Like the idea of spending your days planning, designing and developing machinery? Want to get to know the ins and outs of mechanical engineering, but don’t know where to begin? The Mechanical Engineering at RMIT may be your perfect next step.
We’ll unpack everything there is to know about the course, assessments, faculty and the culture. You’re just one scroll away!
Let’s get started!
What is a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours) at RMIT?
Have you ever taken a stroll around your local shopping centre or school and marvelled at the cars on the roads, the air conditioning on the walls and the elevators on every level? Chances are they were all built by a mechanical engineer, and with the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours) at RMIT, that mechanical engineer could be you.
Because that name is such a mouthful, we’re going to stick to calling it RMIT Mechanical Engineering, but remember that this particular degree is designed as an Engineering program with a major in Mechanical Engineering and an in-built Honours program.
As a student in the Mechanical Engineering program at RMIT, you can expect to spend your days in classes, lectures, labs or at the library, getting to know all about the planning, conceptualising, designing and developmental stages that go into the creation of machinery. You’ll also cover the kinds of impacts these machines have on our day to day life, why we need them, how to improve them and what their negative effects can be.
RMIT prides itself on its industry-level learning strategies which comprise state of the art facilities, equipment and plenty of optional work placements as part of your degree.
Mechanical Engineering at RMIT combines the groundwork of engineering like science, maths, design and professional practice with fields like manufacturing, business, automotive or computing.
As shown in the title, the Mechanical Engineering program at RMIT is designed to provide an in-built Honours program so that students aren’t having to fuss about getting into postgraduate programs once they finish their Bachelor’s degree. An Honours year is basically an additional year of study for students wanting to enhance their knowledge and increase employability and competitiveness once the job hunt begins.
At RMIT, this Honours year for Engineering students will include two major projects that you’ll be working on throughout your final year. This is always helpful to have once you’ve graduated to show future employers the practical skills you’ve got going.
RMIT’s industry-standard teaching approach, professional content and advanced facilities available to students makes the university a great option for career-searchers. Some of the career paths available to Mechanical Engineering graduates at RMIT include:
- Automatic engineer
- Aerospace engineer
- Contacting civil engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Project lead
- Management consultant
- Petroleum engineer
- Quality engineer
- Biomedical engineer
- Technology engineer
And they’re just the engineering-focused ones! The great thing about Mechanical Engineering at RMIT is that you’re going to be learning some great foundational, communication, interpersonal and critical thinking skills that will be valued in almost any workplace.
Core Units for this Degree
As a student in the Mechanical Engineering degree at RMIT, the stress of having to choose a major is out the window as soon as you start. This is great because it means you can spend the vast majority of your degree focusing on the mechanical engineering element.
Can you specialise?
You’ll still be learning about the foundations of engineering in general but you’ve got the benefit of having your major option already secured. Fortunately, you’ll get even more of a chance to personalise your degree by choosing one of four specialisation options.
Your specialisations include:
- Computer-aided engineering and design
- Industrial aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics
- Energy conservation and renewable energy
- Mechatronics, dynamics and control
Now, let’s get into the actual classes that you can expect to take. Mechanical Engineering at RMIT is a pretty prescriptive degree.
So, while you won’t get a huge amount of opportunities to tailor the degree to your own interest with funky electives or out of the ordinary classes, you will be able to bet on the fact that you’ll be making a solid group of friends who’ll be by your side throughout your whole degree. Let’s get into the nitty gritty.
Your first and second years as a Mechanical Engineering student at RMIT will pretty much be your chance to develop a solid foundational understanding of mechanical engineering as a discipline. So, you’ll be undertaking mostly introductory classes to cover the fundamentals like engineering sciences, maths, design and professional experience.
Your first year will comprise classes like:
- Engineering Mathematics
- Digital Fundamentals
- Engineering Science
- Introduction to Professional Engineering Practice
- Creative Engineering
- Introduction to Mechanical and Automotive Engineering
- Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics: What We Make and How We Make It
- Introduction to Electrical and Electronic Engineering
So, this is your time to get your head around the basics to lay a nice foundation for your future years. Each class has a little blurb written about it on RMIT’s Handbook which you can check out right here!
For example, the Engineering Mathematics subject is worth 12 units, like the majority of your courses, and aims to provide an extensive introduction into the mathematical skills used by engineers. You’ll be getting your head around content like vectors, complex numbers, equations, functions, differentiation with applications, functions and all the other fun maths-y stuff.
Engineering Mathematics differs quite a bit from classes like Creative Engineering which is a subject that’s all about transforming ideas into reality with Computer Aided Design (CAD). So, even in your first year, you’re receiving a well-rounded insight into the engineering world.
