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Study Software Engineering in Malaysia

Musings on software engineering, technology, and their interconnections with a programmer's everyday life.

Software engineering graduate in Malaysia.

A growing need for software developers comes across every industry. As technology advances, the ability to build quality software while considering design, development, security, and maintenance is sought after amongst all kinds of companies; from finance and banking to healthcare and national security.

Software engineers are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest over the 2012 - 2022 decade, resulting in excellent job prospects according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is Software Engineering all about?

Software engineering is a branch of computer science which includes the development and building of computer systems software and applications software. 

Computer systems software is made out of programmes that include computing utilities and operations systems.

App software consists of user-focused programmes that include web browsers, database programs, etc.

Software Engineering applies the knowledge and theoretical understanding gained through computer science to build high-quality software products. 

By applying these engineering principles to every stage of the development process, from requirements analysis to the software process, they can create customised systems for individual clients. 

Just as a civil engineer will make sure that a bridge has a solid foundation, a software engineer will also begin with a thorough study of requirements and work through the development process in a systematic way.

What are the major fields in Software Engineering?

There are many sub-fields in Software Engineering. You may choose one that suits your interest.

1. Application development iOS and Android
Such programmes focus on expanding graphic features and user interface for the gaming community. Advanced software architecture in smartphones and computer browsers are studied in mobile applications.

2. Game development iOS and Android
Game development includes designing software programmes for computer games. The job tasks include developing gaming programmes and networks for third-party use, designing games, and creating game mechanics that coordinate with a story.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI combines data engineering, data science, and software development skills to execute an AI-driven enterprise agenda.

4. Data mining
Data mining involves collecting software engineering data, extracting some knowledge from it and, if possible, use this knowledge to improve the software engineering process. In other words, it “operationalises” the mined knowledge. 

For instance, researchers have extracted usage patterns from millions of lines of code of the Linux kernel in order to find bugs

What kind of subjects are taught in Software Engineering course?

The subjects that you come across will vary, depending on the university that you’re in. 

Here is a glimpse of subjects that are offered in the Bsc (Hons) in Software Engineering of Asia Pacific University

Year 1

  • Digital Thinking and Innovation
  • Intercultural Awareness and Cultural Diversity
  • System Analysis & Design
  • Programming with Python
  • Mathematical Concepts for Computing
  • Operating Systems & Computer Architecture
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Introduction to Object Oriented Programming

Year 2

  • Object Oriented Development with Java
  • System Development Methods
  • Programming for Data Analysis
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Research Methods For Computing and Technology
  • Computer Theory
  • Data Structures
  • Design Methods
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Software Architecture
  • Enterprise Systems

Year 3

  • Innovation Management & New Product Development
  • Project Management
  • Advanced Programming Language Concepts
  • Algorithmics
  • Design Patterns
  • Software Quality Engineering
  • Designing & Developing Applications on Cloud
  • Investigations in Software Engineering
  • Software Engineering Project


  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • Fundamentals of Web Design & Development
  • Concurrent Programming
  • Further Web Design & Development
  • Mobile App Engineering
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Distributed Computer Systems
  • Blockchain Development
  • Enterprise Programming for Distributed Applications
  • HCI & Usability
  • Optimisation and Deep Learning

What are the skills and characteristics needed for Software Engineering course?

Check the following qualities before you decide on taking this course to ensure that you’re prepared:

1. Problem-solving and logical thinking
Problems within the software can arise from even the smallest of errors, and programmers spend a high percentage of their time debugging rather than writing code. 

Therefore, being able to not only pinpoint software problems but also use deductive reasoning to solve these issues is crucial to many software engineering jobs.

2. Teamwork
Interpersonal skills are crucial for software engineers since they often work in teams. As a result, having the ability to respect others, listen, accept criticism, and empathise are the necessary skills software engineers need to have.

3. Attention to detail
As a software engineer, your day to day work includes more complex details such as analysing and maintaining older code or developing strategic methodologies upon which you build a coding framework.

4. Written and verbal communication skills
If you convey information clearly, that is already an indication of having a good communication skill. It is important that you and your team members and clients understand each other to prevent miscommunications.

5. Mathematics skill
Mathematics is the heart of programming and the same goes to software engineering. The use of mathematics depends on what type of software engineering you’re taking.

