• Offered by Research School of Computer Science
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject Computer Science

Real-world software development is a dynamically complex activity involving uncertainty, people, technology and processes interacting within a similarly complex environment of clients, users and other stakeholders as well as evolving technological, physical, social, legal, ethical and other constraints.

This course will empower students with the ability and confidence necessary to exercise critical thinking and professional judgment to select and apply appropriate knowledge, practices and tools to the development of non-trivial software systems within such complex environments.

This will be achieved by first introducing students to key ideas and tools for dealing with complexity and uncertainty including Design Thinking. We will then build on previous programming and architecture courses to deepen and broaden student knowledge and understanding of the practices and tools used to build software systems within complex environments. We will use examples of real-time, distributed, web-based, high-integrity, games and other types of projects from local industry, published case studies and past software engineering student projects, to develop an understanding of when and why particular practices and tools are appropriate and when they are not.

Students will also learn how practices and tools can be adapted to suit specific project needs and contexts. Knowledge, practices and tools considered in this course will cover process models, requirements engineering, design, modelling, construction, verification and validation, human-computer interaction, professional ethics, teamwork and social context.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an ability to use knowledge, tools and practices relating to the following aspects of software engineering:

  a. Requirements
  b. Design
  c. Construction
  d. Verification & Validation
  e. Evolution
  f. Reliability
  g. Human Computer Interaction

2. Demonstrate familiarity with Complexity and Uncertainty

3. Demonstrate familiarity with approaches for dealing with complexity and uncertainty, including Systems Thinking and Design Thinking

4. Demonstrate an understanding that software development is a complex activity conducted within a complex socio-technical environment

5. Demonstrate the ability to use professional judgment to select and apply appropriate knowledge, practices and tools to the development of non-trivial software systems within complex and uncertain environments taking into account social, ethical and sustainability concerns.

6. Demonstrate how practices and tools can be adapted to suit specific project needs and contexts.

Indicative Assessment

2 group assignments (40%); mid-semester exam (30%); final exam (30%)

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Up to 36 one-hour lectures and ten two-hour labs.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed or be currently studying COMP2100.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9807 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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