SWEN433 (2023) - Web Information Systems Engineering


This course gives a technology-centered introduction to web information systems and services. On successful completion of the course students are able to explain basic concepts used in building and managing web information systems. They know central technological standards underlying web information systems and web services, understand architectural principles, and are able to evaluate and critically discuss such systems.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course should be able to:

  1. Explain concepts used in building and managing web information systems,
  2. Understand architectural principles and technological standards underlying web information systems,
  3. Understand concepts, methods and technologies for managing distributed data in web information systems,
  4. Evaluate and critically discuss web information systems, and elaborate on research challenges.

Course content

This course is designed for in-person study, and students are strongly recommended to attend lectures and discussions on campus. In particular, some assessment items or practical hands-on labs will require in-person attendance, although exceptions can be made under special circumstances.
Queries about any such exceptions can be sent to remote-enrolments@ecs.vuw.ac.nz.

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Dr Hui Ma (Coordinator)

Teaching Format

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 that are provided in-person also made available online.
Details are:
During the first part of the trimester, there will be two in-person lectures per week. During the second part of the trimester, there will be three in-person presentation sessions per week.

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 27 February 2023 - 02 June 2023
  • Break: 10 April 2023 - 23 April 2023
  • Study period: 05 June 2023 - 08 June 2023
  • Exam period: 09 June 2023 - 24 June 2023

Class Times and Room Numbers

27 February 2023 - 09 April 2023

  • Tuesday 13:10 - 14:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Thursday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn
24 April 2023 - 04 June 2023

  • Tuesday 13:10 - 14:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Thursday 14:10 - 15:00 – LT101, Murphy, Kelburn


There are no required texts for this offering.

Mandatory Course Requirements

In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of at least 50%, students must:

  • Hand in satisfactory paper summaries for at least 80% of the assigned readings.
  • Prepare and deliver your presentation to the class.

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 through the following:

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Assignment 1 - ReportsWeek 2-12CLO: 1,2,3,410%
Assignment 2 - PresentationWeek 7-12CLO: 1,2,3,425%
Assignment 3 - Discussion and Peer ReviewWeek 2-12CLO: 1,2,3,45%
Assignment 4 - EssayWeek 11CLO: 1,2,3,425%
Final TestAssessment periodCLO: 1,2,3,435%


Late submissions will incur an automatic penalty of 5% of the final mark per day.


Approval to submit assignments late without penalty will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and if the arrangement is made prior to the due date. We may request documentation (e.g. a medical certificate) for extensions. Assignments that are more than one week late will not be marked.
Presentations are scheduled to start from Week 7. If you miss your scheduled presentation time, you will lose the chance to receive marks for the presentation. Approval to reschedule the presentation without penalty will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and if the arrangement is made prior to the due date.

Submission & Return

Assignments and reports will be submitted via the electronic submission system that can be accessed via https://apps.ecs.vuw.ac.nz/submit/SWEN433 . Marks and comments will be returned through the ECS marking system or via the course web pages.
Student submitted work may be used during the formal Engineering NZ re-accreditation visit to VUW scheduled for 2024, as part of the evaluation process for the programme.


In order to maintain satisfactory progress in SWEN 433, you should plan to spend an average of 10 hours per week on this paper. A plausible and approximate breakdown for these hours would be:

  • Lectures: 2 hrs
  • Readings: 4 hrs
  • Assignments: 4 hrs

Teaching Plan

See: https://ecs.wgtn.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN433_2023T1/LectureSchedule

Communication of Additional Information

The main means of communication outside of lectures will be the SWEN 433 web area at https://ecs.wgtn.ac.nz/Courses/SWEN433_2023T1/. There you will find, among other things, this document, the lecture schedule and assignment handouts, and the SWEN 433 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: 18671

Points: 15
Prerequisites: SWEN 304, 15 further 300-level COMP, NWEN or SWEN pts;
Restrictions: COMP 443
Duration: 27 February 2023 - 25 June 2023
Starts: Trimester 1
Campus: Kelburn