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Masters Degrees (Geotechnical)

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The Master of Engineering Studies in Geotechnical Engineering programme aims to further educate graduate students in the discipline of geotechnical engineering so as to enhance their contribution to engineering practice. Read more

Invest in your future

The Master of Engineering Studies in Geotechnical Engineering programme aims to further educate graduate students in the discipline of geotechnical engineering so as to enhance their contribution to engineering practice.

Graduates will be able to take leading roles in planning, evaluating, designing, constructing, maintaining, and managing the geotechnical infrastructure.

The programme alsos provide valuable background expertise for those wishing to enter into asset management or to begin to pursue a career in research and development.

The Master of Engineering Studies in Geotechnical Engineering programme aims to build on the geotechnical content of the BE (Civil) degree and develop graduates with enhanced ability to contribute to geotechnical engineering practice.

New Zealand is a stimulating country in which to practise geotechnical engineering with its young and varied geology, seismic activity and diverse rainfall patterns. Many unique problems occur here as a result and these present challenges for innovative and novel solutions.

The programme has been designed with courses relevant to the New Zealand geotechnical environment, to fill the needs of the country.

There is a large demand for geotechnical engineers in the local workplace, as well as a worldwide shortage of geotechnical professionals.

Programme Structure

Taught (120 points)
The Geotechnical Engineering specialisation is offered as a taught masters (eight courses).

Electives

Elective enrolments may depend on your prior study and professional experience, but ultimately, choosing the appropriate courses and topics can allow you to concentrate on and develop strengths in your energy field of choice.

Our broad list of electives include courses in:
• Design of Earthquake Resistant Foundations
• Earthquake Engineering
• Rock Mechanics and Excavation Engineering
• Soil Behaviour
• Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
• Engineering Geological Mapping
• Geological Hazards
• Advanced Engineering Geology
• Hydrogeology
• Studies in Civil Engineering
• Foundation Engineering
• Slope Engineering
• Engineering Geology
• Ground Improvements and Geosynthetics Engineering
• Geotechnical Modelling
• Advanced Mathematical Modelling
• Surface Water Quality Modelling
• Risk, LCA and Sustainability

Next generation research at the Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering is dedicated to providing you with all the facilities, flexibility and support needed for you to develop the skills needed for the workforce. We boast research themes and programmes that provoke interdisciplinary projects, bringing together expertise from our five departments, other faculties, and industry partners and research organisations. Collaborative study is strongly encouraged – postgraduates in particular have the benefit of experiencing cohorts with diverse academic and industry backgrounds.

You will gain access to world-renowned experts who actively demonstrate the positive impacts research have on society. High-performance equipment and labs beyond industry standards are at your fingertips. Our facilities extend beyond study hours – we take pride in our involvement in student events and associations across the University, and are dedicated to providing you with academic, personal and career advice. We encourage you to take advantage of our resources, and use them to expand the possibilities of your research and career path.

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The Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will nurture and develop your understanding of the principles and theories behind ground engineering. Read more

The Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will nurture and develop your understanding of the principles and theories behind ground engineering.

Topics include deep foundations in urban areas, tunnelling, foundations for energy infrastructure, deep water energy resources exploration and field monitoring.

During your studies you will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and practical understanding of scientific methodology you have acquired on a research project under the guidance and advice of an experienced supervisor.

This will help you develop the skills to acquire, analyse, and critically evaluate data, and then draw valid, defendable conclusions that can withstand professional scrutiny.

Graduates are highly employable, and may progress to relevant specialist PhD or EngD research programmes in the field.

Programme structure

This programme is studied over one academic year (full-time) and between two and five academic years (part-time or distance learning). It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

On successful completion of this MSc programme students will be deemed to have completed the further learning necessary to combine with a suitable BEng (Hons) degree fulfilling the academic base for the professional qualification of Chartered Engineer.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Geotechnical Engineering Group Modules

Selected Structural Engineering Group Modules

Selected Construction Management Group Modules

Selected Infrastructure Engineering Group Modules

Selected Water and Environmental Engineering Group Modules

Students must choose eight modules from those listed above. For the main and subsidiary awards there are restrictions on the choice of modules within each module group. These are outlined in the table above.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme aims to provide graduates with:

  • A comprehensive understanding of some of the challenges faced during the analysis, design and construction of foundation and geotechnical structures
  • The ability to select and apply most appropriate analysis methodology for problems in ground engineering including advanced and new methods
  • The ability to design foundations in a variety of ground conditions 
  • A working knowledge of the key UK, European and some International standards and codes of practice associated with the analysis and design of foundations and the ability to interpret and apply these to both familiar and unfamiliar problems
  • The necessary technical further learning towards fulfilling the educational base for the professional qualification of Chartered Engineer

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Academic support, facilities and equipment

Modules are taught by academic members in the geotechnical area, and some lectures for the Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will be delivered by visiting academics and practicing engineers from industry.

You will also be allocated a personal tutor to guide you during your time with us at the University. You can expect a varied, stimulating and rewarding time here and will receive all the support you need to progress your learning. 

In addition to the University Library and Learning Centre’s extensive resources, our excellent testing facilities can support experimentally based MSc dissertation projects. 

