Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Renewable Energy)

About Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Renewable Energy) at UNSW

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Renewable Energy) at UNSW is a four-year, full-time undergraduate degree in one of the fastest-growing areas of engineering. This field of engineering involves a range of renewable energy technologies and their use. This degree explores the best ways to leverage renewable energy technologies, including solar thermal systems, photovoltaics, wind and biomass. You’ll develop a strong knowledge of Photovoltaics & Solar Energy, as well as a wider range of energy technologies and their uses. 

Renewable energy is surging in its uses across the globe. Renewable energy is any system that generates clean energy from natural sources that replenish themselves. Unlike traditional energy forms, it does not involve the burning of fossil fuels or create greenhouse gases. This benefits the environment as it reduces thermal pollution, waste and water consumption; all factors in climate change. It’s also a more reliable way of producing energy due to the sources being safe, easy to harness and naturally replenishing.  

To harness the benefits of working with renewable energy you’ll study a range of subjects through the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. You’ll cover Thermodynamics, Applied Photovoltaics, Advanced Thermofluids, Solar Thermal Energy Design, Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics and Energy Efficiency, to name a few. 

In this degree you’ll learn about heat and electricity generation from solar thermal systems, photovoltaics, wind turbines and biomass. Our leading academics will deliver a solid education in the important areas of solar architecture and the design of energy-efficient buildings and appliances. To prepare for work in the renewable energy sector, you'll apply your skills through 60-days of approved industry training. 

Why Study Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Renewable Energy) at UNSW 

If you’re passionate about leading change in the way we produce energy, UNSW is a great place to learn about renewable Energy engineering. The School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) is a leading provider of world class education and research, specialising in education for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.  

We offer innovative teaching techniques to enhance your learning including the 'Virtual Production Line' and 'Virtual World Solar Car Challenge'. Our school is well equipped for world-leading research with the Tyree Energy Technology Building and the Solar Industrial Research Facility. 

The laboratories at the Tyree Energy Technology Building (TETB) are equipped with deposition, etching, structuring, simulation, and metrology tools which allows for a wide range of photovoltaic and renewable energy research. 

Benefits of studying with us: 

  • We place strong importance on the translation of research into practice 
  • We produce internationally acclaimed research, working closely with industry to provide innovative solutions to the sector 
  • Our academics are world experts in their fields and are internationally respected and recognised 
  • Since 1974 UNSW is the world leader in photovoltaic research, holding the world record for the highest efficiency silicon solar cell for more than three decades 
  • We have close industry ties with partners including Suntech, China Sunergy, LG Electronics, Tongwei, Adani, CSR, BlueScope, AECOM and the NSW Government.  

World-Class Solar Research Facilities   

Our Solar Industrial Research Facility (SIRF) is a $16 million, world-class manufacturing facility that takes UNSW’s silicon solar cell technologies straight from the lab and turns them into factory-ready industrial processes. This is the first facility of its kind in Australia and has three laboratories for developing and demonstrating industrial scale advanced technologies. The team based at the centre have achieved the world’s highest efficiency rating, meaning they’re now closer to creating buildings that generate as much power as they consume.  

Take Part in Sunswift Solar Car Challenge 

Sunswift is a Vertically integrated project, pushing the limits of solar technology to inspire sustainable action. They design, build and race solar-electric vehicles in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge to demonstrate that solar vehicles are practical alternative to petrol fueled transport. Undergraduate student volunteers make up Sunswift, with students from all areas of engineering come together to build a solar car from start to finish. 

Find out more

Use Your Knowledge as a Force for Change 

Renewable energy is already proven to be a more affordable and more sustainable option of fuelling our daily lives. Not only can renewable energy engineers make a positive impact on the environment and climate change, but they can also use this technology to assist vulnerable communities. 

The School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering regularly works on outreach programs to use renewable energy technology in communities that have limited access to infrastructure such as electricity. As a student, you can take part in UNSWERV which provides villages in Vanuatu with basic communications and lighting needs using solar electricity.  

Your Career Opportunities  

Careers in renewable energy engineering are becoming more popular as our global awareness of sustainability grows. As the size of the sector grows so too does the number of jobs for renewable energy engineers. Graduates of this degree can work in a wide range of companies, designing, installing and operating renewable energy generating systems such as wind, solar, biomass or hydro systems. You could also work on designing and constructing energy efficient buildings. 

