Subject focus: Engineering in Australia and New Zealand

 The University of CanterburyStudy Options’ monthly course spotlights are designed to give you more detail on the range of programmes available at Australian and New Zealand universities within a subject area.  We are starting the series with courses in engineering. Though there are many programmes available in this area, we have chosen to focus on those that particularly stand out. Engineering is an excellent subject to study in Australia or New Zealand; there is a wide range of specialisms available, including many which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

Engineering degrees from Australia and New Zealand have excellent professional recognition in the UK and worldwide, thanks in part to the Washington Accord. This international agreement, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. The six original signatories were the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada, though it has since expanded to include more countries. An engineering qualification from Australia or New Zealand is a passport to a potentially global career.

Graduate job prospects for engineers

Engineers are prized in Australia and New Zealand and have excellent graduate job prospects – over recent years an average of 90% of engineering graduates have found work in the industry within nine months of completing their course. Read more about graduate job prospects and professional accreditation for your engineering qualification here.

Contact Study Options

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at the University of Canterbury

At a glance

  • The BE(Hons) is a four-year professional degree accredited internationally. Engineers are in high demand, especially locally, and are taking a leading role in the design and rebuild of Christchurch as New Zealand's most modern city. A $145 million investment in cutting-edge UC Engineering facilities will be completed by 2017. There is no better time or place to study engineering than right now at UC.
  • Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratory, computer and testing facilities and a specialised library; and can participate in events such as the annual bridge building competition and projects such as designing and building a racing car or simulating lightning strikes
  • UC has New Zealand's top departments of Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Process Engineering for research (Tertiary Education Commission 2013 PBRF Assessment) and is ranked 19th in the world in Civil and Structural Engineering (QS World Rankings by Subject 2013)

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree at UC is a four year professional honours degree. Students enrol in the Engineering Intermediate Year (year one) which is a general engineering and science year.

At the end of the Intermediate Year, you choose the programme that you wish to specialise in for the following three professional years of the degree.

There are nine engineering specialisations on offer at Canterbury:

  • Chemical and Process (optional minor in Bioprocess Engineering)
  • Civil
  • Computer (optional minor in Communications and Network Engineering)
  • Electrical and Electronic
  • Forest
  • Mechanical
  • Mechatronics
  • Natural Resources
  • Software

Canterbury is the only university in New Zealand to offer Natural Resources Engineering and Forest Engineering, both of which are focused on the impact of engineering on the environment.

Our internationally recognised accreditation by the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (equivalent to the international standard of the Institute of Engineering and Technology [IET] and the Institute of Chemical Engineers [IchemE]) and our style of education, very similar to that used in the UK, gives you the chance to access worldwide job opportunities after you graduate.

Personal Academic Advisors

All of our Intermediate Year students are allocated a Personal Academic Advisor to assist them with their transition to University, good study habits, exam preparation and other academic skills.

Work experience

As a BE(Hons) student at UC you will undertake 800 hours of work placement as part of your degree. The time in industry will teach you many additional skills such as communications, teamwork and leadership and will help you to work out the part of the industry in which you want to work. You will learn how to apply the theoretical and technical skills that you have studied in class to practical, real-world situations.

Our final year students undertake a final-year research project, often industry based, in their area of interest. While working on a real engineering problem you will be learning all the competencies you will need to practice as an engineer after graduation. Past projects have ranged from biomedical to building assignments, sports cars to ziplines.

Some students choose to do work with organisations such as Engineers Without Borders, working overseas applying the skills they have learnt in class. Opportunities such as installing solar power in schools in the Pacific Islands give students an insight into work in different cultural and economic environments. Students who have this experience return with greater leadership skills and more understanding of other cultures.

UC College of Engineering UK Scholarship

This scholarship recognises top scholars from the United Kingdom and supports them in study towards an undergraduate Engineering degree at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Currently, fifteen scholarships are available, worth $15,000 per year for up to 4 years.

  • The scholarship committee will assess applications on the basis of academic performance, demonstrated interest in or commitment to engineering, sporting and/or cultural activities/achievements, and general character.
  • Applicants will need to have passes in Mathematics and Physics, plus Chemistry if they are intending to study Civil, Natural Resources, Forest, or Chemical and Process Engineering.
  • A-Level applicants will require at least A grade passes in order to be competitive for the scholarship. International Baccalaureate students will need a score of 7 in Higher Level Maths and Physics, plus a 6 in Chemistry (if relevant), and an overall score of at least 38 points.

