Learn with us

SMI-CSRM is committed to building capacity among a diverse range of stakeholder groups to support responsible resource development. There are a number of ways to learn with us, including postgraduate study, professional development, and other pathways.

The SMI-CSRM offers a number of study options. Part-time study towards postgraduate coursework degrees at the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master level students can specialise in Community Relations.

In addition full time and part-time research study is available to Honours students, and RHD candidates interested in a Master of Philosophy or a Doctor of Philosophy.

Postgraduate Coursework

Studying Community Relations for the Resources Sector - Program changes for 2015.

For seven years SMI-CSRM has offered a highly respected coursework program in Community Relations (Resource Sector).From 1st January 2015, the coursework programs in Community Relations will no longer be offered as standalone degrees by the University of Queensland to new students. This will have minimal effect on students who are part-way through their degree.

In 2015, the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) will launch a new graduate program in the field of Responsible Resource Development, comprising a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters.

Community Relations will be one of the specialist fields in this new program which will have a foundation course engaging directly with the sustainable development agenda. Building on the foundation course, students will be able to specialise in one of three fields of study: environment, health and safety or community relations. Students progressing to the Graduate Diploma will study a further common sustainability course, specialist courses and an elective from any field. Students progressing to the Masters level will write a research thesis, supervised by leading SMI researchers.

For more information about the new program, please visit the SMI Education websitehttps://www.smi.uq.edu.au/postgraduate-coursework

What effect does this have on current program and course enrolment?

UQ is committed to teaching out the Graduate Certificate (5450), Graduate Diploma (5490) and Master in Community Relations (5492) programs to continuing students. The University program rules allow for students who have started a program to be given a reasonable opportunity to finish it even if the program is no longer offered to commencing students. 

This means that, if you are already enrolled in one of the above degrees you can continue with your current study plans into 2015 or longer if applicable.

What if I have questions?

If you have any questions about these changes or would like to speak to a member of the teaching staff about your continuing enrolment pattern, please contact, Dr Jo-Anne Everingham j.everingham@uq.edu.au to discuss your study options.

Why study Community Relations?

This field provides students with a thorough understanding of community aspects in the resource sector. It introduces students to techniques that can be used by community relations workers in this sector including understanding communities, relating to the community, understanding change in communities, and community development roles and interventions. With this knowledge practitioners will be able to design & implement community awareness programs through developing effective strategies for community engagement.

“I found the course(s) to be extremely interesting and rewarding. As a result I have begun to look at communities and the role of the community practitioner in new ways. The community development and engagement skills I have learnt have given me a better understanding of our communities, a greater awareness of relationship building and the need to work constructively both within the community and within our company.”   -  Program Participant.

Postgraduate Research


CSRM as one of seven research Centres of the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), has an active research higher degree program. We offers Honours, Masters and PhD level research degrees in each of our areas of expertise, as well as cross-disciplinary research opportunities in collaboration with other Centre’s within the Sustainable Minerals Institute.   


A strong and diverse student community focused on our research themes is a vital part of SMI-CSRM. Grounded in the ethical framework of the University of Queensland, one of Australia’s top research institutions, our research students undertake innovative, applied research to advance the social performance of the resources sector.

Along with our cohort of Australian students, we have hosted students from many countries including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Peru, Colombia, Russia, France and the USA. Current and past topics include negotiating agreements with Indigenous peoples, resettlement policies and practices, and experiences of community relations practitioners.  Further information on research areas can be found on the student profile page of the website.

Following confirmation  of candidature (year one milestone) our candidates will also have access to funding to present their research at a high quality international conference.


The UQ Graduate School can be contacted directly for general advice about beginning and financing a research degree.  Interested candidates should prepare an expression of interest form  – EOI (available by clicking here). EOIs should then be submitted along with a CV (resume) to the following email: smirhdenquiries@uq.edu.au

Further information about postgraduate education at UQ can be found here.


Doctoral applicants must have a previous research-oriented degree (Honours thesis at the undergraduate level or a Masters degree with a thesis). UQ also has minimal English proficiency requirements that must be met through the requirements referenced here.  


Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis (in the first weeks of September, December, February and May) and you will be informed soon after the review that meets your application cycle whether you qualify to submit a full application to UQ for admission and scholarships.

Domestic students can start their RHD any day of the year.

If you are an international student, we recommend you commence at a time that will give you the most benefit from your Research Quarter fees:

Research Quarter 1: starts 1 January

Research Quarter 2: starts 1 April

Research Quarter 3: starts 1 July

Research Quarter 4: starts 1 October


The UQ Graduate School has staff dedicated to helping both Domestic and International Students determine the overall cost of their program and find the appropriate scholarships for their course of study.

A variety of organisations will sponsor RHD students to study at the University of Queensland.  This web page may be of assistance (click here)

The Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) provides some specific scholarship opportunities which vary by country. Details of such programs can be found at: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/Pages/eligiblecountries.aspx

Frontline community relations and social performance practitioners in the mining sector have few opportunities for professional development. There is a need to build capacity and examine practice in the field. The mining industry must invest in the development of practitioners and managers who work on-site and in the field, as well as other leaders and executives who enable this work.

SMI-CSRM offers a range of training options to build industry capacity. We offer a series of standard “foundation” courses, specialised Master Classes and tailored training to meet specific needs. We also work with community groups to build their capacity to engage large-scale mining companies.

Foundation Training Courses

SMI-CSRM offers three foundation courses core to sound social performance. These are:

  1. Community engagement – the course focuses on the fundamental dialogue skills and techniques used to build sound relations with communities, through interaction with individuals and working with small groups.
  2. Social data and systems – the focus of this course is on the frameworks, methodologies and tools required for collecting, organising and using social data as a basis for identifying and analysing social risks and opportunities. Working with social data and systems in this way provides concrete information for planning and decision-making.
  3. Leadership in social performance – to help anchor social performance as an integrated part of core business operations, this course targets employees and managers from social performance and other functional areas within the company to build awareness and understanding of what is required for optimal social performance.

Tailored Training Courses

CSRM can offer specifically tailored training courses on any of our areas of expertise, including development, governance, communities, agreements, conflict, mine closure, human rights, cultural heritage, ASM, resettlement, gender and indigenous peoples.

Please contact us for more information

Master Classes

CSRM regularly hosts Master Classes on specific aspects of community relations and social responsibility. These classes offer participants the opportunity to develop new skills, gain exposure to latest practice and make key contacts in the field. The classes are taught by highly qualified and skilled practitioners working around the globe.

SMI-CSRM specialises in facilitating workshop processes that enable teams to develop new knowledge, explore innovative concepts and practices, and to unpack complex sustainability scenarios.

The SMI-CSRM team excels at incorporating existing practice challenges into applied learning and professional development. Workshops can be configured around optimising existing design solutions or exploring systems improvements using problem-based learning and can be focused at enhancing individual skills or building function or organisational level capabilities. Workshop objectives can be tailored to individual circumstances and can be facilitated on campus at the University of Queensland, at a corporate office, or on-site with social performance teams.