Graduate Diploma in Computer Science

Upskill for the tech future

Computer science is central to developments across almost every industry and expertise in this area is a huge asset in the changing landscapes of the modern world.

What will you do?

This one-year program is suited to students with little prior experience in computer science. You will:

  • learn to design and construct large software systems
  • practise algorithm programming
  • gain advanced problem-solving skills
  • apply your learning to complex computing challenges.

JAVA and C + + are the primary programming languages used in this program. If you’re unfamiliar with object-oriented programming and computer organisation, enrol in Foundations of Computer Science in your first semester of study. Please note that if you are required to take Foundations of Computer Science you will need to study this program part-time which will affect the duration of your program.

Where could it take you?

You’ll graduate prepared to pursue computer science roles in all sorts of industries—from entertainment and networking to science, software engineering and defence. The diploma can also act as an exit point for students who do not wish to complete the full master program.

  • Ranked #50 in the world for computer science and engineering^
  • Ranked #7 in the world for Artificial Intelligence*
  • Home of the world-leading Australian Institute of Machine Learning

* US Global Rankings, 2023
^ ARWU, 2022

Entry Requirements

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Before applying make sure you understand the eligibility and entry requirements for your chosen degree.

Look out for any prerequisites or assumed knowledge subjects. Some degrees also have additional entry requirements like interviews and auditions.

Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3GD133, 3GD021
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Assumed Knowledge SACE Stage 2: Mathematical Methods
Additional Entry Requirements
Please note this program is only available part-time in Semester 2.
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed Bachelors degree or equivalent in a field other than Computer Science with a minimum GPA of 4.5.

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students 1 33.3%
    All students 3 100.0%

Ready to Apply?

Find out more about the application process and start your studies at the University of Adelaide.

Be sure to check the critical dates to avoid missing application deadlines.


Fees and Scholarships

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Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place: $8,945

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.

Successful domestic applicants to the Graduate Diploma in Computer Science will have access to a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places, meaning a reduction of up to 80% off the course fees due to government subsidies. Offer subject to change.

To apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place, please include SATAC code 3GD133 on your SATAC application.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

Graduates may find employment opportunities in academia, commercial and government sectors, defence, entertainment, computer science and information technology industries. 

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Professional Accreditation

The Graduate Diploma in Computer Science is designed to provide a professional qualification in computing and information technology, and also provides the necessary academic requirements for membership of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American-based Association for Computing Machinery.

Potential careers

Graduates of this program have gone on to roles such as:

Computer Scientist;  IT Manager;  Scientist;  Systems Programmer;  Information and Communications Technologist

Degree Structure

The graduate diploma typically consists of 24 units of material selected from the Level 2 and Level 3 courses, or 12 units if the candidate has already completed the graduate certificate. The course Software Engineering and Project is compulsory for graduate diploma students.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Example Study Plan

To satisfy the requirements for Core Courses students must complete courses to the value of 3 units, Elective Course to the value of 21 units.

All courses are 3 units unless stated otherwise.

Core Courses

Students must complete the following:

COMP SCI 7015 Software Engineering & Project

Foundation Courses

Students must complete to the value of 9 units from the following:

COMP SCI 7081 Computer Systems

COMP SCI 7088 Systems Programming

COMP SCI 7201 Algorithm & Data Structure Analysis

COMP SCI 7207 Web and Database Computing

COMP SCI 7210 Foundations of Computer Science A

COMP SCI 7211 Foundations of Computer Science B

General Electives 

Students must complete to the value of 9 units from the following:

COMP SCI 7039 Computer Networks & Applications

COMP SCI 7059 Artificial Intelligence

COMP SCI 7064 Operating Systems

COMP SCI 7076 Distributed Systems

COMP SCI 7305 Parallel and Distributed Computing

COMP SCI 7306 Mining Big Data

COMP SCI 7307 Secure Programming

COMP SCI 7308 Introduction to Statistical Machine Learning

COMP SCI 7315 Computer Vision

COMP SCI 7316 Evolutionary Computation

COMP SCI 7411 Event Driven Computing


Assessment includes written assignments, practical work and/or examinations.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Friday, 23 Feb 2024