What will I learn?

Whether from industry, communities, or government, this new program is designed to equip professionals and decision makers with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage the social risks associated with mineral resource projects (from exploration to extraction and processing through to transport).

In a context where industry constraints and obligations must be balanced against evolving societal expectations, an uncertain global economy and competing visions of development, managing the social risk associated with the extractive industries is increasingly challenging.

The SPMEI program has been developed in consultation with community relations and sustainability experts from industry, Aboriginal advisors, as well as leading thinkers and practitioners. The program structure emphasizes the balance that must be sought between community development aspirations and business constraints. Casting a critical lens on the sometimes contentious relationship between the goals and methods of government-industry and those of communities, whose ways of life are most affected by large scale industrial projects, the program’s curriculum supports students in developing insight into the role of culture as it shapes values, perceptions of risk, and receptiveness to extractive projects.

Participants will develop in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the values that underpin the diverse perspectives that meet when a project is proposed, and, as importantly, to develop the skills needed to bridge understanding gaps and build the trust that is the foundation of resilient and mutually beneficial relationships across cultures. The program equips graduates to design community relations and benefit sharing strategies that improve a community’s quality of life and contribute to its sustainability, while delivering value to shareholders and the Canadian economy.

The SPMEI Graduate Diploma consists of four courses, delivered in an online and asynchronous format. The program may be completed over two or four 12 week terms, and courses may be applied to an M.Eng. or M.A.Sc.*


The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University has established a credentialed pathway for learning and skills development in this difficult and challenging area of work. Industry managers and field practitioners, government representatives and community and civil society advocates will be introduced and sensitized to the complexities associated with building, maintaining and managing these relationships. The course draws on examples of both positive and conflicted company community-government encounters and uses group exercises to explore critical community issues and the competencies required for engaging in responsible mineral resource exploration and development.

Career paths – employment opportunities

The program will be of interest to people working in the field, at project sites, in affected communities - for exploration and mining companies, for government, and for community based organizations.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Study options

Online/Distance (2 terms)

Tuition fees
Information not available
Start date

Expected September 2021

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Academic Prerequisites: The minimum standard of admission will be a B+ in a master’s program in Economics, Master of Financial Economics or equivalent qualification. Therefore, students must have their BA(H) as well as MA in order to take the RPRD program. Other Requirements : International applicants whose first language is not English or who have not recently studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction, will be required to obtain satisfactory results in an English language proficiency test, as part of the application process, and before their application will be considered complete. A TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paper-based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

For international students

A relevant undergraduate degree from a recognized university.

IELTS - English for International Opportunity - A minimum score of 7

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language

Computer-Based Test: A minimum score of 250 and a minimum Essay Rating score of 5.0

Paper-Based Test: A minimum score of 600 and a Test of Written English (TWE) with a minimum score of 5.0
Internet-based test: A minimum score of 100 and a minimum score of 4 for writing

MELAB - Michigan English Language Assessment Battery - A minimum score of 90

PTE - Pearson Test of English Academic - A minimum score of 70