BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash University

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash University

Computer Science Monash - Fact Sheet

Craving a byte into the Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash University? 

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything that you need to know about Monash’s Computer Science degree, including its classes, subjects and interesting learning opportunities.

Let’s not waste another second and dig in! 

What is a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash?
Core Units and Specialisations
How to Get into a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash?

A Computer Science degree from Monash integrates both theory and practical skills that empower you to use computer technologies and softwares to solve real-life problems with the greatest of efficiency. While its theory dives into the key concepts of computation and the mathematics behind it, its practical component covers a multitude of disciplines that extends beyond computer science — with commerce, humanities and the creative and performing arts as some of the interesting areas that you’ll venture into!

With two choices of specialisations to choose from, you can either pick Advanced Computer Science with its focus on intelligent systems and networks OR Data Science and its study of gigantic sets of data! In whichever specialisation you pick, you must complete a big final project at the end of the degree. 

Monash also offers an exclusive industry based learning (IBL) program that gives you a head start in your career as you gain work experience with some of the most influential industry partners in the field. Sounds like an opportunity to snatch for the win!

In summary, this degree will train your brain to work like a professional computer scientist as you operate computer processes, algorithm designs to instruct computers and data structures to organise information. If you’re someone who loves to problem solve and want the flexibility of exploring different disciplines of study, this degree will be highly engaging for you! 

Computer Science Monash - Quote

Double Degree Options 

If you’re looking to expand your scope of studies, you may be interested in taking a double degree. Monash offers 4 undergraduate degrees you can complete on top of your Bachelor of Computer Science — these include: 

    • Bachelor of Commerce 
    • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) 
    • Bachelor of Laws (Honours) 
    • Bachelor of Science 

If you’re interested in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), please note that a double degree in this option is only allowed if you are specialising in advanced computer science, software engineering or electrical and computer systems. Some of your subjects may also overlap in this double degree option so please do your research into the engineering degree before you enrol! 


If pursuing a career in Computer Science research is your thing, you might want to do the C3702 Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) degree. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about research methods and conduct your very own project on a topic of your interest under the supervision of professional academics. 

To be eligible for Honours, grades really do matter! You’ll need to achieve at least a distinction average of 70% in 24 credit points at level 3 with all your level 3 computer science subjects completed. 

Once in, you’ll be doing at least one year of Honours, where one semester will teach you everything you need to know about designing and evaluating research methodologies applicable to computer science. You’ll also be doing some electives that must be approved by your Computer Science Honours coordinator. 

In your second semester, you’ll get more flexibility as your contact hours and work depends on the type of research project you choose to carry out. It could be more practical (eg. building a software or graphic or algorithm) or more theoretical — the world really is your oyster here! 

So, would you be down for the Honours degree? 

Career Paths 

Due to the versatile nature of computer science, you can find a job in almost any field with a Computer Science degree. For starters, here are some interesting career paths you embark on once you become a Computer Science graduate:

    • Application developer
    • Cybersecurity specialist 
    • Computer Scientist 
    • Database developer/ administrator 
    • Game developer 
    • IT Specialist 
    • IT Project Manager 
    • Software engineer/developer
    • Systems analyst 
    • Web developer 

 Since computer science is a branch of IT, you might also want to check out 20 Careers you can pursue with an IT degree here!

Core Units and Specialisations

What are the Core Units like? 

As a quick overview, here is how Monash’s Computer Science degree is structured: 

Part A: Computer Science Foundation Study 

A study of the core theoretical foundations to computer science and its methods

Part B: Professional Skills Study 
  • A study of the professional guidelines surrounding computer science 
  • Practise your teamwork, communication and project management skills 
  • Choose between ‘Professional Studies’ or ‘Professional Studies and Ethics’
Part C: Specialist discipline knowledge 
  • An in-depth, specialised study of your choice 
  • Choose between ‘Advanced Computer Science’ or ‘Data Science’ 
Part D: Problem solving and Analytical skill study
  • Practise your ability to perform computer science methods and develop solutions efficiently in your own specialisation
  • Trains your critical thinking and problem solving skills 
Part E: Applied Practice 

Practise applying both computer science knowledge and skills in a project based on your specialisation or in an industry based learning placement 

Part F: Free elective study 

Choose electives from within the Computer Science faculty or from other faculties to enrich your studies 

All Computer Science students must complete all these parts in order to graduate fully. Part A contains the core units that all students must complete regardless of their specialisation. Meanwhile, students can choose from two specialisations for Part C which is paired with Part D. 

