Postgraduate thesis

Postgraduate students are required to complete an advanced postgraduate thesis research project. This project involves an independent investigation at an advanced level and may include research, design, feasibility or other analysis. It involves integration of knowledge and evaluation across a range of topics in the area of specialisation. For most students, this is the most significant single piece of work in their university career and should be an intellectually engaging and an enjoyable experience.

Select your school to find more information regarding your advanced thesis research project. For any further questions, please contact your Postgraduate Thesis/Project Coordinator. 

  • UNSW Master of Engineering Science Thesis Requirements

    Masters Thesis C is only available to high achieving students with prior written school approval. As part of the UNSW Master of Engineering Science program, there’s a thesis requirement that needs to be met before graduation. This includes the following courses:

    UNSW Master of Biomedical Engineering Thesis Requirements

    As part of the UNSW Master of Biomedical Engineering program completing a thesis project is optional. Students can elect to undertake Thesis C (12 UoC). There are two ways of undertaking thesis:

    • Masters Project (BIOM9914) - 12 UoC completed in one term, or
    • Masters Project (Half Time) BIOM9020 (6 UoC) + Masters Project (Half Time) BIOM9021 (6 UoC completed over two terms.

    How to apply

    To enrol in one of the masters project courses, you must first nominate a supervisor and project. The instructions to view the projects are as follows:

    • Go the Moodle course Selection of Biomedical Thesis Project.
    • Self-enrol as a student using the key Student50
    • The projects are listed under Thesis Database
    • Contact the supervisor directly if you have any questions
    • When you are ready to apply, follow the instructions for applying for the masters’ project.
  • Postgraduate students are required to complete 24 UOC of research coursework. This consists of 6 UOC of Engineering Postgraduate Research Skills and 18 UOC of Advanced Research Thesis

    Engineering Postgraduate Research Skills (GSOE9010 or GSOE9011)

    You must take Engineering Postgraduate Research Skills before commencing Advanced Research Thesis A. You can choose either GSOE9010 or GSOE9011. Both courses are worth 6 UOC. The main difference between the two courses is that GSOE9011 is offered completely online.

    Advanced Research Thesis (CEIC9951/2/3)

    Advanced Research Thesis consist of three courses worth 6 UOC each – CEIC9951 Advanced Research Thesis A, CEIC9952 Advanced Research Thesis B & CEIC9953 Advanced Research Thesis C. Postgraduate students may commence Advanced Research Thesis once they are in their second or later term at UNSW and have completed one of the Engineering Postgraduate Research Skills courses.

    You must identify a supervisor and project prior to commencing CEIC4951 or CEIC9951. To find out more about Research Thesis courses, the projects available and how to find a supervisor, please join the Research Thesis Projects page on Moodle (enrolment key co3shyh).


    • These courses are normally taken over three consecutive terms. However, students that make excellent progress in Thesis A, may be allowed to take Thesis B and Thesis C in the same term.
    • High performing students may be permitted to take CEIC9005 in lieu of the regular Advanced Research Thesis courses. Contact the course coordinator for more information. 
  • UNSW Master of Engineering Science students who have not completed a recognised thesis in their undergraduate studies or further postgraduate studies are required to complete the following courses:

    If you’re unsure if you have completed a thesis, or if the school is not aware that you have, please contact us  so, an assessment can be made.

    UNSW Master of Engineering (8621) students are required to complete a thesis as part of their program. You must complete one of the following options to meet this requirement:

    *Enrolment in a Master’s Project A (CVEN9451) requires finding a topic and supervisor within the school. Please refer to the Student Intranet for the list of topics and supervisors, as well as the Topic Nomination Form. This form will need to be submitted to the Student Intranet in order to be registered in the course.

  • As part of the UNSW Master of Information Technology requirements, eligible students may undertake a research project. Students can complete COMP9900 or 12-18 UoC through a combination of COMP9991 and either COMP9992 or COMP9993.

  • This information is intended for all postgraduate students who will start Part A in the forthcoming term. Please follow the steps shown below:

    Step 1: Go to: Moodle.  Enrol yourself as a student on the EET School Thesis/Project. Use self-enrolment key: EETTPstudent

    Step 2: Login to Moodle portal : ‘EET School Thesis/Project’. The portal is set up to help students find a supervisor and a thesis/project topic to work on. You can view the research profiles of prospective supervisors and topics by clicking on the ‘Research Topics’ icon.

    The topics list is only indicative and may not show all the topics available. Supervisors may have other new topics in mind, or you may want to propose your own topic that matches the supervisor’ interests and expertise. 

    Once you’ve found a supervisor with a topic that suits your interests, you’re required to contact this person to discuss your intention. If you both agree to team up, ask the supervisor to email you to confirm approval of the topic title. You can then proceed to register.

    Note: registration must be done as soon as approval is granted (within 1 week). Supervisors have the right to void late registrations.  

    Step 3: From the home page, click the ‘Registration’ icon and then click ‘Select Supervisor.’ Find your supervisor name and click the action box to become a member. 

    Step 4: From the home page, click the ‘Registration’ icon then click ‘Register Topic,’ ‘Add Entry’ and enter your details and topic title. 

