Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

~ Edsger Dijkstra ~

Technology and its ongoing development seriously impact the way we behave and communicate. These days, all over the world, we are heavily reliant on technology for almost every aspect of our life. Computer science has contributed to healthcare, disease cure and prevention, education and communication, among other things.

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in schools has had a dramatic increase over the last decade. However, despite this increase, and despite Information and Communication Technology being one of the Australian Curriculum's general capabilities (meaning students should learn technology and computer skills and have them integrated across all subjects), data from annual testing carried out by ACARA on Year 6 and Year 10 students across Australia shows nearly 40% of each group have not attained proficiency level requirements.

While it may appear that ICT in education is something that has been overlooked, schools and education authorities are working to provide teachers with professional training and to fund digital resources that meet learning requirements. State governments are also being pushed to invest more heavily in digital software and infrastructure for the education sector.

The growing focus on ICT learning requirements and the need for ongoing training is filtering across all industry and professional sectors, which is great news for technology enthusiasts who are keen to enter the industry by way of further education at a university or another higher learning institution.

As with every program of study, ICT has many different facets and avenues a student can pursue. It's important to consider these along with your personal skills, abilities and interests.

Modules of Study: Core and Optional

A Bachelor of Computer Science program will have a number of core subjects but you will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of elective specialisations, allowing you to personalise your degree.

Options open to you at your chosen university may include:

  • Data management and security
  • Algorithms and data structures
  • Introduction to web technology
  • Networks and communications
  • Software development methodologies
  • IT project management
  • Introduction to programming
  • Computer systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Technology in an indigenous context
  • Cloud computing
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Statistics
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Computer and network architecture
  • Robotics
  • Digital signal processing
  • Innovation challenge

You may wish to take some other computer courses before you start to boost your computer literacy or to supplement your study in an area of interest.

Where can I study a Bachelor of Computer Science in Australia?
The University of Melbourne is routinely noted as having the best computer science program in Australia | Source: Pixabay - 8268513

Whether you want to study for a Bachelor of Computer Science or go into engineering or project management, it's important to do your research. Each institution has its own speciality subjects, requirements and approach to study and training.

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Top Ten Bachelor of Computer Science Courses in Australia

Australian universities consistently feature in world rankings when it comes to computer courses. Take a look at our top ten countdown here — but remember, this list only scratches the surface of the great units and training available.

No. 10: Queensland University of Technology

One of Australia's leading universities overall, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is known for its international outlook and focus on practical and relevant skills moving into the future.

QUT's degrees are recognised on an international level as are their connections with industry.

At QUT, a student can study a Graduate Certificate in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Information Technology (as well as other postgraduate options).

Why choose QUT?

The first year of study is spent levelling out your skills with core IT units, including an introduction to computer systems, design and build principles, database development and programming principles.

From the second year of study, students have the freedom to customise their degree with options for two major areas of study. Subjects to choose from include computational and simulation science, data science, artificial intelligence systems and business process management.

Throughout the course of study, units focus on practical, hands-on experiences. In the final year, each student is required to showcase their skills by completing a major project for a real-world client.

The program at QUT is ACS accredited meaning each student is eligible for ACS membership upon the completion of their degree and often move into careers such as computer game programming, project development or computer systems engineering.

To get ahead, check here for other programming and IT courses.

No. 9: University of Queensland

Founded in Brisbane in 1909, the University of Queensland (UQ) is recognised for its research and collaborative partnerships. With three campuses and over 40 research sites, UQ also has one of the most comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Australia.

A student may choose to do a three-year Bachelor of Computer Science, or a four-year bachelor degree combining computer science with another area, such as mathematics, commerce, science, business management or arts. There are also graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, honours and masters programs available.

UQ has over fifty years of experience teaching computer sciences and is consistently ranked in the international top 100.

The program combines up-to-date theory with practical experience focusing on developing analytical and logical skills.

Requirements of the program involve 16 core units and a number of options for majors including data science, cyber security and programming languages.

Recent surveys show that 82.5% of graduates secured full-time employment in their chosen field within six months of graduation.

No. 8: Griffith University

Unlike UQ, Griffith University (also in Queensland) is a relatively young tertiary institution but quickly rose to the ranks of being recognised as one of Australia's most innovative education institutions. It boasts no less than six campuses across south-east Queensland, as well as a digital campus. Griffith's computer science bachelor degree is available at the Gold Coast campus as well as the digital campus.

Studying a computer science bachelor degree at Griffith sees students enter the IT industry as software developers, programmers, data scientists, computer games programmers, software systems architects and computer scientists.

Entry requirements are competitive as there are generally more applicants than student places. A minimum ATAR ranking of 67.0 is necessary, although the reality is often a lot higher and it is expected that applicants will have completed English and at least Mathematical Methods at a Year 12 level.

What are the best computer courses in Australia?
If you study computer subjects, expect to spend a lot of time in front of the screen | Soucrce: VisualHunt - barnimages.com

No. 7: University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is the third-oldest university in Australia, having been founded in 1874 by Walter Watson Hughes, a copper miner and philanthropist. The first lecture at the university was delivered in 1876 in Latin, and the first degree offered was a Bachelor of Arts.

A member of Australia's 'Group of Eight' — leading research-intensive institutions — the uni focuses on courses in five faculties, one of which is computer and mathematical sciences.