Find out more about the scholarships here.

Find out more about the University of Canterbury

Download an application form

Bachelor of Engineering (Ocean Engineering) at the University of Tasmania

This degree prepares you for work in the design; construction, installation and management of offshore fixed, floating, sub sea and coastal structures. It integrates a core set of fundamental engineering units that focus on wave mechanics, hydrodynamics, structural mechanics and dynamics of offshore and sub sea structures and coastal technologies.

Students specialise in one of three streams: 

  • Marine Aquaculture - equips students with the skills needed to work in the design and construction of marine aquaculture infrastructure.
  • Ocean and Sub sea Structures - focuses on the design, construction, installation and management of offshore, sub sea and coastal structures.
  • Sustainable Design and Risk - develops a practical understanding of environmental, safety and risk issues related to ocean, marine and offshore production systems. The enhanced understanding of these issues will ensure sustainable design from the onset and effective management throughout the life cycle of the system.

Where could this degree take me?

Highly paid jobs are available in Australia, Europe, USA, UK and Asia designing and managing installations for the offshore oil and gas industry and generating power from the oceans. Students can also work toward careers with engineering consultancy firms specialising in coastal engineering, underwater vehicles, and port and harbour design.


Scholarships are available at the University of Tasmania. For more information please click here.

Key Information

Duration: 4 years full time

Starts: Semester 1 (February)

Location: Launceston (Australian Maritime College). The AMC is Australia’s national centre for maritime education, training and research.

Required knowledge: Applicants must have a strong background in maths, and at least one science subject (physics or chemistry are recommended). Students who do not meet the general entry requirements for the Bachelor of Engineering are advised to contact Study Options to discuss possible pathway courses.

Find out more about the University of Tasmania

Download an application form

Master of Subsea Engineering at Curtin University

Curtin University is Western Australia's largest and most multicultural university. International students studying at Curtin benefit from Western Australia’s strong economy, which boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Australia.

Engineering at Curtin University

Curtin has a strong focus on research in minerals and energy, ICT and emerging technologies, sustainable development and health. The University was ranked in the top 25 universities under 50 years of age in 2013/2014 by QS.

Western Australia has a booming resources industry and at Curtin, you'll get plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience and industry training. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is recognised as a primary source of Western Australia’s top engineering and science graduates, and offers a broad range of courses that are accredited, internationally recognised, and industry relevant.

Our courses will teach you about the mining and engineering industries and help you develop the self-confidence and interpersonal skills needed for a successful career in some of the world's most economically important industries. You can also choose to study at Curtin's Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) in Kalgoorlie, which is a major centre for mining and resources.

The discipline of Engineering has three schools: Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computing.

Master of Subsea Engineering at Curtin

Offshore floating liquefied natural gas facilities and future deep-water, remote oil and gas production requires the development of new technologies to bring hydrocarbon reserves onshore.

If you have an engineering degree or significant expertise in subsea engineering, Curtin’s Master of Subsea Engineering can help you to develop the highly specialised skills and knowledge required for working on locating, extracting and transporting offshore energy reserves. The course is tailored to provide you with a pathway for graduate entry into the subsea profession.

What does the course involves?

The Master of Subsea Engineering is designed to provide you with expertise in subsea engineering and other aspects of offshore field development. It will help you to be an effective team member in the multi-disciplinary environment of offshore oil and gas projects.

The Master of Subsea Engineering comprises coursework units in areas such as subsea infrastructure; materials and corrosion; safety and regulation; and subsea surveying and installation. During your second year, you will take advanced coursework units and complete a subsea engineering project in your area of interest. Throughout your studies, you will have significant interaction with leading industry experts working within various subsea disciplines.

Professional recognition

The Master of Subsea Engineering course has been designed to meet the requirements of Engineers Australia for registration as a chartered subsea engineer. As a subsea graduate you may pursue a career with various members of the oilfield industry including major oil companies, subsea equipment suppliers and service companies.

Key Information

Duration: 2 years

Starts: Semester 1 (February)

Location: Bentley Campus (Perth)

Entry requirements: Bachelors degree in Engineering from a recognised university


Find out more about Curtin University

Download an application form

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