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Engineering Geology MSc

Course Description

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.


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.


  • 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.


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

Visit the Engineering Geology MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

Student Profiles

Engineeering Geology International Scholarships - 2 Awards

The School of Earth and Environment is offering two scholarships worth up to £19,000, to international students of outstanding ability, achievement and potential - undertaking a full-time Masters in Engineering Geology.We are ranked second in the UK for research power and quality, and in the top five in Europe for academic reputation in Earth Science, reassuring you we achieve high quality standards. The School is located in a £24 million building, providing world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, and dedicated computer suites. Many of which are available to you throughout your studies.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to £19,000


You must first hold an offer (conditional or unconditional) of an academic place on the Masters in Engineering Geology for the academic year commencing September 2016, and be designated by the University as being of international fee status. All applications will be assessed on a competitive basis. A scholarship award cannot be deferred and will lapse if not accepted in September 2016.

Application Procedure

Please submit a completed School of Earth and Environment Scholarship application by email to [email protected] by the deadline.An automated email response will confirm receipt of the scholarship application, please note that no further correspondence will be sent until the awards have been allocated by a sub-committee of programme leaders led by the Director of Masters Education in the School of Earth and Environment.

Further Information



Earth Science Industrial UK/EU Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

Thanks to our long history of turning out well qualified and highly employable graduates, the School of Earth and Environment attracts a number of companies offering scholarships for UK/EU students, on the following courses:• MSc Exploration Geophysics
• MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics
• MSc Engineering Geology.The awards vary and can cover some or all of the tuition fee, maintenance/living costs and conference/project expenses.Past sponsors have included: Apache North Sea, BG Group, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, ION GX Technology, Maersk, Nexen Inc, Shell, TGS and TOTAL.. ConocoPhilips, Maersk, BP, Midland Valley, RDR and Shell. Atkins, CH2M-Hill (Halcrow), Mott MacDonald, URS and Wardell Armstrong.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must be a UK and EU citizen and should have submitted a complete application for one of the eligible programmes. You must also be predicted to achieve, or have already been awarded, an upper-second class degree or better in a relevant subject to go forward for scholarship consideration.

Application Procedure

Please submit a completed School of Earth and Environment Scholarship application by email to [email protected] by the deadline.An automated email response will confirm receipt of the scholarship application. No further correspondence will be sent until the shortlisted applicants are invited to an Interview Day at the School of Earth and Environment. Interview days will be held on:• Exploration Geophysics Monday 7th March 2016
• Structural Geology with Geophysics Thursday 3rd March 2016
• Engineering Geology Thursday 21st April 2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in an earth science, engineering, civil engineering, mining or a related discipline.
If you have a lower qualification, you may also be considered based on relevant industrial experience and/or additional supporting evidence.
We require Mathematics or Physics to AS or A level (pass grade) or international equivalent, but this requirement can be waived on an ad-hoc basis given appropriate mathematical content of your first degree or industrial experience. English language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component

Last Updated

09 August 2017

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