Engineering Geology and Geotechnics BEng (Hons)

rock samples
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2021


Take your first step towards becoming a professional Chartered Engineering Geologist or Chartered Geotechnical Engineer on this BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree course.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of geological science and develop the technical expertise to work on the design and construction of tunnels, roads, dams, and surface and underground mine excavations.

Taking this course makes you eligible for the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Industrial Bursary Scheme. If you're accepted onto this scheme, you'll get a bursary of £1,750 in years 1, 2 and 4, and do a 44-week paid work placement after year 2 and an 8-week paid work placement after year 1 (see below for more details). 

Graduates from this course have high levels of employability, and play a key role across many sectors, including construction, mining and quarrying, and offshore and onshore renewable energy. The knowledge, technical skills and and confidence you'll develop on this course, which includes the option of a year working in industry, will open doors to excellent career prospects and opportunities to work for consultants and contractors across the globe.

Accredited by:

This course is accredited by The Geological Society and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IMMM).

90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2020)

Entry requirements​

BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, in Science subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology or relevant Technology subject) (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25–26

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn at a University where geology and geotechnics have been taught for more than 50 years
  • Have the opportunity to apply for the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Industrial Bursary Scheme, which if granted gives you a bursary during academic study years, and access to valuable paid work placements (see below for more details)
  • Learn from staff with industry and academic experience, including experience with the British Geological Survey, Atkins and ACOM
  • Develop fundamental knowledge of geological science, engineering, mathematics and materials
  • Develop knowledge, practical skills and techniques that you will use throughout your career
  • Get out of the classroom to put what you learn into practice, collecting samples and analysing results
  • Have the opportunity to go on field trips to locations such as the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Norfolk, the Cotswolds, north Scotland, the French Alps
  • Get the chance to take an optional paid placement year in the UK or overseas
  • You'll also get access to the University's XRF, gamma spectrometry, crystal growth, low temperature physics, geochemistry and palaeontology labs

Facilities you'll use include:

Careers and opportunities

This degree offers a fast track towards a career as a professional Chartered Engineering Geologist or Chartered Geotechnical Engineer when you do additional training. After you complete the course, you'll be in high demand on engineering projects in global locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Canada and Hong Kong as well as in the UK.

What can you do with an Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree?

Recent graduates have been involved with:

  • major site investigations for international projects
  • investigation and stabilisation of old mine workings
  • coastal engineering
  • flood alleviation projects
  • dam site investigation and design
  • major tunnelling projects in the UK and overseas
  • development of deep mines in South Africa and Australia

What jobs can you do with an Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • graduate engineering geologist
  • graduate tunnelling engineer
  • graduate geotechnical engineer
  • graduate mining geotechnical engineer
  • graduate foundation engineer

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. We're the only university in the UK to offer this course with a sandwich work placement year. Your placement will give you at least 44 weeks of paid work experience.

We have great links with employers in the ground and mining engineering industries and will support you in finding a placement. Previous students have secured placements at:

  • Ramboll UK
  • Mott McDonald
  • BAM Ritches
  • Atkins
  • Peter Brett Associates
  • Wardell Armstrong
  • Socotec
  • Miller Piling
  • Keller
  • Keltbray 

You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. You’ll return to university to complete your studies in year 3 with first-hand knowledge of the industry and valuable experience on your CV.

Zoe's placement story
"The experience you gain is invaluable"

BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics graduate Zoe Horrell talks about her placement with Red Rock Geo.

Work experience and career planning

To help you secure a great job, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course and for up to 5 years after you graduate.  

Through our strong links with the industry, we can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies, develop your experience, and improve your employment prospects on graduation.

What you'll study on this BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


In your first year, you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the geological sciences, as well as focusing on engineering mathematics and materials. You'll also develop key field skills on a number of field trips.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Engineering Geology and Geohazards
  • How the Earth Works
  • Mathematical Principles
  • Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Sedimentology and Palaeontology
  • Soils and Materials 1

There are no optional modules in this year.

In year 2, you'll specialise in the more applied areas of the subject and do fieldwork, which is a vital component of this geoscience degree.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Geoenvironmental Risk Management
  • GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Ground Investigation
  • Professional Skills for Geoscientists
  • Soils and Materials 2
  • Structural Geology

There are no optional modules in this year.

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

In your final year, you'll complete an independent project where you can decide the geological and engineering based topic, collect samples, carry out lab tests and report on your findings.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Geohazard Risk Management
  • Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Project
  • Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology
  • Rock Engineering
  • Soils and Materials 3

There are no optional modules in this year.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Industrial Bursary Scheme

If you apply for this course, you'll be eligible for the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Industrial Bursary Scheme.

If your application is successful, you'll be awarded:

  • A bursary of £1,750 in years 1, 2 and 4
  • An 8-week paid work placement after year 1
  • A 44-week paid work placement after year 2

If you receive this bursary, you'll be more employable because of your placement experience. And you could receive a better salary when you graduate.

Applying for the bursary

Once you apply for this course via UCAS, you'll need to submit a bursary application before midnight on the last working day in February, prior to starting in October of the same year.

Preferably, you'll have a Maths or Physics A level to get this bursary, but ultimately you'll be assessed on merit rather than strict qualification requirements.

You'll need to attend a separate interview as part of your bursary application. Interviews for the bursary will be held in March/April prior to start in October of the same year. Your interview will take place at the offices of the Geological Society at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London.

Learn more about your BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree 
Hear from Dr Nick Koor

Find out more about what you'll experience on this BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics degree from Course Lead, Dr Nick Koor. 

Nick: So Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics course is all about understanding the interaction between the planet and particularly the geology and geological processes and the built environment.

Between 90 and 100 % of our students graduate and get jobs within the ground engineering sector. We've also got phenomenal links with industry.

So we've got an industrial bursary scheme, companies sponsor our students through the course. It's a competitive interview system for students to get onto that bursary scheme.

The students go into the civil engineering sector, and there's also a lot of students that are going into the renewable energy sector, all of those sorts of environmental careers that are becoming very, very important now. There's a fantastic opportunity to travel and work. You see the world and earn money at the same time. 

Extra learning support

Academic skills support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Maths and stats support

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – October to January
  • Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
  • Teaching block 2 – February to May
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • workshops 
  • fieldwork
  • laboratory work

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • exams
  • laboratory reports
  • oral and poster presentations
  • reports on field-based projects
  • computer-based assessment

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2021 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,600 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Your travel and accommodation costs for compulsory fieldwork are included in the course fee, with the exception of the Mapping Training Field Course, which takes place around the UK in the summer between the first and second year of study. Travel and accommodation for the Mapping Training Field Course costs around £100. You’ll also need to pay for meals and other living costs on compulsory fieldwork trips.

You’ll need to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, meals and other living costs for any optional fieldwork you do. These costs are normally around £1,200.

For compulsory project work, normally in the UK or Europe, costs for travel and accommodation will range from £0–£1,000.


How to apply

To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F612
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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