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MSc Engineering Geology


Course Description

Why take this course?

Engineering geological expertise is critical to all types of civil engineering projects such as tunnels, dams, mines, quarries, offshore platforms and wind farms.

This course provides you with the advanced skills to carry out detailed investigations into surface and subsurface geology, identification of adverse ground conditions and the design of suitable remedial measures of engineering structures.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by internationally recognised experts with extensive expertise in engineering geology and geotechnics
Gain experience of environmental assessment techniques, plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
Go on numerous fieldtrips, both locally and overseas, to undergo specialist field training

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Geological Society of London. It offers advanced professional and scientific training providing an accelerated route for you to attain Chartered Status, such as Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) on graduation.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Aid organisations
Environmental organisations
Offshore work
Civil sector roles
Mining
Insurance companies

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises of the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a five-month independent research project. The course is a mixture of taught units and research project covering topics including site investigation, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering design, contaminated land, slope stability and rock engineering.

Here are the units you will study:

Rock and Soil Mechanics: These topics are integral to the role of an engineering geologist. You will gain an advanced understanding of the geo-mechanical behaviour of rocks and soils and how they behave under different geotechnical design scenarios. You will also develop key skills in the assessment, description and testing of geological materials in order to understand and quantify their behaviour, using current British and Eurocode standards.

Soil and Rock Engineering: This unit will give you an advanced understanding of engineering and design in soils and rock masses, including fundamental design principles associated with common geotechnical solutions encountered on engineering geological and civil engineering projects.

Contaminated Land and Groundwater: These are important considerations in all types of construction and so an understanding of both is essential. You will learn key techniques for the identification and assessment of contaminated land and groundwater resources in an engineering geological context.

Ground Models: You will train in the development of geological ground models and geomorphological terrain models within the content of engineering geological practice, essential parts of any investigation.

Ground Investigation Techniques: You will gain advanced experience of ground investigation using invasive techniques, in-situ tests and geophysical methods – essential to an engineering geologist's skill base.

Landslides and Slope Instability: On this unit you will develop an advanced understanding of landslide systems, types of slides in soils and rocks and methods for identification and numerical analysis.

Field Reconnaissance and Geomorphological Mapping: The techniques covered on this unit are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area. You will have fieldwork training in techniques such as geomorphological mapping and walk-over surveys combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.

Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: On this unit you will cover the key tools for terrain evaluation and be trained in the acquisition and interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery, and the integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS.

Independent Research Project: This give you the opportunity to undertake an original piece of research to academic or industrial standards, typically in collaboration with research staff in the department or external industry partners. In addition to submission of a thesis report, you also present the results of your project at the annual postgraduate conference held at the end of September.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

Poster and oral presentations
Project reports
Literature reviews
Lab reports
Essays

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

(Student Profile)

Andrew Fletcher

188.jpg Andrew Fletcher, completed an MSc in Engineering Geology and is now an engineering geologist working for Fugro GeoConsulting, part of the world's largest integrated geotechnical, survey and geosciences company.
My job at Fugro involves site investigation and analysing the samples and data we’ve collected. It’s mostly offshore because the company is at the forefront of oil and gas exploration and development. We might be looking into a potential site for a new oil platform or even a wind farm.
During my undergraduate degree in geography I’d become interested in the engineering side of geology but I didn’t have the right skills or qualification to be able to break into the field.
Opportunities in the industry are plentiful but it’s an area which requires a great deal of expertise and specialist skills and most people in the field have a Master’s qualification. After graduation I was offered several interviews and got the first job I went for and I know it was my qualification which got me the interview.
My job here means I might be in the laboratory one day then spend up to four weeks offshore on a drillship doing site evaluation anywhere in the world. I could also be writing geotechnical or engineering reports for clients.
Before I could work offshore I had to do a week’s offshore survival training including fire-fighting, lifeboat training and, the most exciting part, practising escaping from a submerged and upturned, ditched helicopter. I can’t say that every day is that much fun but I do enjoy my job.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant Earth Science or Civil Engineering field such as Geology, Earth Science Civil Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with industrial and work experience will also be considered.English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

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