Prizes

VJ Tech Prize for Best MSc Student in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

A prize of £1,000, sponsored by VJ Tech, one of the world’s top geotechnical engineering manufacturers specialising in advanced soil testing equipment for labs.

The prize will be awarded to the best performing student(s) on the MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering based on module results and overall performance during the programme.

The £1,000 may be awarded to an individual student or split between two students displaying the best performance in their MSc programme.

Keller Prize for Best MSc Project in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

A prize of £500 sponsored by Keller Group plc, the world’s largest independent ground engineering contractor.

The prize will be awarded to the student(s) with the best MSc Dissertation completed as part of the MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering, as defined by the course leader according to the module results and potential impact of the output of the individual project.

The £500 may be awarded to an individual student or split between a number of students displaying the best performance in their MSc Dissertations.



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This research intensive course is tailored for talented students who already have a very strong background in geotechnical and earthquake engineering, providing a unique opportunity to conduct cutting edge research combining analytical with experimental methods in a transnational environment. Read more
This research intensive course is tailored for talented students who already have a very strong background in geotechnical and earthquake engineering, providing a unique opportunity to conduct cutting edge research combining analytical with experimental methods in a transnational environment. The research component is emphasized by the requirement to submit not only a thesis but a journal paper as well.

Why study Geotechnical Earthquake and Offshore Engineering at Dundee?

Civil Engineering at Dundee is ranked top in Scotland for research. Students of the highest calibre are therefore attracted to Dundee, being offered a unique opportunity to engage with cutting edge research.

Students studying on our masters programmes benefit from our renowned research expertise and industry experience, and our graduates are highly sought after by employers worldwide.

What's great about Geotechnical Earthquake and Offshore Engineering?

The MSc in Geotechnical Earthquake and Offshore Engineering provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills:
- To design Civil Engineering works to resist the destructive actions applied by earthquakes
- To design offshore foundations and pipelines

Efficient aseismic design requires simultaneous consideration of both geotechnical and structural engineering. The course is unique in that it takes a holistic approach in considering the subject from both perspectives equally, emphasizing soil-structure interaction and providing advanced training for both components.

Laboratory of Soil Mechanics, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)

Please note that all teaching is carried out in English.

Research will be conducted jointly with the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), introducing an international dimension that combines the core strengths of the two research groups, exploiting the state of the art 150g tonne capacity geotechnical centrifuge of the University of Dundee.

The latter is equipped with a latest-technology centrifuge-mounted earthquake simulator capable of reproducing any target waveform, making the Dundee centrifuge facility only one of 3 in Europe capable of earthquake replication. A specially designed split-box for simulation of seismic faulting and its effects on structures is also available, along with a variety of Strong and Equivalent Shear Beam (ESB) Boxes, and sensors (accelerometers, LVDTs, load cells, pore pressure transducers, etc.)

Who should study this course?

This course is research intensive and tailored to students with a very strong background in geotechnical earthquake engineering.

This course is taught by staff in the School of Engineering, Physics and Mathematics.

The start date is September each year, and the course lasts until the end of October in the following year (14 months in total). Students spend 50% of their time at the University of Dundee and 50% at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

How you will be taught

Modules are taught via lectures, seminars, workshops, practical's and a research project.

What you will study

Students spend 50% of their time at the University of Dundee and 50% at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

1st term at NTUA: September – December (4 months)

Research – 1st part: numerical and analytical methods.

2nd term at Dundee : January – April (4 months)

Core and Specialist Taught modules

Core Modules

CE52002: Health, Safety & Environmental Management
Specialist Modules

CE50005: Advanced Structural Analysis of Bridges
CE50023: Offshore Geotechnics and Pipelines
CE50024: Geoenvironmental Engineering
CE50025: Soil Dynamics
3rd term at Dundee : May – July (3 months)

Research – 2nd part: experimental methods

4th term at NTUA : August – October (3 months)

Research – 3rd part: Completion of MSc Thesis and Journal paper.

The distribution of allocated time between terms 3 and 4 will be flexible, and you may spend more time in either of the universities, depending on your project.

How you will be assessed

Modules are assessed by a mixture of coursework and exam. The research project is assessed by dissertation.

Careers

There is a continuing demand for civil engineers particularly in the energy and water sectors and the skills of the civil engineer are highly portable in the multi-disciplinary engineering sectors. The latest Institution of Civil Engineers Salary Survey for the UK (2010) indicates that the average total income of its senior members is nearly £100k, while that of recent graduates is £27.5k.

We are proud of our achievements in graduate employment. The blend of science, technology and management education and training gained in a unique learning environment that is both challenging and friendly, makes our graduates attractive to employers in civil engineering and a wider range of sectors.

Graduates from Dundee have gone on to achieve high level positions in most sectors of the profession. These include consulting engineers and contractors, the offshore industry and research organisations.

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This course is suited to those with an eye for materials, material structure and material mechanics. Our course aims to extend your understanding of the core disciplines of civil engineering and widen your professional scope to include expertise in geotechnical engineering. Read more

Why take this course?

This course is suited to those with an eye for materials, material structure and material mechanics.

