Wits School of Mining Engineering
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WITS Mining - Undergraduate Programme

The School endeavours to provide a broad based education for our undergraduate students, which will allow them to examine problems encountered in later life from different perspectives and arrive at optimal solutions.

Entry Requirements
Entry to the School of Mining Engineering is determined by a points system based on performance in the matriculation examination. Please click here to find out the number of points required. Note that these requirements are the minimum requirements, and achieving them does not indicate acceptance into the programme. To obtain more information about the point system, click here.

Purpose and Objectives of the Course

The purpose of the Mining Engineering degree at the University of the Witwatersrand is to produce academically trained mining graduates who are able to enter any sector of South Africa's diverse mining industry and, after appropriate practical exposure, meet the requirements for professional registration. Thereafter there is an expectation that they will develop careers in the higher echelons of mine management, as consulting engineers, as specialists within the mining industry or as senior executives of mining houses.
The objectives of the course are more concerned with the desired knowledge and the range of competencies that must be achieved before graduation. These were clearly spelled out in the SACPE Statement of Policy Document No 2/3 in 1981 and these ideals are equally valid today. "Engineering graduates must be well grounded in the fundamental and scientific principles appropriate to their discipline, have a basic knowledge of applied engineering and management and above all be able to think independently, critically, logically, scientifically, deductively, inductively and creatively".

While this may appear to be an idealised situation the undergraduate curriculum attempts to address all these aspects. Each year of study may be briefly characterised as follows:

lst Year Science
2nd Year Engineering Sciences
3rd Year Mining Sciences
4th Year Mining Practice

The mining degree has the highest component of service teaching of any engineering discipline since, in addition to the mathematical and physical sciences, electrical and mechanical engineering, surveying and metallurgy is integrated into the curriculum. The role of science teaching is, therefore, vital in the education of Mining Engineers.

The first year of study is devoted to establishing the student's scientific knowledge and competencies through general courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and mechanics. Drawing, spatial perception and problem solving skills are developed through a course in engineering graphics. Students are introduced to mining engineering in a first year course designed to show the role and responsibility of a mining engineer towards the natural environment and the safety of people in and around a mine. This course also emphasises the economic significance of the South African Mining Industry and prepares students for their first period of vacation work.

The second year of study is mainly devoted to acquiring knowledge and competency in some fields of engineering science, as well as starting a gradual move into the mining sciences. Special survey camps and workshop training courses complement the lecture courses, while the eight weeks of vacation work is designed to give students a broad exposure to mining conditions.

The third year is devoted to mining sciences. The competency obtained from the second year geology course is built upon with a course in mining and economic geology, while ore dressing and extractive metallurgy broaden the student's horizons. Mining courses include environmental engineering, mine surveying, transportation and rock mechanics.

After a period of eight weeks project work on a mine the final year of study is concerned with mining practice. Four mining methods courses (gold, coal, massive and surface mining) are complemented by rock engineering, financial analysis, productivity accounting and management. A tour of selected mines is used to reinforce the teaching and the final year culminates in a major mine design exercise.

Philosophy and overall design of the Degree

In a professional subject such as Mining Engineering the educational process is a partnership between the student, the staff of the School and the Mining Industry. The acquisition of knowledge and the process of becoming competent is also a balance between teaching and learning. The education provided by the School is, therefore, a combination of the following methods :

  • formal lectures
  • structured tutorial sessions
  • unstructured tutorial sessions
  • project work directly associated with lecture courses
  • structured laboratory work
  • visits to appropriate mines, industrial installations and research laboratories
  • formal, supervised vacation work
  • advanced design and investigational work with an academic mentor
Bursary info and enquiries

Log on to the Respective Mining Companies website for bursary details.

Enquiries
All correspondence and enquiries relating to undergraduate candidature should be addressed to:

The Faculty Officer (Undergraduate)
Faculty of Engineering
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Private Bag 3
2050 WITS
Tel: 27 11 717-7007(all day)
Fax: 27 11 717-7009

Content of the Degree Programme

The Mining Engineering degree is a fixed curriculum programme, i.e. there are no elective courses. The curriculum for the programme and the syllabi for the individual courses are given in below.

Curriculum for B.Sc(Eng.) Degree in Mining Engineering

FIRST YEAR

1st semester

MATH1014
PHYS1014
PHYS1015
MINN1001



Mathematics
Physics I
Mechanics
Engineering Skills (Mining)

2nd semester

MATH1014
PHYS1014
PHYS1015
MINN1000
CHEM1033


Mathematics I
Physics I
Mechanics
Intro to Mining Graphics
Chemistry I (aux)
SECOND YEAR

1st semester

MATH2012
GEOL1001
MINN2000
MINN2001
MINN2004



Maths II (half course)
Geology IA
Computer Applic. in Mining
Excavation Engineering
Surveying for Engineers

2nd semester

APPM2014
GEOL1002
MINN2000
MINN2001
ELEN2000


Applied Maths II
Geology 1B
Computer Apps. in Mining
Excavation Engineering
Electrical Engineering

 

THIRD YEAR


1st semester 2nd semester

MINN3012
MINN3013
MINN3003
MINN3002
MINN3000
MINN3011

Mine Survey
Mining A
Technical Valuation
Mining Laboratories
I & R Seminars II
Mine Transportation


MINN3006
MINN3004
MINN3014
GEOL3028
CHMT3018
MINN3002
MINN3000

Rock Mechanics
Computerised Mine Design
Mine Health & safety
Ore Body Modelling
Ore Dressing & Extract
Laboratories
I & R Seminars
       
FOURTH YEAR

1st semester

2nd semester

MINN4010
MINN4003
MINN4008
MINN4007
MINN4002
MINN4006


Rock Engineering
Mining B (gold)
Mining D (massive u/g)
Project Report
I & R Seminars II
Financial Valuation


MINN4000
MINN4001
MINN4007
MINN4004
MINN4005
MINN4002

Mine Management Principles
Mine Management Techniq
Mining C (coal)
Mining E (surface mining)
Mine Design
I & R Seminars II

# 11 May 2015

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