Does something about designing, planning and seeing your concepts come to life sound appealing? If you are a visionary with a mathematical brain, UQ Engineering may be the perfect course for you!
We’ll be going into what it’s like to study the degree, what it involves, what you can expect, and how to maximise your time at uni.
Get excited, it’s time to jump in!
What is a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at UQ?
Within this degree, you will learn both the theory and practice that are going to help you excel as an engineer. You will become familiar with terms that help with interacting in a professional setting, including being able to quickly describe the electrical state of an environment (if you choose to study an Electrical Engineering specialisation — but more on that later).
You’ll be working in a cohort of like-minded individuals with knowledgeable teachers. It’s a rather competitive degree, but one that will set students up with the key skills they really need.
Honours and Double Degrees
Studying a Bachelor of Engineering does not have to be a solo event — you may wish to take on a double degree. You can choose to pair your undergraduate Engineering degree with:
- Master of Engineering
- Bachelor of Economics
- Bachelor of Computer Science
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Information Technology
- Bachelor of Business Management
- Bachelor of Biotechnology
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Mathematics
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Design
It is quite unusual for a double degree to be offered when competing Honours up front, so this is a great thing to consider! You will have increased flexibility when graduating.
As we just mentioned, Honours is in-built to this degree. What does that mean? When you apply for the degree, you will be automatically placed in the Honours stream, provided you meet the ATAR and prerequisites (more on this later).
There are many career paths made available to you by studying an Engineering degree at UQ. Some broad ones include becoming a:
- Chemical engineer
- Civil engineer
- Structural engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Biomedical engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Aerospace engineer
- Mining engineer
- Software engineer
- Process engineer
Core Units and Specialisations
Given Engineering is a degree that relies heavily on your specialisation, you won’t be taking on a crazy amount of core units. In fact, your classes will be broken into 52 units of whatever your specialisation is, 8 general engineering units and 4 other units.
We’ll be looking specifically into the Electrical Engineering specialisation, though before we do, here are the subjects that all Engineering students take on:
- Professional Engineering: Students learn an introduction to engineering design and how to apply it professionally. You will leave this course knowing how to estimate, make key decisions, project manage and work ethically.
- Programming for Engineers: This course teaches students the basics of computing and programming. You will learn how to have a problem-based approach when looking at things like data modelling, designing, coding and debugging. You’ll also analyse real data.
- Calculus and Linear Algebra 1 (or Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra): It’s time for some maths, and lots of it! This subject will teach you about vectors, linear independence, maxima and minima, and much more! You’ll get an overview of all the practical maths needed in engineering.
- Multivariate Calculus and Ordinary Differential Equations (or the Advanced equivalent): Have we mentioned yet that this degree will have a lot of maths involved? In this course, you’ll be focussing specifically on vectors, arc length, line integrals and applications. You will go in depth on how these apply to engineering.
There’s a number of specialisations to choose from when you study Engineering at UQ. Most of these specialisations also have their own majors and minors.
The specialisations are:
What’s a specialisation in Electrical Engineering like?
If you choose to study a Bachelor of Engineering with an Electrical specialisation, you will learn to design, manage and develop different systems that make a huge difference to the functioning of society. You might be interested in something particularly micro like smartphones, or bigger projects like commercial power or scientific instruments for laboratories.
Regardless, this is an incredibly diverse specialisation that will take you through all you need to know to work effectively with electricity. It’s also a specialisation that promotes hands-on work, so you will be finishing with specialist technical skills.
Core Units for an Electrical Engineering Specialisation
We’ve discussed what you’ll be studying with all UQ Engineering students, regardless of specialisation, but now we’ll take you through the compulsory subjects for Electrical Engineering students.
- Computer Systems Principles and Programming: This course will teach you things like memory management, machine organisation and file systems, setting you up to work over complex databases!
- Team Project 1: This is a collaborative subject, in which you will design, implement, test, evaluate and present projects. You will work on diverse scenarios that test your skills.
- Analysis of Engineering & Scientific Data: You will be examining statistical models in this class, learning how they fit with engineering and scientific data. This may include looking at sampling methods, standard probability models and estimation among other things.
- Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Fields & Waves: Ever wondered exactly how to decipher the complexities of magnetic fields? This course will teach you! You’ll be looking at things like transmission lines, time varying fields, plane waves, radiation and basic antennas.
Here are some of the other units you’ll be required to take:
- Professional Practice and the Business Environment
- Research & Development Methods and Practice
- Introduction to Electrical Systems
- Circuits, Signals & Systems
- Electromagnetism and Electromechanics
- Electronic Circuits and Amplifiers
- Embedded Systems Design & Interfacing
- Signals, Systems & Control
You can check out the rest of the units for this specialisation here! After this is completed, you will move onto your Honours units.
Internships and Placements
While there are no formal internships or placements provided for this course, you will need to gain 450 hours of professional practice in order to graduate. The university will help you source this. There are also a number of other ways to get experience.
UQ Employability is designed to help students find volunteer hours that will increase their employability and contextualise their study. Through this service, you might be able to find activities specific to Engineering. There is a specific Engineering team within this.
There are also things like the UQ Embassy Internship Program, which allows students to work in a foreign embassy within Canberra!
How to Get into a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at UQ
The minimum ATAR for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) is 86.00. In addition, you will need to have completed Queensland Year 12 or equivalent subjects of General English, Mathematical Methods and either Chemistry or Physics.
