UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Global Management of Natural Resources MSc

This MSc will prepare students for highly skilled, interdisciplinary, specialist and managerial roles in the global natural resources sector.

Group image of MSc in GMNR students at the University of South Australia
Programme Overview

The natural resource industries are critical to the continued development of both technology and society. However, they face challenges on many fronts: environmental and social practice and perception; financial, policy and governmental constraints; technological limitations, inefficient operations, high energy demand and the availability of resources into the future.  

This programme delivers graduates who have a broad understanding of natural resources; where they come from, how we extract and use them, and the consequences of doing so. This will be key to leading the drive towards a more sustainable future for these industries, and society. The programme is multidisciplinary in its approach, drawing upon specialisms across UCL and beyond, and delivers an interdisciplinary outcome for graduates.  

The programme is transcontinental (offered by UCL and the University of South Australia (UniSA)), is delivered by UCL Chemical Engineering, UCL Earth Sciences, UCL Bartlett, UCL School of Management, the Future Industries Institute (FII) at UniSA, and designed with significant input from industry. Terms 1 and 2 (September to March) are spent at UCL in London, whilst terms 3 and the summer period (April to mid-September) are spent at UniSA in Adelaide, Australia. 

Please note that whilst Covid-19 continues to impact on health, education, government and global travel, travel to and education in Australia cannot be guaranteed in the academic year beginning September 2021 (and potentially the academic year beginning September 2022). If travel to Australia is not recommended or permitted due to national or international Covid-19 regulations, UCL and UniSA will work together to deliver the teaching of CENG0037 Dissertation and CENG0047 Social Licensing in London but led by academic staff from UniSA.

To find out core information about this degree, such as entry requirements, programme length and cost, visit the UCL prospectus site.

Who is this programme for?

The programme is designed to cater for a range of academic and career backgrounds, with optional modules to tailor the learning experience to the prospective student. The programme will consider prospective students from any academic background who are looking to upskill in elements of the natural resource industries, including hydrocarbons, hard rock minerals (including nuclear fuel production and usage) and water management. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Those with business, marketing, management and finance backgrounds, wishing to gain a broad understanding of the scientific and technical elements of resource genesis, extraction and processing, along with an understanding of the environmental, social and sustainability impacts of such operations;
  • Those with a background in Earth Sciences, wishing to develop a more complete understanding of the extractives industries, improving their managerial and decision-making skillset, along with evaluating the impact of sustainability, social and environmental practice on the future of these operations;
  • Those with a background in science or engineering, wishing to upskill in elements natural resource development and use, decision making processes, the social and environmental impacts and how sustainability is impacting on the future of resources. 

Course structure and content

This programme consists of six core modules, two optional modules and a dissertation. 

In the first term, students engage with elements of science and engineering as applicable to the resource industries, providing an overview of resource genesis and identification, extraction, processing and the manufacture of final products. This is from perspectives within the hydrocarbon, solid mineral and nuclear industries, and is blended with elements of project management, process design and safe and secure practice within these sectors.  

The second term engages students with aspects of governance, policy, business management, environmental and social practice and additional specialised technical knowledge. The technical knowledge developed in the first term underpins the application of skills and knowledge developed in the second; students will be able to consider evidence and make appropriate decisions, with an appreciation of the challenges that exist within the natural resource sector. 

Students spend the third term and the summer at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes Campus in Adelaide, South Australia. Here, students undertake their research projects with leading academics in aspects of natural resources, as well as further learning in Social Licensing and other relevant activities, including field trips, seminars and presentations. These international engagements broaden student horizons, exposing them to another research-intensive institution, a new country with different opportunities, natural resources, and breath of appropriate research activities, allowing access to numerous industries directly engaged in natural resource activities.  

Graduates of the programme will be well versed in all aspects of the natural resources industries. Students will develop appropriate research skills, be excellent communicators, will be competent in management practice and will be able to work across the breath of business and industry. 

Core modules

Term 1

Term 2


Term 3

Optional modules; two of four of the following:

Term 1

Term 2

^ Where students do not have a background in Earth Sciences (please contact the Programme Director to discuss your experience), undertaking GEOL0034 Geology for Global Managers and Engineers is strongly recommended as the content helps underpin core modules.

# BENV0009 Business and Sustainability has a cap on numbers (30) with spaces allocated on a first come, first served basis, after students have been given the opportunity to review options.

Field trips

Field-trips offers the opportunity for students to observe and discuss many of the topics discussed in lectures, seminars and tutorials. This is particularly helpful in geological contexts. Fieldwork may include:

  • A four day trip to Dorset in the reading week of the first term (November) for those on GEOL0034 Geology for Global Managers and Engineers;
  • A three day trip to visit the Olkiluoto nuclear repository in Finland in February in CENG0036 Prevention and Remediation of Environmental Contamination;
  • A two-day trip to visit mineral processing sites in South Australia as part of CENG0037 the Dissertation;
  • Shorter trips that may be arranged on an annual basis.

Whilst we will endeavour to provide all planned field trips during the academic year starting September 2021, please note that the safety of our staff and students remains our first priority and any such trips will be subject to national and international Covid-19 restrictions. The same policy applies for the academic year beginning September 2022.  
Where field trips are able to proceed, the department will cover any additional costs (other than personal costs etc).  Where trips are unable to go ahead, we will endeavour to make alternative arrangements to enrich the student experience. Please note, in these circumstances, course tuition fee refunds will, unfortunately, not be possible.

Find out more and apply