Last Updated S022020


Unit Code ME700
Unit Duration 1 Semester 

Master of Engineering (all sub-disciplines)
Duration: 2 years

Year Level 2nd
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr. Srinivas Shastri/Dr. Ivan Fair/Dr. Rodney Jacobs/Dr Steve Mackay
Core/Sub-Discipline: Core
Pre/Co-requisites All 500 and 600 level units
Credit Points


Masters total course credit points = 48
(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

Total student workload including “contact hours” = 14 - 20 hours per week:

Supervisor = 1 hour (fortnightly or weekly)
Research and Personal Study recommended – 15 to 20 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

Although this is a Masters Program by coursework, this unit, the Masters Thesis is a significant component. Naturally, this thesis work is considerably less than that undertaken on a full research master degree. In this unit the student has to draw upon the knowledge and skill base developed in the preceding units, and take a significant step forward in applying technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice or scholarship and to make a novel contribution to the field of interest. It does require a significant amount of dedicated and persistent work to complete the thesis to the appropriate level.
As a significant research component of the program, this unit will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills – with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning; with high level personal autonomy and accountability; and to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.
Students are required to choose their own project; however, the project will have to be approved by an academic panel to ensure academic integrity and a Master’s-level scope. It is important that the topic selected is aligned with the student’s interest, future career goals, work history, possible support from an employer, or serious interest in contributing to a particular field.
Research methods are taught within this unit building on the unit entitled ‘Engineering Research & Practice’. The role of the supervisor is to guide and facilitate; it is his/her wisdom that is made available to the student to complete the thesis. The structure of the Masters program is such that there are a number of mini projects integrated into the other independent units. It is also through these mini projects, as well as through the research-based assignments within these units, that research skills are taught and built upon incrementally.
There is a dedicated unit entitled “Engineering Practice and Key Research Methods” which builds a strong foundation of research practice. This prior and required learning is drawn upon and extended throughout this program.
Furthermore, a wide ranging but brief introduction is given on good practice in research techniques over three online sessions of approximately one hour each. This will enable the Master Thesis to proceed with a strong underpinning of the essentials of best practice in research. The student will be expected to read and review considerably more than in each of the one hour interactive tutorial sessions.

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Develop a research culture relating to an engineering and industry milieu
Bloom’s Level 6
2. Develop ability to integrate knowledge into the successful execution of a project
Bloom’s Level 6
3. Apply advanced research tools to support the work in an engineering context
Bloom’s Level 6
4. Apply knowledge base to any of the unit areas previously covered, including project management - with an emphasis on the student’s specialist area
Bloom’s Level 6
5. Design, develop and present their thesis at an advanced academic level
Bloom’s Level 6

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed (eg Week 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1 (Proposal)

Thesis proposal is a 2,000 word document that would include a schedule (MS project or similar), hypothesis; references; and research methodology as a minimum. Word count does not include references and tables.

After Meeting-2 10% 1

Assessment 2 (Presentation and feedback)

Student Progress Feedback (15-minute online presentation including questions. Attended by institute guests, and marked by a panel)

After Meeting-4 10% 1, 2, 3

Assessment 3 (Final presentation / defence)

Final presentation and defense (30-minute presentation including questions. Marked by a panel including industry guests)

After Meeting-8 20% 1, 2, 3, 5

Assessment 4 (Thesis)

Thesis (marked by at least two examiners). The thesis is a 10,000 word document excluding tables, figures and references.

A minimum of a pass mark is required on this assessment in order to pass this unit.

After the Final Meeting 60%
1, 2, 3, 4



Continuous   1-5

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required Textbook(s)

There is no specific textbook for this unit, however, some of the textbooks and reference materials that were used for the other Units in this course may provide useful background/supplementary information for this Unit.

Reference Materials

Additionally, suitable information may be found through the following resources:

  • Books which may be accessed at the Knovel Library:
  • IDC /EIT notes and reference texts as advised.
  • Other materials advised during discussions between the supervisor and student.






The process for the development of a thesis will initially require an in-depth literature review to understand the current level of knowledge in the chosen field; followed by a clear definition of the proposed topic. This will lead to the thesis proposal stating the problem, objectives, a preliminary literature review, methods to be applied and resources required. An achievable timeline for completion of the individual goals leading to the completion of the thesis should be detailed at this point. Often an inexperienced researcher will try and define a topic which is too large or ill-defined. The student’s supervisor will actively council against this.
It is expected that meetings are to be set up between the student and supervisor to discuss the progress of the research, and to ensure continued guidance and maintenance of academic rigour. It is anticipated that there will be a continued demonstration of the preparation of the draft thesis report with new work submitted regularly. The intensity of these meetings will increase near the end of the thesis period.

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 of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.


Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline


 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.


 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem-solving.


Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.


Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: eg. MATLAB, PowerFactory, LabView

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A