Last Updated S022020


Unit Code DENG900
Unit Duration 48 week


Doctor of Engineering

Duration 3 years
Year Level Three
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Sally Male
Core/Sub-Discipline: Core
Pre/Co-requisites  None
Credit Points


Total Program Credit Points 120

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

20 hours per fortnight:

Supervisor/advisor consultations – 1 to 2 hours

Writing and research activities – 58 hours per fortnight

Unit Description and General Aims

Doctoral research must make a significant and original contribution to knowledge. In other words the doctoral candidate must create new knowledge that matters. The desired end result of DEng is publication (journal, technical note as accepted by professional body, etc.) and change in practice.

This unit is a continuation of the research undertaken in the first year and the respective paper outputs in the second year of the degree program. The candidate prepares a doctoral thesis, extending the topic of the first year, or subsequent topic produced for research papers 1 and 2 in which a cohesive study making a significant and original contribution to knowledge is presented.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Formulate a problem of relevance to the engineering practitioners in the candidate’s field, suitable for addressing by research

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Assemble a suitable range of tools to present the problem and argue its significance to professional and lay audiences.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Compose and present a review of literature that supports the significance of the problem and justifies the research approach

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Hypothesise the significance, quality of evidence, and gaps in a study

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Formulate an approach to address weaknesses or gaps in the study, including method, schedule, risk management plan, required resources, and an IP management plan

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Justify and obtain any relevant ethical or other approvals and agreements for the research

Bloom’s Level 5

  1. Preparing technical report to researchers and practitioners the complete study: results, method and analysis, comparison with previous work, originality and significance, limitations, implications for theory, practice, and society, recommendations for further research, and the achieved and likely impact.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Successfully justify and defend the research in response to reviews

Bloom’s Level 6

Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Bloom's level Bloom's category Description
1 Remember Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory by recognising, identifying, recalling and retrieving.
2 Understand Construct meaning from instructional messages by interpreting, classifying, summarising, inferring, comparing, contrasting, mapping and explaining.
3 Apply Carrying out or using a procedure in a given situation by executing, implementing, operating, developing, illustrating, practicing and demonstrating.
4 Analyse Deconstruct material and determine how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose by differentiating, organising and attributing.
5 Evaluate Make judgments based on criteria and standards by checking, coordinating, evaluating, recommending, validating, testing, critiquing and judging.
6 Create Put elements together to form a coherent pattern or functional whole by generating, hypothesising, designing, planning, producing and constructing.












Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed (e.g. Week 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1 (Presentation to Stakeholders)

Present a seminar presenting the research problem; research aim, questions or hypotheses; method and analysis; originality and significance; limitations; implications for theory, practice, and society; recommendations for further research.  This assessment gives the candidate an opportunity to get critical feedback on areas such as methods, significance of the work, theoretical considerations etc.  Putting the argument that the work is of doctoral significance. It gives the candidate some intellectual rigor earlier in the process.

Duration: 25-minute presentation + Q&A, Feedback
Week 12 15%  (Marking rubric to be used) 1-7


Assessment 2 (Thesis)

Prepare a thesis presenting the research problem; research aim, questions or hypotheses; method and analysis; results and findings; comparison with previous work; originality and significance; limitations; implications for theory, practice, and society; recommendations for further research; and the achieved and likely impact including dissemination and outputs such as software to support change in practice. The thesis is to be evaluated by two independent examiners.

Word limit: 55,000 - 100,000 (200 - 400 pages)
week 44 20%70% (Marking rubric to be used) 1-7


Assessment 3 (Viva)

Respond to examiners’ questions to defend the thesis in an electronic or face-to-face viva.

Duration: 60 minutes + defence Q&A
8 weeks after submission of thesis 15% (Marking rubric to be used) 8

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Reference Materials

Suitable information may be found through the following resources:

  • BOOTH, W. C., COLOMB, G. G. & WILLIAMS, J. M. 2008. The Craft of Research, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press.
  • LINDSAY, D. 1995. A Guide to Scientific Writing, Melbourne, Longman.

Software Reference Material

EndnoteTM software for constructing reference lists, bibliography (


Unit Content

Topic 1  and 2

Review of candidate’s research during the program to date; proposal of further study required to make a significant and original contribution; application for any necessary approvals additional to those already obtained, and confirmation of resources.

Why (application): The doctoral thesis must make a significant and original contribution to research and the candidate must identify any additional research required for theirs to achieve this.

  1. Significance
  2. Research quality
  3. Project scope
  4. Weakness and gaps in research
  5. Gaps in research
  6. Schedule of regular meetings with supervisors, industry advisor, and research group
  7. Research group culture


Topic 3 and 4

Thesis planning and research

Why (application): The thesis writing should be concurrent with the final research.

  1. Thesis examination process and viva expectations
  2. Thesis structure
  3. Thesis style
  4. Independent research supported by frequent interaction with supervisors, advisor, and research group


Topic 5 - 24

Final research and first drafts of most chapters.

Why (application): Thesis preparation is iterative and takes longer than expected.

  1. Independent research supported by frequent interaction with supervisors, advisor, and research group
  2. Iterative drafting and revision
  3. Peer review


Topic 25 - 48

Thesis completion and polish, and presentation

Why (application): The whole thesis should be revised iteratively until polished.  

  1. Independent analysis and writing supported by frequent interaction and review with supervisors, advisor, and research group
  2. Presentation to stakeholders
  3. Peer review of another student’s presentation
  4. Submission



Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A
  • Version: N/A
  • Instructions: N/A 
  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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