Faculty of Engineering

Network Engineering

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of Engineering and Computer Science.


The exponential growth in communication networks in recent years has totally changed the way we work and play. We now demand instant communication with anyone via voice, text and video, and immediate access to all kinds of information and services. The networks that make this possible involve a wide range of engineering challenges.

They employ different technologies—wireless, wired and fibre optics—which must be seamlessly interconnected and have to work in a highly robust and efficient manner. This requires complex designs incorporating different protocols that govern how information flows over the networks and how the networks respond to faults.

The study of networking includes the network elements, applications, content and the distributed systems that make up the service-enabling technologies. The Network Engineering major will give students an understanding of the full range of modern communication technologies, network protocols and middleware required for modern networks. It will equip them with the expertise to design, build, configure and test modern networks and networked services.

This programme is unique within New Zealand and builds on the long established expertise in computer networks and distributed systems at Victoria.

Network Engineering can be taken as a major in the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours BE(Hons).

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Undergraduate information

Network Engineering students must complete the following components to obtain their BE(Hons) in Network Engineering (NWEN).

Part 1

This consists of the following courses, which provide the necessary foundation for a BE(Hons) (NWEN):

Please note:

  • Students may substitute PHYS 114, PHYS 115 or ENGR142 for PHYS 122 
  • Students may substitute (MATH151 and MATH 161; and one of MATH 177, QUAN 102 or STAT 193) for (ENGR 121 and ENGR 123)

A full programme of study consists of eight courses per year. If you are doing seven courses we recommend that you take a Part 3 paper.

To gain entry to Part 2, students will need to pass their Part 1 courses with at least a B average.

Part 2

This is the core component of the BE(Hons), and is made up of various 200, 300 and 400-level courses:

  • ENGR 301, 302, 401, 489
  • COMP 261, NWEN 241, 242, 243, 301, 302, 304
  • At least three courses from SWEN 221, 222, 223, 224, ECEN 201-239
  • At least one course from COMP 301-399, SWEN 301-399, NWEN 303, ECEN 301-399
  • At least three courses from NWEN 401-439, ENGR 440
  • At least one further course from COMP 401-479, SWEN 401-479, NWEN 401-479, ECEN 401-479, ENGR 440-441

Part 3

This consists of three courses outside of your major forming a coherent addition to your programme of study. This is an opportunity to explore some other interests outside of the BE(Hons) programme. These can be any level, but at least one of the courses must be at 200-level or above and need to be approved by the Dean once chosen.

Work experience

This consists of 800 hours of approved work experience in an engineering environment.

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Postgraduate information

Information about postgraduate study in Network Engineering can be found on the School of Engineering and Computer Science's postgraduate study pages.

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How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers

Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering
Software Engineering
Computer Science
Information Systems

Software Development
Communication Network Design and Management
Robot Design
Systems Development
Hardware Development
Software Engineer
Network Engineer
Traffic Engineer

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List of courses

Courses, degrees and other qualifications in Engineering are taught by the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The School office is located in Room 358, Cotton Building, Kelburn campus.

100 Level Courses

COMP 112 – Introduction to Computer Science

ENGR 101 – Engineering Technology

ENGR 110 – Engineering Modelling and Design

ENGR 121 – Engineering Mathematics Foundations

ENGR 122 – Engineering Mathematics with Calculus

ENGR 123 – Engineering Mathematics with Logic and Statistics

ENGR 142 – Engineering Physics for Electronics and Computer Systems

200 Level Courses

ENGR 291 – Work Experience Preparation

NWEN 241 – Systems Programming

NWEN 242 – Computer Organisation

NWEN 243 – Network Applications

300 Level Courses

ENGR 301 – Project Management

ENGR 302 – Group Project

ENGR 391 – Practical Work Experience

NWEN 301 – Operating Systems Design

NWEN 302 – Computer Network Design

NWEN 303 – Concurrent Programming

NWEN 304 – Advanced Network Applications

400 Level Courses

ENGR 401 – Professional Practice

ENGR 440 – Directed Individual Study

ENGR 441 – Directed Individual Study

ENGR 489 – Engineering Project

ENGR 491 – Professional Work Experience

NWEN 401 – Distributed Systems Design

NWEN 402 – Internet Engineering

NWEN 403 – Advanced Network Engineering

NWEN 404 – Mobile Computing

NWEN 405 – Security Engineering

NWEN 406 – Distributed Computing in Grids and Clouds

NWEN 438 – Special Topic in Network Engineering 1

NWEN 439 – Special Topic in Network Engineering 2