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MSc Geotechnical Earthquake and Offshore Engineering

Course Description

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.


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.

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

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have, or expect to have an honours degree at 2.2 or above.Applicants must also have a proven strong background in the core subjects of the course. A 5-year degree in Civil Engineering, preferably specializing in geotechnical and/or structural engineering is therefore a prerequisite. Applicants will have to provide evidence showing they have successfully completed (most of) the following course subjects:- Soil Mechanics- Earthquake Engineering- Foundation design- Retaining Structures- Finite Elements- Soil dynamics- Soil-structure interaction- Computational GeotechnicsIELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Course Fees

UK/EU 2016-2017 £4,500; OS 2016-2017 £15,950

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