Bachelor of Information Sciences (Software Engineering)


The best of both worlds

Software engineering brings together the disciplines of computer science and information technology. The Massey Bachelor of Information Sciences (Software Engineering) gives you a highly-practical and sought-after qualification that is practice-focused and industry-relevant.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Studying software engineering will see you gain the knowledge, tools and practical skills to be able to design, construct, test and maintain large software applications.

The Bachelor of Information Sciences (Software Engineering) is a joint major which means that you will study aspects of both computer science and information technology.

Your learning will focus on:

  • the design and construction of large software applications
  • both soft and hard software development skills
  • the technical knowledge of computer programming from computer science combined with the design and team skills of information technology.

In demand

Employers are always seeking increasing numbers of staff. Look at the SEEK website to see the demand for ICT professionals in New Zealand. The majority of the hiring is taking place because of increased demand and new projects.

Software engineering is a high demand area, including jobs for developers, architects, software testers, user requirement specialists and business analysts. As well as network security, project management and data/databases.

Software engineers are in high demand throughout the world, which means there are plenty of jobs out there for hard working graduates. 

Create real applications, while you study

An exciting part of the joint major is the team project in the third year, when you will work together with other students to create a new application.

You can change your major within the degree up until the end of your first year.

Careers and further study


Graduates with the software engineering joint major possess a broad range of skills and practice and are able to move into any one of a wide range of employment opportunities.

This programme will give you the skills to enter the computing profession at the level of software engineer. Later, you may be able to move into management of large software projects, including those in safety critical systems.

You’ll also have the necessary background to fully participate in software development teams.You’ll be particularly well-equipped to hold positions in the design and management of large software systems.

Roles available to programme graduates include:

  • software engineer
  • systems analyst
  • requirements engineer
  • software developer
  • usability engineer.

There are a huge number of job opportunities in this area worldwide. Check out the SEEK website for the around 2000 ICT careers available in New Zealand at any one time.

Further study

Once you graduate you can move on to advanced study in the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Sciences (one year of 120 credits in taught courses) or the Master of Information Sciences (180 credits including 120 credits of taught courses and a major professional project).

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Core courses – 90 credits
  • Major courses (depending on chosen major) – 120‑165 credits
  • Electives (depending on chosen major) – 105‑150 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

You could replace some electives with a minor.

Courses for this specialisation

200-level courses (90 credits)

45 credits
158212 Application Software Development 15
158222 Data Wrangling and Machine Learning 15
158225 Systems Analysis and Modelling 15
158235 Networks, Security and Privacy 15
158244 System Management and Testing 15
158247 Database Design 15
158256 Web Application Design 15
158258 Web Development 15
45 credits
159201 Algorithms and Data Structures 15
159202 Declarative Programming 15
159234 Object-Oriented Programming 15
159236 Embedded Programming 15
159251 Software Engineering Design and Construction 15
159271 Computational Thinking for Problem Solving 15
159272 Programming Paradigms 15

300-level courses (60 credits)

30 credits
158326 Software Architecture 15
158333 Applied Machine Learning and Big Data Processing 15
158335 The Internet of Things and Cloud Computing 15
158337 Database Development 15
158359 User Experience Design 15
30 credits
159302 Artificial Intelligence 15
159336 Mobile Application Development 15
159339 Internet Programming 15
159341 Programming Languages, Algorithms and Concurrency 15
159342 Operating Systems and Networks 15
159352 Advanced Web Development 15
159355 Concurrent Systems 15
159360 Programming for Computer Graphics 15

Compulsory capstone course

Between 15 and 30 credits
159333 Programming Project 15
159356 Software Engineering Capstone Project 15
247310 ICT Industry Engagement Project 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

This is a guide. You are advised to check the Courses for this Programme section and the regulations for this programme on this page for the latest information on courses.

Your first year

First year for a full-time student usually consists of eight courses.  Take electives (or courses from other majors) to get the total number of courses to eight.  Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.  You can change your major up until the start of your second year and it is a good idea to keep your options open by taking courses such that you are ready to move on to several different majors.  In the first year of study, you should take the following courses:

  • 159.101 Technical Programming 1 
  • 159.102 Technical Programming 2 or 159.172 Computational Thinking and Programming 2
  • 158.100 Introductory Concepts for Information Technology
  • 158.120 Fundamental Information Technologies
  • At least one mathematics course – one or more of 160.105, 160.101, 160.102.  Note: you can also take 160.104 as an elective in your degree but you require at least 160.105 for the major. 
  • At least one statistics course – one of 161.111 or 161.122
  • 247.112 Science and Sustainability for ICT (or another Science and Sustainability course)
  • Also take one elective course (which could be 160.104)

See ‘Courses for this programme’ for the required courses at 200-level and 300-level.


Completing a minor is optional.  Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities. A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Information Sciences (Software Engineering) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that programme will apply.

A software engineering minor (for students who are studying a different degree)  

If you are not studying towards a Bachelor of Information Sciences (Software Engineering) and wish to complete a minor in software engineering see the regulations for the requirements of this minor.  

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

A good fit if you:

  • are interested in the ‘big picture’ of software development
  • are interested in both computer science and information technology
  • are interested in the development of major software applications (such as web, apps, games and the Internet of Things).

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand (IITP) accreditation

The Bachelor of Information Sciences is one of the few computing degrees in New Zealand to be accredited by the IT industry through IITP. Majors in computer science, information technology and software engineering are all endorsed by the Institute. Accreditation ensures that courses are relevant to the industry.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.


Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships