers this topic and includes: data communications, networking, information-theoretic fundamentals of communications, Markov and queueing theory, modulation, equalisation, encoding, and optimal detection. So, it covers fundamental mathematical skills, physical properties of communication, and organisation arrangements of networks.

The papers in this theme include:

Software Engineering

A specialist BE(Hons) Software Engineering programming has been developed. As a result Computer Engineering students may take the following course as an option in the Computer Engineering programme subject to Director of Computer Engineering approval.

Graphics and HCI

This theme covers the topics of computer graphics, and how computers and people interact:

*Note that COSC426 is not normally allowed and application must be sort to offer this paper.

Algorithms and Machine Learning

This theme covers fundamental concepts and techniques in computer science, including probablisitic methods, automata theory, graph theory, algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The papers in this theme include:


Fundamental concepts in electronics and electronic devices (i.e. transistors and op-amps) for the construction of analogue equipment and high-speed switching in digital circuits..

The papers in this theme include:


The foundation skills of engineering and science are in mathematics. Students may opt to take mathematics papers at 300 and 400 level provided they have prerequisites. The papers in this theme include:

Minor in Communications and Network Engineering

A minor is a specialist area that represents a concentration in a broad-based degree programme.

Our computer Engineering programme offers a minor in Communications and Network Engineering. By taking a set of specialist courses you would be eligible to apply for this minor and this would appear on your transcript. Note however, that this would not appear on your degree certificate. The current Computer Engineering course options required for a minor are:

* Note: The ENEL400 Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Project must be taken with a communications or networking focus as approved by the Director of Studies.