Changes to Undergraduate Engineering

engineering circuit
Wednesday 27 March 2019

You might have heard that over the next 5 years the Undergraduate Engineering programs are getting a facelift.

The changes will affect the two undergraduate Engineering degrees currently offered by ANU –the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), and the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Research & Development).

Why are the rules changing?

Just as the content of courses change to reflect new research and understanding, so can program rules. The new changes are designed to reflect optimised and sustainable solutions to complex, multi-disciplinary, real-world engineering problems. New courses will allow students to expand their study focus (and major selection), revised courses reflect the feedback that students have provided over the years.

New Study Plans

Students follow the degree rules from the year that they commenced their degree. The new degree rules will be of relevance to those commencing in 2019, with several changes to the overall structure phasing in by 2022.

The Study Plan [ PDF 154KB ] can also be viewed on ANU Programs and Courses.

Expected Year of Change

Changes to the program structure are expected to be phased in over a 4-5 year period. We have created a summary table [ PDF 347KB ] to help you see when these changes are due to occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve completed more than 48 Units of Engineering courses already – can I complete my program under the new rules?

No. Generally you follow program rules for the year in which you started your program (e.g. if you began studying in 2017, you would follow the 2017 rules). If you’ve already begun your studies and have completed 48 units, you will continue to follow your current program rules.

I’ve completed less than 48 Units of Engineering courses already – can I complete my program under the new rules?

Generally, no. A transfer to the new program rules will only be considered in exceptional cases, for example:

  • when the courses that you’ve already completed make it easy to transfer (if you’ve come from another degree taking effect from 2019 and have yet to complete the core courses that change under the new rules);
  • where you can demonstrate a significant need to, or benefit from, transferring to the new rules, and transferring will not exceed your overall unit limit (or degree duration).

What will happen if courses I need to complete under the “old” rules are no longer offered by the College?

If a core course is not offered under the new program rules, ANU will offer a substitute so that students can still complete their degree under the older program rules. For example:

  • PHYS1103 is a substitute for ENGN1215 (no longer offered).
  • ENGN2229 is a substitute for ENGN2228 (no longer offered).

In some exceptional cases, students may be able to take external courses to contribute towards the completion of their degree.

What if the courses I need to complete are under the new rules or are not offered when I need to take them?

As above, if a course you need to take isn’t available, a substitute will be identified. We will deal with these issues on a case by case basis and make appropriate variations to your program rules to ensure you are able to complete your degree without adversely impacting your learning or your overall program end date.

I applied to transfer into the Bachelor of Engineering, effective from Semester 1, 2019, will I be considered to be completing under the old rules or the new rules?

This will be considered on a case by case basis, and in consultation with students. The aim is to ensure the smoothest possible pathway for you through your degree. In most cases, it is likely you would be enrolled under the current (2018) rules.

If I’m approved to transfer to the new rules, can I transfer back into the old rules again if I change my mind down the track? 

No. Transfers to the new rules will only be permitted in exceptional cases and should only be done after careful consideration. Students are not able to transfer back to older program rules.

Can I continue to study under the old program rules, and complete a Major/Minor under the new rules?

You follow ALL of the rules of your program in the same way for core courses, and courses that contribute towards your majors and minors. Note that major requirements under the new rules will require more technical courses.

I commenced my Program in 2019 but I’ve received 96 Units of Credit. Which rules should I be following?

Because you have completed a significant number of units (i.e. over 48) you will follow the 2018 rules.

Has the way the College calculates Honours results changed?

The Weighted Average Mark (WAM), or your Honours result will change for those following the 2019 rules. More details will be provided for students under the ‘Study’ tab of the Programs and Courses website as to how this mark will be calculated.

The Engineering (Research & Development) Progression Requirements for each semester have changed from 80% to 75%. What will this mean for me at the time of graduation? (Can I graduate with H2A?)

This rule change should not affect graduation eligibility. Under the older rules, students enrolled in the Research & Development degree must maintain an average of 80% per semester, or be placed in the Engineering degree. Under the new rules, this average will drop to 75% for each semester. However overall, you still need to be on track to graduate with H1 honours (an overall average mark of 80% or above).

Still have questions?

Check in with CECS Student Services by emailing

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing