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Studying Computer Science in New Zealand

Studying a computer science degree at a New Zealand university

Computer science is a multifaceted discipline centred around working with computers and computational systems. It involves instructing these systems on designing, testing, and analysing diverse computer systems and software. Within its curriculum, you'll encounter topics like algorithms, networking, database management, and programming, all of which equip you to find solutions to various problems.

In New Zealand, computer science courses offer an expansive exploration of computers and computational systems. This comprehensive subject spans activities from crafting algorithms and software to understanding how software interfaces with hardware systems, undergoes analysis, and evolves. It is part of a broader family of interrelated disciplines, which include computer engineering, computer science, information systems, information technology, and software engineering.

In New Zealand, you can pursue computer science degrees at various levels, including diplomas, bachelor's, master's, and even doctorate programs, with multiple specializations available. New Zealand universities offer full-time and part-time study options, each with a specific course duration. Upon completing your chosen program, you can embark on careers like web design, software development, network engineering, technical writing, and more.

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Types of Computer Science Courses in New Zealand

Diploma in Computer Science Studies

The diploma program is a pathway to undergraduate studies, which includes basic and advanced levels of understanding of computer applications. It allows students to grasp knowledge of software design and development, programming, and coding. Students enrolling in this program will study programming, machine learning, computer networks, system architectures, system integrations, etc. 

Bachelor’s in Computer Science

A bachelor’s in computer science is an undergraduate degree or a pathway program to a master’s. It is also abbreviated as BCompSc or BCS. The course is designed to emphasise the mathematical and theoretical foundations of computing. In addition, New Zealand's computer courses cover computer algorithms, data structures, algorithms, logic and computation, computer architecture, etc. These programs teach and help you develop in-demand hard skills like coding, networking, technical writing, and design. After completing the course, you can land jobs like computer network architect, software developer, game developer, etc. 

Master’s in Computer Science

A master’s in computer science teaches advanced theory and applications of computer technology, along with training in computing theory, systems architecture, and software development. Most of the master’s programs in computer science degree offer concentrations that include managerial coursework. 

A postgraduate degree can help you bag leadership roles, which often boast a high pay scale. Some potential career paths include - computer scientist, senior software engineer, lead software engineer, etc. 

Doctorate in Computer Science

A doctorate or PhD is the highest level of education you can get in studying computer science. The curriculum comprises advanced classes with a dissertation submission at the end of the course. After meeting coursework and doctoral examination requirements, you must defend your dissertation. After completing a doctorate in computer science, PhD graduates can work in research or academia as computer scientists and professors. 

Scholarships

Here is the list of top scholarships for students applying for computer science courses in NZ. 

Scholarship

Offered by

Value

William Georgetti Scholarship

University of Canterbury

Up to $20,000 

Otago Coursework Master’s Scholarship

University of Otago

$10,000

KiwiPlan NZ Limited Scholarship

University of Auckland

$4,500

Latin American Academic Achievement Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington

$5,000

UC Computer Science High Achievers Award (School-Leaver Scholarship)

University of Canterbury

$2,000

Jobs and Careers

The IT industry is the most demanding sector, and we all know that. Hence, to land a desirable career in computer science, it is essential to be aware of New Zealand's in-demand skills shortage of professionals in the country. According to a report in 2019, about 75,000 people were working in the IT field, and the ICT industry of NZ is one of the highest-paying sectors, with an average pay scale of $75,000 annually. Other jobs that IT professionals can take up include database architect, senior technical consultant, general manager IT and chief information officer.

Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of nearly 70,000 computer and information technology jobs between 2021-2031. Here is the pay scale range for each job profile within computer science. 

Job Profile

Median Annual Salary

Computer and Information Research Scientists

$131,490

Software Developers

$120,730

Database Administrators

$96,710

Computer Programmers

$93,000

Web Developers and Digital Designers 

$78,300

Top Universities for Computer Science Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best computer science courses in New Zealand, find details of the top ranking Computer Science universities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024:

Rank

University

Acceptance rate 

1

University of Auckland

68%

2

University of Otago

58%

3

Victoria University of Wellington

64%

4

University of Canterbury

50%

5

University of Waikato

70%

6

Auckland University of Technology

50%

7

Massey University

65%

Study Computer Science in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for a computer science degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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FAQ

Is New Zealand suitable for computer science courses?

New Zealand is known for its quality education, curriculum, and exceptional decorum. Consequently, its IT and computer science courses are among the most popular programs, especially for international students. 

What is the total cost of studying computer science in New Zealand?

The cost of studying depends on the type of university and the course you choose to study. However, for a bachelor’s degree, students can accept a fee ranging from $22,000 - $50,000. On the other hand, a master’s in computer science in New Zealand can range from $35,000 - $60,000. 

What are the admission requirements for computer science in New Zealand?

The eligibility criteria for bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral programs differ depending on the university, course, and credits. However, the applicant must have an excellent academic record (12th/bachelor’s/master’s) and must have passed the standardised tests, such as IELTS/TOEFL/PTE, with minimum qualifying scores. 

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