Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Reliability engineering/asset failures is an interdisciplinary engineering field consisting of principles and practices to ensure that reliability, safety, quality and other organisational goals are achieved. This unit covers fundamental reliability terms and concepts, basic mathematics of probability and statistics, graphical tools for data analysis, and human factor tools. Commonly used methods in maintenance and integrity management are also covered. The unit is concerned with what one can learn by looking at past failures and how one can incorporate this knowledge into planning for assets in the future. The unit content builds a high level understanding of core ideas in reliability engineering, develops the ability to interpret the results of various tools used in practice when selecting and operating assets to ensure they function as planned, and develops an understanding of factors that are commonly implicated in asset failure investigations.

6 points

Students are able to (1) explain why and how things fail; (2) describe the attributes of functions and failures of an asset; (3) determine statistical failure distributions by analysing failure data; (4) deploy processes and tools to predict the reliability performance of an asset system; and (5) develop appropriate maintenance strategies.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) case studies; (3) in-class participation; and (4) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.