Our course aims to extend your understanding of the core disciplines of civil engineering and widen your professional scope to include expertise in geotechnical engineering. From ground investigations to soil structure testing, you will gain the analytical and technical skills required to make informed decisions when faced with the complex geotechnical problems of construction projects.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Attend lectures and seminars given by practitioners from client, contracting and consulting organisations
Gain experience of environmental assessment techniques plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
Opt to study overseas at a variety of European universities through the ERASMUS exchange scheme

What opportunities might it lead to?

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Civil engineering
Mining companies
Petroleum companies
The military
Consultancy

Module Details

The course is divided into three stages, the first two stages are generally taught through formal tuition, with stage three covering independent research in an academic or industrial setting.

You will build upon established fundamental civil/construction engineering and project management principles in order to confidently apply them to a range of complex construction project problems with due regard to related geotechnical factors.

Here are the units you will study:

Environmental Management for Civil Engineering: This unit introduces you to the main environmental issues associated with civil engineering projects and how they are considered and mitigated in the Environmental Assessment process.

Civil Engineering Science: In this unit you will study integrated topics of analytical structural analysis, numerical analysis and solving engineering problems. Whilst being an introduction to the finite element method (FEM) and application of FEM software packages, this unit aims to give you the ability to solve engineering problems in the design of real structures.

Geotechnical Engineering Design Project: This unit gives you an opportunity to simulate the design activities of a civil engineering consultancy. Project briefs are typically drawn from the work of professional contacts in the civil engineering industry. You will be required to make professional contacts, obtain advice and guidance, carry out research and conduct site visits outside the University.

Strategic and General Management: You will cover management in the construction industry, and the development of organisational and project strategic direction, taking into account internal and external environments.

Independent Research Project: This covers the generic research framework within which new knowledge is discovered, and involves the practical application of research skills and techniques to a chosen system within the construction industry.

Programme Assessment

Teaching on this course will focus on small lectures, seminars and discussion groups. It will also centre on supporting your independent learning strategies, which tutorials will help to develop.

Assessment can take many forms and is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. It includes:

Examinations
Coursework
Projects
A dissertation

Student Destinations

This course is designed to equip you with knowledge, skills and competencies that employers in the construction industry expect. Alongside the technical topics, you will develop commercial and interpersonal skills required of construction industry professionals.

There is currently a huge demand for geotechnical engineering specialists within the civil engineering sector. This fact, 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 will include geotechnical engineers, mining engineers and tunnelling engineers for major mining companies, as well as environmental and geotechnical consultancies.

Overall, the delivery of this course and its opportunities for you to interact with the industry throughout your studies means the employment rate of our civil engineering graduates is excellent.

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The MSc in Geotechnical Engineering is part of the Division of Civil Engineering's extensive programme of postgraduate studies and research. Read more
The MSc in Geotechnical Engineering is part of the Division of Civil Engineering's extensive programme of postgraduate studies and research. The course builds on the Division's renowned research expertise and industrial experience in current aspects of geotechnical engineering.

Why study Geotechnical Engineering at Dundee?

Key reasons include:
Better preparation for successful careers in industry, commerce or academia
Development of skills, knowledge and understanding in a specialist field
Participation in the research activities of a world-class department

A wide range of research projects are available in any of the following areas: earthquake engineering (foundations during earthquakes, liquefaction, faulting), offshore engineering (foundations, anchors, pipelines and offshore processes), foundation engineering and ground improvement. Some of these projects will be linked to industry

Development of transferable skills in research methods, communication and management of large and small scale projects

Part-time students have the option of relating their research project directly to ongoing work within their employment

Professional Accreditation: ICE/IStructE

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. Visit http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

What's great about Geotechnical Engineering at Dundee?

Civil Engineering at Dundee is ranked top in Scotland for research. You will have the opportunity to engage with leading edge research at Dundee, meaning we attract students of the highest calibre and our graduates are highly sought after by employers worldwide. Students studying on our masters programmes benefit from our renowned research expertise and industry experience.

The Geotechnical Engineering research sub-group was established in 1997 and it has grown significantly since that time. In addition to its undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research activities, the group offers services to industry across a broad range of geotechnical engineering. The group has hosted a number of major conferences and symposia in Dundee.

Who should study this course?

It is designed both for people pursuing a higher degree soon or immediately after obtaining their first degree, and for those with considerable work experience.

"I love how specialised [this course] is, as very few universities offer such speciality in Earthquake and Offshore Engineering. The course taught me how to solve real-life challenging problems, not to mention the strong industry linkage with my future employer - Subsea 7."
Vithiea Pang, MSc student

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.

What you will study

There are three main elements to the course programme:

Core Modules
These provide skills generic to engineering and research. The two modules are:

Research Methods and Diploma Project
Health, Safety & Environmental Engineering
Specialist Modules
The specialist modules provide in-depth and advanced knowledge, and build upon our expertise. These cover the following topics:

Offshore Geotechnical Engineering
Advanced Soil Mechanics and Geo-Environmental Engineering
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Advanced Structural Analysis
Research Project
The research project gives you the opportunity to benefit from, and contribute to our research. At the end of the project students submit a dissertation based on their research. Students select their projects from a list offered by the academic staff or may suggest their own topic. Many of these projects are collaborative with industry, particularly those in offshore engineering (for Oil and Gas, Marine Renewables and Aquaculture)

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework and examination.

