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The basics
Australia: Subject Guides

What’s it like studying engineering in Australia?

If you’ve been researching study destinations for your engineering degree you might want to consider Australia. We explain what makes the study experience unique and what it offers aspiring international engineering students.

Engineering at UTS

Not all engineering degrees are the same. The quality of your engineering education will depend on the institution and study destination you choose. You also need to think about the engineering specialisation you select for your future career trajectory. Australia is home to seven universities ranked in the world’s top 100 for engineering and technology. It’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for aspiring engineers. We guide you through what’s on offer from Australian universities, the advantages of choosing an Australian education, and the learning environment you’ll experience. 


What are the top universities for engineering in Australia?

It’s useful to familiarise yourself with the top institutions in Australia offering engineering degrees. According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject these are:


  1. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) 
  2. The University of Melbourne 
  3. Monash University 
  4. University of Sydney 
  5. Australian National University 
  6. The University of Queensland 
  7. The University of Technology Sydney 
  8. The University of Adelaide 
  9. RMIT University
  10. The University of Western Australia 


Some of the popular engineering specialisations that are on offer include:


  • Civil engineering 
  • Aerospace engineering 
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering 
  • Chemical engineering 
  • Biomedical engineering 


Internationally, Australian universities have a reputation for high-quality research and teaching programmes. Many are members of the Australian Technology Network (ATN), which is funded and monitored by the  Australian government. The ATN has developed close links with many international institutions, which can help with exchange programmes and the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study for international students. 


What is the Australian university engineering teaching approach?

The curriculum, teaching and learning you will experience at Australian universities is guided by industry standards, needs and requirements. An engineering degree is a professional qualification with the curriculum at Australian universities structured to be career-relevant. This means laboratory work, field trips, case studies, workshops and practical skills assessments. You’ll need to translate theory into practice. 


Other elements that form an important part of the engineering teaching and learning programme at Australian universities are work placements and internships in a professional engineering environment. You can work with industry professionals and experts, applying your academic knowledge practically. It’s also an excellent way to network for future opportunities and perhaps even find your favourite engineering specialisation. 



What do you usually learn during an engineering degree?

While the structure of an engineering degree or programme is not identical between universities, you will find a similar approach. The core learning modules and skills emphasised will show commonality.  By way of example, we will look at The University of Sydney’s bachelor of aerospace engineering four-year qualification:


  • First year
    • Introduction to aerospace engineering 
    • Engineering mathematics 
    • Engineering computing 
    • Electromechanical systems 
    • Engineering mechanics 
    • Aircraft construction and design introduction 
  • Second year
    • Engineering dynamics 
    • Engineering analysis 
    • Aerospace engineering data 
    • Multidisciplinary engineering
  • Third year
    • Propulsion 
    • System dynamics and control
    • Aerospace structures 
  • Fourth year
    • Aerospace design 
    • Aerodynamics 
    • Flight mechanics
    • Engineering thesis


What is also incorporated into the curriculum in each of the years of study:


  • Regular practical projects 
  • Additional elective subjects 
  • Professional engagement programmes
    • Work placements and networking for professional practice


As you can tell from this example, the degree is balanced between engaging with the theoretical, practical and professional so that you can graduate with the ability to seamlessly transition to industry. 


What else can you expect when studying engineering?



What skills and qualities do engineering students need?

If you are an aspiring engineering student or interested in the field, there are a few skills that you’ll need:


  • Ability and interest in science and mathematics 
  • Analytical skills
  • Complex problem-solving skills 
  • Communication 
  • Collaboration 
  • Innovative and lateral thinking


Engineers need to deal with complex, multidisciplinary problems in many industries. The challenge is to develop innovative and appropriate solutions that can have the desired impact. Part of your degree is gaining the knowledge to develop and refine the above skills. You will also find academic and student support services outside of your curriculum that can help you enhance your skills. This can include:


  • Academic tutoring 
  • Writing workshops 
  • English language support 
  • Counselling


Discover more about the top universities in Australia.  


What about the experience of studying in Australia?

A further benefit of choosing an Australian university for your engineering degree is that you will get to experience a unique study destination and some of the world’s top cities. Some of the notable elements you can enjoy include:



As you can see, studying in Australia gives you options and opportunities. From meeting new people to having the chance to participate in new experiences. It means you can develop skills, learn about yourself and become immersed in your new community.


Find out how to apply to study in Australia



What career options are there for engineering graduates?

Receiving an engineering degree from an Australian university means it’s likely to be fully accredited by Engineers Australia. This allows you to work as an endorsed professional engineer by a professional association, both in Australia and other destinations abroad. 


If you decide to remain in Australia you can apply for a temporary graduate visa. This consists of the graduate work stream and the post-study work stream. The former is designed for graduates who possess skills and a qualification listed on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). The graduate work stream visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to two years.  For the post-study work stream visa you will need to have graduated from an accredited institution and can stay in Australia for:


  • Two years for a bachelor’s degree
  • Three years for a master’s degree
  • Four years for a doctoral degree


If you qualify with an engineering degree in Australia you will also enjoy high employment rates with statistics from Engineers Australia showing 80 per cent of graduates in work. In addition, the median salary ranks in the top five for all degree graduates, with AUD 70,000 per year.

Now that you know more about what it’s like to study engineering in Australia, we have some other guides that you might find interesting. You can learn more about the cost of living in Australia, tuition fee costs, and the grading system in the country. 

Study in Australia


'Study in Australia' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in Australia into one handy digital book.

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