Frequently asked questions

Our FAQs have been grouped into the headings below. Feel free to contact us, if you need more information.  We ask that you review these FAQs before you contact us. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. 

1. Mining Engineering

2. Mining at UNSW

3. Undergraduate degree options

4. Postgraduate degree options

5. Assumed knowledge and prerequisites

6. How to apply

7. Block and distance-based courses for Postgraduate study

8. Postgraduate course credits, upgrades, assumed knowledge and leave

9. Miscellaneous


If your question hasn't been answered, please visit UNSW Future Students or Faculty of Engineering How to Apply. Please Contact us if you need additional information.



3. Undergraduate degree options

3.2 Does UNSW offer dual degree programs?

Yes! Our undergraduate program can be combined with Civil Engineering, Commerce Law or Science. See our program information page for more information.


4. Postgraduate degree options

4.1 Am I eligible for postgraduate studies in Mining Engineering?

Entry requirements for each postgraduate program varies and are listed on the following links:

4.2 How much does it cost to complete a course or program?

The costs for domestic and international student fees are on the UNSW fees site.

e.g. Based on 2016 fees, domestic students enrolling in a Faculty of Engineering course, MINE8760, which has a value of 6 UOC and the course is classified as Postgraduate. The fee for this course will be $625 x 6 = $3750.

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 FEE-HELP limit is $97,728.


5. Assumed knowledge and prerequisites

 5.1 What are the entry requirements at UNSW? 

 The entry requirements for degrees with the School of Mining Engineering depends 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. Find out more.

 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, see the GRS admissions page.

 5.2 Which subjects should I study at high school?

 Our undergraduate degree assumes knowledge of Mathematics Extension 1 and Physics at HSC level of equivalent. Subjects such as chemistry and engineering studies may make the transition to university more smooth. See the future students or high school electives page for more information. 


 6. How to apply

6.1 How do I apply for a UNSW Program?

It is recommended that 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


7. Block and Distance-Based Courses

 7.1 How do the courses run?

All of our courses are 6 units of credit and involve 150 hours of student work per course. The structure of the learning activities and assessments are designed to assist 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 5-day in-house block course, held at UNSW, Kensington (Sydney, Australia). At the end of each in-house course you are given assignment work to take home to complete. You are given approximately 6 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 7 weeks. These require an average of approximately 20 to 25 hours per week. Flexibility over a 2 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.

7.2 When do the courses run?

The courses typically run during Semester 1 (T1: March to June, which includes T1A and T1B ) and Semester 2 (T2: July to November, which includes T2A and T2B ) of each UNSW academic year. Some courses commence early or finish later, during the Australian summer (December to February). View the 2017 course calendar.

7.3 How many courses should I do per session?

As outlined above, each course is equivalent to 150 hours of work. If you are working full-time, we recommend no more than 2 courses per session and 4 courses per session for full-time students, who are not working and are focused exclusively studying at UNSW.

It is also possible to enrol in 1 course per session, or to request program leave for a semester if your work and family commitments will affect your ability to complete the course assessments. More information on program leave is available here.

7.4 Can I complete a program completely in distance mode?

UNSW currently offers two postgraduate coursework programs that are possible to complete fully in distance mode  - depending on your educational background and professional qualifications:

  • Graduate Diploma in Mining Engineering (Mine Management)
  • Masters of Mining Engineering (Mine Management)

For these programs, attendance at UNSW is not required and it is possible to complete the courses from an overseas or remote location. However, students are 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 and it may take longer to complete your program if you are unable to attend courses that are offered exclusively in block course mode at UNSW.

International students that are based at UNSW are limited in the 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 that is available on MyUNSW.


8. Course Credits, Upgrades, Assumed Knowledge and Leave

8.1 Can I take courses from another program or stream?

Yes, students in the various mining engineering programs and streams are able to take courses outside of their prescribed degree. All students will need to get written permission from the school before they enrol in the new course, so it is important to plan ahead so students are given every opportunity to enrol on time.

  • Masters 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.
  • Masters 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 is permitted
  • Graduate Diploma in Coal Mine Strata Control: No courses from another program or stream is permitted.
  • Graduate Diploma in Mine Ventilation: No courses from another program or stream is permitted.

8.2 How many courses can I claim as credit transfer or recognition of prior learning (RPL)?

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 who have recently completed an undergraduate degree you can apply for RPL for GSE9400. If you have recent relevant experience in the mining industry you can apply for RPL for MINE8101. Take a look below for our current guidelines:

Masters 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.

An application for credit RPL is to be forwarded to including documents and information addressing the above criteria.  Approval of all credit RPL will be at the discretion of the Director Postgraduate Studies (Coursework).

8.3 When can I apply to upgrade from Certificate to Diploma or from a Diploma to Masters?

Applications for upgrade (or articulation) must be completed prior to being awarded the Diploma. If the Diploma is already awarded, re-application 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 4 courses) have been completed. Application to upgrade from Diploma to Masters must be made prior the deadline for application, provided that a minimum of four courses (of a total of 8 courses) have been completed. All applications for upgrade are to be in writing to

8.4 What maths, physics and chemistry are required for postgraduate courses in Mining Engineering?

 Information on assumed knowledge for UNSW Mining Engineering postgraduate courses are here: Assumed Knowledge for PG Coursework

8.5 How do I take leave for a course or program?

If work or family 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 on the current students page. The completed form should be returned to the school for processing, at

Note that leave is generally restricted to a total of two semesters (not including Summer Term). Any leave in excess of this will be approved only in exceptional circumstances, and will need to be negotiated with the Program Authority with all correspondence via Students should complete at least one semester of study before applying for leave.


9. Miscellaneous

9.1 Are scholarships for postgraduate courses in Mining Engineering available?

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.

9.2  How many postgraduate students and courses are there in  Mining Engineering?

There are approximately 300 postgraduate coursework students currently enrolled at UNSW, many of whom are part-time students working in the mining industry at remote locations, or based in offices around the world. International students make up approximately 10% of our postgraduate cohort. UNSW currently offers 7 programs and over 35 specialised mining engineering courses, as either face-to-face, online or as blended learning.

9.3 Are postgraduate qualifications in mining engineering equivalent to a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining)?

No. None of the postgraduate programs offered by the UNSW School of Mining Engineering are considered equivalent to the 4 year Bachelor of Mining Engineering.

9.4 Can I enrol in a course without completing a postgraduate award?

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

  • For professional development to gain introductory knowledge of mining engineering.
  • Out of interest without the course being part of a postgraduate program.
  • For credit towards an award at another Australian tertiary institution in which the student is concurrently enrolled.
  • Higher degree research students at UNSW wishing to enrol in a postgraduate course as part of their 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 non award short courses here

 9.5 How do I find a job in the mining industry?

Postgraduate studies in mining engineering will enhance your job prospects in a competitive global market for mining professionals. It is recommended that students independently assess their 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. Other useful links for careers in the mining industry include Mining Careers and Minerals Council of Australia

 9.6 Can I study for my mine managers certificate?

Statutory certificates (eg. Mine and quarry manager certificates) are determined by state authorities, who can provide further details on competency requirements and the process that is involved in certification. For Mine Managers certification, competencies that are 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. Students are advised to seek advice from the relevant state authority prior to planning which programs and courses to undertake at UNSW School of Mining 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

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