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Course summary

With strong population growth and significant changes in hydrology predicted for the coastal margin of Australia, there is an increasing demand for civil and environmental engineers with expertise in managing coastal and floodplain hydrology.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering is one of just a few specialist undergraduate professional engineering degrees in Australia to train industry-ready graduates for work in water engineering, coastal engineering and catchment management. The course addresses an increasing need for engineering expertise in these fields that is currently only available through on-the-job training and/or postgraduate qualifications.



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  • Coastal Geochemistry
  • Coastal Zone Management
  • Infrastructure Design and Management.

There is also a 'no major' option, with a wide range of elective units.

All students complete core units that cover coastal engineering and management, floodplain engineering and management, project management, hydraulic engineering, water and wastewater engineering, engineering geochemistry and hydrology. The course is strongly focused on project engineering from first year through to the final year. The course also addresses fundamental concepts that cross all disciplines including professional ethics, sustainability, conflict resolution and negotiation.

Students undertake a full-year subject in engineering research (thesis unit) in their final year, which enables them to explore the frontiers of engineering development and contribute to new knowledge.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Apply a multidisciplinary systems engineering approach to identify relevant factors and evaluate their importance in complex coastal engineering problems

Review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise engineering knowledge to identify and develop solutions to complex coastal engineering problems with intellectual independence

Conduct research related to coastal engineering with some independence


Adapt and apply a broad contextual knowledge using highly developed technical, design and communication skills to devise innovative solutions to complex coastal engineering and management problems

Ethical practice

Use highly developed professional judgement to apply contemporary ethical standards and exhibit appropriate professional conduct in the engineering environment

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics and other basic sciences that underpin the coastal engineering discipline

Apply appropriate technical skills and demonstrate a detailed understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge related to coastal engineering and management

Lifelong learning

Apply critical reflection to assess professional development with respect to the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies

Demonstrate the ability to acquire, use and adapt to changes in information and technology

Demonstrate an ability to develop new knowledge and apply it to solving coastal engineering problems

Communication and social skills

Demonstrate the ability to work in teams with engineers and other professionals to solve coastal engineering problems using a systems engineering approach in a project environment

Communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written form with a variety of audiences including engineers, other professionals, and the wider community

Cultural competence

Demonstrate an appreciation of diverse cultural and Indigenous perspectives in the context of a systems approach to coastal engineering

Assessment items vary for each unit. They include numerical calculations, written assessment, oral presentations, exams and project based scenarios within groups and as individuals.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

As a civil or environmental engineer in a range of settings involving systems and infrastructure in the coastal zone, including municipal and government authorities, water supply and management agencies, construction companies, natural resource management organisations, consulting engineering companies, airport authorities, mining companies, irrigation authorities, research organisations, and education organisations.

As part of this course, students are required to undertake a compulsory 60-day industry placement.

Industry experience enables students to apply their knowledge and skills to engineering problems within a real work environment, and to make valuable contacts within industry. Students typically undertake one or more work placements with an organisation conducting work related to engineering practice.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering has provisional accreditation from Engineers Australia at the level of Professional Engineer and will be assessed for full accreditation at this level in 2022.  Courses accredited by Engineers Australia at this level are recognised in many different countries worldwide through the Washington Accord, an international agreement governing recognition of engineering qualifications and professional competence.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'