Sustainable Systems

Master of Engineering Science
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+61 2 9385 5033
Program code: 
Program type: 
2 years
February and September
Vanessa Calderon - Master of Engineering Science (Transport Engineering)

I realised that to progress my career I needed to formalise my professional knowledge. There are so many interesting courses to choose from, and those I’ve taken so far are practical and reflective.

Vanessa Calderon - Master of Engineering Science

Ready to take Environmental Engineering to the next level? This is what Sustainable Systems Engineering and industrial ecology is all about. This new discipline examines how engineers discover holistic and effective Sustainable Systems solutions to unsustainable practices in the modern world.

This program enables students to specialise and gain a deeper 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 electives from several UNSW faculties.

The Master of Engineering Science promotes flexible learning as a keystone of the program – it is designed for students who already have a four year accredited engineering degree and who now wish to broaden their job prospects through cross training, re-training or specialisation. This program takes two years to complete (students may be granted credit for some courses. Those with a degree or extensive professional experience in a related area can apply for credit of up to 50% of a program); it is a non-accredited program, and does not offer industrial training.


The typical program structure comprises sixteen courses, broken down into: four Disciplinary Knowledge Courses, five Advanced Disciplinary Courses, three Research Courses and four Electives.


Required Background

Students need a recognised four year Bachelor degree in engineering with a minimum 65% average in any Engineering discipline. 

Sample Program Outlines*

Compulsory Courses

Course code Course name Notes
GSOE9510 Ethics and Leadership in Engineering

Choose 2 to 4 from

Course code Course name Notes
CEIC4000 Environment and Sustainability Students should request enrolment from the respective administrative authority if they wish to enrol in UG courses
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
With approval from program or stream authority, students may enrol in up to two of the following foundational courses to provide necessary background in environmental and social sustainability.
ARTS1240 Environment and Society: Introduction
ARTS2240 Environment, Sustainability and Development
BIOS1301 Ecology, Sustainability and environmental science
GEOS1601 Population, environment, society

Compulsory Courses

Course code Course name Notes
GSOE9740 Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering 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.
GSOE9340 Life Cycle Engineering
IEST5500 Understanding Environmental Policy If IEST5500 is not available, then one of the following courses needs to be taken: COMM5709, IEST5007, IEST5021, IEST5500 or IEST7200

Choose up to two courses:

Course code Course name Notes
CVEN9857 Wastewater Treatment
CVEN9892 Sustainability Assessment and Risk Analysis
SOLA9015 Life Cycle Assessment
CVEN9872 Solid Waste Management
CVEN9881 Hazardous Waste Management
CVEN9888 Environmental Management
GEOS9011 Environmental Impact Assessment
GSOE9017 Managing Energy Efficiency
GSOE9111 Energy Storage and Alternative Generation
GSOE9121 Operational Energy Efficiency
IEST5099 Scenario Development & Analysis for Sustainability
SOLA9004 Sustainable and Renewable Energy
SUSD0002 Resources, Materials and Sustainability

Compulsory Courses

Course code Course name Notes
CVEN9451 Masters Project A 4 UoC
CVEN9452 Masters Project B 4 UoC
CVEN9452 Masters Project C 4 UoC
GSOE9010 Engineering Postgrad Coursework Research Skills
GSOE9011 Engineering PGCW Research Skills (online)
GSOE9220 Launching a startup Students may also substitute GSOE9010 Engineering PG Coursework Research Skills for GSOE9220 if they are exempt from completing the masters thesis project.

General focus

Course code Course name Notes
CVEN9720 Problem Solving & Decision Making
GEOS9016 Principles of Geographic Information Systems & Science
GMAT9205 Fundamentals of Geopositioning
GSOE9142 Energy Efficient Lighting and Equipment
GSOE9143 Sustainable Elec. Energy Technology Assessment
GSOE9712 Engineering Statistics & Experimental Design
IEST6911 Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
MATH5845 Time Series
MATH5846 Introduction to Probability & Stochastic Processes
SDES9352 Imperatives for a Sustainable Future
SUSD0001 Sustainable Development & the Urban Environment
SUSD0003 Energy & the Built Environment
ATSI3003 Indigenous Cultural Heritage and the Environment
CEIC8336 Environmental Chemistry in the Process Industries

Corporate focus

Course code Course name Notes
CVEN9701 Engineering Economics & Financial Management
CVEN9706 Human Resources Management
CVEN9710 Management of Risk
CVEN9718 Strategic Management for Engineering
CVEN9731 Project Management Framework
ELEC9711 Power Electronics for Renewable & Distribution Generation
ELEC9714 Electricity Industry Planning & Economics
ELEC9715 Electricity Industry Operation & Control
GSOE9420 Project Management in Engineering & Research
GSOE9820 Engineering Project Management
GSOE9830 Economic Decision Analysis in Engineering
IEST5001 Frameworks For Environmental Management
IEST5021 Corporate Environmental Sustainability Reporting
IEST7100 Environmental Management: Economics Fundamentals
GBAT9119/MBAX9119 Managing for Organisational Sustainability
MINE8780 Environmental Management for the Mining Industry
SUSD0016 Sustainable Infrastructure
SUSD0009 Environmental Auditing
SUSD0010 Environmental Auditing
ACCT5961 Reporting for Climate Change
COMM5709 Corporate Responsibility and Accountability

Societal focus

Course code Course name Notes
BENV7724 Transport, Land Use & Environment
IEST5005 Media Advocacy & Public Education
IEST5007 Environment & Development
MNGT8583 Reporting for Climate Change & Sustainability
SOLA9012 Renewable Energy Policy

* The programs outlined above are intended as a guide only. The Faculty of Engineering reserves the right to change any information herein without prior notice. Students should seek approval from their relevant Schools before using these guides.

† Minimum 65% average as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Entry Score Calculator  in a relevant discipline. (Minimum 70% from a non-211 university in China). Find the Postgraduate Entry Score Calculator here.