Mat Sci and Eng Hons - 3131

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science

Contact: School of Materials Science and Engineering

Campus: Sydney

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: 429600

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Major)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

Important: prior to 2016 this program was known as 3135 Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering). Students must follow the Handbook of the year they commenced their program, so continuing students should refer to the relevant Handbook here.

The field of Materials Science and Engineering offers unlimited possibilities for innovation and development. Attention is being focused on developing and processing metals, ceramics, polymers and composites with improved properties.

The activities of the materials engineer range from materials production, including their extraction from ores and their refining, to the design, development, processing and recycling of materials for use in aerospace, transportation, electronics, energy conversion and biomedical systems.

Advanced materials can provide a major competitive advantage in virtually every part of a country’s manufacturing industry. Because Australia is a country rich in minerals, materials science has been designated as a priority area for research and development. Examples of recent and significant developments include the emergence of environmentally friendly and economical metal processing methods, advanced surface coatings, biomedical materials, electrical ceramics, engineering polymers, and advanced composites.

The School of Materials Science and Engineering is in a good position to provide the increased numbers of graduates necessary for development of these new initiatives in materials. It is the only school in Australia that offers professional courses in ceramic engineering, metallurgical engineering and materials engineering as well as providing postgraduate specialisation in these fields.

The School is extremely well equipped with a wide range of advanced computing, thermal analysis, mechanical testing, X-ray and optical and electron microscopy facilities. Students are provided with education and industrial training to prepare them for a significant and important professional career.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The broad objective of the Engineering(Honours) undergraduate programs is to develop well-educated graduates, that is, graduates with the strong technical knowledge and the basic skills and attributes required to practise as professional engineers. The desired skills are those that enable graduates to be independent investigators; self-motivated; critical thinkers; problem solvers; life-long learners; good communicators; team players; effective managers; as well as economically, environmentally and socially aware.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
  2. Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
  3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
  5. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
  6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
  7. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
  8. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
  9. Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
  10. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
  11. Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
  12. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
  13. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
  14. Professional use and management of information.
  15. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
  16. Effective team membership and team leadership.

Program Structure

There are five study streams available in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Materials Science and Engineering, providing appropriate preparation for the following Engineering professions:
The first two years of all streams are identical and the third and fourth years contain a number of common courses. Students can change their selection among the study streams up to the end of Semester 1 of Stage 3.

Each study stream provides a range of specialised electives. In addition, a limited number of electives can be chosen from other streams.

When completing the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Materials Science & Engineering as a single degree, students must complete a minimum of 192 units of credit (UoC). The following structure is applicable to all streams.

Stage 1
  • 6 UOC from the full list of available Stage 1 electives available here
Recommended elective:
Stage 2
Stage 3
  • Professional Electives* (6 UOC)
  • General Education (6 UOC)
Stage 4
  • General Education (6 UOC)
*For details of available Plans and Professional Electives for Stage 3 & 4 please click on the links below:

Academic Rules

Progression Rules

The rules for progression in the program are:
  1. Students must have completed 36 UOC before taking any Level 2 course.
  2. Students must have completed all Introductory Core before taking any Level 3 course.
  3. Students must have completed 102 UOC before taking any Level 4 course.
  4. Students are not permitted to continue in Program 3131 and will be transferred to Program 3970 BSc(Materials Science Major), with such transfer subject to appeal, if any of the following apply:
  • 2 fails in any given core course
  • Less than 50% of program courses have been passed after half or more of the BE program (>84 UoC) has been attempted
  • A WAM of less than 55% prior to the final 48 UoC of the BE program (i.e., after 120 UoC of the BE program completed)
The School of Materials Science and Engineering Education Committee will consider appeals against transfer out of the 3131 BE program and will take into account academic, medical, and personal issues in accordance with the UNSW Special Consideration Policy and the Re-Enrolment Appeal Committee process.


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


Honours will be awarded in the following classes:
  • Class 1: WAM of at least 80 and final year research project mark of at least 65
  • Class 2 Division 1: WAM of at least 75 and final year research project mark of at least 65
  • Class 2 Division 2: WAM of at least 65 and final year research project mark of at least 65
The Honours WAM is calculated to one decimal place as a weighting of courses according to UOC and the particular level, the latter being:
  • General Education = 1
  • Level 1 Courses = 1
  • Level 2 Courses = 2
  • Level 3 Courses = 3
  • Level 4 Courses = 4
Only the first attempt at a course counts.

Industrial Experience Requirement

All students are required to have gained at least 12 weeks of approved industrial experience before graduation and to have submitted satisfactory reports on such work. Industrial experience is usually obtained during a long vacation at the end of Stages 2 and 3.

Professional Recognition

The Engineers Australia recognises the degree of BE in any of the 4 undergraduate streams as meeting the examination requirements for admission to graduate and corporate membership. Similarly, substantial or complete recognition is accorded to the BE degree programs by overseas engineering institutions.

Graduates in Ceramic Engineering are also eligible for membership of the Institute of Ceramics of Great Britain, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers USA.

Faculty of Science Rules

The Faculty of Science has some rules that relate to all students enrolled in programs offered by the Faculty in relation to recognition for prior learning, general education, course exclusions, study load, and cross-institutional study. All students should read the information contained on the Faculty General Rules and Requirements page in this Handbook.

Area(s) of Specialisation