Engineering Geology MSc
MSc Engineering Geology
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.
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.
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.
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.
What you'll study
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 units include:
- Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Design
- Rock Mechanics and Engineering Design
- Contaminated Land and Groundwater
- Ground Models and Ground Investigation
- Landslides and Slope Instability
- Field Reconnaissance and Terrain Analysis
- Independent Research 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 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.
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, on Mondays and Tuesdays.
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.
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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
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.
- 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. We consider applicants with industrial and work experience
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £8,700 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £4,350 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £15,900 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £7,950 (may be 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.
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.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
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.
- Subject area
- Geography and environmental sciences