Advanced Thermodynamics

Course code DE6309

This online course will help you to develop a sound understanding in the theory and application of thermodynamics, especially as related to heat engines, process and environment heating/cooling.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • Choose the qualification you will study the course under. See the Work towards tab below for qualification options.
  • Check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses tab on the qualification page.

The course will cover the following

  • Thermodynamics
  • Gas cycles, power, efficiency, work
  • Engines, operation principles, pressure charging, trials, indicated and brake power
  • Steam and gas turbines, principles, application of cycles, constructional features, heat exchanger effectiveness
  • Energy conservation and environmental effects
  • Conservation in plant, waste heat recovery, overall efficiencies, co-generation plants
  • Process heat, heat sources and energy transport systems, applications to process plants
  • Steam generating plant and cycles, boiler types, feed systems and components, feed water contamination and treatment, boiler efficiencies
  • HVAC systems, humidity, heating cooling loads, Load line, recycle air, fresh air, plant layout
  • Fuels and combustion calculations, chemical equations, air/fuel ratios, analysis of exhaust gases, solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, preparation of fuels for use, fuel storage and application
  • Air compressors, Inter cooling, Volumetric efficiency

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the laws of thermodynamics
  • Analyse common Internal combustion engine cycles and explain their operation and their effects on the environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of process heating/cooling systems
  • Explain nozzle terminology, calculate velocities and pressures
  • Outline HVAC system operation and equipment and determine heating, cooling and dehumidifying loads
  • Determine air/fuel ratios and exhaust analysis for common fuels and describe handling requirements


  • Internal assessment 50%
  • Examination 50%

For more information and a full list of exam times see our examinations page.


There is a textbook required for this course. Visit our textbook page for more information.

Labs requirements

A 2 ½ day practical Laboratory held in Wellington is a requirement for this course.

Trimester 1 Laboratories will be held during the term 1 school holidays,  

Trimester 2 Laboratories will be during the term 3 school holidays.

Your course leader will confirm the actual dates within the first week of the trimester, however you can click here for school holiday dates to give you a guideline for planning.

Other Requirements

Your course is delivered 100% online. To complete  this course you will need access to a computer or device, broadband internet and a data plan able to support online learning such as streaming of videos (including YouTube), downloading content and submitting online assessments. If you are unsure if your current computer/device or internet access allows you to complete your online learning with us, please contact us before applying to enrol.