Postgraduate study

The School of Engineering and Computer Science offers a range of postgraduate study options, ranging from diplomas and certificates to PhD programmes.

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Understanding the structure of Java applications using visualisations on a large display wall

Engineering and Computer Science are complex and fast moving disciplines, and Victoria is committed to excellence in its teaching and research. Our undergraduate degrees provide an excellent platform for careers in engineering and computer science, but postgraduate study will enable you to explore the full breadth and depth of these dynamic disciplines.

Professional engineers also benefit from studying the latest trends in their fields. Our postgraduate programmes support new graduates, experienced professionals and those who are looking for a change of career.


Computer Graphics

Enhance your degree and gain advanced knowledge and insight into the innovative world of computer graphics with a postgraduate qualification.

Computer Science

Build your knowledge and study the latest developments in computer science. Place yourself at the frontiers of this fast-changing world with postgraduate study at Victoria.

Electronic and Computer Systems

Enhance your career prospects by gaining the latest knowledge and new skills with advanced study of electronic and computer systems.

Postgraduate programmes

We offer the postgraduate programmes listed below. A diagram showing how the programmes fit together is at the bottom of the page.

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Science
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Science
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Graphics
  • Master of Engineering
  • Postgraduate Computer Graphics
  • Postgraduate PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
  • Graduate Diploma in Science

Postgraduate Qualifications by Coursework

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

The BSc Honours degree is the traditional first graduate degree after a BSc in Computer Science or in Electronic and Computer Systems, and involves one year of full time (or two years part-time) study combining course and project work. It generally allows students to progress directly to an MSc thesis or to PhD study.

The School offers:

  • BSc (Hons) in Computer Science
  • BSc (Hons) in Electronic and Computer Systems
  • BSc (Hons) in Computer Graphics
  • BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons) in Logic and Computation

The first three programmes combine course and project work.

The Logic and Computation programme is designed for students seeking a graduate level qualification in the major concepts and methods of logic and their use in aspects of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Philosophy.

Postgraduate Diploma in Science

The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSc), which requires 120 points of post-graduate study and can be completed full-time in two trimesters or part-time up to 4 years. As a research project is not compulsory, the PGDipSc will appeal to students wanting a post-graduate course-work qualification. The PGDipSc also provides an opportunity for those students who are not able to meet the entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) or MSc Part 1. The PGDipSc is offered in the following subjects:

  • Computer Science
  • Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering
  • Computer Graphics
  • Logic and Computation.

Postgraduate Certificate in Science

The Postgraduate Certificate in Science (PGCertSc) provides an alternative path of postgraduate study in Science for students wanting a short course work postgraduate qualification. The certificate is suitable for those students who are not admitted to the BSc (Hons) and MSc Part 1 and/or who do not want to take a PGDipSc or want to exit earlier from the PGDipSc. It must be completed within two years. This program is also suitable for those who want to complete postgraduate study in a focused area within a short timeframe while in full-time work or managing other commitments.

Master of Computer Science

The Master of Computer Science (MCompSc) is master’s degree centred on course work completed over two years (or a longer period on a part-time basis). It is a graduate qualification designed for professionals seeking to advance their knowledge of Computer Science and to obtain a formal qualification that recognises their achievement. The degree may also be attractive to new graduates who wish to advance their knowledge of Computer Science before seeking employment. The degree emphasises course work as opposed to a significant research thesis.

Postgraduate Degrees by Research

Master of Science

The Master of Science (MSc) is a postgraduate degree with a thesis as a major component. The degree is designed to provide an advanced level of professional competence with research experience. The School offers three MSc programmes:

  • MSc in Computer Science
  • MSc in Electronic and Computer Systems
  • MSc in Computer Graphics

The MSc has two parts:

  • Part 1 is one year of full time study consisting of course work.
  • Part 2 is a thesis which typically requires 12 months of study.

Students with an honours degree (including a BE with honours) or a PGDipSc take Part 2 only. Students with a BSc need to take both parts 1 and 2.

See the Computer Graphics pages for more details on the programmes in Computer Graphics.

Note that for students who are enrolled part-time, the time limit on the MSc can be extended pro-rata up to a maximum of five years.

