BlogUSYDWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical Engineering) at USYD

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical Engineering) at USYD

Aeronautical Engineering USYD - Fact Sheet

Thinking about studying Aeronautical Engineering at USYD? 

Well, here’s everything you need to know about the degree — from the kinds of subjects you’ll take, the culture, societies, assignments and more!

Let’s jump into it!

What is a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical) at USYD?
Core Units and Specialisations
How to Get into Aeronautical Engineering at USYD
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical) at USYD?

A Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical) is a very specific Engineering degree where you can expect to study a fair bit of Maths and Physics. You also take various integrated Engineering subjects in your first year.

You’ll learn all about how aircrafts are designed, as well as their functions, not only within our planet’s atmosphere, but in space too! This degree will prepare you for the aerospace industry by providing you with practical learning and opportunities to gain industry experience.

Aeronautical Engineering USYD - Student Quote 1

Honours and Specialisation

At USYD, Aeronautical Engineering is a 4 year degree, which therefore includes Honours. The requirement for Honours is to complete the necessary number of credit points which varies depending on whether or not you’re in a combined degree. 

You can choose to specialise in Space Engineering after the first year which requires an average mark of 75 to get in, and the maintenance of an average mark of 70. 

Career Paths

As for career paths, Aeronautical Engineering is quite a niche field which makes it difficult to get a job in the commercial aerospace and defence domain. This includes companies like QANTAS, Virgin Australia, Boeing and Airbus. 

“Often what happens is the number of jobs available in those companies are far lower than the number of Aeronautical graduates every year.” — Samanvay Karambhe

But don’t be discouraged by this, because there are many other opportunities available for Aeronautical students!

“Engineering graduates are very highly sought after, especially in finance. It’s ironic that a lot of positions that commerce graduates prepare for actually go to engineering graduates, as it’s a lot easier to teach an engineering graduate finance than it is to teach a commerce student problem solving skills.” — Samanvay Karambhe

Being an engineering degree, the skills you develop in Aeronautical Engineering can be applied to other occupations including:

  • Finance
  • Management consulting
  • Technological companies
  • Data science

Check out what an Aerospace Engineer does here!

Core Units and Specialisations

What are the Core Units?

In first year, you can expect to take Maths and Engineering subjects that span across various degrees. 

ENGG1801 is Engineering Computing which focuses on problem solving skills. ENGG1111 is an Integrated Engineering subject which provides you with the opportunity to apply foundational engineering skills. 

For linear algebra you can either take MATH1002 or MATH1902 which is the advanced option often taken by Extension 2 Mathematics students. Similarly MATH1023, Multivariable Calculus and Modelling can also be taken in the advanced option as MATH1923. 

AERO1560 is your practical component subject in first year which is also joined with Biomedical and Mechatronic students. 

Which areas can you specialise in?

In Aeronautical Engineering at USYD there are three optional specialisations to choose from:

  1. Computational Engineering (for Aeronautical)
  2. Engineering Aerodynamics
  3. Flight Data Analysis

“Aeronautical Engineering at Sydney is probably the most specialised aeronautical course you can get in Australia.” Samanvay Karambhe


As for internship opportunities, it is most common for students to take up a 3 month industry placement in either the first, or more popularly, the second semester of your third year. The fourth year is then focused on writing your Honours thesis. 

Alternatively, you can partner with an industry company for a 6 month project in your fourth year, which accounts for both your thesis and industry placement. 

You’ll also be required to participate in the Professional Engagement Program, which you can learn more about here!

How to Get into Aeronautical Engineering at USYD

A Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering at USYD requires an ATAR of 92 for guaranteed entry. However, other pathways are available such as the E12, Future Leaders and Broadway schemes.

You can find out more about admission pathways for USYD here!

Assumed Knowledge

Aeronautical Engineering at USYD does not have any prerequisite requirements, however Mathematics Extension 1 and Physics are assumed knowledge. If you did not take these subjects in Year 12 you will most likely need to take a bridging course. 


There are few scholarships relating specifically to Aeronautical Engineering, however there are numerous scholarships in the Faculty of Engineering that may apply to you.

You can read more about these scholarships here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

Degrees at USYD are delivered across two semesters per year, and students studying full-time loads will typically take 4 subjects a semester.