If you are not eligible straight off the bat, try not to stress too much! There’s a number of things you can do to get into your course.
If you need to meet subject prerequisites, you might take a bridging course, which is offered through UQ College for both Maths and Chemistry over four weeks in December each year.
If you’re still out of luck, you may take the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). This will help you meet an English or Maths prerequisite, or obtain an admission rank. You must be over 18 and have finished school to take this.
UQ also allows students to complete one year in the Bachelor of Science, before receiving credits and transferring into a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). You must receive a GPA of 4.0 to do this. The same can be done with a Bachelor of Information Technology to fulfil prerequisites.
You can find out more about these options here!
UQ offers a number of scholarships that you can look into!
There are some specific to Engineering, including the Leeanne Bond Scholarship for Women in Engineering. This will give you support during your first year of study.
There are many more that you can find for this faculty on the website!
What’s the Teaching Format?
This degree runs off semesters, with an additional semester in summer that’s optional, which means that most students take classes across two semesters (like most unis), but you can choose to sit classes in summer too!
At UQ, you’ll be learning from some of the best engineers and academics in Australia. You’ll also be in classes that are designed to grow your skills each lesson.
“I personally find it [the teaching] really well structured: they set you up with learning the theory part first, tutorials for you to further understand the concept by different problem-solving questions, then practicals/labs for you to apply your knowledge in a real world application. Some courses have workshops or other interactive learning sessions as well.” — Josephine Tuntomo, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts V at UQ
Generally, each subject will have a lecture, tutorial and a prac or lab per week.
Lectures are the time in which you will be taught the bulk of theoretical content that is needed for your degree. You will be able to learn the key concepts that you need to understand engineering topics.
Lectures are often offered as recordings as well, which you can go back and watch later. It’s great if you can get to them in person, though — if you do attend, there’ll be about 250 to 300 students.
In these smaller classes of 20 to 30 students, you will break down all the concepts you learn about in the lecture. It’s often a time to ask questions, connect with your tutor and build networks with other peers.
Tutes are the key time to clarify things you don’t know or extend your knowledge. They are also a compulsory part of the degree.
Labs and Pracs
These classes are kind of like hands-on tutes and have a similar class size to tutes as well. You’ll explore different models, experiments and designs.
They are a place for the theoretical concept you’ve learnt to come to life! Often, these classes will be taught by one person up the front, with other people around the room to support you.
How much time is spent in class?
Contact hours vary a bit week-to-week, but most full-time Engineering students will have about 35 hours of classes! This is quite a big load, and something you should be prepared for.
What are assessments like?
A Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at UQ is quite an assessment-heavy course. Your marks can come from different things, depending on the specific subject you are undertaking.
Generally, you will have a mid-semester exam that is based on problem-solving, which occurs again as a final exam. You will also have some further assessments, including coding tasks, simulations, online quizzes or lab exams.
In most classes, you will have 3-4 types of assessments per semester.
Skills Learnt in this Degree
You will learn a lot of diverse skills during your time at UQ. These include:
- Divergent thinking
- Time management
- Forward planning
- Interpersonal skills
As you progress through your degree, you will be juggling a heavy workload. You’ll have to learn how to plan well and manage your time in order to succeed.
Likewise, the interactive activities in your classes are going to teach you a lot about working with other people, including how to compromise and negotiate. You will gain further interpersonal skills through immersion into the workforce.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Engineering students at UQ work together as a tight-knit community who enjoy each other’s company! So it won’t really be difficult to make friends with an Engineering degree.
If you really want to jump into uni life, societies are a great thing to get involved with!
The Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) is an umbrella society for the 5 main Engineering groups at UQ. Together, this society hosts professional events, socials and networking for students of every major.
If you want to get more specific, you could check out the Electrically Based Engineering Student Society (EBESS), which is a place for like-minded Electrical majors to come together. You’ll be able to network with professionals and make new friends.
Most other majors also have their own societies, which you can find via the EUS page!
Got other interests? UQ has a number of other societies on offer too, for things from debating to gardening!
Accessibility at UQ
If you have a disability or learning considerations, it’s worth checking out the accessible features at UQ.
You can access a Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser, who is there to work through specific processes that may help you succeed in your degree. They can offer things like a Student Access Plan (SAP), which can make adjustments for assignments, occasional absences or formatting.
If you are on the Autism spectrum, the Tertiary Transition Toolbox is also designed to give you extra support as you move into university study.
UQ has so many different types of mentoring on offer that it’s honestly a little hard to choose!
When you first start uni, you may find it useful to get involved in the Get Set program. This is designed to set you up with an experienced student who can walk you through uni life and make you feel more relaxed. This program generally lasts for 5 weeks.
Another great option for Engineering students is the Meet a Mentor program, which connects third and fourth year students with established professionals. You’ll get to pick their brain and create crucial networks!
First Year students can also take on internal mentoring through the Engineering Learning Centre. You will be paired with older students to learn all you need to know!
Now you know all there is to know about a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at UQ! Every student is different, so search around for the degree that fits you best.
Lucinda Garbutt-Young hopes to one day be writing for a big-shot newspaper… or maybe just for a friendly magazine in the arts sector. Right now, she is enjoying studying a Bachelor of Public Communication (Public Relations and Journalism) at UTS while she writes on the side. She also loves making coffees for people in her job as a barista, and loves nothing more than a sun shower.