In your second year, you’ll be taking classes like:
- Fluid Mechanics of Mechanical Systems
- Engineering Dynamics
- Mechatronics Principles
- Advanced Mathematics for Engineers
- Mechanics and Materials 2
- Applied Thermodynamics
- Mechanical Design 1
- And an elective class
That’s another 8 classes that are worth 12 credit points each. So once you’ve finished your second year of studies, you can expect to have completed 192 units.
Units are pretty much the way that different universities measure the workload of specific subjects. When you can understand the units, you’ll know how much work you’ll be needing to commit to a particular class.
Applied Thermodynamics is a class that’s all about the tools and methodologies involved in thermodynamic analyses of engineering systems. While it’s still technically an introductory subject (just like most of your first and second year classes) you can still expect to learn a lot of helpful info that will definitely come in handy as you progress through your degree.
With the skills that you’ve acquired in your first and second year, you’ll be spending your last couple years customising your degree by choosing a specialisation (the ones we mentioned earlier) to bring all your knowledge together. So, this is your chance to tailor the program to your own interests by choosing to focus on particular fields like manufacturing, automotive, business, mathematics or computing.
This year will also be designed to get you set and ready to participate in the Engineers Without Border Challenge which is a humanitarian-based course offered with any RMIT engineering degrees. Talk about industry experience!
Your third year will be filled with classes like:
- Solid Mechanics 3
- Mechanical Vibrations
- Thermal-Fluid System Design
- Heat Transfer
- Mechanical Design 2
- Mechanics of Machines
- Finite Element Analysis
- Research Methods for Engineers
Once again, your 8 classes are all worth 12 credit points each. So, that’s a total of 288 units so far!
Your Research Methods for Engineers unit will be vital preparation for your next Honours year. It’s all about exploring best practice when it comes to addressing engineering challenges, ethics, scholarly resources, documenting and writing reports.
By now you’ll be on the home stretch. Just one year away from being awarded that sweet, sweet Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours) Testamur.
You can smell it now! The scent of the limitless world of engineering graduate opportunities. But before that, take a look at the format you can expect to undertake in that last year:
- Engineering Capstone Project Part A
- Renewable Energy Systems
- Engineering and Enterprise
- Engineering Capstone Project Part B
- Automatic Control
- An elective
- Two courses from the Mechanical Options list (which you can find by scrolling to the bottom of this page)
Can you guess how many units you’ll be taking for each of these 8 subjects? That’s right, the golden twelve. That means you’ll graduate having completed a whopping 384 units! With 4 each semester!
Most of your fourth and final year will be spent working on your Capstone Projects which will provide you with a chance to put your skills into practice. So, it all leads up to one big project that is essentially up to you. You get to decide what you focus on (as long as it relates to Mechanical Engineering).
Is there a built-in internship program?
There aren’t any compulsory internships or placements in the Mechanical Engineering program, although it is encouraged. Getting professional experience before you graduate is such a great idea. Not only will it teach you some super valuable information, but it’ll also look very impressive on a resume.
The main pathway you could take to score an internship would be through RMIT as a part of the elective choices from the Mechanical Options list that are available to you in your fourth year. The class is called Professional Engineering Experience — it’s a part of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and counts for academic credit.
How to Get into Mechanical Engineering at RMIT
To get the best chance of scoring a spot in the Mechanical Engineering program at RMIT, you’ll need a minimum ATAR of 75. If you didn’t quite achieve the ATAR, do not worry! RMIT has plenty of options for students who are keen to study but didn’t quite get the marks.
RMIT understands that a single mark could never indicate someone’s interests, talents or abilities. If you’ve got the passion and the dedication, RMIT wants you. If you haven’t quite gotten the marks, your options are as follows:
These are great if you performed phenomenally in one area but that wasn’t quite translated to all of your subjects. Your entire academic record will be considered and you’ll be able to apply through an equity access scheme. If you’ve been disadvantaged due to circumstances that are out of your control, checking out your eligibility for an equity access scheme would be the way to go.
Alternative entry avenues or pathway programs are some of the most direct ways into the Mechanical Engineering at RMIT if you haven’t quite gotten the grades. By successfully completing a Pathway Program you will be guaranteed entry into the Bachelor’s degree. You can browse your options here!
Any assumed knowledge?
Since RMIT is located in Melbourne, there are a few expectations when it comes to performance in the Victorian Year 12 exams. You’ll need to finish high school with a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or 25 in English other than EAL. You’ll also need a study score of at least 20 in maths.
There are also plenty of ways to estimate your VCE score if you’re from a different region in Australia.
If you’re in the process of choosing your Year 11 and 12 subjects, you could give yourself a head start by choosing subjects like Engineering, Physics, Mathematics and other Sciences.
RMIT is great when it comes to scholarships. They understand that financial barriers exist and want to provide everyone with the opportunity to study. Whether you’re needing support to cover the cost of textbooks, accommodation, tuition feeds, RMIT has got you.
