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Course summary

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering equips students with the relevant skills, experiences and knowledge to provide a range of professional mechanical engineering services in regional, national and international environments.

The course prepares graduates for work involving the design and maintenance of machinery, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), consumer product design, automotive, robotics and control systems, water supply, vibration, acoustics and noise control, heat transfer and refrigeration, energy technology and pollution control in the marine, oil, gas and aerospace industries. 

The course is structured around 16 key competencies identified by Engineers Australia as being essential to the graduating engineer. The educational philosophy and objective of this course aims to cultivate insight and knowledge in the mechanical engineering discipline, producing highly skilled engineers who not only have technical skills but also a commitment to continuous learning throughout their careers.

Students gain the skills necessary to define and develop solutions to challenging problems, as well as leadership skills and the ability to respond to the demands and expectations of society, industry and academia.



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The course comprises three main study streams that cover all aspects of mechanical engineering:

Design and Production System Engineering

This stream will develop your knowledge and skills in machine element design, mechanical systems design, dynamics of machines, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), finite element methods, mechanics of solids and fracture mechanics. Immerse yourself in this stream via a research project.

Thermo-Fluid Mechanics and Energy Systems

This stream will develop your knowledge and skills in thermodynamics, thermal engineering, fluid mechanics, hydraulic systems, modern internal combustion engines, heating and refrigeration technology and conventional and renewable energy. You will improve your understanding about the design and operation of coal, oil, gas, geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, nuclear and cogeneration power plants, developing alternatives to thermal energy, power cycle devices, fuel cells, gas turbines, and innovative uses of wave, wind, ocean thermal energy conversion and tidal energy. You will be involved in all aspects of the production and conversion of energy from one form to another. 

Mechatronics and Control Systems

This stream will develop your knowledge and skills in electro-mechanical systems, robotics technology, control systems and automation. Modern experimental facilities are used to teach electrical circuits and machinery – alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) motors and generators, industrial automation using programmable logic controllers (PLC), automobile technology, mechatronics, and robotics engineering. Students learn industrial robotics and work together with local industry to design and build autonomous systems. Additionally, Southern Cross runs a robotics club to practice and create innovative ideas with the opportunity to take part in national and international competitions.

Elective units include: Ecological and Environmental Economics for Sustainable Development, Waste Technology and Local Government.

Thesis unit 

All 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 in their chosen field.

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

Develop research skills in order to be able to design plan and execute a research project with some independence.

Identify all influencing factors in complex engineering problems and to think about the macro and micro ramifications.

Develop cognitive and technical skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise engineering knowledge to identify and find solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence.


Adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts to form alternative solutions to complex problems.

Ethical practice

Apply ethics and judgment to complex engineering problems.

Knowledge of a discipline

Develop technical skills and an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of engineering knowledge.

Develop conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences that underpin the engineering discipline.

Lifelong learning

Self manage and be resourceful and effective at developing new knowledge and applying it to engineering problems.

Demonstrate computer literacy skills in both standard applications and discipline specific applications.

Develop appropriate professional practice, reflection skills and engineering competencies through study and professional practice.

Communication and social skills

Effectively communicate engineering ideas, concepts and arguments using written mediums to a variety of audiences.

Verbally communicate and influence a variety of audiences including the engineering team, community and people of diverse backgrounds.

Cultural competence

Engage with diverse cultural and indigenous perspectives with the engineering environment.

Assessment items vary for each unit. They include numerical calculations, written assessments, 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.

Mechanical engineers have broad employment prospects in local and global markets. They can work in diverse industries including heavy machinery, power generation, mining, manufacturing, production planning, automotive, aerospace, medical, environment, building industries and consumer product design and tertiary education. Mechanical engineers are in demand in government departments, building services, manufacturing centres, power plants, consulting engineering companies, ship building, railroads, control and automation industries, robotics industries, heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) engineering industries.

As part of this course, students are required to undertake a compulsory 60-day industry experience unit in a relevant engineering role. 

Industry experience enables students to gain experience in applying their knowledge and skills to engineering problems within a real work environment, and to make valuable contacts with potential employers and other members of the mechanical engineering community. Students engage with industry representatives from the early stages of the course, creating valuable professional networks.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering has provisional accreditation from Engineers Australia at the level of Professional Engineer and will be assessed for full accreditation at this level in 2021.  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'