Mining Engineering is a multi-faceted discipline that offers a broad range of career paths including mine design and evaluation, operations management, corporate management, financial and analysis and the equities market, merchant banking and consulting.
As a profession, Mining Engineering is concerned with the safe, economic and environmentally responsible recovery, processing, marketing and financial management of mineral resources to meet the ever expanding demand from the global community for mineral commodities.
The undergraduate degree program includes elements common to many engineering programs and also because of a business focus it encompasses aspects of commerce and management. This means that during their careers, mining graduates should have sufficient grounding to allow them to move between different industry sectors.
To get some idea of what our graduates do, see the various roles of some of our graduates.
Mining Engineering offers a diverse range of career paths, very high salary levels and excellent opportunities for career progression. This is because it is a truly global profession with opportunities to work around Australia or around the world in a diverse range of activities involving technology, people, business, equipment, financial resources, community and government.
Graduates with a degree in mining engineering tend to be very versatile and can progress rapidly both within the mining industry and in industries affiliated to the industry. They have contributed to the continual growth and development of the minerals industry, making it one of the most efficient and productive in the world.
Within the mining and quarrying industries, opportunities exist to work in
Because of the scale and efficiency of the mining industry in Australia, there are strong links with ancillary industries which offer important career opportunities. These industries include:
The program tends to attracts students from a diverse range of backgrounds, many with a strong interest in engineering and having a solid academic background as illustrated in the graph shown below.
in recent years, the student intake has typically seen 50% of students with a UAI in the mid to high 90's.
While the industry used to have the perception of being male dominated the actual situation has changed especially over the past ten years with mining companies wanting to achieve a balance in their workforce. This change is reflected in the student intake with on average around 16% of students being female and who have no more difficulty in gaining graduate employment than the rest of the student cohort.
Interestingly, the program attracts a significant number of people with an interest in music and the arts.
While many students live in the Sydney urban region, a significant proportion of students come from country areas, particularly from the NSW Central and North coast and from the Western districts of NSW. Each year there are also several students who come from other States and parts and of south eastern Australia.
And of course, there are students who join us each year from overseas universities on International Exchange.
Students like to gain a degree that offers a host of career path options - working in the city, in the country, in technical roles, in line-management and also having the chance to change their careers path as they progress through life.
The School of Mining Engineering was established in 1948 and is one of the three foundation disciplines at UNSW.
The School rates as one of the largest and most vibrant centre's of tertiary mining education in the western world. Consider these other facts:
Unlike some other disciplines at university, the School of Mining Engineering has a relatively modest student population of approximately 200 students enrolled in the undergraduate program and a near equal amount in the various postgraduate programs. This size makes for a more collegiate learning environment where education and social activities are easier to combine.
Graduates with a degree in mining engineering are consistently ranked in the top ten percentile of salaries for new graduates.
The statistics for UNSW Mining Engineering graduates is even better still with recent annual surveys consistently indicating a median starting salary package exceeding $90k.
The Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) is a body representing employers, universities and the government. Amongst other services, CGA produces information for prospective university students related to the employment prospect of graduates and their earnings. This information is collated from the Graduate Destination Survey and published as The Grad Files. The publication is released in December each year.
So when combined with the diverse range of whole of life career and lifestyle options, shouldn't you consider Mining Engineering as one of your university degree options?
The mining program attracts a wide range of students with diverse academic aptitude, skills, experience and background which is just as well as the needs of industry are equally diverse. There are a variety of technical roles that can only be filled by Mining Engineers as well as a host of other roles that they are eminently suited to such as senior management and CEO of business organisations.
For a more in depth understanding of what some of our recent graduates are doing see Graduate Stories.
There is a large number of scholarships available to students in the undergraduate mining program. There are also scholarships that encourage students to undertake study in any engineering program.
Some of the major scholarships offered to students in mining engineering include:
A list of recent scholarship providers can be found at Industry Supporters.
A number of additional scholarships are also offered to students directly by companies associated with the mining industry. Many of these are offered to enrolled students in Year 2 or Year 3 in the program.
Other scholarships also available include:
Further information on the conditions and entry requirements for each of the above scholarships as well as a comprehensive listing of all scholarships available can be found at http://www.scholarships.unsw.edu.au/
UNSW has an attractive International Exchange Program with reciprocal arrangements in place with many leading overseas universities.
Each year a number of students undertake study for one semester at one of a number of universities in Europe or North America. Most often students opt for the second semester of Year 3 as it fits in best with many universities and because students need to plan up to one year in advance.
One of the benefits to students of Mining Education Australia (MEA) is that the Mining Engineering program in Years 3 and 4 is common to all partner universities. This facilitates study at one of the MEA partner universities.
Student can study at a partner university in one of either Semester 2 of Year 3 or in Semester 1 of Year 4. Students need to apply for Cross-Institutional Study in the normal manner usually at least one semester in advance at both UNSW as the "home institution" and the MEA partner university as the "host institution."
There are several conditions for Cross-Institutional Study in Mining Engineering and some of these include:
Advanced Standing will be considered for those courses that are successfully completed at the host institution. The onus is on the student to apply for Advanced Standing in the usual manner on return to UNSW and provide all required supporting documentation.
Are you currently an undergraduate student interested in study for a period of up to six months at UNSW? If so then there are two possible options available to you, these being:
The difference between Exchange and Practicum is that Exchange involves completion of course work while the Practicum involves completion of a research activity/project.
Tuition fees and other fees may apply. Applicants will need to apply to the Australian Government for a study visa and provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to cover costs for travel to and from Sydney and for living expenses while at UNSW.
