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Study a graduate program in nuclear engineering

What will I study in a graduate nuclear engineering program?

Nuclear engineering is the area of engineering concerned with the breakdown and fusion of atomic nuclei, based on the principles of nuclear physics. A graduate nuclear engineering program will ensure students are equipped to enter the nuclear industry, with sufficient training in everything from the build and design of nuclear power plants to safely decommissioning and disposing of nuclear waste.
Students on a graduate nuclear engineering program can expect to take core modules in nuclear chemical engineering, reactor physics and nuclear safety management.
Some related postgraduate courses may include programs looking at the physics and technology of nuclear reactors, nuclear physics and nuclear science.

Length of program

Depending on which country you study in, postgraduate courses will vary in length. Here are some examples of country and length:

  • UK- 1-2 years
  • US – 1-2 years
  • China – 1-4 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

In order to get on a graduate nuclear engineering program, you will normally need to have an undergraduate degree in a related engineering or science discipline, such as physics or chemistry. Applicants with relevant industrial experience will also be considered by most courses around the world.
If you choose to study in a country with a different first language to your own, you may need to take a language course/test before admitted.

Career development

Nuclear engineers will always be in demand as we look at ways to develop new energy sources. Graduates from nuclear engineering programs typically go straight into the nuclear industry working as technicians and industry professionals.
Your first job after your postgraduate course will probably be one of team working on a specific engineering project. The more you progress through the career, the more you will be able to pick your own projects and head your teams.
Going into academia and taking a PhD or further study is also a popular route.
Some of the jobs included in this field are:

  • Nuclear engineer
  • Quality manager
  • Chemical engineer
  • Safety manager

Fees and funding

The cost of graduate nuclear engineering programs varies widely, depending on the country, the institution and the course. Furthermore, you may have to pay higher fees as an international student.
Here are some examples of countries and how much their average engineering graduate program will cost you:

  • UK – £5,000 for home/ EU - £21,500 for overseas
  • USA - $20,000 - $60,000
  • China – RMB 30,000 – 40,000
  • Canada - $25,000 home - $65,000 overseas

What to do next

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