What are the best universities for Software Engineering course in Malaysia?

The table below showcases top universities known for their Software Engineering programmes:


Programme Offered

Monash University Malaysia

  • Bachelor of Software Engineering

Universiti Malaya

  • Bachelor of Computer Science (Software Engineering)
  • Master of Software Engineering (Software Technology)

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Software Engineering

Sunway University

  • Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons)

Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC)

  • Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) in Software Engineering

Asia Pacific University

  • BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering
  • MSc in Software Engineering


  • Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) in Software Engineering

Multimedia University

  • Master of Computer Science in Software Engineering

Taylor’s University

  • Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons)

University of Nottingham (Malaysia)

  • BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering

INTI International University

  • Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) major in Software Engineering

Universiti Putra Malaysia

  • Bachelor of Software Engineering
  • Master of Software Engineering

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Software Engineering with Multimedia

What is the career and salary outlook for Software Engineering graduates in Malaysia?

You can find various careers in Software Engineering. 

Career for software engineering graduates.

Salaries and outlook for future job growth are dependent on the degree of Software Engineering you have, as well as the area, or type of Software Engineering programme you pursue.

So, what can you do with a Software Engineering degree? Check out the list below:

  • Web developer
  • Lead software engineer
  • Technical architect
  • Software development manager
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Data scientist
  • Game developer
  • Front-end / Back-end developer
  • App developer
  • QA / Test / Automation
  • Dev/Ops engineer
  • Full Stack developer

Below you will find different types of jobs within Software Engineering and the expected salary (per year) in Malaysia according to PayScale:

Web Developer: RM 36,000 - 70,000

Lead Software Engineer: RM 119,000 - 246,000

Technical Architect: RM 133,000 - 291,000

Data Scientist: RM 58,000 - 126,000

Chief Technology Officer: RM 183,000 - 405,000

How long is the duration of studies for Software Engineering course in Malaysia?

The duration of studies will depend on the level of studies. 

Bachelor’s Degree: 3 - 4 years

Master’s Degree: 2 - 3 years

Doctoral Degree: 2 - 4 years

What are the entry requirements for Software Engineering in Malaysia?

Each university and country has different entry requirements and the list below does not generalise the entry requirement of universities as a whole. 

Bachelor’s Degree 

STPM: Min. Grade C with CGPA 2.00

A-Levels: 2 Passes in A-Levels and a Credit in Mathematics at SPM/O-Level/IGCSE

Foundation: Min. CGPA 2.00

UEC: 5 Grade B’s in UEC, including Additional Mathematics

International Baccalaureate (IB): Min. 25 points in 6 subjects

English: IELTS (minimum 5.5 - 7.0 overall), TOEFL (minimum 550 or 90)

Master’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree: Min. CGPA 2.75 - 3.0

English: IELTS (min. 5.5 overall) or TOEFL (min. 550 or 83)

Additional prerequisites: Work experience of 2 years 

How much is the tuition fee to study Software Engineering courses in Malaysia?

Tuition fees for this programme vary in Malaysia, depending on the university that is chosen. 

The estimated fees for Software Engineering in top universities in Malaysia can be seen here:

Bachelor’s Degree: RM 12,000 - 60,000

Master’s Degree: RM 15,000 - 40,000

PhD: RM 18,000 - 30,000

The fees above only covers the tuition fee and not other additional fees nor living expenses. 


1. What’s the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering?

Computer science: understanding, designing, and developing programmes and computers. 

Software engineering: building and maintaining software systems. It is more software-oriented and has a greater emphasis on large software applications than Computer Engineering.

2. Should I take Software Engineering or Computer Science?

It all depends on your interest and preferred career path. Computer Science degree holders tend to have more flexible career paths beyond becoming Software Engineers (e.g. Academia). 

Computer science covers more on the theorem of computation. While more practical, coding is the bulk of work for software engineering.

3. Is maths necessary in Software Engineering?

A lot of software engineers claim that maths isn’t important during their studies. 

If you’re not capable of basic maths, it will certainly reflect your ability to design, scale, and debug a system. 

How much maths do you need? That’s up to how good you want to be, but there are diminishing returns for the average programmer/software engineer.


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