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma carry out a shorter research project and complete an extended report.

Careers

There is a continuing demand for civil engineers particularly in the energy and water sectors and the skills of the civil engineer are highly portable in the multi-disciplinary engineering sectors. The latest Institution of Civil Engineers Salary Survey for the UK (2010) indicates that the average total income of its senior members is nearly £100k, while that of recent graduates is £27.5k.

We are proud of our achievements in graduate employment. The blend of science, technology and management education and training gained in a unique learning environment that is both challenging and friendly, makes our graduates attractive to employers in civil engineering and a wider range of sectors.

Graduates from Dundee have gone on to achieve high level positions in most sectors of the profession. These include consulting engineers and contractors, the offshore industry and research organisations.

Funded places

Due to an initiative from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) designed to support key sectors in the Scottish economy, there are 7 fully-funded places available to eligible students starting this course in 2013/14. This covers all tuition fees associated with the MSc programme and can be held by students classified as Scottish or EU for fee purposes only. Please indicate your interest in being considered for a funded place when you apply through UKPASS.

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Our geotechnical engineering and engineering geology research is revolutionary worldwide. You will work with academics who are leaders in their field so that your research has a real impact on civil engineering. Read more
Our geotechnical engineering and engineering geology research is revolutionary worldwide. You will work with academics who are leaders in their field so that your research has a real impact on civil engineering.

By pursuing research in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences you will join an extremely successful research group focussing on geotechnical engineering and geology. Our mission is to foster, promote and conduct research of international quality. This means that we attract high quality graduates and researchers and train them to international standards.

Within the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences we have a research group focussed on geotechnics and structures, which deals with the fundamental concepts of material behaviour, construction and design technology. Our research has a central theme of Earth systems science engineering and management, focussing on the concepts of:
-Sustainability in construction
-Climate change and the effects on civil engineering

We provide MPhil and PhD supervision within the broad disciplines of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology. Our current research areas are:
-Seismic engineering and extreme loadings
-Slope stability
-Multi-phase flow and coupled multi-field analysis
-Soil modelling
-Waste minimisation and reuse
-Ground improvement
-Site characterisation

We also encourage multidisciplinary research, such as:
-Ground improvement and remediation
-In situ testing
-Geotechnical design
-Geotechnical processes in construction and the natural environment.

As a result of our research we have been able to revolutionise electrokinetic geosynthetics, self-boring pressuremeters, geothermal testing and construct a full-scale embankment for field experimentation.

Delivery

Off-campus study may be available in some circumstances, particularly if you have industrial sponsorship. Our programme includes intensive subject-specific supervision and training in research methodologies and core skills. You will also have an opportunity to undertake paid laboratory demonstrations and tutoring to gain teaching experience.

You will be taught by eminent academics who are experts in the field, such as:
-Dr Colin Davie, Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering
-Professor Peter Gosling, Professor of Computational Structural Mechanics
-Professor Stephanie Glendinning, Professor of Civil Engineering

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There is a wide range of opportunity in the Civil Engineering profession for geotechnical specialists, particularly those who combine geotechnical knowledge with essential managerial skills aspects associated with the Construction Industry. Read more
There is a wide range of opportunity in the Civil Engineering profession for geotechnical specialists, particularly those who combine geotechnical knowledge with essential managerial skills aspects associated with the Construction Industry.

Modern structures, such as buildings, embankments and dams, must satisfy exacting stability and deformation criteria, and they may have to be sited on weak or compressible ground. It is the responsibility of the geotechnical engineer to plan and direct the necessary ground investigations and laboratory testing, interpret the results, and propose methods of design and construction to overcome difficulties caused by inadequate ground.

The long-term performance of the structure must be predicted, and instruments may have to be installed to check the prediction. This needs a sound knowledge of engineering geology, soil and rock mechanics, current civil engineering design, and of construction management and practice.

This MSc programme is designed to support high level training and enhance both the technical and managerial skills of recent graduates or experienced personnel who work in, or aspire to a career in, the construction or related industries. This programme is aimed at Civil Engineers and Geologists who wish to widen their professional scope or to specialise in geotechnical engineering with the addition of modern managerial skills. To summarise the detailed information above, the teaching concentrates on essential aspects of the subject:

- Physical, chemical and mechanical properties of soils and rocks; ground investigation; field and laboratory testing
- Engineering geology and site investigation
- Analysis, design and construction of foundations, retaining walls, tunnels, embankments and slopes including methods of ground reinforcement and improvement.

About the School of Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is the key to many of the issues affecting our lives today. Civil Engineers solve problems, design, build and maintain our living and working spaces. You might design a new stadium, work on a local by-pass or railway line, assess a damaged structure, provide immediate and safe drinking water to a refugee camp, or manage a multi-million pound construction project.
We tackle the problems faced by society today: we aim to develop the knowledge and tools to build the communities of the future. Many of our projects have already had a significant impact on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.
The performance of Civil Engineering in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, has shown that the majority of its research was rated as internationally excellent.
We work closely with industry, charities and research councils to encourage innovative thinking which has an impact on our lives. As a result we are proud of our heritage of internationally-recognised, multidisciplinary research in a stimulating research environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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There is a wide range of opportunity in the Civil Engineering profession for geotechnical specialists, particularly those who combine geotechnical knowledge with essential managerial skills aspects associated with the Construction Industry. Read more
There is a wide range of opportunity in the Civil Engineering profession for geotechnical specialists, particularly those who combine geotechnical knowledge with essential managerial skills aspects associated with the Construction Industry.