There’s a scholarship available for those who’ve excelled academically, want to study overseas, or from lower socio-economic areas.
You can take a look at the scholarships that RMIT has on offer right here!
What’s The Teaching Format?
RMIT operates across semesters annually. This means that you’ll be studying for two main sessions throughout the year with some pretty decent breaks in between. If you’re someone that values long breaks to rejuvenate, get ahead of content, work or get internships, RMIT could be great for you.
In each of these semesters, you’ll be learning content through lectures, tutorials and, depending on the subject, some practical classes too.
Your lectures and practicals will often last about 2 hours whereas your tutorial will be more like an hour and a half. So, overall you can expect to be on campus for about 15 hours a week — this will account for your classes and some independent study which you can stay on top of in RMIT’s library.
Each of your four subjects will be taught through a weekly lecture. These classes usually involve a lecturer discussing the content that you can expect to be learning about that week. Lectures will outline the core information and are great preparatory sessions for your tutorials and practicals later in the week.
Lectures are pretty passive experiences and are about the only time when tutors aren’t encouraging you to chat, discuss or ask questions (although asking questions is never a bad thing). It’s a chance to take notes and prepare questions for your more intimate classes like tutorials. There’ll usually be about 80 to 100 students in these lecture theatres.
Next you’ve got your tutorials. These will be rather reminiscent of your classes in high school. There’s only about 20 to 30 students in a class and it’ll provide an opportunity to foster relationships with your peers and tutors.
Tutorials will facilitate discussions, answer any questions you may have and enable lots of group work so you’re really getting your head around the content.
You won’t have a practical class for each of your classes. These hands-on sessions will only be taught if the class you’re taking is particularly physical. Practical classes are all about applying your theoretical knowledge to practical situations. So, it’ll be a chance to get involved in developing machinery and testing out ideas.
These sessions will be similar to tutorials in that there’ll be around 30 students in a class-like setting. You can expect practicals to last about 2 hours.
What are the assessments like?
Like any degree, your assessments will differ greatly and they’ll totally depend on the classes you’re taking. For example, sometimes you may be assessed on your innovation abilities whereas in other classes you’ll be graded on your report writing skills.
You can expect to take quite a few exams to solidify your knowledge but you’ll also be undergoing plenty of practical take-home assessments. Often these practical assessments will be all about responding to a demand or issue and you’ll need to consider the best and most practical ways to go about designing.
You’ll also be doing plenty of group tasks to get ready for the collaborative engineering workplace.
Skills You Refine and Learn
The practical and theoretical skills that you’ll foster and develop inside the walls of RMIT will be useful and transferable to almost any discipline. Not only will you be spending your years innovating and designing, but you’ll be learning to collaborate, communicate and work with the other students in your class. You’ll be developing skills like:
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Project management
- Logical reasoning
When it comes to designing and innovating practical projects for all your assessments, you’ll be growing and stretching those brain muscles that foster creativity, innovation, problem solving and logical reasoning.
As you’re collaborating in group projects, without even knowing, you’ll be working on your communication skills, project management and leadership roles. You can be sure to learn essential engineering-based and life skills with the Mechanical Engineering degree at RMIT.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
As a student in the Mechanical Engineering cohort of RMIT, your main point of contact faculty-wise is the School of Engineering. You’ll feel welcome and supported throughout your RMIT experience with connections to accomplished staff, researchers and teachers.
The School of Engineering covers all the engineering areas from biomedical to civil to telecommunications to environmental and then back around to mechanical. So, even though your focus will be on mechanical engineering, you’ll have access to all the other facets of engineering too!
The Mechanical Engineering cohort are a bunch of friendly, innovative and intelligent budding-engineering students who, like you, are destined to become the next great generation of engineers. It’s a tight knit cohort since you’ll all be completing the same classes so make sure you’re interacting with the people in your classes, they’ll be by your side for the long haul.
Clubs and Societies
RMIT is great if you’re someone who values a wide range of options when it comes to choosing your perfect club or society. The best bit is that if you can’t find one that piques your interest, you can make your own!
You can stick to what you know with the academic and industry clubs like Females in RMIT Engineering, Civil Engineering Student Association and the Engineering Management Club, or you could unleash your experimental side and find friends and foster connections in creative clubs like the Literature Society, Journalism Society or the KPOP Club. The options are endless!
RMIT’s Student Resources page is your all in one stop when it comes to seeking out student support. Here’s where you would go to check out upcoming events, assessment help and study support. It’ll provide you with resources on the different facilities, IT help, enrolment info and fee help.
Mental Wellbeing and Counselling is paramount at RMIT, whether you need urgent support, counselling, special consideration or disability support — RMIT has got you covered. Take a squiz at the wellbeing page here!
Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!