Let’s take a closer look at Part A’s 7 core units! These include: 

    • FIT1008: Introduction to computer science 
    • FIT1045: Algorithms and programming fundamentals in python 
    • FIT1047: Introduction to computer systems, networks and security
    • FIT2004: Algorithms and data structures 
    • FIT2014: Theory of computation 
    • MAT1830: Discrete mathematics for computer science 
    • MAT1841: Continuous mathematics for computer science 
First Year

FIT1008: Introduction to Computer Science is where you’ll be introduced to all the foundational critical analysis, problem-solving skills and methods used to develop an effective and efficient software. You’ll be covering topics such as algorithms and their complexity, assembly language translation and programming, data structures, machine models and more.

Meanwhile, in FIT1045: Algorithms and Programming Fundamentals in Python presents you with the basics of programming design and using algorithms in the Python software to solve issues.

The third introductory unit is FIT1047: Introduction to Computer Systems, Networks and Security, where you’ll learn about computer security systems and networks to prepare you for network architecture, where you’ll design goals and effective solutions to protect computers from hackers, bugs and more. 

Think you’ve escaped from maths? Well, I’d hate to give you some disappointing news but there are mathematics units such as MAT1830: Discrete Mathematics and MAT1841: Continuous Mathematics that are compulsory. While you’ll learn about functions, probability and other graphs in discreet maths, you’ll be doing linear algebra, calculus and more in continuous mathematics. 

Second Year

With our second level units, we have FIT2004: Algorithms and Data Structures where you develop your problem solving concepts and methods characteristic of computer science. Topics include designing algorithms, analysing the problem and implementing a solution.

In the other second level unit, FIT2014: Theory of Computation, you’ll learn about computation models and their complexity in terms of the limitations of computers. You’ll be educated on interesting computational concepts such as grammars, pushdown automata, regular expressions which may all seem like gibber to you now but will make sense down the road! 

What are the Specialisations like? 

As mentioned, Monash Uni’s Computer Science degree offers two specialisations you can choose from: Advanced Computer Science or Data Science.

Advanced Computer Science

This specialisation offers an even deeper exploration of the advancements of computer science as you delve into designing, developing, testing and analysing algorithms and data storage structures. In this specialisation, you must complete all 5 core units adding up to a total of 36 credit points worth, which include: 

    • FIT2099: Object oriented design and implementation 
    • FIT2102: Programming paradigms 
    • FIT3143: Parallel computing 
    • FIT3155: Advanced data structures and algorithm 
    • FIT3171: Databases 

You’ll also need to do one of the many elective units that is offered in this specialisation. For more detail, check out the Advanced Computer Science handbook here!

Data Science

On the other hand, this specialisation focusses on the immense mass of data produced by organisations, businesses and more. You’ll come out of this specialisation with skills on how to analyse, manage and use these huge chunks of data through graphing and modelling it.

Unlike the Advanced Computer Science specialisation, you’ll only need to complete 4 core units adding up to a total of 24 credit points, which means you get the flexibility to do an extra elective! The core units include: 

    • FIT1043: Introduction to data science 
    • FIT2086: Modelling for data analysis 
    • FIT2094: Databases 
    • FIT3179: Data visualisation 

If you’d like more detail on what Data Science specialisation is all about, head to the handbook here!

Are there built-in placements?

Yes! You can choose to do the FIT3045: Industry Based Learning as your Part E: Applied Practice unit during your Computer Science degree at Monash. 

This placement goes on for 22 weeks where students work full-time in a graduate level role for influential partners of Monash’s Faculty of IT. These partners are some of the leading companies in Australia and worldwide so it’s an amazing chance to build your work experience and develop valuable connections to prepare you for your blooming career!