Master of Engineering

The Master of Engineering (ME) is a master’s degree involving a thesis in engineering and may be endorsed with a specific area (Electronic and Computer System Engineering, Network Engineering, or Software Engineering). The ME programme provides students with both a professional qualification attractive to employers in the engineering fields as well as opportunities to carry out a significant piece of research in engineering. The ME is a one year full-time programme consisting of a 120 point thesis, or a 90 point thesis plus 30 points of 400- or 500-level courses from the ME or BE(Hons) schedule.

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

The PhD degree is a research qualification that involves three to four years of original research work. A PhD is generally required by those people seeking careers in a university or research laboratory. A number of private companies and government departments also carry out research and seek new employees with a PhD.

Graduate Diploma in Science

We offer the Graduate Diploma in Science (GDipSc) qualification for professionals with a degree in another area who want to gain a formal qualification in Computer Science, Electronics, or Logic and Computation. The programme also appeals to graduates in other subjects who want to develop their skills in these areas.

The School offers the GDipSc with specialisations in:

  • Computer Science
  • Electronic and Computer Systems

More information about the GDipSc, is available on the Faculty of Science website.

Master of Software Development

The Master of Software Development (MSwDev) is a one-year 180 point Master’s degree designed for graduates of other disciplines who want to change their career and are seeking an industry focused qualification that prepares them to develop real- world software-based systems.

It is a “Conversion Masters”, so it does not assume a prior qualification or experience in software development or computer science (in fact, applicants with such a qualification will not be accepted). It will cater for students who have just completed a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, through to students who have been in the workplace for many years but now want to change their career.

It will be a full-time, intensive programme running from July to June. The courses in the first part of the programme will based around a series of industry-related group projects, supported by a combination of lectures, tutorials, and other teaching resources. The final part of the programme is a one trimester industry project based in a local company.

See the Software Development for more details of the entry requirements, applications, and programme structure.

Master of Engineering Practice

The Master of Engineering Practice (MEP) is a one-year 180 point Master’s degree, delivered through a combination of course work and project work. It is a graduate programme designed to build on the student’s technical knowledge, gained during their undergraduate degree in Electronic/Computer Systems Engineering or Software Engineering/Computer Science, or equivalent. It will focus on the advanced skills in applying technical knowledge to implement engineering solutions to challenges faced by New Zealand companies and organisations.

The programme culminates with a substantial industrial project, frequently based in a local company.

Master of Innovation and Commercialisation

The Master of Innovation and Commercialisation (MInnCom) is for students who want to work with innovative ideas and develop them into real-life products. You will lead a project developing a product that interests you, with active support from supervisors, fellow members of your multidisciplinary team, dedicated business mentors and networks both within and outside the University. This project may be developed in partnership with commercial organisations, with the University or elsewhere.

You will gain a breadth of skills and industry contacts together with the type of practical experience that is sought by potential employers. This practice-based pan-university programme is open to all suitably qualified applicants who have an undergraduate degree in almost any discipline, including business, design, engineering, law and science.

For more information see the Master of Innovation and Commercialisation.

More information

There are more details about all our postgraduate programs in our postgraduate prospectus.

If you have further questions that are not answered in the prospectus, please contact the following people:

You can also email for more information.

How to apply

Applicants for PhD thesis and Master thesis programmes are advised to discuss their proposed enrolment with a member of the Engineering and Computer Science staff, either in person or by mail/email. Applicants with qualifications not from VUW should bring/include a copy of their transcript and details of courses they have taken.

International students for whom English is not their first language should also bring/send a copy of their IELTS or TOEFL scores.


There are three deadlines per year for all PhD applications to be considered. The dates are 1 March, 1 July and 1 November. Students may complete an application form and speak with prospective supervisors prior to the deadline, but their application must be submitted through the Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) and formal acceptance into the programme will be made after the deadline. This admission/scholarship application process applies to both domestic and international prospective PhD students.

Competitive University PhD Scholarships exist that are applied for at each round. Occasionally specific PhD projects exist where application is through the FGR in conjunction with the supervisor, please see the postgraduate projects page for the current list of projects.

More information can be found on the FGR web site.

Masters by thesis

Applications for Masters by thesis only (ME or part 2 of MSc) can be made at any time. Domestic students should use the special application forms for Masters by thesis available on the University's postgraduate enrolment page.

International students must apply through Victoria International.

Coursework programmes

Applications for postgraduate programmes with coursework (BSc (Hons), MSc with part 1, MCompSci, postgraduate diplomas) can be made prior to each trimester using the same application process as for undergraduate programmes: see the university enrolment page. International students must apply through Victoria International.

Postgraduate qualifications