Studying Mathematics or Statistics with Computer Science and Engineering

  • Interested in computers or simply addicted to the Internet?
  • Would you like to understand how they work and make them work?

Then study Mathematics with Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Software Engineering at UNSW.

There are many ways you can do this.

  • Major in Mathematics or Statistics within the Science, Advanced Sceince or Advanced Mathematics Degree Programs and take elective courses in Computer Science. Administered by the School of Mathematics and Statistics and Faculty of Science, these degrees involves the study of mathematical areas that play a key role in the theoretical understanding of computer science. Currently, there is no official minor in Computer Science available in any of these degree.

    The Science Degree Program with a major in Mathematics or Statistics is a three-year program. If you have good results, you may have the opportunity to continue for another year (total four years) to obtain an Honours degree (in Mathematics). The Advanced Science and Advanced Maths degrees are four year degrees with an honours year included.

  • Choose the three-year Computer Science Degree with a second major in Mathematics (BSc). Administered by the School of Computer Science and Engineering, this is a science degree with majors in Computing and in Mathematics. The major in Computing ensures a higher emphasis in this subject area compared with the three-year Science Degree Program mentioned above. If you have good results, you may have the opportunity to continue for another year (total four years) to obtain an Honours degree in Computer Science.
  • Choose the four-year combined degree in Computer Science and Science, taking a major in Mathematics or Statistics. Administered by the School of Computer Science and Engineering, this is a full Computer Science degree plus a Science degree. If you have good results, you may be able to continue for another year to complete Honours in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics.
  • Choose the five-year combined degree in Advanced Mathematics and Computer Science, taking a major in Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Quantitative Risk or Advanced Statistics. Similar to the combined degree in Computer Science and Science, but adminstered by the Faculty of Science, it includes a year of honours in your advanced maths major. Note that you would be required to keep up a suitable level of performance to continue in the advanced maths degree.
  • Choose the five-year combined degree in Advanced Science and Computer Science, taking a major in Mathematics or Statistics. This is similar to the combined degree in Advanced Mathematics and Computer Science, but with smaller science majors. 
  • Choose the five-year combined degree in Engineering (Hons) and Science, taking Computer Engineering or Software Engineering for the Engineering major and Mathematics or Statistics for the Science major. Administered by the Faculty of Engineering (delegated to the School of Computer Science and Engineering), this is a full Engineering honours degrees plus a Science degree. If you have good results, you may be able to continue for another year to complete Honours in Mathematics or Statistics.
  • Choose the six-year combined degree in Engineering (Hons) and Advanced Maths or Advanced Science, taking Computer Engineering or Software Engineering for the Engineering major and a Mathematics or Statistics major for the Science degree. Administered by the Faculty of Science, this is a full Engineering honours degrees plus a Science degree with honours. The science component has the same progression rules as all advanced maths or advanced science degrees.

What kind of jobs can I obtain when I graduate?

We live in a time when computers are present in our everyday lives. In many instances they perform tasks better than we can and have been responsible for many job redundancies. This is with the exception of computer scientists who are responsible for their design, architecture, programming and maintenance!

Many career opportunities arise through the study of Computer Science and Engineering. In particular in connection with the continually expanding Internet where issues of information privacy have become a major concern. How can we ensure that information transmitted over the Internet is only received by chosen recipient(s)? Designing and maintaining encryption systems that deal with such problems is an important area within Computer Science. It is also an area which requires great mathematical skill.

Studying mathematics will train you to think logically and approach problems in analytical and creative ways. This will be a distinct advantage. The more mathematics you study the better!

Employers are aware of the benefits that mathematicians can bring to their industries, and if you combine Mathematics and Computer Science or Engineering you will definitely increase your employability. See Careers and the School of Computer Science and Engineering for information on job prospects.

What do I study in the programs?

In the first year, the Science programs have almost identical studies. You will study the core mathematical and computer science topics that any student at UNSW needs if their degree involves mathematics or computing. You may choose your elective courses from several other Schools so that you can follow or cultivate other interests. In later years you have the opportunity to focus your mathematical and computing skills in an area of your choice. The Engineering programs include many of the same courses but also others with a more engineering slant.

To find out the formal requirements (in terms of courses that you have to study), see the corresponding pages in the Programs and Courses, and also see 3983 - Science/Computer Science and 3978 - Computer Science in the UNSW Handbook.

For formal details of individual Mathematics courses, see Details of Mathematics Courses. For information about Computer Science courses, visit the School of Computer Science and Engineering.

Mathematics can be studied at the Ordinary level or at the Higher level depending on your interests and abilities, but study at the Higher level is recommended (and is compulsory if enrolled in the Advanced Maths or Science programs) and may be necessary for certain courses in later years.

In the final year of the Advanced Maths or Science program, or if you do the extra fourth (Honours) year of the Science Program or the combined degree in Computer Science, you will do some course work but will also spend time writing a thesis. The aim of the thesis is for you to become involved in an active area of research of your choice. You could even discover something new, which is not as uncommon as you might think!

What are the entry and continuation requirements?

You must meet the appropriate ATAR cut-off. Please see the UAC website where ATAR cut-offs are listed for each program.

  • The combined Computer Science/Science degree is available under UAC code 425014 (BSc - Computer Science).
  • The Mathematics major within the Science degree is listed under UAC code 429000 (BSc - Science).
  • The Advanced Mathematics degree is listed under UAC code 429300 (BSc (Adv Maths (Hons))
  • The Advanced Science degree is listed under UAC code 429350 (B Adv Sci (Hons))
  • The combined Advanced Maths (Hons) / Computer Science degree is available under UAC code 429331 (BSc (Adv maths) (H)/BSc (Comp Sci))
  • The combined Advanced Maths (Hons) / Engineering (Hons) degree is available under UAC code 429330 (BSc (Adv maths) (H)/BEng (H)).
  • The combined Advanced Science (Hons) / Computer Science degree is available under UAC code 429361 (B Adv Sci (H)/BSc (Comp Sci))
  • The combined Advanced Science (Hons) / Engineering (Hons) degree is available under UAC code 429360 (B Adv Sci (H)/BEng (H)).
  • The combined Engineering (Hons) / Science degree is available under UAC code 425850 (BEng (H)/B Arts or B Science).

In addition, you will need to have a certain level of prior knowledge of Mathematics. To find out the level of knowledge required for first year Mathematics courses, see Assumed Knowledge.

To remain within an Advanced Science or Advanced Maths program, you are required to maintain an average of 70 in each year.

Which degree should I choose?

If your interest is mainly in Computer Science and you wish to include substantial Mathematics, then take the three-year Computer Science degree with a second major in Mathematics.

If your interest is in Mathematics and you wish to add some Computer Science skills, then take the three-year Science degree with a major in Mathematics and add electives in Computer Science.

If you want to study Mathematics together with Computer Science or Computer Engineering or Software Engineering in full, then take the appropriate Combined Degree. This option would also be advisable if you are not sure which you prefer, as it may be possible to transfer out of a combined degree into either of the single degrees.

It is possible to transfer between degree programs without reapplying for admission, see the Internal Program Transfer page on the University web site.

How do I get further information about these programs?

School of Mathematics and Statistics
phone: (02) 9385 7111
fax: (02) 9385 7123
email: ug.MathsStats followed by @unsw.edu.au


Also see the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering.