Engineering Geology MSc
MSc Engineering Geology
See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.
Ready to apply your geological knowledge to engineering and construction projects both onshore and offshore, and take your studies to postgraduate level? Our MSc Engineering Geology degree course is for you.
You'll learn the advanced skills needed to understand the impact of geological conditions on engineering structures such as tunnels, dams, mines, quarries, offshore platforms and wind farms, plan and conduct detailed investigations into surface and subsurface geology to identify adverse ground conditions, and design suitable remedial measures for these types of structures.
Geological expertise is critical in all types of civil engineering projects – and when you graduate, you'll be able to meet the huge national and international demand for specialist engineering geologists. The course will lead to a career in the environmental, engineering geological and geotechnical sectors.
MSc Engineering Geology Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant Earth Science or Civil Engineering field such as Geology, Earth Science Civil Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with industrial and work experience will also be considered.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
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 from expert staff and researchers with extensive expertise in engineering geology and geotechnics.
- Become skilled in lab, computer and field techniques through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, field work and practical sessions
- Get hands-on experience of engineering geological mapping techniques, geomorphological and terrain analysis, applied GIS and remote sensing using current industry standard applications and techniques.
- Take part in field trips, both locally and overseas, to develop your advanced engineering geological and geomorphological mapping and data collection skills.
- Complete your own research project in the UK or abroad with opportunities to work with industrial partners on a joint project.
Okay, my name is Nick Koor, and I lecture on the Master's degree in Engineering Geology at the University of Portsmouth.
The MSc in Engineering Geology is all about understanding geology and geological processes and then understanding that interaction with the built environment. A number of our students have opportunities to go and do placements with companies because we have a very, very good relationship with industry, that's one of our major strengths as a university and certainly as a school.
Take this MSc full time, so it's two days a week, Monday and Tuesday, or you can do it part time in two years. And we have quite a number of students that do that, particularly from the UK. So they're already working in the industry and they're just upskilling - they want to get their Master's degree so that they can progress professionally.
Careers and opportunities
Potential roles include geotechnical engineer, engineering geologist, mining engineer and tunneling engineer for major mining companies, as well as environmental, geological and geotechnical consultancies.
What can you do with an Engineering Geology degree?
Our previous graduates have also pursued careers in:
- Engineering geology consultants
- Geotechnical consultants and contractors
- Environmental organisations
- Marine and offshore consultants
- Civil service and local government
- Mining and quarry industries
This course also has strong research skills training, advanced analytical components and an extensive research project, ideal if you wish to pursue further research at PhD level. We'll give you as much support as possible in finding employment through use of our Alumni network, close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
Work experience and career planning
We have an extensive Alumni network from our applied geoscience masters courses and very strong industrial links and 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 in the environmental, geological and geotechnical industries.
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.
I needed to specialise as it is more competitive now and having a Master’s helps me have an edge above the rest. The University has helped me build up my CV with relevant skills to my chosen career path.
What you'll study on this MSc Engineering Geology degree course
A master’s degree is 180 credits in total, comprising four taught units (each 30 credits) and a research project unit (worth 60 credits).
Core modules include:
- Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Design
- Rock Mechanics and Engineering Design
- Contaminated Land and Groundwater
- Ground Models and Ground Investigation
- Research Skills and Project
Changes to course content
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.
The academic year runs from October to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's 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
Most teaching takes place during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays.
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:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
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.
Teaching on this course includes:
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- poster and oral presentations
- project reports
- literature reviews
- lab reports
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 and funding
Tuition fees (2021 start)
UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £9,200
- Part time: £4,600 (may be subject to annual increase)
(including Transition Scholarship)
- Full time: £9,200
- Part time: £4,600 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £17,600
- Part time: £8,800 (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
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.
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.
The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you'll need to pay for meals and other costs.
Compulsory project work is normally carried out in the UK, and you'll need to contribute to travel, accommodation and meals. These costs are likely to be in the region of £50 - £500 depending on the nature of the project.
You'll be provided with essential safety equipment for fieldwork and site visits (hard hat and reflective jacket). If you require additional field equipment you'll have to purchase these items. Total costs will be in the region of £145.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) 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.
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.
International students may also be eligible for the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences (SEGG) Scholarship. Visit our page to find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
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.