Subject focus: Resources engineering in Australia

 Curtin UniversityThis month's subject focus looks at postgraduate programmes in the area of resources engineering.

Australia has a big and active resources industry, so what better place to study mining, subsea or oil and gas engineering? Postgraduate engineering programmes in Australia provide students with a deeper, specialist knowledge of these engineering industries, as well as the self-confidence and interpersonal skills needed for a successful career in some of the world's most economically important industries.

Studying in Australia, students will have plenty of opportunities to visit active mines and wells, work with real data, and gain work-experience in the industry that will give you a great start in your engineering career.  The two universities featured this month are located in two of the largest mining areas in the country - Western Australia and South Australia.

Find out more about studying engineering programmes in Australia

Master of Mining Engineering at Curtin University

For more than a century, Curtin University's Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) has been committed to providing some of the world's finest mining and minerals education facilities.

The Western Australian School of Mines encompasses the departments of Mining Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy, Applied Geology, Spatial Sciences and Exploration Geophysics.  Mineral Economics is also an affiliated department with Curtin’s Graduate School of Business where we jointly offer Mineral Economics and Energy Economics graduate coursework programmes (located in the CBD).

The mining programme at Curtin University is delivered in the Kalgoorlie campus located in the heart of the Goldfields' mining industry.  Curtin is one of three national Mining Education Australia universities and ranked 19th worldwide for mineral and mining engineering in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.

Our courses are designed for those outside the mining discipline, as well as for those already in the mining industry who wish to up-skill and/or develop specialist knowledge of mining engineering.

The master programme is designed to produce engineers capable of designing, operating and managing a mining operation. There are two major options: Mine Geotechnical and Mine Planning and Management.

The course and majors are suitable if you wish to gain specialist knowledge in mining engineering or are a graduate currently working within the mining industry and want to significantly upgrade your knowledge with a view to furthering your career in this field.

Individualised project topics are developed with a nominated supervisor. Career paths for mining professionals include in-house specialists in mining companies or employment as consultants, academics and researchers.

Graduates may obtain employment within these sectors or further their current career in mining engineering in the minerals industry.

Entry requirements

Applicants require a relevant honours degree or equivalent mining engineering or closely related discipline with a credit (65 percent) average or above in the final year. Applicants with other qualifications and experience may be considered.

Programme details

Start dates: February (semester 1) and July (semester 2)

Duration: 2 years

Tuition fees (2016 indicative fee): AU$35,600 per year

Find out more about Curtin University

Master of Subsea Engineering at Curtin University

Curtin University is founding member of the Global Subsea University Alliance, a group of universities delivering master courses in Subsea Engineering, including the University of Houston, the National University of Singapore, the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Bergen. 

The Western Australian offshore oil and gas industry is moving to deeper water.  The recent introduction of Floating LNG facilities (FLNG) offshore WA and the potential for future deep water, remote oil and gas production requires the development of new deep water technologies to bring these hydrocarbon reserves to shore.

This course has been designed to meet the need for engineers who possess the high level skill-sets that the subsea industry requires. It provides an in-depth understanding of areas not limited to but including:

  • subsea infrastructure
  • construction and maintenance
  • subsea surveying and installation
  • safety and regulation

It is tailored to provide graduate entry for legal registration purposes, and supports the needs of the existing workforce through a series of advanced units in offshore processing, geomechanics and hydrodynamics.

Career opportunities

As a subsea graduate you may pursue a career with various members of the oilfield industry including major oil companies, subsea equipment suppliers and service companies.

Entry requirements

Applicants require a relevant honours degree or equivalent in a relevant engineering discipline. Applicants with other qualifications and experience will only be admitted with the consent of the appropriate senior academic.

Programme details

Start date: Semester 1 only (January start)

Duration: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2016 indicative fee): AU$35,600 per year

Find out more about Curtin University

Master of Petroleum Engineering at Curtin University

Petroleum engineers develop methods to increase oil and gas production from sub-surface reservoirs. They play an important role in bringing oil and gas to the surface, estimating its value, and extracting it.

Currently, reservoirs yield only about 30 per cent of their oil, so petroleum engineers are needed to develop methods to increase oil and gas production. With the recent high level of success in gas exploration, more petroleum engineers are needed to help develop these newly discovered and future offshore gas fields.

