Nuclear Engineering



Commonwealth Supported Places available to eligible applicants - please contact Professor John Fletcher.

Why consider a career in nuclear engineering?

The only nuclear engineering program offered in Australia, UNSW’s Master of Engineering Science degree with a specialisation in Nuclear Engineering provides graduate students with the opportunity to train for a career in the nuclear industry. Global employment opportunities in the nuclear sector continue to grow and there are exciting careers in nuclear research, nuclear energy, proliferation, monitoring and control, and the medical uses of nuclear materials.

Nuclear engineering is a multi-disciplinary area involving many facets of engineering and science.  Employment opportunities include:

  • Mining and processing of nuclear materials
  • Nuclear reactor design and simulation
  • Assessment of nuclear energy economics
  • Nuclear life-cycle management
  • Medical applications of nuclear engineering
  • Proliferation monitoring and control
  • Waste management, extraction and immobilisation techniques.

The nuclear sector offers a long-term career prospect. Typically, nuclear sites will have lifetimes of 50 -100 years and will provide employment for multiple generations of workers. Currently there is an ageing workforce in the sector and ample opportunities for nuclear engineering graduates to bring innovation and fresh ideas.

Why consider studying nuclear engineering at UNSW?

Building on the Faculty’s 30-year track record of energy research leadership, we offer the nation’s most cutting-edge energy research environment, providing an interdisciplinary approach to address the most critical issues related to energy solutions for the long-term future.  We are Australia’s largest and top rated Engineering Faculty with state-of-the art facilities, including the purpose built 6-star energy efficient Tyree Energy Technologies Building.

Collaborating with global nuclear experts, our Master stream will feature contributions from national and international specialists in the nuclear engineering sector, including staff from the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College, London, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Project work

There are a variety of project topics on offer. Examples include:

  • Multi-scale modelling techniques for nuclear materials
  • Reactor simulation and operation
  • Review and assessment of Generation IV reactor concepts
  • Opportunities for small, modular reactors in remote power systems
  • Economic comparison of low-carbon generation technologies.

Students potentially have the opportunity to perform project work in conjunction with ANSTO, with access to their world-leading facilities and expertise.

Stream structure

The core nuclear content is a coherent set of classes that builds on graduate engineering skills and knowledge. The broad aims of the course are to provide advanced understanding of:

  • The basics of nuclear engineering
  • The fuel cycle
  • The engineering and physics of nuclear reactors
  • Life-cycle and waste management
  • Safety, safeguard and security systems.

With elective opportunities in:

  • Power system operation and economic assessment
  • Uranium mining fundamentals
  • Nuclear techniques for structural engineering and materials characterisation.

Entry requirements

The Nuclear Engineering specialisation provides a flexible pathway for engineering graduates from a range of disciplines, allowing entry for graduates with Bachelor or Bachelor with Honours qualifications from mainstream engineering disciplines (for example, Electrical, Civil and Mechanical). The pathway for Bachelor graduates is supported by 24 units of credit of Professional Development classes that allow candidates to fill gaps in assumed knowledge and develop appropriate skills.

Bachelor with Honours graduates can be exempted from some or all of the 24 units of credit of professional development, but must have appropriate abilities such that they can undertake self-directed reading and learning in engineering systems, be able to perform individual research, and have the required maths and engineering skills.

Delivery mode

A proportion of the course content will be delivered by international experts in nuclear engineering in an intensive mode. The recommended program has been scheduled such that the majority of Semester 1 classes are delivered in this block, intensive mode.


A modest scholarship scheme has been established with an opportunity for eligible students to apply for scholarships of up to $5,000 AUD, subject to UNSW terms and conditions.

For more information see Sir William Tyree Foundation UNSW Nuclear Engineering Masters Award

Course contact

Please contact Professor John Fletcher.