Our frequently asked questions are designed to help you become better acquainted with our degrees and how the university processes work. Feel free to contact us if you need more information. Please be as specific as possible so we can answer you quickly and accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mining Engineering

A mining engineer evaluates, plans and oversees the construction of a mine. They’ll be involved in a project through all phases of mining operations. These include exploration and discovery of the mineral resource, feasibility studies, mine design, development of plans and production, scheduling, operations, processing and even marketing. They are still involved at the mine closure stages including final land restoration and rehabilitation.  

For more information, visit What do Mining & Petroleum Engineers do?  

If you’re unsure whether this field is for you, read through this list of questions about the skills required to be a great mining engineer. If your answer to most of them is yes, you might be on the right track. 

  • Are you good at maths and science? 
  • Do you love problem solving? 
  • Have you got an interest in natural resources? 
  • Are you interested in the effects of mining on the surrounding environments? 
  • Do you crave to know how things work? 
  • Are you a good communicator? 
  • Do you love the outdoors? 
  • Are you interested in working underground? 

For more information, visit Is Mining Engineering right for me? 

The UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering is a leading provider of world-class education. Our multidisciplinary academics produce internationally acclaimed research, working closely with our partners in the minerals and energy sectors.

Our school is a global leader. In the latest rankings, we’re 4th in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2020) and 8th in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2019).

Yes, we have scholarships for every level of study.

We offer a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mining) as well as a range of double degrees.

Our undergraduate program can be combined with Civil Engineering, Commerce, Law or Science. See our double degrees pages for more details.

You can find the costs for domestic and international student fees at Student Fees and Payment

Students may be able to access FEE-HELP which is a loan scheme that assists eligible higher education students enrolled in a fee-paying place to pay their tuition fees. Fee-paying places are generally available for postgraduate courses at universities, and in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by private institutions. The Australian Government does not subsidise fee-paying places. Instead, it provides access to the FEE-HELP loan scheme to assist eligible fee-paying students with paying their tuition fees. 

The entry requirements for Mining Engineering degrees depend on the level of study. 

Entry into our undergraduate program generally requires an ATAR of 91. UNSW Engineering offers a wide range of schemes to gain bonus points. 

Proof of relevant industry experience is required to gain entry into our postgraduate coursework programs. A portfolio is required to support this application. 

For information regarding entry into postgraduate research degrees, please go to Graduate Research.  

Our undergraduate degree assumes knowledge of Mathematics Extension 1 and Physics at HSC level or equivalent. Subjects such as Chemistry and Engineering Studies can create a smooth transition to university. See the assumed knowledge page for more information.  

We recommend you apply and enrol as early as possible, due to the high demand for postgraduate courses in Mining Engineering. Some courses are fully enrolled each semester, with a waiting list for enrolment in subsequent courses. All applications should be made directly to the university using the UNSW Apply Online service.  

All of our courses are six units of credit and involve 150 hours of student work per course. The structure of the learning activities and assessments are designed to help students gain deeper learning and critical evaluation skills. The courses require significant input from students to achieve a higher education standard and qualification for award programs.

The short courses are run mainly as a five-day in-house block course, held at UNSW, Kensington (Sydney, Australia). At the end of each in-house course you’re given assignment work to take home to complete. You’re given approximately six weeks to complete the assessments, which are equivalent to around a minimum of 100-120 hours of work. Assessments are submitted to academics for marking and feedback.

We also offer courses that are run as web-based, distant learning courses over seven weeks. These require an average of approximately 20-25 hours per week. Flexibility over a two-week period is available to benefit students who are working a regular FIFO roster, provided that final assessment due dates are met. Not all courses are available as distance-based, but there are plans to increase the offerings.

Each course is equivalent to 150 hours of work. If you’re working full-time, we recommend no more than two courses per term. For full-time students who are focused exclusively studying at UNSW, we recommend three courses per term. 

It is also possible to enrol in one course per term, or to request program leave for a term if other commitments will affect your ability to complete the course assessments. Learn more about program leave

We currently offer two postgraduate coursework programs that are possible to complete fully in distance mode – depending on your educational background and professional qualifications: 

For these programs, attendance at UNSW is not required and it’s possible to complete the courses from an overseas or remote location. However, you’re encouraged to attend at least one face-to-face block course as part of their program. Block courses are typically presented at the UNSW Kensington campus (Sydney, Australia). 

Students who are completing these programs in distance mode are advised to plan ahead, as not all distance courses are available in every semester. It may take longer to complete your program if you’re unable to attend courses offered exclusively in block course mode at UNSW. 

International students based at UNSW are limited in their number of distance courses to comply with the ESOS Act (maximum of 25% of program). This is currently a limit of two distance courses for a Masters Program and one for a Graduate Diploma, subject to updated and detailed information available on myUNSW

Yes, students in the various Mining Engineering programs and streams are able to take courses outside of their prescribed degree. You’ll need to get written permission from the school before enrolling in the new course, so it is important to plan ahead so you’ll have the opportunity to enrol on time. 

  • Master of Mine Geotechnical Engineering and Graduate Diploma of Mine Geotechnical Engineering: Refer to program and stream rules regarding courses from another MINE program or stream and/or relevant courses from another school or faculty. Prior approval is required from both PA of Mining Engineering and the other UNSW Program Authority. 
  • Master of Mining Engineering: One relevant course from another MINE program or stream and/or one relevant course from another school or faculty. Prior approval is required from both PA of Mining Engineering and the other UNSW Program Authority.  
  • Graduate Diploma in Mining Engineering: One relevant course from another MINE program or stream.  
  • Graduate Certificate in Mining Engineering: No courses from another program or stream are permitted. 
  • Graduate Diploma in Coal Mine Strata Control: No courses from another program or stream are permitted. 
  • Graduate Diploma in Mine Ventilation: No courses from another program or stream are permitted. 

