VCE Systems Engineering


Systems Engineering is designed to enable students to experience a range of tasks relating to the automotive, engineering and electrical/electronic areas.

Systems Engineering provides an opportunity for students to develop knowledge and skills related to the design, operation, construction, maintenance, fault finding, testing, repair and evaluation of technological systems.

Unit 1 (Terms 1 & 2): Mechanical engineering fundamentals

This unit focuses on mechanical engineering fundamentals as a basis for understanding principles and concepts that operate in both simple and complex mechanical devices. The unit allows for a “hands-on” approach, as students apply their knowledge and construct functional systems that can be purely mechanical or electro-mechanical.

Tasks covered in this Unit include:

  • Students investigate mechanical principles and apply them to real life situations.
  • Students will have the opportunity to create a machine during practical lessons.
  • A piece of technology will be examined by students and they will describe how it works.

Unit 2 (Terms 3 & 4): Operational Technological Systems

This unit focuses on fundamental electro technology engineering principles. Through the application of their knowledge students will produce a basic system which should employ a level of integration between mechanical and electrical/electronic components. Students will apply their knowledge and skills to research and produce a technical report.

Tasks covered in this Unit include:

  • Students investigate electronic principles and apply them to real life situations.
  • During practical lessons students will have the opportunity to create an electronic machine.
  • Students examine electrical components and discuss how they work.

Unit 3 & 4 (Terms 1-4): Systems engineering and energy / Integrated and controlled systems engineering

These units involve the study of the principles and concepts associated with integrated systems. The focus is on the functional integration of a mechanical subsystem with an electrical/electronic subsystem and the design factors to be considered. One substantial production may be undertaken across both Units 3 & 4.

Unit 3 Areas of Study:

Unit 3 focuses on the design and planning of an integrated systems. It begins with a look at the

fundamentals of mechanical and electrical principles. Students are to look at the process of designing a system, including the early stages of a brief, a production plan and an assessment. Finally it finishes off with a look at energy use and how it can affect the environment.

Unit 4 Areas of Study:

Tasks covered in this Unit include:

  • Students learn to recognise, identify and explain the principles of controlled integrated technological systems
  • Analysis and comparison of the environmental benefits and implications of using different energy sources.

In Unit 4, the practical side really takes over as we look at designing, producing, testing and evaluating a controlled technological system. Students will build their system, using the planning techniques from Unit 3. They will keep a production journal where they will log their design, production and testing progress. They will then come up with a method to evaluate their design and report on it.

Tasks covered in this Unit include:

  • Recognise, identify and explain the principles and function of controlled integrated systems
  • Students select components for construction
  • Students study fault finding and repair of an integrated system
  • Evaluation and reporting on the performance and management of a project is undertaken
  • Energy sources.


Some possible career options relevant to Systems Engineering:

  • Motor mechanic / Auto Electrician
  • Safety inspector
  • Industrial engineer
  • Panelbeater
  • Refrigeration mechanic
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Marine transport professional
  • Electrical engineer
  • Electrical Mechanic/Fitter
  • Metal fitter or machinist


Please note: This is only a brief listing of possible courses. If you wish to obtain further information about career opportunities in this field please do not hesitate to contact your Systems Engineering Teacher or Careers Advisor.