This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection.
Soils underpin the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and are key to food production. Soils form the basis of all agricultural production, but they also store water, mediate the impact of pollutants, provide biological habitats, have an impact on the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, are involved in dealing with society’s waste, are a source of extractable minerals and provide the foundations for the housing and roads on which society depends.
You will learn about soil function and management, and soil classification, assessment and analysis, with a strong emphasis on practical skills. You will gain expertise in the relationship between soil and sustainable approaches to land resource use.
This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
This programme involves two semesters of compulsory and option taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of optional courses^. We particularly recommend:
Courses are subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
An integral, week-long study tour lets you refresh skills learned on the programme and develop new tools and techniques, useful during the dissertation process. The tour has historically been held in Mende, France. In addition to the formal taught component, students had the opportunity to go rafting and visit the Aven Armand caves.
There may also be a short tour during induction week, to give students a chance to get to know each other.
A recent report by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) identified soil science as an area in which there are critical skills shortages, meaning graduates will be in high demand.
Soil scientists are employed in a broad range of vocations including environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, environmental impact assessment and analysis, site reclamation and remediation, and conservation as well as advising on government policy, archaeological excavations and laboratory analyses, forensics, and landscape design.
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
Geotechnical engineering examines the engineering behaviour of earth materials and is relevant to all engineering and construction practices that are concerned with the ground on both a surface level and within it. Geotechnical engineers investigate the ground and measure the chemical properties, evaluate the stability of the area and design earthworks and structure foundations enabling projects to take place.
The programme is multi-disciplinary in nature, and provides students with the knowledge of rock engineering, site investigation, data capture and data analysis required to understand the issues facing engineers excavating increasingly ambitious and complex underground spaces. This course is relevant to students entering or working in a range of engineering careers within the construction, environmental and extractive industries.
Featured content draws upon the unique expertise of the Camborne School of Mines, with strengths in the areas of rock mechanics and underground excavation, as well as specialist knowledge of working in extreme conditions and with high-stress or difficult ground.
Delivered by staff with strong research interests directly related to the topics covered, modules involve a broad range of activities and teaching delivery methods. This includes workshops using the latest industry relevant computational tools, practical activities and group and individual exercises.
In support of this research-led teaching, key experts from the extractive and construction industry will provide topical insight to the state of the industry and clarify the context for the theory covered in the lectures.
Please note constituent modules and pathways may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.
Optional modules include;
Teaching and assessment
The programme is delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical activities, case studies, industry visits, computer simulations, project work and a dissertation. The taught part of the programme is structured into two semesters. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.
A research- and practice-led culture
We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics.
Students are encouraged to undertake projects directly linked with industry, which may result in industrial placements for their project period.