Undergraduate Engineering Thesis - FAQs

For school specific information, scroll to the bottom of this page.


What is the Thesis structure?

The Engineering thesis will be taken for the duration of three terms - as Thesis A, Thesis B and Thesis C.

Each course will carry 4 Units of Credit (UoC) for a total of 12 UoC. The total UoC requirement remains unchanged from current.

Students will have two options to take Thesis from 2019:

  • Option 1 - Standard: (4 UoC per term starting T1, T2 or T3): Students enrol in Thesis A, Thesis B and thesis C and complete the Thesis across three consecutive terms. Total of 12 UoC. Note than once Thesis A is taken, Thesis B and Thesis C must be taken consecutively in the two terms that follow.

  • Option 2: (4+8: 4 UoC in one term and 8 UoC in the following term): Students who demonstrate satisfactory progress in Thesis A may apply to their School to take a 4+8 UoC structure where both Thesis B and C are taken in the next single term of that year. Total of 12 UoC. This option is subject to having demonstrated satisfactory progress in Thesis A.

Students who do not maintain satisfactory performance in Option 2 will revert to Option 1 and take Thesis across three terms.

Thesis A, Thesis B and Thesis C will run in every term (T1, T2 and T3).

Can I start the thesis in Term 2 or Term 3?

Yes, it is possible to start the Thesis in any term, however once Thesis A is taken, Thesis B and Thesis C must be completed in each term consecutively afterward.

What about industry-based Theses?

Industry based theses will still follow the traditional Thesis A and Thesis B structure, except they will run in terms. These courses will still follow the UNSW3+ Academic Calendar and be converted to term formats (i.e. they will run in two terms instead of semesters). Please check with your School for further details. The new structure only applies to research-based theses.

Can I complete a thesis on a humanitarian based Engineering topic?

Yes, there are a number of academics within the Faculty who can potentially supervise a thesis on a Humanitarian Engineering related topic. For more information click here 

I still need to do more courses to complete my degree. Can I still enrol in additional courses next year?

Yes. In addition to the Thesis, you can enrol in up to two additional courses per term. You should enrol in these courses when annual enrolment opens. Overloading is possible, however it will require program authority approval.

How does the 4+8 UOC thesis option work?

The 4+8 UoC option is intended for students who have demonstrated sufficient progress to allow them to finish their thesis project in two terms. Students enrolled in this structure will take Thesis A in the first term and then, provided that satisfactory progress has been reached, will take Thesis B and C in the term following Thesis A.

If progress is deemed as unsatisfactory at the end of Thesis A, the student will move to the default Thesis option: Thesis A, B and C (4 UoC).

Can I still enrol in other courses if I am doing the 4/8 UoC option?

Yes, you will still be able to enrol in up to two additional courses. Given the increased workload of having to do Thesis B and C together, two courses per term would be the maximum recommended by the Faculty.

Should I plan my thesis year for the 4/8 UoC option?

It is not guaranteed that you will be able to enrol in the 4/8 option, as it involves a heavy workload on an accelerated timeline. The requirements for allowing this vary between Schools.

What if I do not demonstrate satisfactory progress in one of the thesis courses?

You will be able to repeat the previous thesis in the following term.

Why does my transcript show an EC grade against Thesis A and Thesis B ?

An enrolment continued (EC) grade will appear against your Thesis A/Thesis B subjects until you have completed your thesis. At this time your final thesis grade will be calculated and rolled back as your overall mark for all thesis components; Thesis C will have a grade (HD, D, etc) and a mark, and for Thesis A and B the EC grade will remain but the overall mark will be added to it so that all 12uoc contributes towards your WAM and the calculation of your Honours Rank.

How does my final thesis mark feed into the calculation of my Honours rank?

Information on Honours calculations are available on the Bachelor of Engineering program rules page

What if I need to take leave in the middle of my thesis?

It is possible to take leave and then continue your thesis on your return. Talk to your supervisor about your situation and the dates involved so that you can work out a suitable plan together.

