Associate Degree in Engineering


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

  • Study at one of Australia’s leading universities for Engineering research1.
  • Join a university ranked in the top 10 in Australia for teaching quality in engineering2.
  • Use your qualification as a pathway into a professional career in civil, mechanical, mechatronics, electrical engineering and/or surveying.
  • Graduate with credit towards an Undergraduate Engineering degree, such as the UniSA Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree.
  • Study course content that has been informed by the latest advancements in the field.
  • Learn introductory mathematics, physics and chemistry along with core engineering courses.

1UniSA's Engineering research rated well above world-class. 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).
2ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 (Undergraduate). Public universities only.


Study On Demand – this is a 100% online engineering qualification designed specifically for online learning. With UniSA Online, you can take full control over your study, access support seven days a week, plan your study to fit around your life, view learning resources 24/7, and log into the interactive online environment anywhere, any time and on any device.

Graduate with the skills to transition from tradesperson to engineering professional with the knowledge and skills required in higher-level technical and management roles. Your qualification is also a great starting point if you’re looking to change careers and enter the engineering industry for the first time.

This two-year qualification is an introduction to the university-level study and is a pathway towards UniSA’s Bachelor of Engineering degrees, which has specialisations in civil, mechanical, mechatronics, electrical engineering and/or surveying. Depending on the combination of courses you choose, you could be eligible for up to 1.5 years of credit towards an Engineering (Honours) Bachelor degree with UniSA. Alternatively, you may choose to go directly into employment as an engineering associate, designer drafter, developer or engineering technical officer across a range of industries.

What you'll learn

Study a broad range of subjects that cover essential maths, physics and chemistry topics, and first-year courses from UniSA’s engineering bachelor degrees. Be introduced to core concepts across civil, electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines. Graduate with a solid understanding of the relationship between each field and challenges that may arise when working on multidisciplinary projects.

Discover how engineering intersects with essential business management practices across diverse environments. Uncover market forces, business realities and ethical, legal and environmental factors that impact engineering projects. Study systems and design thinking techniques and learn how innovation and creativity are essential ingredients in generating new ideas and solutions.

Engineers apply science and maths concepts to solve practical problems. The maths insights and skills you gain throughout your studies will be an essential foundation to further your understanding of more complex engineering concepts. You’ll learn the basics in algebra, trigonometry and calculus.

Cover basic concepts in chemistry and physics and their practical application to engineering. Explore fluid mechanics and thermal energy, circuits and signals, and the structure and properties of materials. You’ll also learn to produce 2D engineering drawings and 3D engineering models, which is an essential skill to communicate visual designs.

Our practical approach to learning means you’ll gain the skills to hit the ground running. Throughout your studies, you’ll learn to use industry-standard software such as SolidWorks to produce 3D CAD models that bring your designs alive, Enovia (Dassault Systems) to develop detailed project plans, MATLAB to process data and Mulitsim to instantly visualise and analyse electronic circuit behaviour.

Degree structure

Please note, courses may not be displayed in order of study.

First year

  • Critical Approaches to Online Learning (CURR 3021) 
  • Essential Mathematics 1: Algebra and Trigonometry (MATH 1076) 
  • Introduction to Engineering Chemistry (ENGG 1006)
  • Essential Mathematics 2: Calculus (MATH 1077) 
  • Introduction to Engineering Physics (PHYS 1019) 
  • Mathematical Methods for Engineers 1 (MATH 1078) 
  • Sustainable Engineering Practice (ENGG 1007)
  • Mathematical Methods for Engineers 2 (MATH 1079)

Second year

  • Engineering Design and Innovation
  • Engineering Materials
  • Programming Concepts
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Project Management for Engineers
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems
  • Design Management for Engineers
  • Circuits and Signals 
  • Fluid and Energy Engineering

Study the Associate Degree in Engineering 100% online

Why Associate Degree in Engineering

As one of Australia's leading universities for engineering research, your course content is informed by the latest advancements in the field.

Your qualification takes an industry-focused, project-based approach to learning. Be involved in projects developed by Engineers Without Borders, which supports real projects in developing countries around the world. Discover the ways in which engineering is fundamental to creating positive change and improves the quality of life for disadvantaged communities.

With changing business models and digital innovations transforming the sector, an emerging skill set is in demand. While technical abilities are essential, employers are now seeking professionals who also possess effective communication and business management skills. Your associate degree will establish your skills and help you stay ahead of the competition.

Your career

Engineering is a diverse and varied profession. Some engineers build the world’s cities, roads and bridges, some create components found in computers and gaming consoles while others help to develop renewable energy sources to protect the environment.

You’ll be well sought after in fields such as defence, construction, environmental engineering, mining and resources and civil infrastructure, depending on your area of interest.