Companies such as Chevron, Woodside, Shell, BHP Biliton, BP and numerous others support the petroleum engineering programme at Curtin and provide graduates with employment opportunities during and beyond their studies

Curtin's Department of Petroleum Engineering is the largest petroleum engineering department in Australia and South-East Asia, with 10 full-time teaching staff and most teaching staff are professionals from within the industry.

Student membership to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is encouraged and this, in conjunction with the Curtin Chapter of the membership, provides you with valuable networking, learning and career development throughout the degree.

You will spend a large amount of time applying the course material to real oil and gas field data.

Entry requirements

Applicants require a relevant honours degree or equivalent in a relevant engineering discipline.

Programme details

Start date: Semester 1 only (starts January)

Duration: 1.5 years or 2 years

Tuition Fees (2016 indicative fee): AU$35,600 per year.

Find out more about Curtin University

Master of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Adelaide

The Master of Petroleum Engineering is a 1.5 year degree programme taught by staff from the Australian School of Petroleum (ASP), a world-class centre for petroleum education, training and research based at the University of Adelaide. The programme is designed for engineering graduates who have studied a discipline other than Petroleum Engineering as well as graduates of an Honours Bachelor degree in a field with a strong science and mathematics content such as geology, geophysics, geosciences, physics and applied mathematics. The degree is suitable for students who wish to gain a petroleum engineering qualification and enter the upstream (exploration and production) area of the petroleum industry. It is also aimed at petro-technical professionals already working in the upstream petroleum industry who wish to advance their technical careers in petroleum engineering by achieving a formal qualification.

Housed in the purpose-built Santos Petroleum Engineering Building on the University’s main campus in Adelaide’s CBD, the ASP is one of only a few institutions in the world offering fully integrated teaching and research programmes in the disciplines of petroleum geoscience, engineering and management leading to a skill set that meets the needs of industry. Its facilities include a Virtual Reality suite and a test well.

Graduate outcomes

Graduates of this degree could become drilling engineers (working with geoscientists in designing novel, high-tech wells), reservoir engineers (using sophisticated computer models to determine the optimal petroleum recovery process) or production engineers (designing or managing a new development contract or optimising production operations). They may also find successful careers as managers in sales or technical support as oil and gas business analysts or environmentalists.

Programme details

Start date: February only (semester 1)

Duration: 1.5 years

Tuition fees (2017 indicative fee): AU$38,000 per year

Find out more about the University of Adelaide

Master of Science (Petroleum Geoscience) at the University of Adelaide

The Master of Science (Petroleum Geoscience) is a one-year degree program comprising comprehensive coursework and research training taught by the Australian School of Petroleum (ASP), Australia’s distinguished centre of excellence for petroleum geoscience and engineering research, education and training based at the University of Adelaide. The school has strong links with industry in relation to both research and teaching. Students receive a thorough grounding in the principles of exploration and development geoscience, while being exposed to the practical aspects of the oil and gas industry through internationally experienced staff.

The programme was established following extensive consultation with the petroleum industry, and is regularly reviewed to ensure its continuing relevance.

The ASP's multidisciplinary philosophy is reflected in the course curriculum, comprising sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology and geomechanics, geophysics, well site operations, petroleum systems and basin analysis, reservoir seals and pay, reservoir characterisation, unconventional resources, and professional skills. There are several field trips, including a two week study tour to Oman (in 2016), an 8 day excursion to the Sydney Basin, and, when possible, a visit to an area of current drilling and production operations. These courses cover the basic concepts and techniques which need to be understood by any professional geoscientist in the petroleum industry. Most courses involve considerable practical work and, where appropriate, students obtain hands-on experience with industry-standard computer software. The courses are presented by School staff, academics from other institutions, and industry experts. Courses are presented in modular format, i.e. as a series of consecutive short courses.

Entry requirements

The degree is suitable for Bachelor (Honours) science graduates in a relevant field such as geology, geophysics or earth sciences.

Graduate outcomes

Graduates of this degree can seek employment as geoscientists in the international petroleum industry, or may find careers as geologists, geophysicists, oil and gas analysts or in petroleum exploration.

Programme details

Start date: February only (semester 1)

Duration: 1 year

Tuition fees (2017 indiciative fee): AU$38,000 per year

Find out more about the University of Adelaide