Master of Engineering Science 8338: Sustainable Systems Commencing in 2015

Sustainable Systems

The MEngSc Stream enables students to specialise and gain depth of knowledge across a broad range of disciplines, including sustainable systems engineering, industrial ecology, sustainability and environmental sciences and sustainability management. Core subjects are coupled with a choice of elective courses from several UNSW faculties covering non-technical topics essential for sustainability, such as environmental economics, policy and law, ethics and corporate social responsibility. The Program structure therefore strongly encourages holistic thinking and multidisciplinarity.

Entry requirements

Students need a recognised four year Bachelor degree in Engineering with a minimum 65% average.* Relevant field experience is highly desirable.

Students with a science background and appropriate academic and professional experience may also be considered (e.g. students with a background in ecology, environmental science, geography, biology, earth science, marine biology plus relevant professional experience).

Articulate from a Graduate Diploma of Engineering with at least a credit average or an equivalent qualification from a recognised university or tertiary institution.

NOTE: Minimum 65% average as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Entry Score Calculator. Students from a non-211 university in China need a minimum 70% average. For entry details (particularly for South Asian students) please click here.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

A student may apply to the Program or Stream Authority for advanced standing or exemption as per the UNSW RPL Policy and Procedures. Students with a four year Honours degree can obtain a maximum of 48 UOC of exemptions and must complete the following:

  1. At least 36 UOC of advanced level courses consisting of
    1. At least 24 UOC of Advanced Disciplinary Knowledge Courses.
    2. At least 6 UOC of Research-based Courses (GSOE9010).
    3. At least 6 UOC of Engineering and Technical Management Courses.
  2. A maximum of 12 UOC of other electives from the approved Electives Courses list.

Application for advanced standing or exemption would require substantiating evidence including documents such as academic records, continuing professional education, professional registration and statements of service from the employer.

Why do a postgraduate course work program?

Whether you choose to undertake a Postgraduate Coursework program straight after your undergraduate studies, a few years into your career or as part of continuous professional development, it will help you to:

  • excel in your field: by extending your knowledge with highly specialised training
  • further develop key transferable skills: such as research and analysis, problem-solving, teamwork, management and communication
  • expand your options: by complementing existing knowledge or retraining to open new career opportunities.

Modes of Delivery

Some courses within this stream are available by external mode.

Stream Structure

MEngSc students must complete a total of 96UOC of courses. Please note that the availability of the courses may vary from term to term and courses may be offered in alternate years.

Disciplinary Knowledge Courses - 18-30UOC chosen from the following:

Note: Disciplinary knowledge courses can be substituted with Advanced Disciplinary knowledge courses unless a specific course is prescribed in your offer letter or is listed as a core component of the program. (Courses that are core will be listed with an asterisks)

  • GSOE9510 - Ethics and Leadership in Engineering*

*Compulsory course

Students should request enrolment from the respective administrative authority if they wish to enrol in UG courses

  • CEIC4000 - Environment and Sustainability
  • CVEN4104 - Sustainability in Construction
  • CVEN4504 Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • CVEN9898 Fundamentals of Sustainable Infrastructure 
  • GMAT4860 - Sustainable Land Development 
  • IEST5002 - Tools for Environmental Management 
  • IEST7200 - Environmental Management: Law Fundamentals
  • IEST7300 - Environmental Management: Physical Science Fundamentals
  • IEST7400 - Environmental Management: Social Science Fundamentals 
  • SOLA3010 - Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics 
  • SOLA5050 - Renewable Energy Policy and International programs 
  • SOLA5057 - Energy Efficiency (6 UOC)

Students may also, if approved, take up to two foundational courses to provide necessary background in environmental and social sustainability. These could include one or two courses from:

  • ARTS1240 - Environment and Society: Introduction
  • ARTS2240 - Environment, Sustainability and Development
  • BIOS1301 - Ecology, sustainability and environmental science
  • GEOS1601 - Population, Environment, Society

Advanced Specialisation Disciplinary Knowledge Courses - 18-30 UOC (3-5 courses) chosen from the following:

The Masters in Sustainable Systems requires completion of the three core courses listed below (18 UOC in total):

  • *+GSOE9740 Industrial Ecology 
  • *GSOE9340 Life Cycle Engineering 
  • IEST5500 Understanding Environmental Policy
  • If IEST5500 is not available, then one of the following courses needs to be taken. 
    • COMM5709    Corporate Responsibility and Accountability
    • IEST5007         Environment and Development
    • IEST5021         Corporate Environmental Sustainability Reporting
    • IEST5500         Understanding Environmental Policy
    • IEST7200         Environmental Management: Law Fundamentals

* Compulsory courses

+GSOE9740 requires prerequisite knowledge about life cycle assessment (LCA). This knowledge is provided by GSOE9340, CVEN9892 and SOLA9015, however, other LCA courses with equivalent content can be counted as prerequisite upon approval by the program authority.

In addition, up to two courses (12 UOC) can be chosen from the following elective courses.

  • CVEN9857 Wastewater Treatment
  • CVEN9872 Solid Waste Management
  • CVEN9881 Hazardous Waste Management (not running in 2014 and 2015)
  • CVEN9888 Environmental Management
  • CVEN9892 Sustainability & Risk Analysis (6 UOC)
  • GEOS9011 Environmental Impact Assessment
  • GSOE9017 Managing Energy Efficiency
  • GSOE9111 Energy Storage and Alternative Generation (not running in 2014 and 2015)
  • GSOE9121 Operational Energy Efficiency (not running in 2014 and 2015)
  • IEST5099 Scenario Development & Analysis for Sustainability (not running in 2014/2015)
  • SOLA9004 Sustainable and Renewable Energy
  • SOLA9015 Life Cycle Assessment
  • SUSD0002 Resources, Materials and Sustainability

Research-based Courses – 18 UOC:

Students must complete a research component that allows them the opportunity to broaden their understanding of something that they are passionate about through practical application with the close support of a Practicing Engineering Researcher.

  • CVEN9451 Master Project A (4 UOC)
  • CVEN9452 Master Project B (4 UOC)
  • CVEN9453 Master Project C (4 UOC)


  • GSOE9010 Engineering Postgraduate Research Essentials (6 UOC)


  • GSOE9011- (Distance version) Engineering Postgraduate Research Essentials (6 UOC)
  • Students may also substitute GSOE9010 Eng PG Coursework Res Skills if they have advanced standing for their undergraduate research project for GSOE9220 Launching a Startup (6 UOC).

Elective courses in Sustainable Management and Frameworks – Maximum 24 UOC

Students may choose any course for which they are eligible to enrol, as electives, including any of the courses listed above.

Recommended Electives - Advanced Disciplinary Knowledge Courses

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