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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Engineering

Managing facultyEngineering
Abbreviated titleMEngSc(Research)
CRICOS code041059G
Standard duration of study (years)2 years FT, 4 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton, Gippsland, Sunway)
Off-campus (Clayton, Gippsland, Sunway)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details



Students are required to undertake a research project in their area of specialisation. Major areas of specialisation are outlined below.

Research areas

Chemical engineering

Chemical reactor engineering, coal conversion processes, particle technology, advanced particle engineering, economic, environmental and sustainability assessment of process technologies, pulp and paper technology, surface coatings, rheology, biochemical engineering, food engineering, solid-liquid separation, corrosion, adsorption processes, design and synthesis of adsorbent materials using nanotemplating techniques, and nanostructured materials and membranes.

Civil engineering

Structural engineering, geoengineering, water resources and environmental engineering, transport and traffic engineering.

Electrical and computer systems engineering

Computer systems and software engineering, control engineering, electronics, telecommunications engineering, electrical power systems, biomedical engineering and robotics.

Materials engineering

Engineering light alloys, advanced polymer science and engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering, electronic and magnetic materials, thermo-mechanical processing, corrosion, nanomaterials, materials characterisation, modelling and simulation of processes and properties, structural and functional ceramics.

Mechanical engineering

Aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, turbulence, structural mechanics, aerospace engineering, composites, heat transfer, micro/nano fluid and solid mechanics, biological engineering, robotics, mechatronics, railway engineering and maintenance engineering.


The objective of the course is for students to demonstrate a thorough understanding of relevant research techniques in their field through a review of the relevant literature. They will then demonstrate their ability, under supervision, to apply relevant research techniques to their chosen field of study.

Students will be able to:

  • identify and define a research question
  • identify the appropriate research methods to address the research question
  • demonstrate mastery of their chosen research methodology
  • communicate their research findings in a format appropriate to their academic discipline
  • write up their research into a high quality masters thesis.


Probationary candidature

A candidate whose preparation and potential for MEngSc(Research) studies may be adequate, but for whom some doubt exists in respect of either or both, may be considered for probationary candidature. Such a candidate will be required to pass a probationary prescription recommended by the head of department or school. This prescription may take different forms dependent upon the nature of candidature, eg the requirement to prepare an adequate literature survey and research program proposal in the candidate's chosen field of study. Admission to full candidature will follow on receipt of an appropriate recommendation from the head of department or school which includes examiners' reports on the documentation submitted.

Full-time and part-time candidature

Candidature is either on a full-time or part-time basis as determined by a committee of the faculty board. The duration of the full-time candidature is normally 24 months, although regulations allow for a minimum completion time of 12 months in special circumstances. Every two months of part-time study counts as one month of full-time study for the purpose of calculation of duration of candidature. There are no levels of candidature other than part-time or full-time.

Part-time candidature is permitted under the following guidelines:

(a.) The supervisor shall be a full-time member of the academic staff of the University. An associate supervisor may be an appropriately qualified member of an external organisation. If the associate supervisor is from an external organisation, frequent communication with the supervisor should be maintained.

(b.) The topic of the thesis shall be decided by the candidate in consultation with the supervisor.

(c.) A candidate may undertake part-time studies subject to the following contstraints:

(i.) In order to undertake part-time candidature, a candidate must be able to devote the equivalent of a minimum of two days per week to the pursuit of the research project.

(ii.) Where the postgraduate's research work involves the systematic use of the University facilities, the faculty may require that these two days be weekdays.

(iii.) Where the candidate is engaged in full-time employment, the head of the department or school will be required to certify that the head is satisfied that the candidate is able to spend the equivalent of two days a week in pursuit of the research project.

(d.) The candidate must discuss progress with the supervisor in person at least once each calendar month.

(e.) The candidate must attend the University frequently and on a regular basis; one day per week on average is considered the minimum necessary.

(f.) The candidate must attend all such courses, seminars, workshops etc as are deemed necessary by the head of department (in the case of a regular seminar or lecture series a minimum of 80 per cent attendance may be deemed adequate).

(g.) The supervisor and head shall certify that the requirements for candidature have been met and an annual report of attendance and progress will be presented.

(h.) The thesis is to be available for publication.

(i.) Off-campus equipment and other facilities may be used with the permission of the head and supervisor. Whenever feasible, on campus facilities shall be used or developed in preference to off-campus.

The research office will maintain a master list of all candidates enrolled on a part-time basis.

There may well be circumstances in which to ensure equity with regard to duration of candidature, a supervisor may wish to recommend that a part-time candidate be registered as a full-time candidate who is undertaking field work (see regulation seven of the MEngSc(Research) regulations available at

All requests for admission to part-time candidature and for transfer from full-time to part-time candidature will be decided on their merits.

External candidature

In special circumstances, external candidature for the MEngSc(Research) is available for interstate and international students. External candidates must demonstrate personal maturity and research experience to pursue independent, sustained and structured research off-campus. In addition to the conditions above, external students must satisfy an annual five-day on-campus attendance requirement each year or equivalent over the period of candidature.

Regular interactive communication between candidate and supervisor should take place at least once a month via telephone, video conference or other interactive communication.

Candidates may be permitted to transfer between standard and external candidature in special circumstances, as assessed on a case-by-case basis. External candidates are permitted to transfer to external PhD candidature under the same guidelines which apply to standard candidature. All external candidates are admitted on a probationary basis.


The candidate develops a research program, in consultation with the supervisor/s, and submits a thesis which significantly contributes to knowledge in the chosen area of research.


Candidates are required to undertake a program of supervised research and write a major thesis in one of the areas of specialisation outlined above under 'Research areas'. The thesis must represent a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the discipline concerned and should demonstrate the capacity to carry out independent research. It should not exceed 50,000 words.

Mechanical engineering candidates

Candidates undertaking research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are also required to complete two compulsory coursework units:


Master of Engineering Science (Research)