Civil Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering
Learn to overcome complex geotechnical engineering problems
Why take this course?
This course is suited to those with an eye for materials, material structure and material mechanics.
Our course aims to extend your understanding of the core disciplines of civil engineering and widen your professional scope to include expertise in geotechnical engineering. From ground investigations to soil structure testing, you will gain the analytical and technical skills required to make informed decisions when faced with the complex geotechnical problems of construction projects.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Attend lectures and seminars given by practitioners from client, contracting and consulting organisations
- Gain experience of environmental assessment techniques plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
- Opt to study overseas at a variety of European universities through the ERASMUS exchange scheme
What opportunities might it lead to?
This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- civil engineering
- mining companies
- petroleum companies
- the military
Doing a Master’s is a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge and experience and also to learn new skills and update my old skills to match today’s requirements.
John Cookson, civil engineering student 2012
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time
- A good honours degree in Civil Engineering or a related subject, or equivalent industrial and work experience. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17: full time: £6,400, part time: £3,200 p/a* (2 years)
2016/17: full time: £13,700, part time: £6,850 p/a* (2 years)
* Fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
- School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
- Programme specification
- Programme specification (PT)
Structure & Teaching
The course is divided into three stages, the first two stages are generally taught through formal tuition, with stage three covering independent research in an academic or industrial setting.
You will build upon established fundamental civil/construction engineering and project management principles in order to confidently apply them to a range of complex construction project problems with due regard to related geotechnical factors.
Here are the units you will study:
- Environmental Management for Civil Engineering: This unit introduces you to the main environmental issues associated with civil engineering projects and how they are considered and mitigated in the Environmental Assessment process.
- Civil Engineering Science: In this unit you will study integrated topics of analytical structural analysis, numerical analysis and solving engineering problems. Whilst being an introduction to the finite element method (FEM) and application of FEM software packages, this unit aims to give you the ability to solve engineering problems in the design of real structures.
- Geotechnical Engineering Design Project: This unit gives you an opportunity to simulate the design activities of a civil engineering consultancy. Project briefs are typically drawn from the work of professional contacts in the civil engineering industry. You will be required to make professional contacts, obtain advice and guidance, carry out research and conduct site visits outside the University.
- Strategic and General Management: You will cover management in the construction industry, and the development of organisational and project strategic direction, taking into account internal and external environments.
- Independent Research Project: This covers the generic research framework within which new knowledge is discovered, and involves the practical application of research skills and techniques to a chosen system within the construction industry.
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching on this course will focus on small lectures, seminars and discussion groups. It will also centre on supporting your independent learning strategies, which tutorials will help to develop.
How are you assessed?
Assessment can take many forms and is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. It includes:
- a dissertation
Facilities & Features
We offer you a range of labs where you can carry out materials and structures testing, fluid flow modelling and chemical investigation, as well as an onsite environmental laboratory located at a real sewage treatment works. All are well equipped with industry-standard experimental and computational facilities.
ERASMUS Exchange Scheme
We have active exchange opportunities with a variety of European universities, which are funded through the ERASMUS programme and allow you to experience learning within another context. Current partners include:
- Aalborg Universitet, (Denmark)
- University of Trondheim (Norway)
- TecUniversidad de, Sevilla, (Spain)
- UniverzaV Ljubljana, (Solvenia)
- Tecnische Universitat Wien, Vienna, (Austria)
- Thessaloniki (Greece)
- Istanbul Ticaret Universitesi, Istanbul (Turkey)
- Iceland Academy of Arts, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
- RWTH Aachen (Germany) Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia (Tallin)
Specialist Software and Equipment
We offer a fully equipped geological, geochemical and a recently refurbished geotechnics lab. Brimming with ultra-modern equipment, here’s a taste of what you’ll be able to work on:
- x-ray diffractometer and spectrometer equipment
- photogrammetry equipment
- a nutrient autoanalyser
- large shear box for soil testing
- triaxial test cell, Brazilian and uniaxial test rigs for rock testing
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
We provide you with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. However, you will need to buy your own safety boots which cost approximately £35.
Careers & Opportunities
This course is designed to equip you with knowledge, skills and competencies that employers in the construction industry expect. Alongside the technical topics, you will develop commercial and interpersonal skills required of construction industry professionals.
There is currently a huge demand for geotechnical engineering specialists within the civil engineering sector. This fact, combined with the vocational nature of this course and the extensive training you will receive, means that you are likely to quickly find employment in the industry. Potential roles will include geotechnical engineers, mining engineers and tunnelling engineers for major mining companies, as well as environmental and geotechnical consultancies.
Overall, the delivery of this course and its opportunities for you to interact with the industry throughout your studies means the employment rate of our civil engineering graduates is excellent.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days 2016
- Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm
Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.
Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.
Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.