Start date

1.5 year(s) full-time


Program Code

AUD$ 25,500 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024
AUD$ 27,100 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2025

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

This program is not available to students wishing to study in Australia on a student visa

Degree overview

  • Understand the full systems engineering life cycle, from conceptual design through to delivery into operations.
  • Learn to apply interdisciplinary skills associated with engineering management, integrated logistics support, test and evaluation, model based systems engineering and project management.
  • Endorsed by the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) as part of the College Endorsement Process.
  • Draw on expertise from industry to underpin the focus on real-world defence sector requirements.
  • Develop high level engineering skills relevant to Australia's National Defence Interest.
  • UniSA is rated well above world-class for research in engineering1.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities2, we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
2UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.



This program provides recent graduates from a wide range of disciplines such as engineering, finance, business, and management with opportunity to kick start their career as systems engineers in Defence industries or other industries such as telecommunication, transportation, and rail.

The program is also ideal career step for a range of engineers and professionals in defence or non-defence industries: mid-career professionals with three or more years’ of experience from graduation, working within a defence or non-defence company who are looking to further their formal qualifications in engineering and prepare for a role as a senior engineer or a systems engineer; engineers from small to medium enterprises where the company is seeking to be part of a supply chain for a defence prime, and needs to increase the level of defence engineering knowledge in the company.

This postgraduate degree is offered as part of a suite of two programs (graduate diploma and master). The Graduate Diploma qualification easily transitions to a master level qualification.

There are also opportunities available to upskill with a Defence Professional Certificate, you may also receive credit for the Master of Systems Engineering. For more information about the new Defence short courses please visit our defence short course website.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You'll draw on your foundation of engineering knowledge to develop further skills in systems engineering, particularly tailored to the defence sector, and encompassing other sectors such as telecommunication, rail, mining, healthcare etc.

Courses taught in the program will align with the University's research strengths including: systems engineering and systems architecting, autonomous and unmanned systems, information technology, project management and engineering management, and the execution of large scale projects. Students will focus on 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 and domains.

Through in-class exercises, coursework assignments, and the completion of a research project, you will develop an advanced knowledge of, and learn to implement, systems engineering tools and problem-solving methodologies in a complex systems environment.

In the final semester, students have the option of completing a minor thesis in a topic relevant to their workplace, or a group project where they will apply the theory and techniques to realistic problems in a professional development context.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Principles of Project Management BUSS 5142 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Masters Research Theory and Practice ENGG 5020 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Principles of Systems Engineering ENGG 5031 4.5
System Design and Integration EEET 5128 4.5
Principles of Test and Evaluation EEET 5151 4.5
Integrated Logistics Support EEET 5150 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
System Engineering Project ENGG 5033 9
Choose one of the following 9 unit options:
Engineering Management EEET 5132 4.5
Model Based System Engineering ENGG 5034 4.5 Note(s): 2
System Engineering Project Extension ENGG 5032 9

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, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). 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 Master of Systems Engineering

Why this Degree

Major projects in defence, telecommunication and rail industries 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.

This program enables you to develop an advanced understanding of the principle and practice of systems engineering in the development of complex systems through a combination of practical case studies and in-class exercises based on real-world scenarios.

This program is studied online.

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 research1. Our leading researchers will be your teachers and everything you learn will be supported by our research excellence. We also host regular University-wide career expos and employment forums through our Career Service, as well as 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 be able to further their careers in various roles within the defence industry and government departments.

Potential employers include:

  • Department of Defence
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Naval Group
  • Nova Systems
  • SAAB Australia
  • Thales
  • ASC
  • BAE Systems
  • Boeing
  • Telstra
  • Optus
  • Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


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

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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 modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

Dr Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik  is a senior Lecturer at UniSA, where he teaches Model Based Systems Engineering and Integrated Logistics Support, among other courses. He has a PhD in Complexity Management for Systems Engineering from University of New South Wales. He has valuable Systems Engineering experience with the $200M Systems F6 DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency) project in the US as well as with an ARC-Linkage project on Automated Agriculture System. He has thought Systems Engineering and related topics in UNSW-ADFA and ANU. He is the editor in chief of  Australian Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering. He has served on the board of Systems Engineering Society of Australia (SESA) for any years and works closely with that of INCOSE.

Dr Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik
Portrait image for Dr Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik

Dr Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik

Program Director


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