Modern structures, such as buildings, embankments and dams, must satisfy exacting stability and deformation criteria, and they may have to be sited on weak or compressible ground. It is the responsibility of the geotechnical engineer to plan and direct the necessary ground investigations and laboratory testing, interpret the results, and propose methods of design and construction to overcome difficulties caused by inadequate ground.

The long-term performance of the structure must be predicted, and instruments may have to be installed to check the prediction. This needs a sound knowledge of engineering geology, soil and rock mechanics, current civil engineering design, and of construction management and practice.

This MSc programme is designed to support high level training and enhance both the technical and managerial skills of recent graduates or experienced personnel who work in, or aspire to a career in, the construction or related industries. This programme is aimed at Civil Engineers and Geologists who wish to widen their professional scope or to specialise in geotechnical engineering with the addition of modern managerial skills. To summarise the detailed information above, the teaching concentrates on four essential aspects of the subject:

Physical, chemical and mechanical properties of soils and rocks; ground investigation; field and laboratory testing
Engineering geology and site investigation
Analysis, design and construction of foundations, retaining walls, embankments and slopes including methods of ground reinforcement and improvement.
Managerial skills for the construction industry, including groundworks and risk management, BIM in infrastructure and infrastructure planning process.

About the School of Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering is the key to many of the issues affecting our lives today. Civil Engineers solve problems, design, build and maintain our living and working spaces. You might design a new stadium, work on a local by-pass or railway line, assess a damaged structure, provide immediate and safe drinking water to a refugee camp, or manage a multi-million pound construction project.
We tackle the problems faced by society today: we aim to develop the knowledge and tools to build the communities of the future. Many of our projects have already had a significant impact on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.
The performance of Civil Engineering in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, has shown that the majority of its research was rated as internationally excellent.
We work closely with industry, charities and research councils to encourage innovative thinking which has an impact on our lives. As a result we are proud of our heritage of internationally-recognised, multidisciplinary research in a stimulating research environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The only degree programme of its kind in Central Europe. In the English language master's programme Geotechnical and Hydraulic Engineering at TU Graz, you profit from a combination of two disciplines - geotechnical engineering and hydraulic engineering. Read more

The only degree programme of its kind in Central Europe: In the English language master's programme Geotechnical and Hydraulic Engineering at TU Graz, you profit from a combination of two disciplines - geotechnical engineering and hydraulic engineering. You learn in a practical manner, participating in practice sessions in the laboratory and on-site, and taking part in field trips. For example, you pilot hydraulic projects in Austria’s largest water laboratory.

Georg M. Ausweger, master's degree student in Geotechnical and Hydraulic Engineering:

The tasks in our area are unique - in many different respects. To be able to solve them, you need solid specialist knowledge and the ability to apply an innovative approach. These fundamental aspects are taught well in the degree programme, and can even be applied by students during their internships, made possible by the teachers’ good connections to the industry.

Content

Students acquire a solid knowledge of geology, soil mechanics, foundation engineering, rock mechanics, tunnelling, hydraulics and structural hydraulic engineering.

Core areas

  • Students design, assess, monitor and create
  • foundations,
  • supporting structures,
  • natural and artificial scarps and slopes,
  • tunnels and underground structures,
  • dams and hydro power plants
  • They quantify soil, rock and hydraulic qualities.
  • They focus on the material behaviour of geomaterials.
  • They learn about catastrophe management and how to deal with natural hazards.

Students choose from one of the following specialisations:

  • Hydraulic engineering and water management
  • Soil mechanics and foundation engineering
  • Rock mechanics and tunnelling

For the individual courses, please see the semester plan.



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The Geotechnical Engineering MSc will give you the specialist knowledge required to meet the needs of the construction, environmental and extractive industries. Read more
The Geotechnical Engineering MSc will give you the specialist knowledge required to meet the needs of the construction, environmental and extractive industries. You will learn the principles and application of geotechnical engineering in a range of settings.

The course provides an advanced knowledge and understanding of:
-Soils and rocks and their engineering properties
-Site investigation, testing, interpretation and reporting
-Construction practice and awareness of safe operation
-Key aspects of geotechnical design, such as foundations and slopes
-Application of mathematical methods and computational tools

Once you have graduated will be able to:
-Identify, generate and interpret data relevant to an engineering scenario
-Employ numerical methods for modelling and analysing problems
-Select and apply ideas, concepts and data to generate innovative designs
-Evaluate the quality of data through testing and measurement equipment in field and lab
-Present and summarise data and critically appraise its significance, using numerical techniques
-Formulate and test key hypotheses using logical and consistent quantitative or qualitative arguments

Delivery

You will study compulsory modules plus optional modules, followed by a research project written up as a dissertation. The teaching methods on the course include:
-Formal lectures
-Tutorials
-Seminars
-Open learning
-Group projects
-Computing workshops
-Laboratory work
-Fieldwork
-Site visits

Numerous contributions are made to the course by prominent visitors from the construction industry. Assessment is by formal written examinations, course work, the dissertation, and oral presentations.