Class Structure

Class Structure for Aeronautical students


Depending on the subject, lectures usually run for 1 to 2 hours. First year subjects will have much bigger lecture cohorts of up to 300 students, as these subjects cross multiple degrees.

As you start to take subjects specific to Aeronautical Engineering, the lectures have about 50 students. These lectures cover course content and the theoretical side of the subject. 


Tutes run for 1 to 2 hours and have around 20 to 25 students. Tutorials apply lecture content and involve answering problem questions, discussing lecture content and working on group projects.


Pracs go for 1 to 2 hours and are much smaller classes with about 10 students. You work in pairs to answer questions and also learn the basics of certain machinery and tools. 

How much time do you spend at uni?

You can expect your contact hours to be much higher in first and second year with around 20 hours of classes a week.

In third and fourth years you will find your contact hours drop quite significantly to around 15 hours a week, this is designed to give you more time to work on assessments. 


With Aeronautical Engineering at USYD you can expect a range of assessments from plenty of group projects that you would work on during the semester to mid-semester and final exams that are individually focused. 

Aeronautical Engineering USYD - Student Quote 2

Skills That You Develop

Aeronautical Engineering at USYD is a course that will provide you with an incredibly wide range of skills that are applicable in areas beyond the degree!

Skills for Aeronautical Students

#1: Learning new things quickly and applying your knowledge

“For an assessment we had to develop an autopilot system for an aircraft from scratch in 2 weeks! In 3rd or 4th year you can expect multiple assignments like this.” — Samanvay Karambhe

#2: Problem solving skills

Engineering is all about problem solving and learning how to break down a problem into smaller sections.

“I can’t stress enough that the problem solving skills you get changes your outlook on most things in life, because you know how to deal with any problem and break it down into pieces.” — Samanvay Karambhe

#3: Communication

You can expect to do presentations and speeches for this degree, so your communication skills become increasingly relevant.

#4: Research

The Honours thesis in your final year requires you to look into a specific area of research and also gives you an idea of what to expect in a Masters of PHD study.

#5: Coding

Being an Engineering degree you have to be familiar with new programs and how you can use these tools to problem solve.

“It’s a big degree, there’s a lot to learn and it’s very content heavy…. so you need a lot of time management!” — Niamh Maybloom

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

Aeronautical Engineering at USYD is considered a demanding degree that requires a lot of time dedicated towards it. However, if you are interested in this area of study and passionate about the topics studied, you’ll be able to enjoy the degree more.  

Being a smaller cohort, the culture of Aeronautical Engineering at USYD is considered very helpful and focused. 

“People will help you out, you can put literally anything in the group chat and someone will come to your aid. The forums are also really good, and if someone else doesn’t answer then a tutor or lecture will!” — Niamh Maybloom

“Most people tend to be quite academically focused by second and third year, and there’s definitely a culture of excellence. The lecturers and tutors will definitely hold you to a high standard… and it can create quite a high pressure environment.” — Samanvay Karambhe

Clubs and Societies

There are also a number of clubs and societies that you can join! Some of these are specific to Aeronautical whilst others are available to all Engineering students in general. 

Women in Engineering SocAt the start of year there is a camp for a weekend of social networking, giving you a chance to meet other students. 
Aeronautical Engineering SocInvites Engineering professionals to talk about their work and specialisation, which gives you an idea of the different occupations available within the Aeronautical Engineering domain. 

You can also sign up for mentoring programs which assign you into groups, with a mentor in second or third year, to assist your transition into university.
AIAA (American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics)An organisation for Aeronautical students which has a branch in Australia for exposure to different roles in the industry.
AYAA (Australian Youth Aerospace Association)Hosts the annual Aerospace Futures conference, which invites Aerospace professionals from all over the world, giving students a great introduction to the industry.

“You’ll find that Aeronautical students are actually quite active in these societies because it’s such a niche degree. Once you get involved you‘ll pretty much know everyone in the industry all over Australia.” — Samanvay Karambhe

Although a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering at USYD is a rather niche degree, you can see that you’ll gain a wide pool of skills and will be suitable for a range of job prospects!

Interested in the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!

Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.  

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