When people think of Computer Science they often just think of programming, but there are many more aspects to the field, including interaction design, communications and networks, software design, computer security, information systems, big data, machine learning, graphics, operating systems, educational systems, artificial intelligence, and embedded systems (processors that are embedded in everything from mobile phones to cars). All of these areas are experiencing rapid growth both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, and there is a strong demand for Computer Science graduates.
Computer Science is about helping people do their work efficiently and effectively by analysing needs and constructing appropriate solutions. It goes way beyond programming, as it is about knowing how to design systems that are fast, usable, reliable, secure, scalable, and make a positive impact on society and our environment.
Computer Science students learn techniques to tackle these challenges for applications as diverse as monitoring the condition of patients in hospitals to designing educational games for smart phones.
Why study Computer Science at UC?
UC is located in Waitaha Canterbury – the 'Silicon Plains' of Aotearoa New Zealand, where there are dozens of large, hi-tech companies employing UC graduates. Further afield, our graduates are in demand overseas and many come up with an idea for a product while studying, going on to become business owners and employers themselves.
UC is acknowledged as a leader in Computer Science education in Aotearoa. It is the home of the award-winning Computer Science Unplugged project, and the internationally recognised Intelligent Computer Tutoring group. Several members of staff have awards for their work as computer science educators.
We have a vibrant student community that encourages meeting up with like-minded students through clubs, including CompSoc and Women in Technology clubs. There is a good interface with industry, including an annual careers fair where students meet a host of employers.
There is a strong demand for graduates who are qualified in Computer Science, particularly those who combine technical skills with good communication skills and teamwork ability. Waitaha Canterbury's leading-edge IT sector is facing a shortage of qualified graduates, meaning that UC-qualified Computer Science graduates are in high demand.
Many employment opportunities exist with organisations that run large computer-based systems, such as finance companies, airline industries, government departments, state-owned enterprises, consulting companies, and computer organisations themselves. Work with these organisations often involves international travel opportunities. Many of our students start up their own software companies, and end up being employers rather than employees.
Apart from a professional career in computing, a degree in Computer Science can be used as a good basis for a career in the many areas in which computer systems are applied. Graduates are employed in fields including education, computer forensics, embedded systems and computer graphics, and in a variety of positions including software engineer, programmer, analyst, computer consultant, webmaster, internet developer, GIS analyst, games developer, and computing tutor.
University of Canterbury Highlights
No. of Campuses
1 main campus
No. of Residence Halls
Graduate Job Rate
89.9% (full time)
Above 600,000 NZD pa
Cost of Attendance
29,550 NZD pa
Mode of Program
Full time and online
University of Canterbury Tuition fee
New Zealand Living Expenses
In addition to your tuition and insurance fees, you will need between $20,000 and $25,000 per year ($380–480 per week) for accommodation/rent, food expenses, transportation costs, phone bills, internet usage and entertainment. No matter what your tuition or course fee is, the average living expense will be same for everyone. Please note that these amounts are just recommendations, Immigration New Zealand requirement is $15,000 per year plus return airfare or additional $2,000.