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This is a one year full-time or two year part-time postgraduate course designed to provide graduate engineers with specialist understanding in one of. Read more
This is a one year full-time or two year part-time postgraduate course designed to provide graduate engineers with specialist understanding in one of: Environmental Engineering; Structural Engineering; or Transport Engineering. In addition, the course offers students the opportunity to obtain knowledge in complimentary subject areas within Civil Engineering.

Course Organisation:

The MSc course can be undertaken as either a one year full-time or a two-year part-time postgraduate course.

The degree programme is divided into three parts: two semesters of taught courses (September - April inclusive) with an average of 12 lectures per week. A major dissertation is undertaken during the second half of the course (April - September inclusive).

It is possible to work full-time and do the course as a part-time option, providing you have the agreement of your employer.

Course Content:

Candidates must take eleven modules, namely the three mandatory modules (M1, M2 and M3) together with at least four of the modules in their chosen specialisation and four other modules, which in total amounts to 90 ECTS.

In the first semester, candidates pursuing the course full time must take modules M1 and M2 along with four other modules selected from options (including at least two from their selected specialisation), listed below. In the second semester, candidates pursuing the course full time must take module M3 along with four other modules selected from options (including at least 2 from their selected specialisation), also listed below:

Mandatory

M1. Civil Engineering Management (10 ECTS)

M2. Research Methodology (10 ECTS)

M3. (Environmental / Structural / Transport) Engineering Dissertation (30 ECTS)

Environmental Engineering

E1. Engineering Hydrology (5 ECTS)

E2. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (5 ECTS)

E3. Environmental Processes and Technology (5 ECTS)

E4. Waste and Environmental Management (5 ECTS)

E5. Water Quality and Hydrological Modelling (5 ECTS)

E6. Water Resource Planning ( ECTS)

Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

S1. Geotechnical Engineering (5 ECTS)

S2. Advanced Structural Analysis (5 ECTS)

S3. Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering (5 ECTS)

S4. Bridge Engineering (5 ECTS)

S5. Advanced Concrete Technology (5 ECTS)

S6. Soil-Structure Interaction (5 ECTS)

S7. A Unified Theory of Structures (5 ECTS)

S8. Concrete Durability and Sustainability (5 ECTS)

S9. Advanced Theory of Structures (5 ECTS)

Transport Engineering

T1. Transportation Engineering ( ECTS)

T2. Transport Modelling (5 ECTS)

T3. Highway Engineering (5 ECTS)

T4. Applied Transportation Analysis (5 ECTS)

Common

C1. Renewable Energy 1 (5 ECTS)

C2. Renewable Energy 2 ( ECTS)

C3. Modelling of Civil Engineering Systems (5 ECTS)

C4. Facade Engineering (5 ECTS)

C6. Construction Innovation and Research (5 ECTS)


Some of the module options in either semester may be withdrawn from time to time and some new modules may be included, subject to demand. In addition to passing the prescribed examinations, each student must submit a dissertation on an approved topic relating to their chosen specialisation.

Part Time Option:

For candidates taking the course part-time over two years, during the first year, candidates take seven modules, namely: the mandatory modules M1 and M2 along with five of the module options (including at least two from their chosen specialisation) which amounts to 45 ECTS. During the second year, candidates must complete the compulsory M3 module together with three other module options (including at least two from their chosen specialisation) which amounts to 45 ECTS. During the second year, candidates must complete the compulsory M3 module together with three other module options (including at least two from their chosen specialisation) which amounts to another 45 ECTS. By the end of the course, part-time candidates must have completed at least four of their specialisation module options and four of the other options, amounting to a total of 90 ECTS credits. The part time option runs in parallel with the full time course. Full and part time students attend the same lectures which are typically scheduled Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. During the teaching periods, students taking the part time option are typically required to attend 9-12 hours per week during year 1 and 3-6 hours during year 2.

Assessment:

Examination of course modules and completion of a Major Dissertation.

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This one-year postgraduate course is designed to enable graduate engineers obtain a sound knowledge of important aspects of highway, traffic and geotechnical engineering. Read more
This one-year postgraduate course is designed to enable graduate engineers obtain a sound knowledge of important aspects of highway, traffic and geotechnical engineering. The course is particularly suited to engineers involved in the provision, preservation and operation of highways, but it is open to all those holding a degree or equivalent in Civil Engineering or any other relevant branch of engineering.

The topics covered include: transportation economics; highway planning and programming and route selection; survey methods and instrumentation; computer applications in local authorities; construction law; transportation modelling; theory of traffic flow; impacts of road traffic facilities; traffic: methods for planning, capacity analysis and design; traffic control and management; design of flexible and concrete pavements; pavement maintenance and rehabilitation; surface and sub-surface drainage; bridge design and management; quality assurance plans for road schemes; descriptions of soils and rocks; earthworks technology; stability of fills, slope stability; construction of embankments on soft ground; procurement of civil engineering works; road asset management plans; environmental impact assessment.