    Step 5: You must enrol in the appropriate thesis/project course code on myUNSW. Your program determines which project code students should enrol into. 

    Enrolment Guide

    Master of Engineering Science
    Master of Engineering
  • If you are an 8338 postgraduate student, you can take either option for Thesis. Postgraduate students in 8621 are required to take Research Thesis part of their program of study.

    If taking a Practice Thesis (group project), you must enrol in Thesis A (MMAN9001) and Thesis B (MMAN9002).

    If taking a Research Thesis (individual project), enrol in Research Thesis A (MMAN9451)Research Thesis B (MMAN9452) and Research Thesis C (MMAN9453).

    For Research thesis, you will first need to find a supervisor and get their approval. An approved application is required to undertake Research and to gain permission to enrol. The deadline to enrol in MMAN4951/MMAN9451 is Friday Week 1, but get in early to get the project and supervisor you want.

    You can find more information by visiting the Mech Eng Thesis Selection page.

  • Engineering Science (Geothermal Engineering) MERE9451 Masters Project A
    MERE9452 Masters Project B
    MERE9453 Masters Project C
    12 UoC Research Thesis

    Engineering Science (Petroleum Engineering)

    Engineering Science (Petroleum Engineering Open Learning)

    Research Thesis

    Research Thesis is a compulsory pathway in the Mining Engineering (Hons) degree and an optional pathway for high WAM students doing Petroluem Engineering. This thesis allows a student to work closely with a particular supervisor, learn particular skills – like programming or laboratory work, conduct research and write up their findings. To take this stream, you will need to first enrol in MERE4951 Research Thesis A.

    MERE4951 Research Thesis A

    In this course you will be required to find a supervisor and topic to work on. You can find a list of our research strengths here:

    You can also find an individual academic and ask them about topics that they work on. Academics from our school are available here:

    Once you enrol, make sure you have access to the Microsoft Team (the link is on the Moodle page), which is filled with information and has active forums for asking questions:

    MERE4952 & MERE9453 Research Thesis B & C

    These two units (4UoC each) can be taken in the same term or separately. Thesis B involves submitting a video/audio reflection of the work so far and an interim report. Thesis C involves writing your thesis and recording and submitting a scientific presentation of your results.

  • All Postgrad thesis students can find a list of thesis topics will be posted on the Thesis A Moodle site. The student key to access the site will be sent out by the thesis co-ordinator to all students who will be taking thesis the following term. You should review the list and discuss the topics with the relevant supervisor to get an idea of what it entails. Students must include in their email to the supervisor, their CV and a cover letter explaining their topic interests and relevant background.

    Once both the supervisor and student have agreed on the topic, a Thesis Nomination Form should be completed. This is submitted to the Thesis Coordinator and uploaded to the SOLA9451 Moodle site prior to the student commencing work on their topic. All students must have chosen a supervisor by 9am Monday week 1 of term.

    You can develop your own thesis topic, if you can find a supervisor from within the School. This will require you to attach a one page description of the thesis topic and signed by the supervisor to the Thesis Nomination Form.

    The School also encourages students who wish to do an industry-led thesis topic. In this case the mentor from industry would be the student’s co-supervisor, however an academic staff member from the School must act as the supervisor of the thesis.

    For an industry-led thesis, you must obtain approval from an academic of the School to supervise the topic. You should submit a signed letter from the industry representative and academic supervisor with a brief outline of the project with a Thesis Nomination Form.

    All information needed for the deliverables of thesis A can be found in the course outline which is available on the SOLA9451 Moodle site.

    Each supervisor has a prescribed limit for how many students they are accepting. A table will be posted noting how many students each supervisor will take and how many students they have so far. Once a supervisor reaches their limit please look for someone else. You are not guaranteed a project with a supervisor unless you have a signed form.

    • Schedule your appointment with your supervisor
    • Get your thesis nomination form signed by your supervisor 

Postgraduate thesis FAQs

  • Depending on the thesis course you take, your topic may be provided to you or you will need to develop one.

    If you need to develop one, most schools have a website that lists available topics and the staff willing to supervise those topics. You may wish to select a topic based on areas of engineering interest, extracurricular interests (such as the ChallENG Projects), or preference for working with a particular academic in your field.  You can even come up with your own in consultation with your thesis supervisor. Take a look! 

  • The process is different for each school, so review the information above.

    If you still have questions, contact your school’s Postgraduate Thesis Coordinator.

  • Projects based on current employment are highly encouraged. They must meet the requirements of advanced independent study and you must arrange a UNSW academic as (co-)supervisor. Finally, work-based projects must be approved by the Thesis Coordinator  prior to enrolment.

  • Most schools have a Moodle, intranet, or web page with detailed information about their thesis program. That should be your next port of call – check your school’s section above for access instructions.

    Schools often run information sessions during the year. These will be advertised via email, on social media and/or during class. Keep an eye out for these events.

    The Undergraduate Thesis page has further answers to frequently asked thesis questions.

    If you have questions related to enrolment or progression, contact the Nucleus.

    Finally, each school has a Thesis Coordinator who can answer specific questions related to your personal circumstances.