Learning
Systems Engineering

Why Study Systems Engineering?

VCE Systems Engineering promotes innovative systems thinking and problem-solving skills through the application of  the  systems  engineering  process.  The  study  is  based  on  integrated  
mechanical  and  electrotechnological engineered systems.

The study provides opportunities for students to learn about and engage with systems from a practical and purposeful perspective. Students gain knowledge and understanding about technological systems and their applications.

VCE Systems Engineering integrates aspects of designing, planning, producing, testing and 
evaluating in a project management process. It prepares students for careers in engineering, 
manufacturing and design through a university or TAFE vocational study pathway, employment, 
apprenticeships and traineeships. The study provides a rigorous academic foundation and a practical 
working knowledge of design strategies, production processes and evaluation practices. People with 
these skills, and the ability to apply systems engineering processes, are in increasing demand
as participants in teams that are engaged with complex and multidisciplinary projects.

Structure

The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Mechanical systems
Unit 2: Electrotechnology systems
Unit 3: Integrated and control systems 
Unit 4: Systems control 

There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education. 

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study. Outcomes include a summary statement and the key knowledge and skills that underpin them. 

UNIT 1 - MECHANICAL SYSTEMS

This unit focuses on engineering fundamentals as the basis of understanding concepts, principles and components that operate in mechanical systems. The term ‘mechanical systems’ includes systems that utilise all forms of mechanical components and their linkages.

While this unit contains the fundamental physics and theoretical understanding of mechanical systems and how they work, the focus is on the creation of a system. The creation process draws heavily upon design and innovation processes.

Students create an operational system using the systems engineering process. The focus is on a mechanical system; however, it may include some electrotechnological components.

All systems require some form of energy to function. Students research and quantify how systems use or convert the energy supplied to them.

Students are introduced to mechanical engineering principles including mechanical subsystems and devices, their motions, elementary applied physics, and related mathematical calculations that can be applied to define and explain the physical characteristics of these systems.

Area of Study 1

Mechanical system design

Outcome 1  
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe and apply basic engineering concepts and principles, and use components to design and plan a mechanical system using the systems engineering process.

Area of Study 2

Producing and evaluating mechanical systems

Outcome 2  
On completion of this unit the student should be able to produce, test, diagnose and evaluate a mechanical system using the systems engineering process.

UNIT 2 - ELECTROTECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS

In this unit students study fundamental electrotechnological engineering principles. The term 
‘electrotechnological’ encompasses systems that include electrical/electronic circuitry including 
microelectronic circuitry. Through the application of the systems engineering process, students 
create operational electrotechnological systems, which may also include mechanical components or 
electro-mechanical subsystems.

While this unit contains fundamental physics and theoretical understanding of electrotechnological 
systems and how they work, the focus is on the creation of electrotechnological systems, drawing 
heavily upon design and innovation processes.

Electrotechnology is a creative field that responds to, and drives rapid developments and change 
brought about through technological innovation. Contemporary design and manufacture of electronic equipment involves increased levels of automation and inbuilt control through the inclusion of microcontrollers and other logic devices. In this unit students explore some of these emerging technologies.

Students study fundamental electrotechnological principles including applied electrical theory, 
standard representation of electronic components and devices, elementary applied physics in 
electrical circuits and mathematical processesthat can be applied to define and explain the electrical characteristics of circuits.

Area of Study 1

Electrotechnological systems design

Outcome 1 

On completion of this unit the student should be able to investigate,  represent,  describe  and  use  basic electrotechnological and basic control engineering concepts, principles and components, and design and plan an electrotechnological system using the systems engineering process.

Area of Study 2

Producing and evaluating electrotechnological systems

Outcome 2  

On completion of this unit the student should be able to produce, test and evaluate an electrotechnological system, using the systems engineering process.    

 

UNIT 3 - INTEGRATED AND CONTROLLED SYSTEMS

In this unit students study engineering principles used to explain physical properties of 
integrated systems and how they work. Students design and plan an operational, mechanical and 
electrotechnological integrated and controlled system. They learn about the technologies used to 
harness energy sources to provide power for engineered systems.

Students commence work on the creation of an integrated and controlled system using the systems 
engineering process. This production work has a strong emphasis on innovation, designing, 
producing, testing and evaluating. Students manage the project, taking into consideration the 
factors that will influence the creation and use of their integrated  and  controlled  system. Students’  understanding  of  fundamental  physics  and  applied  mathematics underpins  the systems  engineering  process,  providing  a  comprehensive  understanding  of  mechanical  and electrotechnological systems and how they function.

Students learn about sources and types of energy that enable engineered technological systems to function. Comparisons are made between the use of renewable and non-renewable energy sources and their impacts. Students develop their understanding of technological systems developed to capture and store renewable energyand technological developments to improve the credentials of non-renewables.

Area of Study 1

Integrated and controlled systems design

Outcome 1  

On completion of this unit the student should be able to investigate, analyse and apply concepts and principles, and use components to design, plan and commence production of an integrated and controlled mechanical and electrotechnological system using the systems engineering process.

Area of Study 2

Clean energy technologies

Outcome 2  

On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable energy sources, and analyse and evaluate the technology used to harness, generate and store non-renewable and renewable energy.   

 

UNIT 4 - SYSTEMS CONTROL     

In this unit students complete the creation of the mechanical and electrotechnological integrated 
and controlled system they researched, designed, planned and commenced production of in Unit 3. 
Students investigate new and emerging technologies, consider reasons for their development and 
analyse their impacts.

Students continue producing their mechanical and electrotechnological integrated and controlled 
system using the systems engineering process. Students develop their understanding of the 
open-source model in the development of integrated and controlled systems, and document its use 
fairly. They effectively document the use of project and risk management methods throughout the 
creation of the system. They use a range of materials, tools, equipment and components. Students 
test, diagnose and analyse the performance of the system. They evaluate their process and the 
system.

Students expand their knowledge of emerging developments and innovations through their 
investigation and analysis of a range of engineered systems. They analyse a specific emerging innovation, including its 
impacts.

Area of Study 1

Producing and evaluating integrated and controlled systems

Outcome 1  
On completion of this unit the student should be able to finalise production, test and diagnose a mechanical and electrotechnological integrated and controlled system using the systems engineering process, and manage, document and evaluate the system and the process, as well as their use of it. 

Area of Study 2

New and emerging technologies

Outcome 2  

On completion of this unit the student should be able to evaluate a range of new or emerging systems engineering technologies and analyse the likely impacts of a selected technology.

 

Assessment

Satisfactory completion.

Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.

Levels of achievement

UNITS 1 AND 2 

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.

UNITS 3 AND 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

In Systems Engineering the student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework, a school-assessed task and an end-of-year examination.

Percentage contributions to the study score in Systems Engineering are as follows:

Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 10 per cent
Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 10 per cent
School-assessed task: 50 per cent
End-of-year examination: 30 per cent