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Major: Software Technology

Software Technology


Department of Computing
Faculty of Science and Engineering

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 36 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Introduction to Computer Programming (3)
Fundamentals of Computer Science (3)
Discrete Mathematics I (3)

200 level

Software Engineering (3)
Discrete Mathematics II (3)
Systems Programming (3)
Algorithms and Data Structures (3)
Object-Oriented Programming Practices (3)

300 level

Programming Languages (3)
Computing Industry Project (3)
6cp from
COMP units at 300 level


This major cannot be doubled with Web Design and Development, Data Science or Cyber Security.
Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The Software Technology (ST) major is designed for students who wish to pursue a career designing and delivering complex software. The emphasis in all units is on concepts, insights and skills that enable graduates to use current technologies and also evaluate and adapt to new technologies as they emerge. Central to the learning of the conceptual material is extensive practical experience where significant problems are analysed, solutions designed, and software developed, both individually and in groups. Students undertake a range of core units that introduce the technologies of modern software development and the practices that result in successful software projects. Elective units supplement the core by considering important application areas in software and/or systems or domain- specific technologies.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. use modern software technologies to analyse, design, create and evaluate significant software (K, T, P, I, C)
2. understand and apply concepts and techniques of software development such as algorithm and data structure design, object-oriented practices, low-level systems programming, and database-centred design (K, T, P, I, C)
3. understand and apply the mathematical concepts and techniques that underpin the development of software (K, T, P, C)
4. demonstrate a significant breadth of experience in the application of software to solve problems in a variety of domains (K, T, P, I, C)
5. conduct a software-based project applying industry-standard software development methodologies and practices as part of a team (K, T, P, I, C, J)
6. understand the ethical issues that arise in software development and apply standard approaches for reasoning about ethical issues that arise in the software development profession (K, T, P, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Major in Software Technology is designed to prepare graduates as IT professionals for work in industry, research organisations and academia. The program is intended to meet the Australian Computer Society professional standards for ICT courses which includes the underlying core body of knowledge in IT and the professional and ethical responsibilities relevant to working in the IT industry.

The learning activities in the degree are designed to provide opportunities for students to meet all of these standards. The academics involved with this program are active researchers, which enables them to integrate cutting-edge research into the units that they teach. The majority of the units in this program have practical components supported by small-group teaching sessions in our computing laboratories. Some units utilise small groups where students work in a team to achieve a goal. Communication skills are developed through oral presentations.

The theoretical components of units are presented in lectures and develop the underlying theory, in addition to developing analytical and problem solving skills. All units have weekly face-to-face activities. Assignments are used for formative and summative purposes. As knowledge in IT is continually evolving, learning and teaching methods support the capacity for students to become independent learners.

The major culminates with a Capstone unit that involves students being part of a small team assigned to an industry partner to carry out an industry relevant project. Students work autonomously under the guidance of academic staff and using industry staff as 'clients'. The project allows students to apply in an integrated manner the knowledge and skills they have developed in their studies on a substantial design, analysis or development problem.
Assessment Units in the Major in Software Technology all have at least three different types of assessment. These assessments are designed not just to test discipline-specific knowledge, but all aspects of professional competency include professional practice, project work, design and communication skills. In addition to formal assessments, students are provided with informal feedback from staff and their peers throughout the semester.

Assessment types are very diverse and include:
• assignments - test the understanding of a learning outcome by means of small size problems
• programming assignments - allow students to demonstrate their competency in developing software of varying complexity
• reports and documents - beside essay style questions to analyse and critique different topics they also assess relevant skills involving documentation such as requirements documentation and project plans
• oral presentations - test students ability to communicate the results of their work
• group reports - are used when group projects or group laboratory work is conducted
• final exams - the majority of the units will have a final examination where the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge is assessed
• quizzes and in-class tests - assess student learning part-way through the unit and provide feedback to students on learning progress
• tutorial assessment - assess students work in formal tutorial sessions where students receive the support of tutors and other staff.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The Software Technology major prepares students for careers in a variety of Information Technology areas that involve analysis, development, deployment and maintenance of software systems. Some relevant careers include: software developer, business consultant and analyst, project leader, researcher, and systems administrator. Graduates in these and other areas of Information Technology are in high demand in the Australian workforce and Macquarie IT graduates are no exception (source: Good Universities Guide).

The Department's ongoing accreditation of the major with the Australian Computer Society ensures relevance for the Australian profession. The capstone project unit provides experience in a team environment to approximate professional conditions.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation The Department of Computing seeks professional accreditation of many of its programs from the Australian Computer Society (ACS). The Bachelor of Information Technology degree was accredited in 2008 before the introduction of majors. At the time of writing in November 2013, the Department is undergoing the accreditation process for a number of programs, including the BIT with Software Technology major.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2018 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148