Aeronautical Engineering - 4424

Program Summary

Faculty: UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Contact: UNSW Canberra, Student Administrative Services

Campus: UNSW Canberra at ADFA

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 4 Years

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 192

UAC Code: 450040

Domestic Entry Cut-off: N/A  

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Engineering (Major)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

Schools offering engineering degrees within UNSW Canberra aim to provide outstanding engineering education to the future leaders of the Australian Defence Force and to pursue excellence through contributions to the engineering profession, industry and the community.

The BE program is of four years duration and the degree may be awarded as a pass or an honours degree. The engineering programs at UNSW Canberra have been granted full accreditation by Engineers Australia. All Engineering degrees lead to a Bachelor of Engineering degree, with the type of engineering specified.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Aeronautical engineering is the study of the design, development, manufacture, maintenance and control of machines or vehicles operating in the Earth's atmosphere or in outer space.

The design of a flight vehicle is quite complex and demands a knowledge of many engineering disciplines such as aerodynamics, propulsion systems, structural design, materials, avionics, and stability and control systems. Maintaining and operating a flight vehicle requires an understanding of materials, reliability and maintenance, structural analysis for necessary repairs, together with knowledge of the disciplines within the design process.

The Aeronautical Engineering program has been designed to meet the needs of the Australian Defence Force as Australia's largest aircraft operator and covers the design, and reliability and maintenance of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Air Force BE(Aero) graduates may be involved in the operation and maintenance of aircraft and then become responsible for the airworthiness and modification of aircraft and engines, or the acquisition and introduction of new equipment into the Service. Army BE(Aero) graduates are most likely to be involved in the maintenance and repair of the Army's rapidly growing fleet of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Navy BE(Aero) graduates are required for maintenance and repair, modifications, operational deployments and airworthiness of Navy's fleet of rotary wing aircraft.

Except for Electrical Engineering and those in the Chief of Defence Force Students Program first-year engineering and technology students enrol in a common program taking foundation science and engineering courses. In second and increasingly in third and fourth years the programs diverge into their specialities although there are some courses that span across programs in all years. A key element in all years is the design stream which emphasises complex problem solving. Other streams such as aerodynamics, stability, control, thermofluids, structures, mechanics, materials and management often incorporate project based learning informed by academic research and industrial practice. Electives and a final year thesis enable students to pursue particular interests both within and outside the specialist discipline.

At the end of the program students are expected to meet the graduate attributes of the University and Stage 1 Competencies of Engineers Australia, ready to practise in their chosen profession and with the ingenuity and resourcefulness to meet rapid technological change.

Program Structure

First Year Program
Second Year Program
Third Year Program
2 x General Education courses. Students must select one General Education course from each of the following groups:

Group 1: ZGEN2222 Introduction to Strategic Studies, OR ZGEN2801 Strategy, Management and Leadership;


Group 2: ZGEN2240 Introduction to Military Ethics, OR ZGEN2215 Law, Force and Legitimacy

Fourth Year Program
and 3 x Technical Elective Courses

Technical Elective Courses
Students may choose to specialise by taking elective courses in the following specialisations:

Structural Integrity Specialisation:
Rotorcraft Specialisation:
High Performance Aerospace Vehicle Specialisation:
Note: Enrolment in ZEIT4011 and ZEIT4012 require the approval of the Undergraduate Coordinator.

Upper Level courses from other programs may be taken with approval from the SEIT Undergraduate Coordinator.

Academic Rules

1. Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Students

A student must comply with the Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Students. In the event of a conflict, the rules for the Bachelor of Engineering take precedence over the Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Students.

2. Degree Requirements

2.1 The degree of Bachelor of Engineering shall be conferred as a pass degree or as an honours degree. Honours may be awarded in the following categories:

Honours Class I
Honours Class II, Division I
Honours Class II, Division II

2.2 To qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering, a student shall normally be enrolled for a minimum of eight sessions and gain a minimum of 192 units of credit (normally 24 units in each full-time session).

2.3 A student completing a Standard Program shall complete courses, in the years prescribed, for all engineering students and those pertaining to one particular branch of engineering as set out in the relevant schedule.

2.4 A student completing a Non-Standard Program shall, subject to the requirements of Rule 2.5 (below), timetabling requirements and the approval of the appropriate Heads of School, be permitted to enrol in any one year in courses selected from more than one year of the relevant schedule.

2.5 Before a student's enrolment will be accepted for any course, the student must have completed the relevant pre-requisite courses shown in the Course Catalogue, except where the Course Authority for the appropriate course approves otherwise.

2.6 Students are required to include 12 UOC of General Education courses, normally taken in the third or fourth year of study.

3. Practical Experience Requirements

Before graduation a student shall complete 60 days of approved practical engineering experience which must be done in blocks of at least 20 working days each, each block being in the service of a single employer.

Service Training and Practical Experience Requirements

Service training conducted during the degree program is recognised as partially satisfying practical experience requirements in the following ways:

Naval Midshipmen, 30 days for experience gained at a defence establishment between second and third years. (Time at sea prior to arrival at UNSW Canberrais not eligible for consideration.)

Army Cadets, 30 days for the year spent at Royal Military College between third and fourth years.

Air Force Cadets, 30 days for experience gained at a defence establishment between second and third years.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:

UNSW Canberra Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Students

These regulations apply to all undergraduate degrees and are to be used in conjunction with Academic Rules and Program Information. All rules in this Handbook apply to each student who enters an undergraduate program in 2014. The rules remain applicable until the student exits their program, either by discontinuation or graduation. Students who entered a program in another year should consult the rules and regulations for that year.

Please refer to Faculty Regulations information

Related Program(s)

4465 Aeronautical Engineering (CDF)
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