Some students will be eligible for credit transfer and RPLs. For example, if you hold an undergraduate degree in Mining Engineering you can apply for RPL for MINE8101 and MINE8115. If you’ve recently completed an undergraduate degree you can apply for RPL for GSE9400. If you’ve got recent relevant experience in the mining industry you can apply for RPL for MINE8101. Take a look below for our current guidelines: 

Master of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of four course credits or RPLs will be considered in this program, provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied. 

Graduate Diploma of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of two course credits or RPLs will be considered in this program, provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied. 

Graduate Certificate of Mining Engineering: Applications for a maximum of one course credit or RPL will be considered in this program, provided the criteria listed in the section below are satisfied. 

  • Criteria for approval of course credit or RPL: Course for RPL is equivalent to a UNSW postgraduate course – student load, hours required, content and assessments. Undergraduate level courses will generally not be considered equivalent to postgraduate courses for RPL. 
  • Course for RPL was recently completed with a recognised training provider within the past 10 years. 

Certified academic transcripts are provided as evidence for completion and grades of course for RPL. Results of course for RPL is > 65%. A plan for courses to be completed each semester to complete the postgraduate coursework program must be submitted. 

Applications for upgrade (or articulation) must be completed prior to being awarded the Diploma. If the Diploma is already awarded, reapplication for admission to UNSW is required. Note that satisfactory academic performance is required for upgrade or articulation, generally defined as a minimum credit average for all program courses completed on application. 

Application to upgrade from Certificate to Diploma must be made prior the deadline for application, provided that a minimum of three courses (of a total of four courses) have been completed. Application to upgrade from Diploma to Masters degree must be made prior the deadline for application, provided that a minimum of four courses (of a total of eight courses) have been completed.  

Requirements vary depending on which course you’re studying. Assumed knowledge for Graduate Certificate in Mining Engineering and the Mine Management specialisation of GradDip and Master of Mining Engineering programs: 

  • Mathematics at High School finishing level (Year 12) is strongly recommended, and preferably more advanced Year 12 or university maths. 
  • Basic Physics and Chemistry is strongly recommended, and preferably High school (Year 12) level Physics and Chemistry. 
  • Assumed and advanced knowledge would be an advantage in these courses and programs, but are not prerequisites to enrolment. 

For example, general maths and chemistry is important assumed knowledge for MINE8910 Mine water and waste management. For those who have not completed Year 12 maths, physics or chemistry, bridging programs are provided on campus in January prior to the start of term 1. These bridging programs run over 4 weeks including 40 hours of tuition. See the information and registration page for further information. 

Assumed knowledge for the Mine Geomechanics specialisation (GradDip and Masters of Mining Engineering) and Mine Geotechnical Engineering (GradDip 5059 and Masters 8059) programs: 

  • MATHS1011, MATHS1131 or equivalent first year university maths course is strongly recommended. 
  • Note that MATHS1011 requires Year 12 Mathematics 2U, not general maths 
  • Note that MATHS1131 requires Year 12 Mathematics Extension 1 

If students have NOT undertaken this level of maths they will NOT have achieved the recommended level of assumed knowledge. It may not prevent them from enrolling but students will be placed at a considerable disadvantage.  

If you would like to check the suitability of your background for specific courses, please contact us at mere.teaching@unsw.edu.au

If work or other commitments mean that you cannot commit to satisfactory completion of courses, you must apply for program leave ahead of time. A UNSW leave form can be found by going to Program Leave.  

No, unfortunately there are currently no scholarships available for postgraduate programs in Mining Engineering. However, some employers provide support to employees through study leave and/or course fees.

No. None of the postgraduate programs offered by the UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering are considered equivalent to the four-year Bachelor of Mining Engineering degree.

Yes, it is possible to enrol in a course on a non-award basis, subject to conditions, for the following reasons: 

  • Professional development to gain introductory knowledge of Mining Engineering. 
  • Out of interest without the course being part of a postgraduate program. 
  • Credit towards an award at another Australian tertiary institution in which you’re concurrently enrolled. 
  • Higher degree research students at UNSW wishing to enrol in a postgraduate course as part of a research degree. 

For example, financial analysts, investors and risk assessors may wish to enrol in one or two courses. Entry requirements and course fees apply, and places available for non-award students are subject to enrolment availability and may be strictly limited. Find out more about our non-award short courses

Postgraduate studies in mining engineering will enhance your job prospects in a competitive global market for mining professionals. We recommend you independently assess your job opportunities and take advantage of operational work opportunities both in Australia and around the world. 

Networking opportunities with your fellow students and with (AusIMM) local branch of the Mining Society and the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy are important. You can also visit the Minerals Council of Australia website for further information on careers in mining industry.  

Statutory certificates, such as mine and quarry manager certificates, are determined by state authorities, who can provide further details on competency requirements and the certification process. For mine manager certification, competencies generally required by state authorities can largely be provided by the UNSW Graduate Diploma in Mining Engineering.  

However, the selection of specific elective courses as part of this Graduate Diploma depends on competency requirements and determinations by state authorities. We advise you to seek advice from the relevant state authority prior to planning which programs and courses to undertake at UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering. 

The NSW contact for mining statutory certification is: 

Mining Competence Team 
Mine Safety Performance, NSW Trade & Investment 
516 High Street, Maitland, NSW 2320  
PO Box 344, HRMC, NSW 2310 
T: 02 4931 6625