Mechanical Engineering (Hons) - 4474

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: 450070

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

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

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical 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 Mechanical Engineering with no honours level displayed.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering program at UNSW Canberra has been granted full accreditation by Engineers Australia.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Mechanical Engineering is the branch of engineering that is concerned with machines and the production of power, and particularly with forces and motion. It became a separate branch of engineering in the early 1800s, when steam power began to be used in manufacture and transportation.

One can identify four functions that are common to all branches of mechanical engineering.

The first is the understanding of and dealing with the bases of mechanical science. These include dynamics, concerning the relationship between forces and motion, such as vibration; automatic control: thermodynamics, dealing with the relations among the various forms of heat, energy, and power; fluid flow; heat transfer; lubrication; and properties of materials.

Second is the sequence of research, design, and development. This function attempts to bring about the changes necessary to meet present and future needs. Such work requires not only a clear understanding of mechanical science and an ability to analyse a complex system into its basic factors, but also the originality to synthesise and invent.

Third is production of products and power, which embraces planning, operation and maintenance. The goal is to produce the maximum value with the minimum investment and cost while maintaining or enhancing longer term viability of the enterprise or the institution.

Fourth is the co-ordinating function of the mechanical engineer, including management, consulting and, in some cases, marketing.

In all of these functions there is a long continuing trend towards the use of scientific instead of traditional or intuitive methods. Operations research, value engineering and reliability centred maintenance are typical titles of such new rationalised approaches. Creativity, however, cannot be rationalised. The ability to take the important and unexpected step that opens up new solutions remains in mechanical engineering, as elsewhere, largely a personal and spontaneous characteristic.
(The above description was adapted from the Encyclopedia Britannica).

Army Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering graduates can expect to be posted to the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME), Armour, or Infantry corps. Typically they will work in workshops, or headquarters or on equipment procurement in the Material Branch.

Navy Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering graduates will undertake courses to enhance their professional development as Naval officers and Marine Engineers before taking up postings at sea or ashore.

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

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering degree require a prescribed program structure as determined by the engineering program chosen. Each year of the program comprises a number of School-based courses (identified by the prefix ZEIT) and courses taught by other Schools within UNSW Canberra.

Completion of each year, thereby allowing progression to the next year, is normally achieved by satisfactory progress in each of the courses given in that year. At the discretion of the Head of School, students may be allowed to enrol concurrently in courses from more than one year of the program.

First Year

Second Year

Third Year
Plus 2 x General Education Courses

Fourth Year
Students must undertake 24 UOC of Technical Elective courses selected from the courses listed below:

Technical Elective Courses
*The courses ZEIT4503 Applied Thermodynamics and Propulsion, ZEIT4705 Marine Project and ZEIT4704 Land Vehicles share some common teaching materials which make them mutually exclusive.

Students may choose to specialise by taking all elective courses in the following areas of interest:

Marine Stream

Land-based Stream
Note: Enrolment in ZEIT4011 and ZEIT4012 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. 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 Mechanical Engineering take precedence over the Faculty Regulations for Undergraduate Students.

2. Degree Requirements

2.1 The degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical 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 Mechanical 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. 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)

4478 Mechanical Eng (Hons) (CDF)