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MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

Course Description

By taking our Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc, accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), you will be able to deepen your knowledge and understanding across geomechanics and different types of foundation and geotechnical structure design.


Our Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc programme has been endorsed by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and will give you the skills you need to address real-world ground engineering issues and technological challenges faced by the geotechnical engineering profession.

You will receive first-class tuition from academics, industrial lectures, visiting researchers and professors at the University of Surrey and you will develop the ability to manage your own learning in terms of time management as well as being able to identify and access the resources needed for your academic study.

You will have an opportunity to carry out advanced soil testing and scaled model tests (for your dissertation) in the new Geomechanics laboratory, equipped with a range of state-of-the art advanced soil testing apparatus including Dynamic Simple Shear, Resonant Column and Dynamic Triaxial apparatus. There will also be opportunities to carry out scaled model tests on soil-structure interaction problems.

Programme overview

Our Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will nurture your understanding of principles and theories behind ground engineering, including deep foundations in urban areas, tunnelling, foundations for energy infrastructure, deep water energy resources exploration and field monitoring.

You will get a chance to apply this acquired knowledge and practical understanding of scientific methodology in your chosen research topic and be able to evaluate and interpret data.

You will also have the opportunity to carry out a scientific investigation under the guidance and advice of your supervisor. This will help you acquire, analyse and draw conclusions from your findings with numerical methods and by critically evaluating the significance of your own conclusions.

Our Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc has been designed to give you the best possible insight into the world of restoring and improving infrastructure and addressing infrastructure issues relating to climate change, a topic at the heart of the engineering profession.

This programme is particularly useful in providing the necessary further learning for engineers working in the construction industry who hold related first degrees within Civil Engineering or who have had five years’ experience in the infrastructure sector, or who is willing to become a CEng.

Why not explore some of our past and present student profiles, including Alex Salter (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/my-surrey-experience-%E2%80%93-alex-salter-msc-bridge-engineering-dl), Ian Sandle (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/my-surrey-experience-%E2%80%93-ian-sandle-msc-bridge-engineering), Evangelos Alexakis (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/my-surrey-experience-evangelos-alexakis-msc-structural-engineering) and Mina Giagia (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/discover/mina-giagia-msc-structural-engineering).

Module overview

This scheme can be tailored to suit your own academic interests, whilst still grounding you with sound knowledge about the fundamentals of ground engineering in an innovative, forward-thinking academic environment.

The majority of modules run for ten weeks and comprise approximately 30 hours (three hours per week) of class time and 120 hours of self-study and assignments.

Successful completion of four modules is required for a student to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, eight modules for a Postgraduate Diploma. Eight modules and a dissertation are required for the award of an MSc.


You will be allocated a personal tutor throughout your studies at the University of Surrey, and your time here can either be full-time, part-time and some modules can be studied via distance learning through the use of an interactive web-based e-learning platform (SurreyLearn).

Teaching hours -

Each module corresponds to 150 hours of work, which includes 30 hours of lectures in the case of contact students.


Modules are generally assessed by a combination of examinations and continuous assessment. The latter will be based on solutions to tutorial questions, reports covering practical sessions and fieldwork, and essays on a number of suitable topics.

Each module is assessed separately. There is a written final examination for most modules (some modules are examined by continuous assessment only) at the end of each semester. The modules and the dissertation have a minimum pass mark of 50 per cent.


Modules are taught by academic members in the geotechnical area, and some lectures for the Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will be delivered by visiting academics and practicing engineers from industry. You will also be allocated a personal tutor to guide you during your time with us at the University. You can expect a varied, stimulating and rewarding time here and will receive all the support you need to progress your learning.

In addition to the University Library and Learning Centre’s extensive resources, our excellent testing facilities can support experimentally based MSc dissertation projects.


This programme can be studied via distance learning, which allows a high level of flexibility and enables you to study alongside other commitments you may have. Full information about our distance learning programme can be found in the following document: distance-learning-civil-engineering-2015.pdf


VJ Tech Prize for Best MSc Student in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering:

A prize of £1,000 sponsored by VJ Tech (http://www.vjtech.co.uk/), one of the world’s top geotechnical engineering manufacturers specialising in advanced soil testing equipment for labs.
The prize will be awarded to the best performing student(s) on the MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering based on module results and overall performance during the programme.
The £1,000 may be awarded to an individual student or split between two students displaying the best performance in their MSc programme.

Keller Prize for Best MSc Project in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering:

A prize of £500 sponsored by Keller Group plc (http://www.keller.co.uk/), the world’s largest independent ground engineering contractor.
The prize will be awarded to the student(s) with the best MSc Dissertation completed as part of the MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering, as defined by the course leader according to the module results and potential impact of the output of the individual project.
The £500 may be awarded to an individual student or split between a number of students displaying the best performance in their MSc Dissertations.


These courses have been accredited by The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT). In addition the programmes have EURACE accreditation.

MSc Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (technical) (1 year FT, 2-5 year PT and DL)

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree for the 2014 intake. Further accreditation is subject to the inspection of 2014’s output. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

Further Learning Programme (for candidates with IEng approved HND/HNC/FdEng/FdSci):

This programme is approved as meeting the Further Learning requirements for an Incorporated Engineer for candidates who have an IEng approved first qualification. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for details of approved qualifications.

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

Student Profiles

Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of 60 per cent in an honours degree in civil engineering accredited to CEng (or a closely related subject), or a minimum of 70 per cent in an honours degree in civil engineering accredited to IEng (or a closely related subject). Bearing in mind the extensive nature of infrastructure, closely related subjects may include transport engineers and analysts, offshore engineers, nuclear engineers and risk analysts. If you do not hold the required qualifications, you may still be eligible for the MSc if you have had five years’ experience in the infrastructure sector.

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