This program is not accredited by Engineers Australia (EA) however graduates are eligible to apply for membership to EA at Engineering Associate level. Please contact EA for more information on the requirements and process for membership.

Careers to consider:

  • Engineering associate:
    Work in a support role and help to design, develop and maintain products, equipment and processes; apply technical knowledge to complete routine engineering tasks such as performing calculations, operating machinery and preparing reports; and manage small projects under the supervision of a senior engineer.
  • Design drafter:
    Support engineers to research and design new products and systems for an organisation; draft blueprints, model new components using 3D sketches; interpret engineering sketches, specifications and drawings; create test prototypes and oversee manufacturing processes; collaborate with design and production teams, and apply in-depth knowledge of the latest design trends and engineering software.
  • Engineering technical officer:
    Support engineers to analyse and modify new and existing engineering technologies and apply them in the testing and implementation of engineering projects; monitor and test apparatus and operating equipment; conduct statistical studies to analyse production costs for a range of designs; and organise and direct site labour and the delivery of construction materials, plant and equipment.
  • Engineering developer:
    Work with engineers to plan, design, develop, test and release new products and features, enhancements or fixes; assist with developing new methodologies and implement emerging technologies; write diagnostic programs and design and write code for operating systems; work on products such as mobile phones or car part construction; research designs using mathematical modelling using CAD and CAE software, and test prototypes and analyse results.

This associate degree is also a pathway into UniSA Engineering (Honours) degrees, allowing you to continue your studies and become a fully-qualified engineer and/or surveyor.

Note: UniSA's Engineering (Honours) degrees are delivered on campus and applicants will be responsible for satisfying the appropriate program entry criteria. Applicants will also need to obtain an Australian visa to enable them to study onshore. The University cannot guarantee your eligibility for obtaining a visa. 

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
  • IELTS speaking [6.0]
  • IELTS listening [6.0]

IT Requirements

As a general rule of thumb, any desktop or laptop computer purchased in the past three years should be capable of meeting your online learning needs. While mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will be able to access most of your online course content, there are likely to be elements of most courses where we recommend you use a desktop or laptop computer. Your computer should be able to:

  • Run a modern browser (Internet Explorer 10, Firefox 24, Safari 5, or Chrome 32 or later versions).
  • Run Java, and in some cases Flash (devices running on Apple's iOS operating system, such as iPads, iPhones, do not run Flash).
  • Run programs to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Use a web camera and headset (or ear pods with microphone).
  • Some UniSA Online degrees require an online exam. The online exam software – Remote Proctor Now – has specific capability requirements. Please refer to the system requirements prior to conducting your exam to ensure your computer is compatible.

Access free IT software and resources

As a UniSA Online student, you'll:

  • Get free access to the full Office 365 ProPlus suite, which includes full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Lync software. Install the full suite on up to five different devices (PC and Mac compatible). 
  • Get 1Tb of personal storage that syncs with your PC or mobile device through OneDrive - it's like an extra hard drive that allows you to open any of your files from any of your devices, whenever you need them. 
  • Get free access to LinkedIn Learning - Access more than 5000 video courses on a broad range of topics such as the Microsoft Office suite, time management and study skills, health and wellbeing, communication and presentation skills, photography, film making and designing your own games or mobile apps.
  • Be able to connect with others using Skype for Business, Yammer and the Outlook Web App.

There are some degrees that have specialised software requirements. We've made this software available to students to access for free - you'll be able to download and install any of the required programs on your own device anywhere and anytime.

How to apply

The application process is easy – just follow these simple steps:

1. Submit an online enquiry

If you're ready to apply, the first step is to fill out and submit our online enquiry form. Here you'll be asked a series of questions to see if you're eligible. Following your online enquiry, one of our Degree Advisers will contact you at your preferred time to discuss the application process.

2. Speak to a Degree Adviser and start your application

If you're eligible, you'll receive an email outlining the entry requirements and the relevant documentation you need in order to be considered.

In order to verify your academic qualifications, you'll need to upload relevant documents like your official parchment, certificates or transcripts. If you have work experience, you will need to upload your CV as well as any other documents like work references, professional recognition or accreditation or your training certification.

Your email will contain information on the specific documents you need to provide as well as a link to begin your application. You'll be asked to create an account and set your own password.

3. Complete your application and send through your documents

In order to proceed with your conditional offer, you’ll need to complete your application and provide the required evidence of your previous study or work experience.

CRICOS Provider No. 00121B

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

The University of South Australia’s 100% online degrees give you full control and flexibility over your study choices. With more than 25 years of experience providing online and distance education, yo ... Read More

The University of South Australia’s 100% online degrees give you full control and flexibility over your study choices. With more than 25 years of experience providing online and distance education, you can be confident you’re gaining a high-quality university qualification from a globally-recognised institution. Read less