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Course Content

Course content

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.


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.

Visit the MSc Geotechnical Engineering page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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