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Associate Degree in Equipment Design & Technology

Design and build a brighter future.

Why study equipment design and technology?

Something revolutionary is happening in Australian manufacturing, and now is the perfect time to get in on the action. Rapid technological advancements have enabled a shift towards interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and the use of real-time data in the field of equipment design. This has led to massive transformations in the industry and enables us to us to incorporate faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher quality goods at reduced costs.

Exciting new job roles are being created every day to keep-pace with these changes. We are seeing a shift away from manual labour and towards the use of robotics and automation, and therefore opening the industry to people with radically different skillsets and interests. Now the only limits are your creativity and innovation.

The Associate Degree in Equipment Design & Technology has been designed through an extensive industry consultation process to ensure that graduates have the skills and knowledge required to drive innovation into the future. A focus on project-based work, some of which will be completed in partnership with industry, means that you’ll be both job-ready and highly employable. You’ll get hands-on experience in designing and producing equipment, in a real-world manufacturing environment. You’ll see your designs come to life with cutting-edge equipment, such as 3D scanners, laser cutters, 3D printers and virtual/augmented reality technology. Learning to use the tools of the future means you’ll also have plenty of exciting career options to choose from, or perhaps you’ll even forge your own path as an entrepreneur?

In this degree you’ll learn design and making skills, as well as important skills and knowledge required for quality assurance, safety and logistics. As part of this course, you’ll also learn core skills needed in any workplace, such as critical thinking, project management, design thinking, communication, teamwork and digital literacy.

This course is project-focused, workshop-based and practical, meaning you’ll get lots of hands-on experience and see your designs come to life. Experience the start-up culture in a vibrant classroom that’s all about encouraging creativity and innovation.

You’ll enjoy real-world learning experiences designed to demonstrate what both the job and the workplace will be like, so you can hit the ground running. Learn by doing and experience the entire product life cycle including project management, design, fabrication, quality assurance, sustainability, and safety.


Two years full-time or part-time equivalent


On campus


Cradle Coast campus
Online (2020 intake)


Semester 1, 2021 and Semester 2, 2021

The OEM Facility

Thanks to our OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) facility, the North West is one of the best places in the world to study Equipment Design and Technology. Here, you’ll learn to use the technology of the future. Think laser cutters and engravers, industrial 3D printers, industrial robotics systems, virtual/augmented reality and computer-aided design software .

Career Options

  • Draftsperson
  • Project manager
  • Team leader
  • Designer
  • CNC operator
  • Robotic welding operator
  • Metal/plastics fabricator
  • Technician
  • Entrepreneur
  • Inventor

Program structure

The Associate Degree in Equipment Design and Technology involves 16 units over 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of part-time study, delivered at a new workshop facility located in the TMMEC Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Burnie. Co-location at this facility provides students with a range of formal and informal networking opportunities with industry experts. We offer evening tutorials to accommodate those already working full-time. The first year of the course acts as a foundation year, while the second year of the course provides you with the skills to apply your new knowledge to a range of situations.

After the successful completion of year 1 of the Associate Degree, you can choose to exit the course and be awarded with a diploma qualification.

Topics include:

  • Materials Science
  • Fabrication
  • Equipment Design
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Digital Control Systems
  • Programming for Manufacturing
  • Logistics Management
  • Intelligent Systems and Robotics

For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit handbook.

Extend your study into a Bachelor degree

By completing the Associate Degree in Equipment Design and Technology (Z2M) you may receive some credit towards a bachelor degree at the University of Tasmania. The amount of credit received will be subject to the University’s discretion

Yes. Bachelor degrees traditionally have a duration of three of more years, while an Associate Degree can take as little as two years when studied full time.

Our University College Associate Degrees have been uniquely designed to place equal emphasis on theory and practice. This is done by offering both discipline specific subjects and hands-on learning subjects (Practice and Portfolio) throughout your Associate Degree. By doing so, you graduate job ready with a firm understanding of how to apply the theory you have learnt.

The Associate Degrees are studied during the traditional university Semester study periods.

The new Associate Degrees are a formal qualification in their own right, offering pathways to new career opportunities or upskilling in a current career. These Associate Degrees also offer formal articulation pathways into specified bachelor degrees should you wish to continue studying.

Our Associate Degrees are likely to appeal to a wide range of people, including:

  • School leavers who achieve a TCE (or ATAR) but who are not eligible/prepared/interested in studying a bachelor degree;
  • students who want to gain skills and knowledge to start a career;
  • students interested in learning about innovation and future jobs;
  • students with industry/professional experience who would like to gain some academic credentials; and
  • non-school leaver and mature-age students seeking academic credentials and career advancement.

Our Associate Degrees are offered via a combination of face-to-face (workshops, tutorials etc.) and online study. The online component of our Associate Degrees are offered on each of the University of Tasmania campuses at Newnham, Sandy Bay and Cradle Coast.

No. For all University College units, assessments are built into the course content throughout the semester. If you undertake units from other parts of the University, you may be required to sit some exams. For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Search.

If you successfully complete the first year of your Associate Degree and decide you no longer wish to study, you can graduate out of the course with a Diploma qualification.

Throughout your Associate Degree you will be exposed to a range of hands-on learning experiences such as live case studies, real-world business examples, industry speakers, job-focused programs, industry workshops, projects and internships.

By successfully completing one of our Associate Degree courses, you may be eligible to receive credit towards a relevant Bachelor degree offered by the University of Tasmania. Some of our Associate Degrees have specific credit pathways into a Bachelor degree, where you can receive up to 2 years full credit towards a specified Bachelor degree. For those Associate Degrees that do not have a specified credit pathway, or if you are wanting to receive credit into a different Bachelor degree than the one specified, you may receive some credit, subject to the College’s discretion.