While applying the skills and knowledge you have learnt in class, you’ll also be developing essential professional skills such as communication, teamwork efficiency, customer service skills and self-reflection to continually improve your performance as you work in a real life business setting. This is sure to set you apart from other Computer Science graduates out there!

Here’s more information on the Industry Based Learning unit!


How to Get into a Bachelor of Computer Science at Monash

The ATAR cut-off for guaranteed entry into this degree is 80 — though if you don’t achieve this ATAR, you’ve got other options if you have your heart set on this degree.

Are there any alternate entry pathways? 

Lucky for you, you can still get into Monash’s Computer Science degree even if you haven’t met the ATAR requirement for it. There are three alternate pathways you can take: complete a VET diploma, complete a Certificate IV or complete the Monash College Diploma of Information Technology (IT).

For VET diploma graduates, you must achieve a minimum average of 60% and it is favourable if you have studied subjects that are related to computer science. Those who have studied in IT related diplomas may get 48 credits points in first year level units. Meanwhile, VET certificate graduates must achieve a minimum of 70% average to apply for this degree at Monash.

Monash also offers a Diploma of Information Technology at its college. It’s a two-year degree carried out in two 4 month trimesters per year. Ultimately, you’ll land a spot in the second year of the Bachelor of Computer Science degree by the end of this diploma.

There are two parts to this diploma whereby in the first part, you’ll be studying mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. In the second part, you’ll be learning engineering concepts in the first trimester, and then algorithms, programming and computing the second trimester. 

What are the prerequisite subjects? 

English and Maths are the prerequisite subjects for this degree. 

As the Computer Science field requires good communication skills, you’ll need a minimum of 27 in English (EAL) or 25 in English besides EAL for units 3 and 4. 

Computer Science also heavily revolves around mathematics, so it’s no question that mathematics is a prerequisite subject. You’ll need to achieve a minimum of 25 in either any Mathematical Methods or Specialist Mathematics subjects for units 3 and 4. 

What scholarships are available? 

With over 2700 scholarships offered, Monash looks after its students in any situation! For Computer Science students, most of the scholarships are awarded by the Information Technology faculty to celebrate students with excellent academic achievements or to help those in need. 

Such undergraduate scholarships include: 

    • Information Technology Excellence Scholarship 
    • Women in Information Technology Scholarship 
    • Industry-based Learning Scholarship 
    • Monash University Jubilee Honours Scholarship 

Recognising the growing diversity of students and employees in the Computer Science field, Monash also supports international and Indigenous students through scholarships such as: 

    • Monash International Merit Scholarship 
    • Information Technology Indigenous Merit Scholarship 
    • Information Technology Indigenous Study Support Scholarship 

Check out if you’re eligible for any of the above scholarships here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

Monash’s Computer Science degree is delivered across two 12-week semesters per year and the classes typically include lectures and lab sessions. 

Class Structure

Computer Science Monash - Class Structure

The lectures in computer science can either be carried out online or in person with 20 to 40 people attending them. Here is where an experienced academic who is your lecturer, will present on a topic based on the curriculum through presentation slides. The lecture topics will vary depending on the subject you pick. 

Labs often tend to be in person as it is more hands-on than lectures. These classes can be quite small, with 10 to 15 people attending them so it feels as if you’re in a cosy classroom environment that reminds you of high school.

At the start of these labs, the tutor will review the lecture content and then allocate questions for you to solve problems as a group. You often write your solutions out on the whiteboard and have the tutor come around to check and discuss your answers.

If you’re unsure about any of the stuff being said during lectures, it’s great to save your questions for these tutorials as the tutors really give you the one-on-one attention that is hard with the rush of lectures. While some of these labs can be two hours long, others can be three hours if the weekly tutorials are all combined in one day. 

How much time do you spend in class?

The contact hours of Monash’s Computer Science degree does vary depending on whether your subjects are online or in person but usually, it’s around 12 hours per week. This can add up to two to three days a week! 

But let’s not forget that this does not count the time spent on the lectures, lab assignments and studying outside of in person classes. 

What are the assessments like?

Computer Science students at Monash often get assessments such as final exams and assignments. 