Who do I contact for help?

Please contact the Student Centre by webform located here.


School of Computer Science Engineering 

Computer Science and Engineering Honours students (programs 3707 and 4515) can find a guide to getting started with Thesis A on the CSE Thesis Topics Moodle site. Use ‘cse-44747437’ to enter the site as a student.

On this site, you will find the Thesis Topic Database. You can look through the topics or visit the academic supervisors' profile pages to find a topic you would like to work on.

Once you have chosen your topic(s), you will then need to contact the relevant Supervisor for confirmation.

Please contact the CSE Thesis Coordinator for further information.


School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering 

If taking Practice Thesis, enrol in MMAN4010 and MMAN4020. If taking Research Thesis, enrol in MMAN4951, MMAN4952, and MMAN4953. Students must apply to enrol in Research Thesis

Mechanical Engineering students can find a guide to getting started with Thesis on the School Thesis Portal. Use ‘engmecht’ to enter the site as a student.  

If you are planning to begin your Thesis, the following are things you need to do now and in the next few weeks. 

  • Self-enrol into the School Thesis Portal on Moodle 

  • Read through the information carefully and note down all necessary actions that need to be taken for enrolling in Thesis. Students wishing to undertake Research Thesis can find the application link in the Thesis Portal. 

  • Enrol in the appropriate Thesis/Project course when enrolment opens.  

  • Please Note: Self-enrolling into this Thesis Portal DOES NOT mean that you are enrolled in a Thesis course. You must enrol into the correct thesis course via myUNSW. 

Contact the Thesis Coordinator for further information. 


School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications 

Procedure for Thesis for EE&T Students: 

  1. Electrical Engineering students should enrol into Thesis on myUNSW.  

  1. Enrol in Moodle using the enrolment key: EETTPstudent  

  1. Log into Moodle course: EET School Thesis/Project  

  1. View research profiles of prospective supervisors and topics in Research Topics 

  1. Contact supervisor to discuss working together. You must get written permission to sign up on a topic before you can proceed to next step. 

  1. In Moodle ‘Registration’ icon:  

  • click ‘Select Supervisor’, find the supervisor and click action box to become a member  

  • click ‘Register Topic’, ‘Add Entry’ and enter your details and topic title.  

Please contact the ELEC Thesis Coordinator or Student Services should you have any other questions. 


School of Mineral Energy and Resource Engineering 

Mining Engineering 

Before the Term: 

  • Consider different options for research project during period of Industry Experience 

  • Discuss with academics the suitability of the topic as a thesis project including formulating research objectives. 


Contact the Thesis Coordinator for further information. 


Petroleum Engineering 

Students opting for the Groupwork thesis (PTRL4010/4011) need to enrol into the relevant courses in myUNSW once enrolment opens. 

Students opting to complete the Research Thesis (PTRL4951/4952/4953) must do the following before the term: 

  • Consider different options for research project topics 

  • Discuss with academics the suitability of the topic as a thesis project including formulating research objectives 


Contact the Thesis Coordinator for further information  


School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

A list of thesis topics will be posted on the Thesis A Moodle site. Students should review the list and discuss the topics with the relevant supervisor to get an idea of what it entails. Once both the supervisor and student have agreed on the topic a Thesis Nomination Form should be completed and submitted to the Thesis Coordinator and uploaded to the SOLA 4951 Moodle site prior to a student commencing work on their topic.  

Students who wish to develop their own thesis topic are invited to do soprovided that they can find a supervisor from within the School. The student should attach a description of the thesis signed by the supervisor to the Thesis Nomination Form.  

The School also encourages students who wish to do an industry-led thesis topic. In this case the mentor from industry would be the student’s co-supervisor, however an academic staff member from the School must act as the supervisor of the thesis. Students wishing to do an industry-led thesis must obtain approval from an academic of the School to supervise the topic and should submit a signed letter from the industry representative and academic supervisor with a brief outline of the project with their Thesis Nomination Form. 

Contact the Thesis Coordinator for further information