Our UNSW graduates have gone on to work in roles such as: 

  • Project manager 
  • Renewable energy engineer 
  • Protection engineer 
  • Energy consultant 
  • Solar and battery design engineer  

Sample Program Outlines

Year 1

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
MATH1131 Mathematics 1A -
or
MATH1141 Higher Mathematics 1A -
ENGG1000 Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation -
COMP1911 Computing 1A -
or
ENGG1811 Computing for Engineers -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
L1 Elective L1 Elective -
PHYS1121 Physics 1A -
or
PHYS1131 Higher Physics 1A -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
MATS1101 Engineering Materials and Chemistry -
PHYS1221 Physics 1B -
or
PHYS1231 Higher Physics 1B -
MATH1231 Mathematics 1B -
or
MATH1241 Higher Mathematics 1B -

Year 2

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
MATH2019 Engineering Mathematics 2E -
SOLA2060 Introduction to Electronic Devices -
SOLA2540 Applied Photovoltaics -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MATH2089 Numerical Methods and Statistics -
SOLA2051 Project in Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy 1 -
Elective Elective -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
DESN2000 Engineering Design and Professional Practice -
SOLA5051 Life Cycle Assessment -

Year 3

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
MMAN2700 Thermodynamics -
SOLA5050 Renewable Energy Policy -
SOLA5053 Wind Energy Converters -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
General Education General Education -
Elective Elective -
SOLA3010 Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
ENGG2500 Fluid Mechanics for Engineers -
General Education General Education -
Elective Elective -

Year 4

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
ELEC4122 Strategic Leadership and Ethics -
SOLA5057 Energy Efficiency -
SOLA4951 Research Thesis A -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MECH3610 Advanced Thermofluids -
MECH9720 Solar Thermal Energy Design -
SOLA4952 Research Thesis B -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA5052 Biomass -
SOLA4952 Research Thesis B -

Year 1

Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MATH1131 Mathematics 1A -
or
MATH1141 Higher Mathematics 1A -
PHYS1121 Physics 1A -
or
PHYS1131 Higher Physics 1A -
MATS1101 Engineering Materials and Chemistry -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
ENGG1000 Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation -
MATH1231 Mathematics 1B -
or
MATH1241 Higher Mathematics 1B -
PHYS1221 Physics 1B -
or
PHYS1231 Higher Physics 1B -

Year 2

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
ENGG1811 Computing for Engineers -
or
COMP1911 Computing 1A -
L1 Elective L1 Elective -
SOLA2060 Introduction to Electronic Devices -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MATH2089 Numerical Methods and Statistics -
SOLA2051 Project in Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy 1 -
MATH2018 Engineering Mathematics 2D -
or
MATH2019 Engineering Mathematics 2E -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
ENGG2500 Fluid Mechanics for Engineers -
DESN2000 Engineering Design and Professional Practice -
L1 Elective L1 Elective -

Year 3

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
MMAN2700 Thermodynamics -
SOLA5057 Energy Efficiency -
SOLA5053 Wind Energy Converters -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MECH3610 Advanced Thermofluids -
SOLA3010 Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA2540 Applied Photovoltaics -
SOLA5051 Life Cycle Assessment -
SOLA5052 Biomass -

Year 4

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA5050 Renewable Energy Policy -
Elective Elective -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MECH9720 Solar Thermal Energy Design -
General Education General Education -
SOLA4951 Research Thesis A -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
Elective Elective -
General Education General Education -
SOLA4952 Research Thesis B -

Year 5

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
ELEC4122 Strategic Leadership and Ethics -
SOLA4953 Research Thesis C -

Year 1

Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
PHYS1121 Physics 1A -
or
PHYS1131 Higher Physics 1A -
MATH1131 Mathematics 1A -
or
MATH1141 Higher Mathematics 1A -
ENGG1000 Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation -

Year 2

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
PHYS1221 Physics 1B -
or
PHYS1231 Higher Physics 1B -
MATH1231 Mathematics 1B -
or
MATH1241 Higher Mathematics 1B -
ENGG1811 Computing for Engineers -
or
COMP1911 Computing 1A -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
L1 Elective L1 Elective -
MATH2089 Numerical Methods and Statistics -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
ENGG2500 Fluid Mechanics for Engineers -
MATH2019 Engineering Mathematics 2E -
MATS1101 Engineering Materials and Chemistry -

Year 3

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA2060 Introduction to Electronic Devices -
SOLA2540 Applied Photovoltaics -
MMAN2700 Thermodynamics -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MECH3610 Advanced Thermofluids -
SOLA2051 Project in Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy 1 -
SOLA3010 Low Energy Buildings and Photovoltaics -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
DESN2000 Engineering Design and Professional Practice -
SOLA5051 Life Cycle Assessment -
SOLA5052 Biomass -

Year 4

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA5050 Renewable Energy Policy -
SOLA5053 Wind Energy Converters -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
Elective Elective -
General Education General Education -
Term 3
Course code Course name Notes
SOLA4951 Research Thesis A -
Elective Elective -

Year 5

Term 1
Course code Course name Notes
ELEC4122 Strategic Leadership and Ethics -
SOLA5057 Energy Efficiency -
SOLA4952 Research Thesis B -
Term 2
Course code Course name Notes
MECH9720 Solar Thermal Energy Design -
SOLA4953 Research Thesis C -
Elective Elective -