Final exams often weigh the most, making up 40 to 60% of your final unit mark. The final exams ultimately test how well you understand the concepts and methods being taught in classes, and how efficiently you apply them to solve problems. These final exams are kind of like your HSC, where you’ll either get multiple choice, short answer or extended response questions in the exam depending on the unit. Sometimes, you can also get a combination of three of them in your finals. 

Meanwhile, assignments take up a whole chunk of Computer Science assessments. In each unit, you’ll either get 2 or 3 assignments with different weightings. Individual assignments are common for most of the time, though you do get the rare group assignments once in a while. 

These assignments usually focus on coding, testing how well you can implement content from the lecture to develop solutions for computer science problems through coding the program or developing an application. For example, you may be required to build a graph using instructions being taught from lectures, but you may need to adjust the techniques to better solve the problem.

Ultimately, the marker will test you on how efficient your code is such that it doesn’t take too long to run or takes too much space. Don’t worry if you only know easy codes though, because you’ll still be graded well as long as your code works efficiently. 

Skills You Refine and Learn 

Computer Science Monash - Skills

The skills you develop in Monash’s Computer Science degree will prepare you to solve any problems in many different industry areas of the real world!

With the essential analytical and critical thinking skills, you’ll be able to break down complex problems and balance the pros and cons to generate solutions with the utmost efficiency. As computer science covers diverse areas involving systems and networks, having an open and flexible mind is useful to adapt to these evolving needs and demands.

Since you’ll be working across multiple disciplines, communication and project management is highly important to pitch your ideas and build rapport with big industry leaders. 

Ultimately, Monash encourages its students to self-reflect on their performance, fostering Computer Science graduates who have a passion for learning and self-improvement in their strive for professional calibre. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?


Monash’s very own Information Technology (IT) faculty is one of Australia’s leaders in the field. With highly experienced and passionate lecturers and tutors, you’ll be sure to develop creative and analytic thinking skills under the supervision of experts in computer science. 

As Monash has its own independent Information Technology (IT) faculty, you’ll have more one-on-one attention from the teaching staff who also care about your progress as a student. While some lecturers or tutors may be less inclusive, it also ultimately depends on your effort to seek help and reach out to make the best out of their classes. 


While a small cohort, Computer Science students often don’t have much interaction due to online classes and individual assessments but you can make friends in lab classes where you’ll be seated in a group with your classmates. These lab classes are a great way to build friendships and meaningful connections as you’ll be seeing them on a weekly basis!


If you’re still struggling to meet new people, there are a few IT societies that you can check out! Each of these societies are unique in their own way, so feel free to try each of them out to see where you really belong. 

Some of these societies also provide events that support you in your learning! Societies like Monash Association of Coding (MAC) deliver coding tutorials and help with your professional development as they partner with influential corporations like Microsoft and Atlassian to present to students at times. 

Computing and Commerce Association (CCA) is another great society that helps connect you, as a Computer Science student, to businesses with networking events, marketing campaigns and workshops to kickstart your career!

If you’re specialising in Data Science, you may be interested in Monash Data Science Society, where they carry out seminars, datathons, kaggle competitions and careers fairs to help build a supportive community of data science students. 

DiversIT is another inclusive society that welcomes LGBTQ+ students, women, international students and other minority groups to promote equal representation in the male-dominated field of computer science.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more fun, Monash’s WIRED carries out hackathons, trivia nights and social events too!

Support Programs

Monash’s IT faculty does provide a peer mentoring program to welcome new students and help you feel supported as you transition from high school to university life. As a new student, you’ll be paired with a senior mentor from the Faculty of IT who will help you navigate through classes, assessments and social events for six months. 

Check out Monash’s IT peer mentoring here!

If you still need help after the peer mentorship program, you can also organise  consultation sessions with one of your unit lecturers or tutors to clarify concepts or discuss your assignment progress.  

Monash’s IT faculty also sends out emails time to time to alert students if they are holding events to help students who are new to coding. So, be sure to keep on top of your emails!

Kate Lynn Law graduated in 2017 with an all rounders HSC award and an ATAR of 97.65. Passionate about mentoring, she enjoys working with high school students to improve their academic, work and life skills in preparation for the HSC and what comes next. An avid blogger, Kate had administered a creative writing page for over 2000 people since 2013, writing to an international audience since her early teenage years.


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