Taught course

Engineering Geology

Institution
University of Portsmouth · School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant Earth Science or Civil Engineering field such as Geology, Earth Science Civil Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with industrial and work experience will also be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Why take this course?

Engineering geological expertise is critical to all types of civil engineering projects such as tunnels, dams, mines, quarries, offshore platforms and wind farms.

This course provides you with the advanced skills to carry out detailed investigations into surface and subsurface geology, identification of adverse ground conditions and the design of suitable remedial measures of engineering structures.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Be taught by internationally recognised experts with extensive expertise in engineering geology and geotechnics
  • Gain experience of environmental assessment techniques, plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
  • Go on numerous fieldtrips, both locally and overseas, to undergo specialist field training

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Geological Society of London. It offers advanced professional and scientific training providing an accelerated route for you to attain Chartered Status, such as Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) on graduation.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Aid organisations
  • Environmental organisations
  • Offshore work
  • Civil sector roles
  • Mining
  • Insurance companies

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises of the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a five-month independent research project. The course is a mixture of taught units and research project covering topics including site investigation, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering design, contaminated land, slope stability and rock engineering.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Rock and Soil Mechanics: These topics are integral to the role of an engineering geologist. You will gain an advanced understanding of the geo-mechanical behaviour of rocks and soils and how they behave under different geotechnical design scenarios. You will also develop key skills in the assessment, description and testing of geological materials in order to understand and quantify their behaviour, using current British and Eurocode standards.
  • Soil and Rock Engineering: This unit will give you an advanced understanding of engineering and design in soils and rock masses, including fundamental design principles associated with common geotechnical solutions encountered on engineering geological and civil engineering projects.
  • Contaminated Land and Groundwater: These are important considerations in all types of construction and so an understanding of both is essential. You will learn key techniques for the identification and assessment of contaminated land and groundwater resources in an engineering geological context.
  • Ground Models: You will train in the development of geological ground models and geomorphological terrain models within the content of engineering geological practice, essential parts of any investigation.
  • Ground Investigation Techniques: You will gain advanced experience of ground investigation using invasive techniques, in-situ tests and geophysical methods – essential to an engineering geologist's skill base.
  • Landslides and Slope Instability: On this unit you will develop an advanced understanding of landslide systems, types of slides in soils and rocks and methods for identification and numerical analysis.
  • Field Reconnaissance and Geomorphological Mapping: The techniques covered on this unit are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area. You will have fieldwork training in techniques such as geomorphological mapping and walk-over surveys combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.
  • Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: On this unit you will cover the key tools for terrain evaluation and be trained in the acquisition and interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery, and the integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS.
  • Independent Research Project: This give you the opportunity to undertake an original piece of research to academic or industrial standards, typically in collaboration with research staff in the department or external industry partners. In addition to submission of a thesis report, you also present the results of your project at the annual postgraduate conference held at the end of September.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • Poster and oral presentations
  • Project reports
  • Literature reviews
  • Lab reports
  • Essays

Student Destinations

Demand for geotechnical and engineering geology specialists combined with the vocational nature of this course and the extensive training you will receive means that you are likely to quickly find employment in the industry. Potential roles include geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, mining engineers and tunnelling engineers for major mining companies, as well as environmental, geological and geotechnical consultancies.

You will also have excellent opportunities for employment overseas. Some of our previous graduates can now be found working in many countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

This course also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.

We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

Qualification and course duration

MSc

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Name
Admissions Team
Email
admissions@port.ac.uk
Phone
023 9284 5566