The University of British Columbia Geological Engineering programme is a postgraduate course awarding a research-based Master of Applied Science or a taught Master of Engineering.
Students complete training and research projects according to their qualification pathway.
The Geological Engineering Program is intended for students interested in the application of earth sciences principles to engineering problems. While most geological engineering degree programs are based in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, students may also base their studies in allied Applied Science departments such as Civil or Mining Engineering. The program is highly interdisciplinary and draws upon courses, laboratories, and faculty members from the departments of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Forestry, Geography, and others. Graduate students are often co-supervised by faculty members from different departments.
Geological engineering faculty members in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences have research interests in the following general areas:
- landslides, debris flows, engineering geology, slope stability
- groundwater hydrology, groundwater contamination and remediation, reactive transport modeling, environmental geochemistry
- rock engineering, rock slopes, and tunneling
Other research areas include geotechnical engineering, environmental geology, engineering geology, economic geology, and applied geophysics. The specific fields of study may involve geomorphology and terrain analysis, groundwater hydrology, natural hazards, slope stability, petroleum and coal geology, coalbed methane, mineral prospecting and valuation, and other similar subjects. Students are encouraged to consult individual faculty members for information about current research areas.
Admission to graduate studies in geological engineering is open only to students with an undergraduate degree in engineering or, at the discretion of the program director, to students with sufficient engineering work experience.
- Degree: Master of Applied Science (research-based), Master of Engineering (course-based, 1 year)
- Specialization: Geological Engineering
- Subject: Engineering
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Faculty: Faculty of Science
The following postgraduate funding may be available to study Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.
Join us for our Master Open Day to find out more about our courses.
Please note: From 23 May 2017 we are not making any further offers on this course (starting in September) due to a high demand. However, you can still submit an application for review. If you meet the usual entry requirements, we will hold your application until we can assess whether further places can be offered. This will likely be the end of July-early August 2017 when we can be more confident of numbers. Please contact our [email protected] if you have any questions.
This course provides concentrated one-year training in engineering geology and related geotechnical subjects to prepare you for professional practice in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering.
It gives you a grounding in the application of geological principles to a wide range of fields appropriate to civil and mining engineering.
Studying engineering geology will provide you with excellent job opportunities as a result of high calibre academic training, as well as the development of strong skills in terms of both critical and independent thought and team work.
Most of our graduates join environmental consulting companies and consulting engineers, while others go on to PhD studies.
Engineering Geologists are found worldwide working on a wide range of problems, from foundation and mine design to the assessment of seismic and landslide risk.
Their understanding of how groundwater and pollutants travel through the ground may impact on the safe design and construction of excavations and waste disposal sites.
They use geological and geomorphological mapping to identify geological hazards and allow for safe development. Their understanding of the ground and how it responds to static and dynamic loads can influence safe and sustainable siting and design of engineering structures.
It is vital that we design and build in a manner which is safe, environmentally friendly, cost effective and sensitive to climate change.
Engineering geologists, with a unique understanding of the ground, and a broad appreciation of rates of geological processes over engineering time, are intimately involved in this process.
Benefit from our strong connections with industry:
When you choose a degree with accredited status, you can be assured that the teaching is of the highest standard. The quality and relevance of our teaching has been recognised by an independent body of academics and industrialists through our Geological Society of London Professional Accreditation.
If you have an appropriate degree, our Geological Society accreditation will reduce the amount of experience required for you to reach Chartered Geologist (CGeol) status, an important career step in Geoscience.
Our designation as a “Technical MSc” through Engineering Council means that if you have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree, the degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). In addition the degree is also an accredited European Engineering degree.
Geotechnics provides insight into geological engineering design work and highlights complications that can arise from engineering production. For example, they can predict and measure damage caused by natural disasters, and innovate ways to reduce and prevent future issues through the construction of structure such as dams. Our developing world needs safe and stable space, as our infrastructures expand onto new land and those who work in the line of work will ensure that this can happen effectively.
Upon graduation, you will have the skills to undertake professional employment in the civil, environmental, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering and mining-related industries. It also provides specialist knowledge in tunnel, surface and underground excavation design, and applied hydrogeology and risk assessment.
