Engineering Geology and Geotechnics BEng (Hons)

rock samples
UCAS Code
F612
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Take your first step towards becoming a professional Chartered Engineering Geologist or 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.

Graduates from this course play a key role across 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 will open doors to excellent career prospects and opportunities to work for consultants and contractors across the globe.

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
  • Learn from staff with both industry and academic experience
  • 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 and Hong Kong
  • Get the chance to take an optional paid placement year in the UK or overseas

Facilities you'll use include:

  • a petrology laboratory
  • a soil mechanics laboratory
  • a rock mechanics and rock physics laboratory
  • a photogrammetric suite a remote sensing and GIS suite
  • a Scanning Electron Microscope

You'll also get access to the University's XRF, gamma spectrometry, crystal growth, low temperature physics, geochemistry and palaeontology labs.

Industrial Bursary Scheme

Applicants to this course are 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, a 44-week paid work placement after year 2, and an 8-week paid work placement after year 1.

We'll send you details of how to apply for this bursary scheme once you've applied for the course.

Work experience and career planning

To help you secure a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

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.

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
  • AtkinsPeter Brett Associates
  • Wardell Armstrong
  • Socotec
  • Miller Piling
  • Keller
  • Keltbray
  • WSPA
  • ECOM

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.

Careers and opportunities

This degree offers a fast track towards a career as a professional Chartered Engineering Geologist or 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.

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

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

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

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations 

This course is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

These professional bodies oversee geoscience and ground engineering training and practice in the UK. The accreditation gives your degree the professional seal of approval to help you land the perfect job.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • 112-136 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, in Science subjects:

    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Environmental Science/Studies
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • relevant Technology subject

    See the other qualifications we accept

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 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 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

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 £1200.

You’ll need to pay for travel and accommodation for compulsory project work, normally in the UK or Europe, which can cost up to £1000.

We supply field kit but you need to make sure you have suitable clothing for fieldwork such as appropriate footwear (walking boots) and a waterproof jacket and trousers.

​What you'll study

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

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

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 units in this year cover:

  • Earth History and Structure
  • Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Sedimentology and Palaeontology
  • Geological Hazards
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Engineering Materials

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.

You will specifically focus on the following areas:

  • The mechanical behaviour of engineering soils and rock
  • How to investigate the ground and interpret the results
  • Ground water and flood management
  • Geology, focused on structural aspects of geological interpretation and map work

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.

You’ll also consolidate your learning in the study of the following specialist subject areas:

  • Design and construction in soil and rock, for example, tunnels and foundations

  • Geological hazards, with an emphasis landslides and slope stability assessments

  • Environmental risk assessment and management in relation to contaminated land, and surface and ground water

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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning 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 mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

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.

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work

How you'll spend your time

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

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 34% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 66% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 43% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 57% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 33% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 67% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • 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.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 67% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 20% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 38% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 49% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 43% by written exams and 57% by coursework
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    Apply

    How to apply

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

    You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    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 (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

    Contact information
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    Subject area
    Earth sciences
    Engineering
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