SWEN301 (2021) - Structured Methods


This course introduces the processes, practices, and tools required to engineer medium to large software systems. Topics include software craft, architecture, design, implementation, testing, maintenance, quality assurance, configuration management, and open source development. Practical work will use integrated development environments, automation, and domain specific languages.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main issues involved in the engineering of medium to large software systems
  2. Demonstrate competence in software engineering processes, practices, and tools

Course content

The course is primarily offered in-person, but there will also be a remote option and there will be online alternatives for all the components of the course for students who cannot attend in-person.
Students taking this course remotely must have access to a computer with camera and microphone and a reliable high speed internet connection that will support real-time video plus audio connections and screen sharing.  Students must be able to use Zoom; other communication applications may also be used. A mobile phone connection only is not considered sufficient.   The comuputer must be adequate to support the programming required by the course: almost any modern windows, macintosh, or unix laptop or desktop computer will be sufficient, but an Android or IOS tablet will not.
If the assessment of the course includes tests, the tests will generally be run in-person on the Kelburn campus. There will be a remote option for students who cannot attend in-person and who have a strong justification (for example, being enrolled from overseas). The remote test option may use the ProctorU system for online supervision of the tests. ProctorU requires installation of monitoring software on your computer which also uses your camera and microphone, and monitors your test-taking in real-time. Students who will need to use the remote test option must contact the course coordinator in the first two weeks to get permission and make arrangements.

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Jens Dietrich (Coordinator)

Teaching Format

This course will be offered in-person and online.  For students in Wellington, there will be a combination of in-person components and web/internet based resources. It will also be possible to take the course entirely online for those who cannot attend on campus, with all the components provided in-person also made available online.
During the trimester there will be three lectures and one tutorial per week. There are no regular helpdesks for this course. If they are required they will be scheduled as needed.

Student feedback

Student feedback on University courses may be found at:  www.cad.vuw.ac.nz/feedback/feedback_display.php

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 22 February 2021 - 28 May 2021
  • Break: 05 April 2021 - 18 April 2021
  • Study period: 31 May 2021 - 03 June 2021
  • Exam period: 04 June 2021 - 19 June 2021

Class Times and Room Numbers

22 February 2021 - 04 April 2021

  • Monday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT002, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT323, Hunter, Kelburn
  • Friday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT002, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
19 April 2021 - 30 May 2021

  • Monday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT002, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT323, Hunter, Kelburn
  • Friday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT002, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn


There is no set text for this course.

Recommended Reading will be available via the Talis Aspire system.

Mandatory Course Requirements

There are no mandatory course requirements for this course.

  • A satisfactory group project journal must be submitted and the project must be presented, to demonstrate achievement of all the CLOs of the course.

If you believe that exceptional circumstances may prevent you from meeting the mandatory course requirements, contact the Course Coordinator for advice as soon as possible.


This course will be assessed via three individual projects (Assignments 1 , 2 and 3 ) and a test:

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Assignment 126/3/2021CLO: 1,225%
Assignment 230/4/2021CLO: 1,225%
Assignment 325/5/2021CLO: 1,230%
Test (2 hours)8/6/2021CLO: 1,220%


Late submissions will incur an automatic penalty of 10% of the final mark per day.


Students have four slip days across the course that will be granted automatically.
Work submitted after slip days without an extension may be marked pass/fail.
Individual personal extensions will only be granted in exceptional personal circumstances, and should be negotiated with the course coordinator before the deadline whenever possible. Documentation (eg, medical certificate) may be required.

Submission & Return

All work should be submitted through the ECS submission system, accessible through the course web pages. Marks and comments will be returned through the ECS marking system, also available through the course web pages.

Marking Criteria

Marking criteria will vary for each assessment component and will form part of the course and project descriptions

Group Work

There will be no group work.


In order to maintain satisfactory progress in SWEN 301, you should plan to spend an average of 10 hours per week on this paper, and 150 hours over the entire course. A plausible and approximate breakdown for these hours would be:

  • Lectures and tutorials: 4 hours,
  • Readings: 2-3 hours, and
  • Assignments and project: 3-4 hours.

Teaching Plan

See: https://ecs.wgtn.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN301_2021T1/LectureSchedule

Communication of Additional Information

The main means of communication outside of lectures will be the SWEN 301 web area at https://ecs.wgtn.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN301_2021T1/. There you will find, among other things, this document, the lecture schedule and assignment handouts, and the SWEN 301 Forum. The forum is a web-based bulletin board system. Questions and comments can be posted to the forum, and staff will read these posts and frequently respond to them.

Offering CRN: 17183

Points: 15
Prerequisites: SWEN 225 (or both 222 and 223)
Duration: 22 February 2021 - 20 June 2021
Starts: Trimester 1
Campus: Kelburn