This programme is taught by the internationally established and world-class Camborne School of Mines (CSM), a combined mining school and geoscience department. It is taught over two semesters and individual projects are undertaken throughout the summer, often as industrial placements. The programme is suitable for geology and engineering graduates wishing to specialise in applied geotechnics
This degree is professionally accredited under licence from the Engineering Council, as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree.
You can either study the course full time over a year or part-time over 3 years.
The compulsory modules can include;
Some examples of the optional modules are;
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand
The taught part of the programme is structured into two terms. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.
The project is undertaken from June to September, after the second semester examinations. You are encouraged to undertake projects directly linked with industry, which may result in industrial placements for the project period. The projects are normally design-based and allow further specialisation in a topic that is of particular interest to you. This could involve the use of state-of-the-art engineering design software, risk and hazard analysis and other analytical techniques.
Application period/deadline: March 14 - 28, 2018
• High level education covering the whole mine value chain
• Shared courses in geosciences and engineering, including both theory and practice
• Excellent, cutting-edge infrastructure for research and education in close cooperation with the mining industry
The international master´s degree programme in Mineral Resources and Sustainable Mining (MRSM) is a two-year programme focusing on education in mining-related subjects. The programme provides master’s degrees in two fields: geosciences and engineering.
The specialisation lines in the field of geosciences are Economic Geology and Quaternary Geology and in the field of engineering sciences, they are Mining Engineering, Mineral Processing, and Applied Geophysics.
The programme will give you excellent skills and understanding on the whole mine value chain and principles of sustainable mining, including:
• Theoretical studies in geosciences and engineering
• Economical and environmental aspects of mining
• Hands-on practice in the well-equipped Oulu Mining School Research Centre and in the field
• The latest modelling and simulation education related to the topics
• Instrumental skills in mineral analytics
The two-year programme has five specialisation options:
Economic Geology focuses on characterisation of mineral deposits and geological processes behind their genesis, forming a basis for mineral exploration. Central topics include ore geology, regional geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, mining industry, and exploration. The obtained proficiency can be used in mineral exploration or exploitation of natural resources in private companies or research institutes.
Quaternary Geology covers a wide range of sub-disciplines including glacial geology, sedimentology, ore prospecting techniques, and hydrogeology. Education is also covering global change issues in the northern hemisphere and the Arctic. The programme will give in depth understanding of the properties of glacial sediments and deposits, their genesis and use for ore prospecting and for geotechnical purposes.
Mining Engineering covers a wide range of topics, including geotechnique, mining technologies, analysis of production capacity, and financing. The expertise can be used in design and management of metal mines as well as in other operations related to exploitation of raw materials.
Mineral Processing deals with the processes to economically separate valuable minerals from the ores. Oulu Mining School has unique, continuous mode in-house concentrating plant that provides an excellent infrastructure for training and education purposes. The environmental aspects of processing, health and safety in the plants, and collaboration with the mining industry are essential parts of education.
Applied geophysics concentrates on the basic phenomena in geophysics and how to apply the knowledge for example in exploration, mapping and management of natural resources, and in environmental and engineering studies. In the life cycle of a mine, geophysics plays an important role in all stages: before opening the mine in mineral exploration and resource assessment, during active mining operations in exploration for additional resources and environmental monitoring, and after the closure of the mine in environmental monitoring and mapping of potentially contaminated areas.
Graduating students understand and govern the technical, geological, financial, regulatory, environmental and social aspects of sustainable mining. Job opportunities exist in all fields related to the mining value chain including exploration, mining, mineral processing, and other kinds of rock engineering both in the industry and in research.
A comprehensive training in the theory and practice of groundwater science and engineering, providing an excellent basis for careers in scientific, engineering and environmental consultancies, water companies, major industries, research, and government scientific and regulatory services in the UK and abroad.
Modules encompass the full range of groundwater studies and are supported by practical field sessions and computing and hydrogeological modelling based on industry standard software.
This is a vocational programme relevant to graduates with good Honours degrees in appropriate subjects (for example, Geosciences, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biosciences, and Environmental Sciences). It is important to have a good knowledge of mathematics.
The lecture component of the programme encompasses the full range of hydrogeology. Modules cover drilling, well design, aquifer test analysis, laboratory test analysis, groundwater flow, hydrogeophysics, inorganic chemistry of groundwaters, organic contamination of groundwater, contaminated land and remediation, groundwater modelling, contaminant transport, hydrology, and groundwater resources assessment.
