Diploma of Engineering

Your practical pathway into a range of engineering degrees offered at La Trobe University.

Key Information


8 to 12 months

Intake Dates

February, June

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Campus Location


View all campuses

2024 Fees

Domestic International

2024 Fees


CRICOS 088419A

Course overview

Get hands on

The Diploma of Engineering provides an introduction to the field of engineering and a pathway to engineering degrees offered at La Trobe University. You’ll study first-year undergraduate subjects and, after successfully completing the Diploma, you’ll be eligible for direct entry to the second year of your chosen engineering degree.

The course is practical and hands-on. Depending on your chosen degree, you will develop skills in a number of core areas like biomedical engineering, communication engineering, electronic and electrical systems, sustainability in energy production, automotive engineering, the application of technology in modern medicine, project management of large-scale projects, sustainable infrastructure, water resources, civil construction, surveying and computer-aided design.

All of La Trobe University's engineering degrees are designed to be accredited by Engineers Australia and provide the opportunity to apply for a number of work placements in a range of fields.

Successful completion of Year 12 English (any) and Year 12 Maths (any).

Degree pathway

  • Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Industrial)*
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)*
  • Bachelor of Science (Maths major)

*Students require a minimum weighted average mark (WAM) to progress into second year as listed on the Transferring to La Trobe University page.

Course structure

What you’ll be studying

Throughout your Diploma of Engineering, you’ll study eight core units before graduation.

Core units

(Online, zero credit point unit, all students must complete this unit in their first trimester) 

This subject introduces students to the principals of academic integrity in the context of La Trobe University’s values and policy. Students learn what their responsibilities are in relation to maintaining ethical standards in all aspects of academic work and the potential ramifications for academic misconduct according to the Academic Integrity Policy. Activities and quizzes are provided, which are designed to develop and understanding of the concepts of cheating, plagiarism and collusion. Topics include an explaining of how the text-matching tool ‘Turnitin” is used at La Trobe, and where to get help and where to go to develop referencing skills.

Assessment: Final Quiz (must achieve 8/10 to pass), Statement of Student responsibility (must achieve 10/10 to pass) 

This subject is an introduction to procedural programming using the C programming language. Topics include the C Compiler and pre-processor, functions and programme structures, pointers and arrays, structures, input/output and the UNIX interface.

Assessment: Weekly computer labs and quizzes (20%), Programming assignments (30%), Final written exam (50%)

This introductory subject assumes no prior knowledge of electronics. The unit consists of two components: DC and AC Circuit Analysis. The first component introduces elementary circuit analysis techniques and applies them to DC circuits. The second component extends these analysis techniques and applies them to AC circuits. At the end of the subject, students will be familiar with: circuit theory, sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal waveforms, phasors, impedance, network theorems, measurement systems, instruments and DC/AC applications.

Assessment: Weekly written tests (70%), Lab reports (15%), Quizzes (15%) 

Computer Aided Design (CAD) encompasses a variety of computer tools which enable engineers to design, simulate and model an engineered product. In addition, quite often the person that designs an object is not the same as the one that builds/manufactures it. Therefore, CAD drawings are the tool of communication between the designer and the manufacturer/builder. This subject develops understanding and problem-solving skills necessary to interpret and use CAD tools.

Assessment: Lab tasks (30%), Drawings (30%), CAD tests (40%)

Engineering is one of the oldest professions and its disciplines encompass a diversity of specialty subdisciplines. Many engineers are involved in projects and hold supervisory or administrative positions whilst others work in design, construction, research and teaching. Key skills for a successful engineer include: written and oral communication, perception, visualisation, logical reasoning and problem solving; management of oneself, other people, time and equipment. Engineers are capable when working with other people and using mathematics and science in design and problem solving. The subject provides a perspective and exposure to discipline specific engineering practice. Through project based learning, the student will develop a range of generic skills together with experience in complex problem solving and an appreciation of the complete project cycle.

Assessment: Weekly tasks (50%), Written team report (40%), Oral presentation (10%)

A fundamental requirement in the design of many engineering structures is to be able to assess the force interaction between structural elements using the principles of mechanics, and to determine the ability of a structural element to safely resist forces applied to it. This Subject presents the fundamentals of engineering statics and strength of materials.

Assessment: Weekly quizzes (10%), Written tests (20%), Lab (10%), Final written exam (60%)

In this subject, students learn and apply mathematical concepts and develop skills that provide a foundation for all studies requiring a knowledge of calculus. Students refine and extend their knowledge of the concepts and techniques of differentiation and integration and move on to the notions of differential equations and modelling the real world. Techniques for solving first order separable and first and second order linear differential equations are covered together with some approximation techniques. An active learning approach is used engaging students in solving mathematical problems and exploring the detail of mathematical concepts so they can be appropriately applied. Students will develop reasoning skills and the ability to clearly present their written arguments. They are strongly encouraged to practise verbal communication of ideas by working in small groups.

Assessment: Weekly written tests (20%), Online tests (15%), Final written exam (65%)

In this subject, students learn and apply mathematical concepts and develop skills that provide a foundation for all studies in mathematical sciences. Students review and extend their knowledge of algebra, functions, sets and number systems with significant coverage of complex numbers adding to their repertoire. After consideration of sequences and series, students proceed to a module on Logic and Proof. Students also explore a coherent treatment of vectors and vector geometry that includes matrices and solutions of systems of linear equations via the Gauss-Jordan algorithm, and brief treatment of eigenvalues and eigenvectors. An emphasis is placed on students improving their understanding of mathematical concepts and results so they can be appropriately applied, and development of their reasoning skills and ability to clearly present written arguments, essential in both study and employment.

Assessment: Weekly written tests (20%), Online tests (15%), Final written exam (65%) 

On completion of this subject, students will be able to solve problems in classical physics (mechanics, thermodynamics and waves) which provide the basis for further study in physics, engineering or another science. They will be able to use the essential apparatus in a physics laboratory to take and analyse measurements, and understand the vocabulary and concepts of classical physics. The topics covered include linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, thermodynamics, and simple harmonic motion. Students will conduct nine experimental investigations related to these topics.

Assessment: Class tests (15%), Online quizzes (10%), Lab reports (20%), Final written exam (55%)

Popular career paths

Employment and career options after completing your Bachelor’s degree:

  • Oil and gas
  • Building and construction of large-scale infrastructure
  • Water resources
  • Local government
  • Mining companies
  • Satellite and mobile telecommunications
  • Microelectronic circuit design and assembly Control systems
  • Technical support and supervision
  • Robotics or biomedical engineering
  • High-technology health services

Learn more about this Diploma

Find out more about what you can expect from the Diploma of Engineering directly from the course co-ordinator.

More information

Entry requirements

View entry requirements for domestic and international students.

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How to apply

Ready to apply for this Diploma? Follow the application process for La Trobe College Australia.