Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)

Stream - COMPA1

Single Award - Program 3778

For earlier versions of this program, check the UNSW Handbook (previous versions) including: Programs 3978.

Dual Award - For a list of all dual award programs options for this stream see the UNSW Handbook (Specialisations).

Dual award programs do not complete 36 UOC Free Electives and 12 UOC General Education.

Program structure

  • UOC denotes Units of Credit, a measure of the amount of work required in a course;
  • Review all courses in the handbook for information on assumed knowledge and requisites;
  • Some courses are offered multiple times during the year and may be taken in any term;
  • This program structure is a guide only.  Students may take courses in any order as long as requisites are observed.

Notes on program revisions:

In 2019:

  • From 2019 onwards, if COMP2121 is core to your program, you must take COMP2121. It cannot be substituted for COMP1521. 

In 2017:

  • COMP1917, COMP1927, COMP2911, COMP2121, COMP2041, and 12 UOC free electives were replaced by COMP1511, COMP1521, COMP1531, COMP2511, COMP2521, COMP3121, COMP3900
  • New majors were added:  Security, Programming Languages
  • Majors were removed:  Game Design and Construction, Human Computer Interaction, Robotics
  • COMP3441 was cancelled, and removed as a requirement in the networks major from 2017 onwards.  Previous completions of this course will still count.  COMP6441 will not be considered a replacement course for the major.
  • The program code changed from 3978 to 3778

Students who are transitioning from 3978 to 3778 with partial completion of previous core computing should make appropriate substitution for new core computing and seek advice from the CSE Student Office where options are not clear (see below for recommended study plan)

  • Approved substitution for 2017 - 2018 only: CompSci Students who commenced 2016 or prior could replace COMP2121 (6UOC) with COMP1521 (6UOC).
    - Warning: Students wanting to take further hardware courses should enrol in COMP2121, particularly those specialising in Embedded Systems (COMPS1).

Example Program Structure - T1 commencing student

Please note: This is an example structure only. Term offerings and pre-requisites are subject to change. Students should always refer to the current handbook for the most up to date information.

Note on Free Electives: Students may only undertake a maximum of 60 UOC of level 1 courses (excluding General Education). This means at least 12-18 uoc of Free Electives must be Level 2 or higher. 

COMP1511 Introduction to Programming 6 - -
MATH1081 Discrete Mathematics 6 - -
Higher Mathematics 1A or
Mathematics 1A
6 - -
COMP2521 Data Structures and Algorithms - 6 -
COMP1521 Computer System Fundamentals  - 6 -
Higher Mathematics 1B or
Mathematics 1B
- - 6
  Free Elective - 6 6
    18 18 12
COMP1531 Software Engineering Fundamentals 6 - -
  Free Electives - 6 6
COMP2511 Object-Oriented Design and Programming - 6 -
  Computing Elective (COMP3 or higher) 6 6 6
  General Education 6 - -
    18 18 12
COMP3121 Algorithms and Programming Techniques 6  - -
  Computing Elective (COMP3 or higher) - 6 -
COMP3900 Computer Science Project - - 6
COMP4920 Management and Ethics - - 6
  Free Electives 6 12 -
  General Education 6 - -
    18 18 12


What is the difference between Free Electives and General Education?

Free electives can be courses at any level, in any subject area, from any faculty. General Education courses must be offered by a Faculty that is NOT the Engineering Faculty and NOT related to CORE courses.

For example, in the Computer Science program, core courses are a mix of COMP and MATH. Therefore, COMP and MATH courses do not count towards your General Education requirements.

Please note: Specified Gen Ed subjects (Subjects starting with GEN) cannot count as free elective subjects.



The flexibility of the Computer Science Program allows specialisations within the program. You can therefore major in one the following areas depending on your selection of Computing Electives (COMP3 or higher):

COMPA1 Computer Science
COMPI1 Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence)
COMPD1 Computer Science (Database Systems)
COMPS1 Computer Science (Embedded Systems)
COMPN1 Computer Science (Computer Networks)
COMPJ1 Computer Science (Programming Languages)
COMPY1 Computer Science (Security)
COMPE1 Computer Science (Electronic Commerce)

To view stream requirements, see the UNSW Handbook (Specialisations)


Year 4 honours (optional)

BSc Computer Science (Honours) is a separate one year full-time or two years part-time program. Normally, students are expected to have attained an overall weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 to qualify for entry to the honours program. Students who do not meet this expectation may be admitted in special circumstances.

Students who have graduated with a three year science degree in Computer Science from the University of NSW or another university can apply for admission to honours.

Detailed information about the program are available in the UNSW Handbook - Program 4515