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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering

About this course

With strong population growth and significant changes in hydrology predicted for the coastal margin of Australia, there is an increasing demand for civil and environmental engineers with expertise in managing coastal and floodplain hydrology. The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering is one of just a few specialist undergraduate professional engineering degrees in Australia to train industry-ready graduates for work in water engineering, coastal engineering and catchment management. The course addresses an increasing need for engineering expertise in these fields that is currently only available through on-the-job training and/or postgraduate qualifications.

Career opportunities

As a civil or environmental engineer in a range of settings involving systems and infrastructure in the coastal zone, including municipal and government authorities, water supply and management agencies, construction companies, natural resource management organisations, consulting engineering companies, airport authorities, mining companies, irrigation authorities, research organisations, and education organisations.

Professional recognition

Southern Cross University will be seeking provisional accreditation for this course with Engineers Australia. Engineers Australia is the professional body representing engineering in Australia.

Professional placement

As part of this course, students are required to undertake a compulsory 60-day industry placement.

Industry experience enables students to apply their knowledge and skills to engineering problems within a real work environment, and to make valuable contacts within industry. Students typically undertake one or more work placements with an organisation conducting work related to engineering practice.

Major areas of study

Students will focus on core areas that include coastal engineering and management, floodplain engineering and management, project management, hydraulic engineering, water and wastewater engineering, engineering geochemistry and hydrology. The course is strongly focused on project engineering from first year through to the final year. The course also addresses fundamental concepts that cross all disciplines including professional ethics, sustainability, conflict resolution and negotiation.

Students undertake a full-year subject in engineering research (thesis unit) in their final year, which enables them to explore the frontiers of engineering development and contribute to new knowledge.

Assessment methods

Assessment items vary for each unit. They include numerical calculations, written assessment, oral presentations, exams and project based scenarios within groups and as individuals.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces including lecture theatres, classrooms, studios and laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific disciplines. Contemporary audio-visual equipment is standard in most teaching rooms, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes. Civil engineering students make use of new engineering experimental laboratories, computer laboratories and teaching spaces in the expanding science and engineering precinct at the Lismore campus. The laboratories are equipped with specialist software and advanced equipment for teaching and research related to materials conditioning and testing, concrete and structures testing, fluids and hydraulics testing, soils and geotechnical testing, traffic and transport modelling, and basic physics and mechanics.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Course requirements

To be awarded the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering students must successfully complete 32 units (384 credit points) comprising:
  1. all core units; and
  2. one major or the no major option

and additionally complete at least 60 days of industrial experience of a nature acceptable to the Course Coordinator.

All candidates successfully completing this course will be awarded Honours. Additionally, a candidate who has reached the required standard of academic performance may, on the recommendation of the Course Coordinator, be awarded Honours with one of the following merit descriptors:
  • First Class Honours
  • Second Class Honours – Division I
  • Second Class Honours – Division II
Honours merit descriptors will be determined based on a candidate's academic record throughout the course of study, as described on the Engineering Student Centre website.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'