Interested in coding? Developing software that can help users with efficiency? A Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University may be perfect for you!
Well if you’re keen to find out more about this degree, then we’ve got what you need to know about the units, the faculty and culture, as well as how your assessments work, and more.
Let’s explore what this course has to offer you!
What is a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University?
A Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash offers students a wide range of skills that can be applicable to different industries.
Software can help to dispense medicine, control flight paths, monitor and shape shopping habits. Corporations, governments and non-government organisations all depend on well-designed software and for engineers to create solutions through software.
Software engineering combines engineering principles to systematically analyse, develop and improve software to ensure it runs effectively, safe and securely. It builds on computer science and math foundations, with students gaining an understanding in software processes, methodologies and frameworks.
While studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at Monash, students will learn about software development, computer science, algorithms and data structures, computer architecture and can choose from a range of elective topics like cyber security, data science, business information systems, and games and mobile app development.
In the fourth year, students studying a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University will gain practical experience by working in a team to develop a software system for a real-world client. Furthermore, there are opportunities to build on research skills through an individual project where students can choose various areas like intelligent systems, bioinformatics, cybersecurity and visualisation.
With strong job growth projected over the next five years and Monash indicating that 81.4% of Software Engineering graduates secure full-time employment within four months of graduating, there are many pathways and industries graduates can go into.
As a graduate of Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) from Monash, your skills in computer science, engineering principles and programming languages can be used to build software, develop games and run network control systems. Designs and applications can be catered specifically to users and their needs, or build on underlying systems that run technology and control networks.
Some of the roles you might find yourself in include:
- Software engineer
- Software architect
- Software developer
- Data engineer
- Block chain developer
- Game development
Core Units for this Degree
A Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash is one of the specialisations available to students under the Engineering degree.
Students complete a total of 192 credit points in their degree. 144 credit points are obtained through core engineering units and 48 credit points are left for electives.
Monash structures their Engineering course through four themes:
- Fundamentals and Foundational Skills
- Knowledge and Application
- Professional Practice
12 credit points are derived from Fundamentals and Foundational Skills which help to build student’s understanding of natural and physical sciences, math, numerical analysis, statistics and computer and information sciences which underpin engineering disciplines.
18 credit points come from Engineering Design which introduces students to core design principles and gives students a taste of different fields and specialisation in Engineering.
The bulk of your study will be done in Knowledge and Application where 144 credit points are completed in your chosen specialisation — in this case, Software Engineering!
Lastly, students have up to 18 credit points of first year electives, these range from Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, to Digital Systems or even Aerospace Dynamics. You can choose to either build on skills that you would have acquired in your specialisation of Software Engineering or choose a totally different area to explore!
What are the Core Units?
In your first year of studying Engineering, students at Monash have to take foundational Engineering units which are common for all students. If students did not study maths or science for their VCE, they will also complete bridging courses during the semester to get their foundations.
“If you haven’t done Physics or Specialist Maths in school that’s alright. You can still do it as a foundation unit in Monash and they’ll get you up to pace on knowledge that is required for the Engineering degree.” — Preeth Raghul Gunasekaran, Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) III at Monash University
The foundational units you study are very important because they help students to decide what their specialisation will be since students get to try a bit of each one.
Preeth talks about how he initially thought he wanted to specialise in Mechatronics but when he had a taste of it and Software Engineering, he decided to specialise in Software Engineering.
“I remember when I was in first year, I thought I wanted to do Mechatronics but I had a taste of Mechatronics Engineering and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s not what I want to do.’ And until that point, I did Software Development in high school but I didn’t know if I wanted to keep coding as my future. I did a coding unit in my first year and I really enjoyed it.” — Preeth Raghul Gunasekaran
Some of the core units are:
- Engineering Design: Lighter, Faster, Stronger
- Engineering Design: Cleaner, Safer, Smarter
- Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
- Algorithms and Data Structures
- Software Engineering: Architecture and Design
- Computer Software
This unit develops a process for the analysis and design of static and dynamic structures and mechanisms using engineered materials. It teaches students how to identify different structural systems and key properties of structural materials for specific application.
You’ll become familiar with the fundamentals of electrical, chemical and material engineering to provide technological solutions to real-world problems. It gives students an idea of the kind of projects and the work, study and life of an engineering student.
For many, it is their first introduction to electrical, chemical and materials engineering.
Students learn skills for managing software development efforts and how to work in teams — proficiencies essential to software development projects! Students work on projects for 12 weeks in teams of four to five, creating software that addresses the brief.
While Preeth described the unit as throwing him into the deep end, he talked about how it was a really good learning experience and assured that “there’ll be a demonstrator assigned to your group and you can always hit them up if you have any problems”.
Students studying a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University have the opportunity to apply for the IT Industry Based Learning (IBL) program to do a placement for half a year with leading Australian and global organisations. Placements count towards your course and students can apply for scholarships.
There are several programs available in Monash to help students to graduate work-ready. With the university’s world-wide industry connections, students are able to undertake internship and extracurricular programs to prepare them for success after completing their degree.
The Co-Operative Education Program allows students to find work experience through internships with Monash’s partner organisations. There are choices of either 3, 6 or 12 month paid internships for students to explore different industry sectors and apply their studies.
Industry Based Learning (IBL) offers students with opportunities to enhance their education and gain real-world experience. It is in-built into students’ study of Software Engineering at Monash where students will apply key concepts they have learned in class in a practical, corporate setting, developing employability skills through an industry half-year placement that counts towards their degree.
Other opportunities include Career Connect, Engineering Leadership Program, Monash Industry Team Initiative (MITI) and The Generator. For more information about Monash’s industry opportunities, click through here.
