Civil Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering MSc

Civil engineering with geotechnical engineering students examine floorplan
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2019


If you've got an interest in the structure and mechanics of materials – and you're ready to help tackle the geotechnical problems posed by large-scale construction – our MSc Civil Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering degree course is for you.

On this course, you'll expand on your knowledge and experience of the core disciplines of civil engineering and develop the analytical and technical skills - such as ground investigations and soil structure testing - needed to solve geotechnical problems.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to take on ambitious roles in your career – whether that's in the civil engineering and geotechnical engineering industries, or in the related fields of mining and petroleum and environmental consultancy.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Benefit from the expertise of our academic staff and practitioners from client, contracting and consulting organisations
  • Get to grips with environmental assessment techniques, plus other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
  • Learn more about civil and construction engineering and project management principles, and how to apply them to complex construction project problems, taking into account geotechnical factors
  • Unpack topics including environmental management, civil engineering science, strategic and general management
  • Complete a Geotechnical Engineering Design Project based on your own research. You'll conduct site visits outside the University and receive support from professionals in the industry
  • Use our labs, including a fully equipped geological, geochemical and recently refurbished geotechnics lab, featuring the latest professional equipment
  • Have access to our extensive library resources and get help with tough problems at our Maths Cafe
  • Be able to study overseas through the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Careers and opportunities

Geotechnical engineering experts are in demand. And because you're given plenty of opportunities to develop industry contacts during the course of your studies, you'll be in a strong position to secure work once you graduate. Alongside technical know-how, you'll have the commercial and interpersonal skills to give you the edge.

Career opportunities include:

  • Civil engineer
  • Geotechnical engineer/consultant
  • Mining engineer
  • Tunnelling engineer
  • Petroleum companies
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geotechnical consultant
  • The military

Professional accreditations

Accredited by the ICIHT, IHE, ICE and IStructE on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A good honours degree in Civil Engineering or a related subject, or equivalent industrial and work experience.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:

  • Full time – £8,700
  • Part time – £4,350 (subject to annual increase)

International students:

  • Full time – £15,900
  • Part time – £7,950 (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.

You'll be provided with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. However, you'll need to buy your own safety boots, which cost around £35.

What you'll study on this MSc Civil Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering degree course

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

You need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units on this course include:

  • Civil Engineering Science
  • Environmental Management for Civil Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering Design Project
  • Independent Project
  • Strategic and General Management

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


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • discussion groups
  • tutorials

How you'll spend your time

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

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

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.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed​

You'll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • coursework
  • projects
  • dissertation

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.


Apply for this course using our online application form

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can 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 with us, 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.