Lectures are normally held on Friday evening and Saturday morning each week throughout the two semesters (September to April).

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Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Read more
Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Candidates who are able to demonstrate skills in public engagement, communication, professional research and report-writing, in addition to academic knowledge and field skills, are therefore highly sought after in these professions.

This full-time MSc Applied Environmental Geology is part taught and part professional project. We aim to develop your transferrable skills in a professional context and give you a head start in the geology profession of your choice or starting a PhD.

Distinctive features:

• Our location in South Wales provides us with a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical locations, which we visit during fieldtrips and use in case studies.

• Embed your skills in professional practice through a five month professional project, usually as part of a placement.

• Strong links with industry and government agencies ensure the quality and relevance of the course, and give you the opportunity to make contacts.

• Fully integrated with the professional development (CPD) lecture programme of the Southern Wales Group of the Geological Society of London.

Structure

There are two stages to the MSc Applied Environmental Geology.

Stage 1 lasts for 7 months (September – April), where you will complete taught modules and fieldwork, with significant contributions from industry professionals.

In these modules, we will investigate general themes, such as the principles of geotechnical engineering and geophysics. We will also look into environmental themes in more depth including land contamination, environmental regulation, behaviour of soils and water.

If you pass Stage 1 you will progress onto Stage 2, which is a 5-month professional project from May to September culminating in a dissertation. We will, wherever possible, offer you an industrial placement with a professional company either in the UK or overseas over the summer to complete your project.

For the first seven months, from September to April, you will complete taught modules and fieldwork at Cardiff University. After this, you will progress onto a 5-month placement in the UK or overseas where you will undertake a professional project and complete your dissertation.

Core modules:

Project Planning, Design and Management For Applied Environmental Geology
Geotechnical Engineering
Engineering Behaviour of Soils
Contaminated Land
Environmental Assessment and Regulation
Remote Sensing and Applied Geophysics
Transferable Skills
Water in the Environment
Dissertation AEG

Optional modules:

Environmental Geology/Hydrogeology Report

Teaching

The methods of teaching we employ may vary from module to module. Generally we teach using a mixture of lectures, practical work and fieldwork. We also have a series of lectures with invited speakers from across the profession, as well as strong links with the Geological Society.

On the course, you will undertake laboratory work in several modules. This includes standard laboratory tests covering the physical and mechanical properties of soils, and water flow experiments to learn hydrologic and hydrogeologic concepts.

You will also develop your knowledge of numerical tools to model real-world geotechnical problems. Application software, such as CorelDraw, Surfer, ArcGIS, as well as professional geoengineering software, such as Rockscience and Landsim, are used throughout the course.

Throughout the course we encourage communication and teamwork. For example, we may ask you to work in teams in laboratories and on field-trips. Our project training includes skills in supervision and co-ordination of a range of tasks designed to address specific geotechnical and geoenvironmental problems.

Assessment

We use a wide range of assessment methods, depending on the module. These include exams, coursework, presentations, practical assessment, your industrial placement and dissertation (20,000 words).

Placements

You will undertake a professional placement in industry as part of the second stage of the course. This placement will last for 5 months (May - September), during which you will undertake a research project and complete your dissertation.

We endeavour wherever possible to place students with industrial partners. This placement can be located in the UK or overseas as long as the project is deemed to be logistically safe and academically viable.

Fieldwork

South Wales provides a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical case studies and site visits. These include site visits to the Cardiff Bay Barrage, acid mine drainage from abandoned mines and active landslides in the south Wales Valleys. Field work includes surveying skills, rock engineering to the Rhondda Valley and Cardigan, site investigation visits to the Mumbles, Bournville landslide, as well as contaminated land studies at Barry Docks and Bryn Pica landfill site. All fieldwork on this course is compulsory.

Career prospects

Our graduates are widely sought after in industry and often have an advantage in the job market, due to the applied nature of the course and the transferrable skills they have been equipped with.

Following this degree you may choose to work in consultancy, regulatory authorities or government environmental agencies across the world. You may also decide to conduct further research and complete a PhD.

Former students can be found working for the likes of Network Rail, Mott McDonald, Natural Resources Wales, Environment Agency England, WSP, Ove Arup, Atkins and numerous other specialist geo-environmental consultancies and agencies based around the UK.

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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. Read more

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 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

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.

Course highlights:

  • Your teaching will be delivered by the School of Earth and Environment with substantial input from the School of Civil Engineering.
  • The University frequently hosts the Yorkshire Geotechnical Group (Institution of Civil Engineers) and is involved with the Yorkshire Regional Group of the Geological Society.
  • Complete a 4 month individual dissertation project often involving organisations outside the University such as consulting engineers, civil engineering contractors and the British Geological Survey.
  • The School's £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, many of which will be available to you throughout your studies.

Benefit from our strong connections with industry:

  • We have been training Engineering Geologists over 50 years and maintain links with alumni who can be found in many companies across the globe.
  • Industry colleagues contribute to the taught programme and an Industry Advisory Board informs the content of this course.

Accreditation

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. 

Course content

You will take 2 terms of lectures (class and computer-based practical work) and laboratory classes, followed by approximately 4 months of individual work, leading to the submission of a dissertation. You will also take part in supervised fieldtrips and ground investigation and construction site visits.

