Start Date

1 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GD122 (Internal)

Study as
Part-time only


$AU 26,500 per 1.0 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2021

Degree overview

  • Study the systems engineering life cycle, from conceptual design through to delivery into operations.
  • Learn to apply interdisciplinary skills associated with engineering management, integrated logistics support, and test and evaluation.
  • Draw on expertise from industry to underpin the focus on real-world defence sector requirements.
  • A pathway to the UniSA Master of Defence Systems Integration.
  • UniSA is rated well above world-class for research in engineering.1

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



The defence sector has become one of the priorities for the State and Commonwealth Governments. With the Australian Government investing over $200 billion in Australia's defence capability over the next decade1, there are now significant opportunities and increasing demand for a highly skilled and specialised workforce.

This program is the next step for a range of engineers and defence industry professionals: mid-career engineers with five or more years’ experience from graduation, working within a defence company who are looking to further their formal engineering qualifications and extend their skills and knowledge in systems engineering.

This postgraduate degree is offered as part of a suite of three programs (graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master). Each qualification extends to the next, so you can easily transition to a master level qualification.

1Australian Government Department of Defence

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You'll draw on your foundation of engineering knowledge to study further skills in systems engineering, tailored to the defence sector.

Courses taught in the program will align with the University's research strengths including: engineering and systems integration, autonomous and unmanned systems, and System of Systems (SoS) integration. Students will study a systems engineering approach to full life cycle development, from systems design and implementation, to test and evaluation and integration. The program will also develop skills in engineering management and integrated logistics support. Students will have the opportunity to study elective courses of their choice to broaden their knowledge and skills in specific areas. 

Through in-class exercises and coursework assignments, you will develop an further knowledge of, and learn to implement, systems engineering tools and problem-solving methodologies in a systems environment.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester
Principles of Systems Engineering ENGG 5031 4.5 Note(s): 1
System Design and Integration EEET 5128 4.5
Principles of Test and Evaluation EEET 5151 4.5
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2
Second Semester
Engineering Management EEET 5132 4.5 Note(s): 1
Defence Systems EEET 5149 4.5
Integrated Logistics Support EEET 5150 4.5
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums. So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • reports and project documentation
  • essays
  • group projects and presentations
  • reflective journals

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Diploma in Defence Systems Integration

Why this Degree

Major defence projects are inherently complex systems, which draw on many disciplines; including hardware, software, power electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, and engineering management. The integration of these disciplines in a systematic way requires the coordination of many and diverse resources over an extended period.

Drawing on specialist visiting lecturers to underpin the focus on real-world defence sector practices, you'll develop further knowledge of the principle and practice of systems engineering in the development of defence systems through a combination of practical case studies and in-class exercises based on real-world scenarios.

This program is studied intensively in a blended mode, including both on-campus and online content.

Real-world connections

With strong connections with global defence companies, UniSA provides opportunities to network and receive insights from industry experts.

UniSA is one of Australia’s leading universities for Engineering research.1 Our leading researchers will be your teachers and everything you learn will be supported by our research excellence. We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

UniSA’s Engineering research rated well above world-class – 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Career outcomes

Your career

Graduates of the program will learn the fundamental skills of systems integration to further their careers in various roles within the defence industry and government departments.

Potential employers include:

  • ASC
  • BAE Systems
  • Boeing
  • Defence SA
  • Department of Defence
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Naval Group
  • Nova Systems
  • SAAB Australia
  • Thales

Industry facts


Defence acquisitions and equipment maintenance and support activities provide work for over 28,000 Australians in industry.1

1Australian Government Department of Defence


UniSA is rated well above world-class for research in engineering.1

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)


The Australian Government is investing over $200 billion in Australia's defence capability over the next decade.1

1Australian Government Department of Defence

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services can make your life at university easier. We provide a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling. You can also access a range of services through our students association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

Dr Ady James is an Associate Professor at UniSA, where he teaches Systems Engineering, Space Studies and Space Science, and an Honorary Reader in UCL’s Faculty of Engineering Science. Since 2004 he has being involved in the teaching of systems engineering within the HE sector and in industry, becoming Program Director of the UCL MSc in Systems Engineering Management and Co-Director of the UCL Centre for Systems Engineering in 2009. Dr James was a member of the UK Ministry of Defence Integration Authority Industry Advisory Board from 2004 to 2006 and external examiner for Cranfield University’s MSc in Systems Engineering for Defence from 2006 to 2010. In early 2012 Dr James moved to Australia to establish a local office of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), where he taught Project Management and Systems Engineering as well as supervising numerous MSc and PhD students. From 2013 until its closure in 2017 he was Academic Director for the UCL Australia campus. Dr James is also a Director of Education & Training with the SmartSat CRC.

AsPr Ady James

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Ady James
Portrait image for AsPr Ady James

AsPr Ady James

Program Director


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