university of victoria masters in computer science admission requirements

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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Kick-start a new career

Want to start a new career developing web, mobile, or software applications? The Master of Software Development shows you how. This conversion degree is designed to help people from non-tech backgrounds pivot into the thriving tech industry.

The MSwDev is an intensive 12-month programme that starts in July (Trimester 2). It’s delivered by the School of Engineering and Computer Science through the Wellington ICT Graduate School. It teaches you core programming concepts and skills that you can apply to a real-world project during a paid internship in a local business.

Develop critical software skills

On this programme, you’ll learn how to program in Java, an object-oriented programming language used for large, enterprise-class applications. You’ll learn about data structures, version control, networking, databases, security, web systems, agile development methodologies, design patterns, and more. You’ll gain the core skills and confidence to hit the ground running as a software developer.

Master of Software Development


3 trimesters
3 trimesters of full-time study


180 points
4 courses


40 Taranaki Street, Wellington


Daytime classes


Lectures, hands-on tutorials, project work, internship

Key dates

  • 2021, Trimester 2: Apply by 15 Jun 2021 to start studying 5 Jul 2021
  • 2022, Trimester 2: Apply by 20 Jun 2022 to start studying 11 Jul 2022

Estimated domestic fees for 2021 

NZ$14,505 for the full programme


Bachelor’s degree (not in computer science) with at least a B average

Who should apply

The Master of Software Development is designed for people who want to work in the software development industry but who don’t already have a tech background. If you have a degree in a different subject and want to change careers, we’ll teach you what you need to know to make the move.

Before you start this programme, it could be helpful to have a little experience with coding. You might have done some basic programming at high school or followed some introductory online coding tutorials.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree with at least a B average in a field other than computer science and want to become a software developer, this could be the perfect programme for you.

Other options

If you already have a strong tech background, the MSwDev may not be quite right for you. One of our other postgraduate programmes might be a better fit.

If you have a degree in Computer Science, you could study a Master of Artificial Intelligence, an MSc in Computer Science, or a Master of Computer Science with a focus on Software Engineering.

Or, if you have an Engineering degree, you could study a Master of Engineering or a Master of Engineering Practice—a good fit for many of our international students.

portrait photo

(I was able to) leverage what we were taught on the programme to quickly pick up new concepts, languages, and tech and then apply it all to the development task at hand.

Alexis De Meo

Master of Software Development studentFull story 

What you’ll study

The MSwDev is a full-time 180-point Master’s programme that starts in July (Trimester 2). You’ll complete this qualification in three consecutive trimesters over 12 months.

Trimester 2 (July to October)

Professional Programming Skills—SWEN 501 (15 points)

Master core programming skills, concepts, and techniques, including fundamental control structures, programming commands, data structures, object orientation, and fundamental algorithms. By learning the core principles in Java, you’ll be able to pick up other languages in the future.

Software Development Studio 1—SWEN 502 (45 points)

Build on the skills you learned in SWEN 501 and increase your understanding of software engineering concepts and techniques. You’ll work on a variety of industry-relevant group projects that address a range of topics in software development and computer science. The course will teach teamwork skills, professional practice skills, and communication skills in the context of software development. You’ll also get into advanced topics like networking, cybersecurity, and human-computer interaction.

Trimester 3 (November to February)

Software Development Studio 2—SWEN 504 (60 points)

Complete a sequence of group projects, mixed with teaching sessions, industry seminars, industry case studies, and tutorials. At the tutorials you’ll explore the background to the projects and have your work reviewed. You’ll explore topics like web development, testing, mobile apps, cloud computing, and agile development. The group work and the teaching will be done in the same physical space, allowing for flexible timing of the more formal components of the course. The course will include weekly seminars from industry professionals on a range of topics.

Trimester 1 (March to June)

Industry Research and Development Project—SWEN 589 (60 points)

This is a substantial project that involves working on a software research and development task. Generally it will be done as a placement in a local ICT business, but it can also be an industry-related project done within the school. The project involves supervision by one of our teachers and by the industry employer, and you’ll have the chance to report on your work and give presentations.

Duration and workload

You’ll complete the MSwDev in 12 months of full-time study spread over three trimesters: July to October, November to February, and March to June.

Studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40 to 45 hours a week for much of the year. Make sure you take this into account if you have other commitments.

You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you’ll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10 to 12 hours work.


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