How to Get into a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash
To study a Bachelor of Engineering at Monash University, students need to achieve an 86 ATAR. Additionally, prerequisites of English, Maths and Sciences must be met.
However, if you didn’t take these subjects for your VCE there’s no need to fret! Monash also offers bridging courses to bring you up to speed which run as a unit during the semester.
Monash also has entry schemes in place that look at other aspects besides your ATAR through the Monash Guarantee and Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS). Thus even if your ATAR is below the lowest selection rank there are still other pathways into a Bachelor of Software Engineers (Honours) at Monash.
The Monash Guarantee is available for students who experience financial disadvantage, live in a low socio-economic area, are Indigenous or attend a Monash listed under-represented school.
The SEAS Scheme adjusts selection rank by considering circumstances that may have affected your high school education, giving students a better chance of getting an offer from the course they want.
Monash University has a huge range of scholarships on offer for students — these are based upon academic excellence or awarded on an equity basis. Monash also has scholarships specifically for Indigenous and International students, to help students with accommodation or to support them through Placement and Industry Leaders Scholarship.
They also have a range of scholarships specifically dedicated to students studying Engineering, the full range can be found here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
Monash’s academic calendar is structured across two semesters per year, with students on full-time study typically taking four units per semester.
Most units will have a two hour lecture — while this may sound like a long time, key concepts and ideas are introduced and explained to students during lectures. Additionally, Monash records and uploads most of their lectures so if students are unable to make it onto campus or would like to review a lecture — there is easy access!
For tutorials and laboratories there will be one teacher to 20 students, ensuring that help is always available. Units typically have a total of 36 hours of tutorials and laboratories in a semester, with students usually attending classes for two hours per week.
In tutorials, students will do problem questions applying key concepts and theories learned that week in their lectures. Typically, tutorials are not compulsory to attend and run like a self-study session under the supervision of a tutor. They are a great opportunity for students to ask questions and consolidate the content they have learnt that week.
On the other hand, laboratories give students the opportunity to put theory into practice in a hands-on manner. These are compulsory classes and often form part of the assessment scheme for a unit.
Thus, students can expect to have up to 16 hours worth of contact hours giving them plenty of opportunity to clarify questions and apply theoretical knowledge they have learned in their lectures.
What are the assessments like?
Students learn how to deal with real-world constraints like cost, time and risk while producing efficient, reliable software through project-based team assignments.
Although there are a lot of group assignments, students should not let this deter them from undertaking a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash as they use GitHub which helps the university to track student contribution and award marks based on both the final project submitted and how much an individual has contributed to it.
Some of the common assessments are:
- Studio Preparation
- Programming Assignments
- Group Assignments
- Project-Based Assignments
Skills You Refine and Learn
Through project-based assignments, a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University provides students with a lot of project management strategies and design techniques, working together in teams to solve problems through software. The specialisation emphasises on collaborative, studio-based learning honing student’s skills in teamwork, project management and communication.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Monash University is ranked third for Engineering studies in Australia and this is in part due to their academic staff.
Professor Emanuele Viterbo is the Acting Head of the Department Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering. His research interest is in the field of Error Control Coding and Communications and he is an IEEE Fellow for contributions to coding and decoding for wireless digital communications.
He specialises in Lattice Coding for Digital Communication and Cyclic Division Algebra for MIMO Space-Time Coding with several papers written on both topics and published across a wide variety of journals.
Preeth also fondly recalls a demonstrator he had who was a recent graduate of Monash who not only helped with questions about the unit but also offered guidance and tips on completing an Engineering degree at Monash.
As many assignments completed in a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at Monash University are group or project work, students have plenty of opportunity to engage with their peers and make new friends!
When asked what the culture is like at Monash, Preeth immediately replied, “Diverse, very diverse.” With a campus in Malaysia, Monash has many students who study in Melbourne who are from different countries.
He talks about how most of the students he has met did not attend high school in Australia, with Monash attracting a lot of international students giving students an opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and perspectives.
Monash also has a lot of events that occur on campus, providing a rich campus life to students and providing them with opportunities to make friends and wind down after studying.
Monash University has a wide range of societies with every degree and specialisation having their own society.
There are sports societies, cultural societies and societies for hobbies with Preeth describing it as “if you have an interest in anything, there will be a society for it at Monash”.
The Monash Engineering Students’ Society (MESS) helps students at every stage of their university life. They also host social events and networking events for Engineering students.
With exciting events like the MESS Ball, MESS Industry Night and relationships with Industry Sponsors, the society offers students with a wide range of support and activities throughout their university degree.
Ranking third in Australia for Engineering, Monash University is supported by great teaching staff ensuring that students are well supported in their studies. With high quality teaching staff, the lecturers, tutors and demonstrators are always available to answer questions in tutorials.
However, if students think of questions after lessons have finished, they can always post their question onto discussion forums where both students and teaching staff will answer.
Monash also has a Mathematics Learning Centre where students can drop in with questions and look for help regarding maths — especially helpful in an Engineering degree! Each unit’s teaching staff also has consultation times where students can talk to their lecturers about concerns or questions they may have about the unit.
Additionally, Monash has very strong partnerships with industry leaders, enabling students to get connected to top industry people across a wide variety of sectors. Thus helping students to prepare for life following their graduation.
Tiffany Fong is currently completing a double degree in Media and Communications with Law at Macquarie University. She currently contributes to the university zine, Grapeshot where she enjoys writing feature articles, commentary on current affairs or whatever weird interest that has taken over her mind during that month. During her spare time, Tiffany enjoys reading, writing, taking care of her plants or cuddling with her two dogs.