Do you want to reach new heights in your Australian Defence Force (ADF) career? Does the thought of sending an astronaut to the moon fill you with excitement? Aeronautical engineers work at the cutting-edge of engineering designing, manufacturing, and maintaining aircraft in the aviation and aerospace industries. A Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from UNSW Canberra will kickstart your career in this highly valued industry with the skills you need to thrive in your defence force career. 

ATAR indicative


Degree type



4 years full-time

Commencing terms

Semester 1

Program code


Delivery mode

On campus

Study aeronautical engineering at UNSW Canberra

Our Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering degree is a four-year degree with an in-built Honours year. This degree is tailored to aeronautical engineers and covers the fundamentals of aeronautics, aerodynamics and engine propulsion, aircraft design and more.  

As you progress further in your degree, you’ll be given further opportunities to study courses that interest you. You could choose from electives including:  

  • aerospace engineering 
  • helicopter and rotorcraft design 
  • hypersonic flight, which is five times faster than the speed of sound. 

You will also complete a 60-day internship in a professional aeronautical engineering environment. Put into action everything you have learnt and see how a practicing aeronautical engineer approaches and solves problems in the real world. 

World-class teaching & facilities

When you study with us, you’ll have access to purpose-built workshops and facilities and benefit from the best university campus teacher-to-student ratio in Australia. Working with experienced engineers and client representatives on industry-focused design and research projects, you’ll gain the hands-on experience needed to meet the global challenges of the future. 

In your fourth and final year, you’ll also design and conduct your very own research project. You’ll work with one of our world-class academics to make an original contribution to the field of aeronautical engineering. 

What our students say

I have been interested in engineering as far back as I can remember. I have always been excited by the way engines and aircraft work and move. So far, I’ve been exposed to a multitude of different learning environments, from lectures to hands-on workshops. The highlight so far was learning how to operate equipment and machinery required to design and build systems. The opportunity to develop hands-on skills such as welding, oxyfuel cutting and working with a lathe is unique to UNSW Canberra.
Dominic Hill, Aeronautical Engineering student 

Aeronautical engineering in your ADF career

By studying aeronautical engineering at UNSW Canberra, you’ll be accredited by Engineers Australia to begin working immediately as an aeronautical engineer within the ADF and around the world.  

Air Force 

Air Force graduates operate and maintain aircraft. They become responsible for the airworthiness and modification of aircraft and engines and the acquisition and introduction of new equipment into the Australian fleet.  


As an Army graduate, you will be involved in the maintenance and repair of the Army’s rapidly growing fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, including the ARH-Tiger, Chinook and MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, as well as other fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. 


As a Navy graduate, you will find yourself working with a variety of aircraft ranging from heavy transporters to multi-role strike fighters. You will engage in the maintenance, repair, modifications, operational deployments and airworthiness of the Navy’s fleet of rotary-wing aircraft.  

Chief of the Defence Force Program

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) programs offer the opportunity for students entering UNSW Canberra with a high Entrance Rank, and who maintain a high level of performance in their studies, to undertake research in a range of disciplines that will develop their critical thinking and independent research skills beyond that available in the standard bachelor degree programs.

The range of CDF programs is characterised by the inclusion of specialist courses in critical analysis and/or research methods appropriate to the area of study. All programs also include discipline-specific research projects. The research projects will be supervised by academic staff from the relevant discipline. With the approval of the Head of School, multi- or cross-disciplinary projects may be undertaken. Students in the research courses may work independently or as part of a team, depending on the nature of the project undertaken, though all students will submit an individual assessment. The final assessment will be based on a written paper or report and oral presentations. 

Throughout the program, students will be engaged in cohort activities so as to develop and maintain their interest and continuing involvement in the program via invited lectures, seminars, general reading and social events.

Key contacts

Student Enquiries

T: (02) 5114 5000 

Available to
ADFA Trainee Officers
ADF Current Serving Members

Assumed knowledge
Mathematics, physics

Additional selection criteria
Defence Force Recruiting process