The Academy of Computer Science and Software Engineering strives to
develop capacity in the Information Technology field which helps to
advance South Africa as a country. In the more than 45 years that the Academy has existed, it has always been instrumental in producing high-quality manpower.
Academy provides landscaping to a diverse population of students, by
cultivating a purpose that is beyond the curriculum. It is this purpose
that drives students to academic excellence and prosperity in local and
international industries. To ensure that students are prepared for the
challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Academy
embraces the development of emerging technologies driven by e.g. mobile
connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Thing
(IoT), Cyber Security, and blockchain-based solutions.
Academy's educational offerings are distinctive at both the
undergraduate and honours level. At the undergraduate-level the unique
separation between Informatics (Software Engineering) and Computer
Science allows both the business-oriented, application specific and deep
theoretical components of a well-rounded IT education to be fully
addressed. At the honours level, the Academy offers a wide variety of
self-contained modules allowing students to either sample a broad range
of disciplines in the field or specialise in a well-defined competency
area such as Information Security. This decision is not imposed on the
students and remains at all times in their hands.
The Academy of
Computer Science and Software Engineering is very successful as it is
supported by excellent staff and students, to establish a remarkable
learning environment. Standards are set for staff and students to adhere
to; giving a department that exemplifies the culture of quality
expected and is also superior to that of its competitors. Contemporary
teaching degrees presented by the Academy ensure that students can
become sought-after professionals. A dynamic research environment covers
a wide variety of disciplines in Information Technology, producing
high-quality results that are published internationally.
The Subdepartment of Computer Science
Computer Science as subject investigates the fundamental building blocks of the computer – not hardware-wise, but specifically as far as software is concerned, because software really forms the heart of any computer system. Computer Science therefore concentrates more on the technical aspects related to computer use, and includes aspects such as the operating system, data structures which are part of the formal building blocks of software, computer architecture and other systems software.
Problem solving and programming are central concepts throughout the course. This subject will really give you a good understanding of the computer as a device used to solve problems.
The Subdepartment of Informatics
Informatics is much more user-orientated than Computer Science, and investigates ways in which the computer can be used to solve problems. Informatics investigates aspects related to the development of large software systems, specifically those needed in commerce and industry. Software engineering is therefore at the core of Informatics.
This subject will allow you to understand how the computer is used to really solve problems. Also in Informatics, problem solving and programming are extremely important.
The Subdepartment of Information Security
Information Security is concerned with protection of of the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data on an information system. Not only should security be considered at a computer science level, it must be included at the system design stage of software development.
The core philosophy and distinctive character of the Academy outlined above are clearly shown in the following endeavours:
Teaching and Learning
The Academy follows a "grow our own
timber strategy." This has ensured a dynamic and vibrant young
department under the stable leadership of senior professors. The Academy
remains one of the most stable IT departments in South Africa.
Capacity building of the designated groups (previously disadvantaged)
remains a priority of the Academy. Regardless of the influx and changing
student profile of the first year students, the Academy maintains good
throughput rates. The normal high standard has been maintained during
the last 5 years. Requirements were made stricter in all undergraduate
courses in terms of practical assignments. A 40% practical mark
requirement for exam entrance instituted in 2012 was increased to 50%
(normally 45% applied). This has yielded an improvement in the quality
of students. 2012 also saw the institution of a minimum research
component in honours courses, namely a full 50% of the final module mark
should constitute of research-oriented deliverables. In 2016 a
practical entrance exam for all honours degree qualifications was
introduced and resulted in better quality students entering into the
The Academy of Computer Science and Software
Engineering offers 4 undergraduate degree qualifications, 4 honours
degree qualifications, 4 Masters and 3 PhD degrees. All masters and
doctoral degrees are research based. To achieve the above 2 majors i.e.
Computer Science and Informatics are offered as well as 28 honours
(level 4) modules.
Futhermore, the Academy actively supports the
advancement of Teaching and Learning among their staff members. Prof
Leung has won the Faculty of Science’s Teaching & Learning Award in
2016, the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards: Teacher Excellence in
2017, and been accepted into the prestigious Teaching Advancement at
University (TAU) 2018-2019 program. She has also been nominated as one
of the University’s three representatives competing in the national
Higher Education Learning & Teaching Association of South
Africa/Council for Higher Education (HELTASA/CHE) Teaching Excellence
Awards for 2018.
Centre for Cyber Security
The UJ Centre for Cyber Security,
which has a large research emphasis, was formed under the leadership of
Prof S.H. von Solms as a response to an identified capacity shortage in
the area of Cyber Security in industry and government in South Africa
and in Africa. This centre is also part of the National Cyber Security
Awareness initiative in conjunction with UNISA and NMU. This landmark
centre is the first of its kind in Africa, and its core focus is to
extend Cyber Security related topics such as Critical Information
Infrastructure Protection and build Cyber Security awareness. Prof S.H.
von Solms has established research cooperation with Cyber Security
Oxford at Oxford University and currently serves as the Associate
Director of the Global Cybersecurity Capacity Centre at the University
See more at https://www.cybersecurity.org.za
Key Research areas are Cyber Security, Agent
Technology, Social and Services Computing. These have been augmented by
including the research areas of interest to the emerging researchers in
the Academy; these being Biologically Inspired AI, Biometrics, and
Digital Forensics. On average the Academy produces in the order of 24
peer-reviewed papers in International conference proceedings and
journals annually. In most cases, the presentations are done by young
staff members or postgraduate students to ensure capacity building. All
the Full Professors in the Academy are researchers rated by the National
Prof Von Solms has a B rating from the NRF
(2013 – 2018) which means he has been evaluated by his peers as amongst
the top 10 – 15% of international researchers in his field. Prof Coetzee
is a member of the organizing committee of the ISSA (Information
Security for South Africa) conference since 2009, the premier conference
for Information Security in South Africa. ISSA is supported by the IEEE
SMC and IEEE South Africa section, and the proceedings are published in
the IEEE digital library. Prof Coetzee and Prof Ehlers are rated as