Two Year Master of Computing

Proposal for a Two Year Master of Computing

(Version 10)


A two-year Master of Computing degree has been proposed to satisfy AQF requirements. It, in conjunction with a Graduate Diploma in Computing, will replace the current Master of IT Studies / Master of Computing / Master of Computing Honours combination. Recent changes in University policy have disallowed 36 unit Specializations, as has been proposed so far. One solution is to make the Specializations the required 24 units, allowing for reinstatement of the Information & Human Centered Computing Specialization.


A two-year Master of Computing degree is being proposed to satisfy AQF requirements. The two-year structure however has advantages in ensuring greater breadth and permitting stronger Specializations and greater flexibility. It also can avoid specialization-specific project courses, which has proved problematic in the past and increased administrative overheads. It also has sufficient room to allow a Computing Research Minor serving as a research degree pathway.

Under AQF requirements, for a entrant with 3 year degree, a Masters is of 1.5 years duration if it is in a related discipline, and of 2 years duration otherwise. Thus, the 2-year duration is intended for non-computing graduates. It should be noted that a Graduate Diploma is not attractive for many prospective overseas applicants.

While the course must therefore cater for both computing and non-computing applicants, it is intended that the greater opportunity to complete Specializations and the Research Minor will make the degree attractive for the former.

The degree has emphasis on strong written and verbal communication skills in English in a professional ICT setting. A recent government reports on international graduate outcomes supports such am emphasis. This will enhance the attractiveness of the degree for international applicants wishing to work in the ICT industry in an English-speaking country.

Graduate Attributes

The Master of Computing graduate will have the following attributes:
  1. a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computing and IT including program construction, analysis and design, formal methods, and databases.
  2. broad technical knowledge in a selection of contemporary and advanced ICT topics, with an understanding of research issues in those topics.
  3. excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, in the technical ICT context.
  4. an understanding of research methodology, including literature searching project planning, and evaluation.
  5. experience in applying the above knowledge and skills in a substantial computing project.
Graduates with a Specialization will have comprehensive and in-depth technical knowledge and skills in the designated sub-discipline. Graduates with a Research Minor will have a deeper understanding of research methodology, including defining research problems, designing experiments and writing research papers, applying these skill to a computing research project.

Program Introductory Description

The Master of Computing is a two year full-time (or equivalent part-time) degree that provides students with: The degree includes an optional Research Minor which will qualify students for a pathways to Research Degrees (MPhil or PhD).

Admission Requirements

An approved degree in computing, or a relevant discipline, with a high credit average (or equivalent). Students with outstanding qualifications or work experience may receive up to one year of status (see `Status' section below).

An approved degree in engineering, science or commerce/economics, with at least one programming course and two mathematics courses in the areas of discrete mathematics, calculus, linear algebra and statistics.

Students who do not meet the admission requirements may be eligible for initial entry into the Graduate Diploma in Computing.

Transfer to the Master of Computing with one year of status will be possible for students who complete the Graduate Diploma with a distinction average.


Appropriate students may be awarded up to one year (50%) of status (credit). Students who may be eligible for this include: Students with a 3 year Australian computing degree (or equivalent) with a distinction average, may be eligible for 24 units (25%) status.

Students who receive status will be required to complete at least 36 units of 8000 series or advanced COMP courses. A maximum of 12 units of status towards Specializations may be awarded for courses in the third or fourth year of study that are of sufficient depth and relevance.

Program Requirements

The completion of 96 units including:
  1. A minimum of 84 units of computing courses at 6000-level or above (including any course listed in Schedule 1) in which:
    1. 6 units from the course COMP6442 Program Construction*.
    2. 6 units from the course COMP8705 Communication for Computing Professionals.
    3. 12 units from either of the project courses COMP8715 Computing Project or COMP8800 Computing Research Project #.
    4. a minimum of 42 units from further 8000 series courses, or other courses classified as `advanced', or courses listed under Schedule 1.
  2. A maximum of 12 units of computer science or university electives, including ESEN6101 Extended University English** .
Students may complete up to three of optional 24 unit Computing Specializations or Minors, as listed in Schedule 1.

Student completing the degree with an average mark of 70 will be awarded the Master of Computing with Merit. Student completing the degree with an average mark of 80 will be awarded the Master of Computing with Distinction.

* The requirement for COMP6442 will be waived for students having completed a comparable course from previous university studies.

# COMP8800 Research Project is a 24 unit course requiring the permission of the Program Convenor. It thus contributes 12 units to each of clauses 1.3 and 1.4 above. As a guideline, a Distinction average is required in the first year of study. Students completing COMP8800 will receive a Computing Research Minor.

** The requirement for ESEN6101 will be waived for domestic students and international students with IELTS scores of 7.0 or more.

Schedule 1 - Specializations

Awarding of a Specialization requires the completion of 24 units from courses from the respective lists.

Artificial Intelligence

COMP6320 Artificial Intelligence
COMP6365 System Architectural Understanding & the Brain
COMP6490 Document Analysis
COMP8400 Algorithms & Techniques for Data Mining
COMP8420 Bio-inspired Computing: Applications & Interfaces
COMP8600 Introduction to Statistical Machine Learning
COMP8620 Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence
COMP8650 Advanced Topics in Statistical Machine Learning
COMP8670 Advanced Topics in Logic and Computation
ENGN8530 Computer Vision and Image Understanding
ECON8053 Strategic Thinking: An Introduction to Game Theory

Computational Foundations

COMP6261 Information Theory
COMP6363 Theory of Computation
COMP6361 Principles of Programming Languages
COMP8460 Advanced Algorithms
COMP8670 Advanced Topics in Logic and Computation
MATH6114 Number Theory and Cryptography
MATH6203 Foundations of Mathematics

Computer Systems

COMP6330 Operating Systems Implementation
COMP6361 Principles of Programming Languages
COMP6464 High Performance Scientific Computation
COMP7310 ICT Sustainability
COMP8300 Parallel Systems
COMP8320 Multicore Computing: Principles & Practice
COMP8330 Real-Time and Embedded Systems
ENGN6213 Digital Systems and Microprocessors

Information & Human Centered Computing

COMP6365 System Architectural Understanding & the Brain
COMP6390 HCI and Usability Engineering
COMP6461 Computer Graphics
COMP6490 Document Analysis
COMP8400 Algorithms & Techniques for Data Mining
COMP8420 Bio-inspired Computing: Applications & Interfaces
MATH6100 Bioinformatics and Biological Modelling

Software Engineering

COMP6353 Systems Engineering for Software Engineers
COMP8100 Requirements Elicitation and Analysis Techniques
COMP8110 Managing Software Projects in a System Context
COMP8173 Software Engineering Process
COMP8180 Systems & Software Safety
COMP8190 Model-Driven Software Development
COMP8440 Free & Open Source Software Development
VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity

Computing Research:

COMP8800 Computing Research Project


Professional Computing: 24 units from the completion of:

Last modified: Peter Strazdins, Assoc Director of Education, RSCS