Electrical Engineering (Hons) - 4471

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: 450060

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

Engineering degrees offered by UNSW Canberra aim to provide an outstanding engineering education to future leaders in the Australian Defence Force and civilian students to pursue excellence through contributions to research, the profession, industry and the community.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering is of four years duration and the degree may be awarded at Honours Class I, Honours Class II, Division I or Honours Class II, Division II. These Honours levels will be displayed on the final testamur. Candidates who do not achieve Honours Class 1 or 2 will receive a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering with no honours level displayed.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering program at UNSW Canberra has been granted full accreditation by Engineers Australia and has been recognised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering is built on a foundation of mathematics, computing science and physical science. A small component of electrical engineering is introduced in the first year, with progressively larger components in second and third year. The final year is devoted exclusively to electrical engineering courses. Each year of the program comprises a number of discipline-based courses and courses taught by other discipline areas. Most courses in the first three years of the program are common for all electrical engineering students. In the fourth year students have the option to select specialty topics in areas such as communications, surveillance and radar, computer engineering and guided weapons electronics.

The Electrical Engineer in the Navy is known as a WEO a Weapons Electrical Officer, and is responsible for electronic systems associated with gun and missile control systems, navigation systems, air and ground communications, radar and sonar systems and data systems. WEOs are not only responsible for technical matters but are a vital link in management: they may become involved also in personnel, financial and resource management.

RAAF Electrical Engineers usually are employed to manage a wide variety of operations including the repair and maintenance of modern radar, navigation, communications and computing equipment. They may be posted to a squadron in charge of an avionics section, or to a development area working on technical problems associated with new equipment. As they gain experience they can be expected to be posted to one of the commands, usually as a project officer concerned with the management and funding of projects.

Army Electrical Engineers usually pursue a career either in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals or the Royal Australian Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. New graduates may be involved in such areas as the operation, management and repair of state-of-the-art communications equipment or the management of guided weapons systems, laser designation and range finding equipment and radar.

Electrical Engineering is one of the newer branches of engineering. It has its origin in the turning to practical use of the discoveries of Faraday, Ampere, Maxwell and a number of other eminent 19th century physicists. It has remained the most strongly science-oriented branch of engineering.

At first it had its major impact by providing the means for the generation, distribution and utilisation of electric power. However, while this remains an important sub-area of the whole discipline, the last few decades particularly have seen a rapid and extensive diversification into the fields of computers and control as well as electronics and communications, and beyond them into such areas as biology, medicine and space technology. It is now true to say that there are very few areas of civilised activity that have remained untouched by the ideas and products of modern electrical engineering. The absorption of recent scientific development has been very rapid and has demanded a fully developed scientific outlook on the part of electrical engineers for a proper understanding of the problems involved. Many devices, scarcely more than laboratory prototypes a decade ago, are now in widespread use as fully engineered hardware.

Program Structure

First Year

Second Year

Third Year
Plus 2 x General Education Courses

Fourth Year
Students must undertake 18 UOC of Technical Elective courses selected from the courses listed below. Students may select a maximum of one course from Group B below.

Technical Elective Courses
Group A
Group B
Students may choose to specialise by taking elective courses in the following area of interest:

Note: Enrolment in ZEIT4216, ZEIT4217 and ZEIT4218 requires the approval of the SEIT Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Upper level courses from other programs may be taken with the approval of the SEIT Director of Undergraduate Studies. Not all electives may be offered in any year.

Academic Rules

1.0 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 2017. 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

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

2.0 Degree Requirements

2.1 The degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering shall be conferred as a Bachelor Honours degree at Level 8 in the AQF. Honours in recognition of meritorious performance may be awarded in the following categories:
Honours Class I
Honours Class II, Division I
Honours Class II, Division II
Where candidates do not achieve Honours Class 1 or 2, the Class of Honours is not displayed.

2.1.1 The Class of Honours is calculated as follows:
Honours Class 1: Honours WAM of at least 80.0 and Thesis Mark of at least 65
Honours Class 2 Division 1: Honours WAM of at least 75.0 and Thesis Mark of at least 65
Honours Class 2 Division 2: Honours WAM of at least 65.0 and Thesis Mark of at least 65
Courses will be weighted according to the following:

ie Level 2 and 3 courses
ie Level 4 courses
(not including final year projects)
ie Final year projects

2.2 To qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering, a candidate 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 candidate 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 candidate 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 candidate’s enrolment will be accepted for any course, the candidate must have completed the relevant prerequisite courses shown in the Course Catalogue, except where the Course Authority for the appropriate course approves otherwise.

3.0 Practical Experience Requirements

Before graduation a candidate 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 Canberra at ADFA is 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 Fee Website.

Related Program(s)

4464 Electrical Engineering (CDF)