You can also study this course part-time. Please contact the if you are already working within the industry, we can discuss possible routes to allow continued employment.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Geological Investigation and Characterisation 30 credits
  • Soils Engineering 30 credits
  • Rock Engineering 30 credits
  • Engineering Geology: Dissertation Project 60 credits
  • Hydrogeology and Contaminant Processes 15 credits
  • Hazards, Resilience and Sustainable Engineering 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Engineering Geology MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Engineering Geology MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You will be taught via lectures, individual and group class-based practicals, laboratory practicals, field courses and independent project work.

Facilities

  • Access your own dedicated computing suite for use by Masters students only.
  • Collect and interpret data related to the geotechnical and mining sectors around the world in our Geotechnical and Engineering geology laboratories.
  • Carry out soil and rock description and testing including uniaxial, triaxial testing, direct shear tests, slake durability and permeability tests all to ISRM, CIRIA, EuroCode and other recognised standards.
  • For independent project work, access state-of-the-art methods for establishing the composition of rocks and soils through thin section analysis, X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electon Microscopy and other advanced techniques.
  • Use a suite of industry-standard software packages including RocScience, ArcGIS and gINT.

Assessment

You will be assessed on your written and oral assignments, field-based assessments and exams, as well as seminars and a dissertation project.



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This flexible MSc programme is suitable for individuals who already have an accredited undergraduate civil engineering degree and who are seeking to further their engineering skills and achieve chartered status. Read more
This flexible MSc programme is suitable for individuals who already have an accredited undergraduate civil engineering degree and who are seeking to further their engineering skills and achieve chartered status.

The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators as meeting the requirements for further learning for a chartered engineer (CEng) for candidates who already have an accredited CEng (partial) BEng(Hons) or an accredited IEng (full) BEng/BSc(Hons) undergraduate first degree.

You will study a range of advanced civil engineering subjects linked to cutting-edge research. These include earthquake engineering dynamics and design, advanced geotechnics and rock mechanics, bridge engineering and advanced hydraulics. You will also develop the skills demanded in civil engineering consultancy offices around the world.

On the course, you will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art laboratories and advanced technical software for numerical modelling.

The course is flexible and allows you to combine advanced civil engineering with related subjects including water environmental management, construction management and sustainable construction.

All of the taught modules are delivered by research-active staff and pave the way for a career at the forefront of ambitious civil engineering projects.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available for this course. Please click the link below for more information.
https://www.brighton.ac.uk/studying-here/fees-and-finance/postgraduate/index.aspx

Course structure

Our courses are under continual review. If you have already applied you can find more information on the applicant portal.

The course has an emphasis on practical applications of advanced civil engineering concepts. You will make use of our advanced laboratories, modern computer facilities and technical software.

The MSc requires successful completion of six modules together with a dissertation on an agreed technical subject; a dissertation is not required, however, for the PGDip.

The taught component of the course comprises six core modules, and you can either take all six of these modules or choose four with an additional two approved modules from other MSc courses in the School of Environment and Technology. You can use this flexibility to study related subjects including water and waste-water treatment technology, construction management and sustainable construction.

Core modules cover geotechnical earthquake engineering, dynamics of structures with earthquake engineering applications, seismic design of reinforced concrete members, random vibrations of structures, bridge loads and analysis, rock mechanics, hydrogeology, coastal engineering and wave loading.

Areas of study

• Coastal Engineering and Wave Loading

This module provides a basic understanding of different wave theories and their applications in coastal engineering practice.

You will develop an understanding of the coastal sediment transport processes and the means to deal with issues associated with coastal protection and sea defence.

• Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

This module provides an understanding of advanced geotechnical design methods with an emphasis on seismic design. It focuses on current design methods for soil and rock structures and foundation systems subject to complex loading conditions.

You will gain experience in using a variety of commercial software.

• Rock Mechanics

The module gives you an understanding of the behaviour of rocks and rock mass and enables you to evaluate the instability of rock slopes and tunnels in order to design reinforcements for unstable rock.

• Dynamics of Structures with Earthquake Engineering Applications

You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of dynamics of structures. The module then focuses on analytical and numerical methods used to model the response of civil engineering structures subjected to dynamic actions, including harmonic loading, blast and impact loading, and earthquake ground motion.

• Random Vibration of Structures

The module gives you the confidence to model uncertainties involved in the design of structural systems alongside a framework to critically appraise probabilistic-based Eurocode approaches to design.

Stochastic models of earthquake ground motion, wind and wave loading are explored. Probabilistic analysis and design of structures is undertaken through pertinent random vibration theory.

You will become confident with the probabilistic analysis for the design against earthquake, wind and wave loadings through various checkable calculations.

• Repair and Strengthening of Existing Reinforced Concrete Structures

The module gives you an understanding of the types and causes of damage to reinforced concrete structures. It then focuses on current techniques for repair and strengthening of existing structures.

Employability

The course is particularly appropriate for work in structural, geotechnical and coastal engineering.

Graduates have gone on into roles as structural engineers and civil engineers in a number of structural design offices around the world.

Others have been motivated by the research component of the course and followed a PhD programme after graduation.

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