Prospective students can choose a bachelor or advanced bachelor degree, graduate certificate or diploma, a double degree, honours, masters and doctorate in a wide range of computer sciences.

To guarantee entry into the program, a student requires a minimum ATAR of 80 and must have studied mathematical methods or completed VET training from a Registered Training Organisation.

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No. 6: Monash University

The second oldest tertiary institution in Victoria, Monash University is also the largest uni in Australia with over 6,000 courses across ten faculties, including information technology.

While double degrees, certificate and diploma options and postgraduate degrees are available, the bachelor level computer science course is our focus. In this course, students can expect to be exposed to a program consisting of six major module areas:

  • computer science foundation study
  • professional skills study
  • specialist discipline knowledge
  • problem-solving and analytical skills
  • applied practice
  • free elective study.

Within the free elective study, students can elect to complete additional units in data or computer science, cyber security and web or games development. The free elective study also allows a student to pursue other interests as part of their degree, choosing anything they wish from mathematics to music.

All students who have completed Year 12 (with English and maths) are eligible to apply to enrol, as are students with existing tertiary qualifications. If a student does not possess either of these requirements, they can still gain access to the course, but through the pathway Diploma of Engineering in the IT stream.

What is a Bachelor of Computer Science?
There is so much more to computer courses than computers | Source: VisualHunt - General Wesc

No. 5: University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is Australia's oldest university, established in 1850, and was one of the first in the world not only to open its doors to women but also to admit students on academic merit rather than money.

Known for its famous alumni — including seven of Australia's Prime Ministers, heart surgeon Victor Chang, opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland and activist Charles Perkins — the uni is equally proud of its thousands of graduates who have gone on to effect change, both big and small.

The Engineering and Computer Science faculty offer a wide range of course options, from a Graduate Certificate in Digital Health and Data Science to a Bachelor of Advanced Computing and a Master of Complex Systems.

Each semester consists of a combination of core units (maths, data and information technology) and electives (a major from computing-related subjects and a major or minor from other subjects, from history to languages and the arts.

No. 4: University of Technology, Sydney

With close to 50,000 students, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) is one of the largest tertiary institutions in Australia.

UTS has strong connections with ICT industry professional bodies, through teaching and learning as well as research and consultation.

In addition to its Bachelor of Computer Science degree, UTS also offers a range of focus areas, including Games Development and Information Technology Professional Practice. Students may also gain entry via one of the UTS early-entry intakes, a scholarship program, honours, postgraduate, research and short courses (which include data science, artificial intelligence and enterprise ICT).

UTS provides a recommended sequence of subjects from data analytics to statistics and everything in between. They are also known for their industrial training and professional practice stream, involving guaranteed work experience placements of up to nine months.

No. 3: UNSW Sydney

The 4,400 researchers at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW S) are international leaders in quantum computing, meaning students get to use all the high-spec labs including the Digital Investigation Lab and Cyber Security Suites.

Undergraduates study a core menu of computing basics in their first year and then move on to specialisations, with the option to choose from majors like:

  • eCommerce systems
  • computer engineering
  • programming languages
  • security engineering.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in the ChallENG program, which connects students, academics and companies to real-world learning initiatives that are project-based.

What is artificial intelligence?
Whether you're into data science or artificial intelligence, one of Australia's leading tertiary institutions will have something to suit your needs | Source: Pixabay - geralt

No. 2: Australian National Univerity (ANU)

The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science in Canberra was established in 2006 and, these days, it affords students the valuable opportunity to engage directly with professionals in the field of ICT. In addition, the ANU has close links with tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Boeing.

The range of undergraduate course options at ANU is mindblowing and includes bachelor degrees in:

  • computer science
  • data analytics
  • information technology.

Majors can be taken in human-centred computing and IT in new media, among others.

No. 1: University of Melbourne

Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is the second oldest uni in Australia, after the University of Sydney.

This Melbourne uni, which has consistently ranked number one in Australia for its computer and technology courses, recognises the impact of ICT across all disciplines and, as such, offers computer science components within a range of degrees including Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Science. Majors within these degrees are:

  • computing
  • computing and software systems
  • data science.

As with all tertiary institutions listed above, the University of Melbourne offers core units with the following themes:

  • basic computer foundations
  • computing theory
  • language of programming
  • networks
  • pattern recognition
  • systems.

Entry requirements for the University of Melbourne are not dissimilar to other universities. An ATAR of 88 will guarantee entry in 2022, and all students must have studied English Language and Literature at Year 12 level.

Online Courses to Build Your Computer Skills

University study is not for everyone but don't let that deter you from a career in ICT.

There is no shortage of short courses which can be taken in the field of computers and IT and many of these can be taken online.

Most universities now offer a digital learning space, or hybrid courses, allowing students to attend their lectures and some workshops in an online environment. For some, this may seem impersonal but it certainly seems to be the way the world is heading at the moment.

There are also a number of advantages to learning online, such as:

  • flexibility — you carry out your learning in your own time, allowing you to maintain a part-time job if needed.
  • cost-effective — the very nature of the online training environment lends itself to frugality as there are little in the way of overheads and travel expenses.
  • convenient — you're at home, so everything should be within arm's reach.

The greatest disadvantage, however, is maintaining motivation and this is where a tutor can assist. Superprof has a number of tutors who specialise in study techniques and exam preparation, and there are also an extraordinary number of ICT tutors on the Superprof platform.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.