Broadly speaking there are two categories of degrees offered at UNSW, these being:
Undergraduate degree - Bachelor of Engineering (Mining Engineering). This is the qualification necessary to be considered as a professional mining engineer. The degree is recognised by the two engineering professional organisations - the Institution of Engineers (Australia) (IEAust) and the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (AusIMM). This degree has also been required to gain the statutory qualification of Mine Manager.
As is common with most engineering programs, the undergraduate degree program is of four years duration. It is only offered for on-campus, full-time study. As is the case for most undergraduate engineering degrees, the undergraduate program does not cater for external or off-campus study.
The program is comprehensive in terms of covering the essential elements required of a mining engineer including geomechanics, ventilation, mine planning and evaluation, mineral processing as well fundamental engineering principles.
A number of combined degree and double degree options are also available - see later section on Combined Degree options.
Postgraduate degree. A number of postgraduate research and coursework degree options are offered at UNSW. The coursework programs are designed to meet the needs of different student cohorts,such as:
The postgraduate program has been specifically designed to meet the special requirements of persons working in the mining industry and can cater to those who are normally resident outside of Sydney. Each of the courses in the program is offered in short-course mode involving an intensive one-week block of lectures, tutorials, site visits and assignments followed by a period of off-campus study to complete a major project. This arrangement allows people to study while still engaged in full-time employment. Usually students enrol in one or two courses each semester.
The essential difference between the two degree options, either undergraduate or postgraduate, comes down to whether you wish to be considered and recognised as a professional Mining Engineering, in which case you will need to complete the undergraduate degree option.
If you cannot afford to leave the workforce but want to undertake study into some aspects of mining and at the same time gain a university qualification then you should consider the postgraduate degree options.
A number of combined and double degrees programs are offered in addition to the single major in Mining Engineering. These require one or more years of additional study on top of the single degree program. The range of program options includes:
Note: The entry requirements for some of combined and double programs are set at a higher then for the single degree program.
The overwhelming majority of students usually opt for the single degree option and consider postgraduate study after having gained a few years of graduate experience. Many mining organisations encourage further education and will assist their graduates in further postgraduate study.
The cut-off for entry into UNSW engineering programs can change from year to year but in recent times it has been a Universities Admission Index (UAI) (or its equivalent) in the high 80's. The Faculty can provide the latest indication of entry for the next entry period.
In addition to applying for admission through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC), which is the usual route for admission by domestic students living in NSW, there is also the Faculty of Engineering Admission Scheme (FEAS).
FEAS is for those students who may potentially achieve a UAI below the cut-off level but who have an aptitude and interest in engineering. It is strongly recommended that if you are interested in studying mining engineering and there is a reasonable probability you may fall below the the cut-off threshold then you should apply to FEAS. Applications are made directly on-line to the Faculty and should be lodged before the closing date in early September each year. Further details can be obtained on the Faculty of Engineering web site.
While there are no prerequisites for the Mining Engineering program, the program is designed with an Assumed Knowledge particularly in the sciences - Mathematics and Physics.
There are several options available to students who do not meet the level of Assumed Knowledge for the Mining Engineering program, these include:
These are options are intended to up-skill students so they will be better prepared when enrolling in the standard maths and physics courses in the engineering programs.
Details on how to apply to study at UNSW can be found at How to Apply where information is provided for both Local and International students.
For the undergraduate program there are two main categories for entry.
Each applicant may nominate up to nine preferences for study. These should be ranked in order of preference. UNSW and other institutions will decide on who will receive an offer based on the applicant's preferences, the number of places available in a program and admission requirements.
The UAC Code is 425004 for the mining engineering single degree program. See the UAC site for codes for the combined degree options.
The main round of applications to UAC normally close in late September for enrolment in the academic year beginning in March the following year. There is also a mid-year intake though entry is dependent on the number of available places in a program.
If an applicant is successful, an offer will be made. The applicant must formally accept the offer within a specified time period otherwise the offer will lapse and an offer to be made to another person. Offers of acceptance for programs at UNSW can be made on-line.
Once accepted the student must enrol in the range of courses specified for the mining engineering program or available in the flexible engineering program - see listing of courses in program outline. Again this can be done on-line.
Full details on the process of application and acceptance can be found in the UAC Guide published each year or on-line at www.uac.edu.au.
For further information contact the Director - Undergraduate studies.
Students who have been accepted into the Mining Engineering program at UNSW and who think they have completed a course at another recognised university that may be similar to one in the Mining Engineering Program at UNSW can apply for Advanced Standing.
Here there are several possible scenarios.
Applications for Advance Standing (or credit for equivalent courses already completed) in the Mining Engineering program will only be considered after an offer to study in the program has been accepted. An applications can be made:
Applications will not be considered before acceptance or enrolment in the program.
A student must submit a completed Application for Credit/Advanced Standing form together with all required document. An official transcript (original or a certified copy) together with relevant course descriptions must be attached to the application form.
Applications that do not have all the required documentation will not be processed.
The completed application form and all relevant attachments must be lodged either via post directly to the UNSW Admissions Office or to Student Central Office on campus as appropriate. Each application will then be forwarded to the program authority for consideration taking account of the UNSW Guidelines and Faculty rules.
Only those courses were completed within eight years at the time of application will be considered. In general, the student must demonstrate that the course(s) was satisfactorily completed at an institution recognised by UNSW and that the course is similar to a course in the Mining Engineering Program; similar in terms of course content, assessment and units of credit.
Where students have enrolled in a similar engineering degree program such as Civil Engineering, this may allow Advanced Standing to be provided up to the equivalent of the first two Stages of the Mining Engineering program. In the case of other engineering programs and many science degree programs, this may translate to Advance Standing equivalent up to the first year of the mining program. In any case, Advanced Standing will only be given up to a maximum of the equivalent of 50% of courses in the program. A student is required to complete no less than 50% of the Mining Engineering program at UNSW.
For further information contact the Director - Undergraduate Studies.