These lecture modules are supported by practical field sessions, and by computing and hydrogeological modelling based on industry standard software. Integration of concepts developed in the taught programmes is facilitated through student-centred investigations of current issues linked to a diverse range of hydrogeological environments.
Examinations are held in January and April. From May onwards, you undertake a project, a report on which is submitted in September.
Projects may be field-, laboratory-, or modelling- based, and are usually of an applied nature, although a few are research-orientated. Our chemical (inorganic and organic), rock testing, computing, geophysical and borehole-logging equipment is available for you to use during this period.
Career openings include those with consulting engineering and environmental firms, government scientific services and regional water companies, both in this country and abroad. Demand for hydrogeologists is substantial and students from the course are highly regarded by employers.
Hydrogeology is the study of groundwater; an essential component of the world’s water supply. More than 2 billion people depend on groundwater for their daily needs (approximately 30% of water supplied in the UK is groundwater).
The aim of our Hydrogeology MSc Course is to provide students who have a good scientific or engineering background with a comprehensive training in the fundamentals of groundwater science and engineering, together with considerable practical experience.
The School is well supported and you will have the use of all equipment and facilities appropriate to your work:
You will have access to the multiple clusters of PCs in the University Learning Centre and Library, and the School-based Earth Imaging Laboratory. The MSc course also has its own dedicated room for teaching and study with six PCs for convenient access to email, web and on-line learning resources.
The University based computers have an extensive range of software installed that covers the needs of students of all disciplines, but in common with the School-based PCs, specialist software packages used routinely by professional hydrogeologists are installed for our MSc students. These include industry standard groundwater flow modelling, contaminant transport modelling, geochemical modelling, geophysical interpretation and field and laboratory hydraulic test analysis packages. You can also register for more specialist software on the University high speed BlueBEAR computing facility if your individual project requires it. Research software developed within the Water Sciences research group is also available.
The School is well equipped for inorganic and organic chemical analysis of field and laboratory samples. Facilities include: Total Organic Carbon analysis, Gas Chromatography, ICP Mass Spectrometry, Ion Chromatography, Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry and Luminescence and UV/visible spectroscopy. These facilities have been used in a wide range of MSc projects, for both standard geochemical analysis of groundwater samples and for more specific purposes including studies of persistent organic pollutants and toxic heavy metals in the environment, and denitrification in river beds.
The School also has a dedicated microbiology laboratory equipped with an autoclave for sterilizing media and equipment, a class II safety cabinet for handing microbial samples, and incubators.
Facilities are also available within the School and elsewhere for geological material analysis, including thin section preparation and microscopy, a wide range of electron microscopy techniques, XRD, pore size distribution determination, and surface area measurement.
The School has two field sites on campus for use by MSc students and research staff. Both consist of arrays of boreholes drilled into the underlying sandstone aquifer to depths of up to 60m.
The groundwater group is well stocked with field equipment, which is used extensively in research projects, for teaching, and particularly on individual MSc projects. This equipment includes pumping test equipment (submersible pumps, generators, packers, digital pressure transducers, data loggers, divers, dip meters, pipe-work and installation frames); chemical sampling and tracer transport equipment (depth samplers, sampling pumps, tracer test equipment and field fluorimeter, hand held EC, pH and EH probes, portable chemical lab kit); geophysical equipment (resistivity imaging, electromagnetic surveying, ground penetrating radar, and borehole logging); and a secure, towable, mobile laboratory for off-site testing.
Fieldwork and projects transform theory into practice and form a large part of the course. They are supported by extensive field, laboratory and technical facilities.
A weeklong course of practical work and site visits is held in Week 7 of the Autumn Term. The content varies from year to year, but typically includes pumping tests, small-scale field tests, chemical sampling, and geophysics using the research boreholes on campus. Visits to landfill sites, water resources schemes, wetlands, and drilling sites are also arranged in collaboration with the Environment Agency, consultants and landfill operators. During the Spring Term, field demonstrations are provided by chemical sampling equipment distributors and manufacturers. You will gain further field experience either during your own 4.5 month project or when helping your colleagues on other projects.