Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc – 2023 entry
- Start date: February 2023
Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 5 years
Distance-learning: 5 years
- Start date: September 2023
Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 5 years
Distance-learning: 5 years
Why choose this course
Geotechnical engineering – the mechanics of the Earth’s materials – is a sector with a huge global skills shortage. This means that well-trained geotechnical engineers are in high demand.
Our MSc will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue an exciting career in the geotechnical engineering sector, including offshore and earthquake geotechnics.
You’ll be taught in highly specialised facilities, such as our Geotechnics and Geology Teaching Laboratory, which has recently benefitted from a £450,000 investment, by academics who are leaders in their field. Throughout your course, you’ll also benefit from the expert knowledge of specialist guest speakers, including visiting academics and engineers working in the industry.
What you will study
Our MSc will develop your understanding of the principles and theories behind ground engineering, from soil mechanics to site investigation, and from advanced soil testing to foundation design. We’ll provide you with the necessary skills to address technological challenges in the geotechnical engineering sector.
You’ll explore topics, including deep foundations in urban areas, deep water energy resources exploration, field monitoring, foundations for energy infrastructure and major bridges, and tunnelling.
You’ll also have the opportunity to work on a research project, enabling you to acquire, analyse and critically evaluate data, then draw valid conclusions from it. It will test your understanding of scientific methodology, and allow you to graduate as a confident and capable geotechnical engineer.
The course covers the following:
- Analysis techniques:
- Simplified (spreadsheet based)
- Standard (code-based methods or simple software)
- Advanced (finite element method)
- Back analysis of collapse of foundations
- Design and construction of foundations for bridges, buildings, offshore structures, tunnels and deep basements in busy cities
- Dissertation on a geotechnical topic
- Fundamental soil mechanics and its modelling using numerical approaches
- Testing of soils to obtain design parameters – we use our purpose-built SAGE laboratory for teaching.
Surrey is a pioneer in distance learning based MSc courses in civil and environmental engineering and has been offering this option long before the Covid-19 pandemic. This flexible option allows you to study for our distinctive, accredited programme from anywhere in the world, without the need to relocate or give up your existing job.
As a distance learner, you’ll study eight modules and complete a dissertation in your chosen subject (like full-time and part-time students), but you can take up to five years to complete your masters. You’ll be able to access all module materials through our virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, and arrange to take end-of-module exams at a local university.
Learn more about distance learning programmes (PDF).
Your modules will be taught by academics with expertise in geotechnics. Some lectures on this course will be delivered by visiting academics and practising engineers from industry, giving you invaluable insight and adding another dimension to your learning.
You’ll be allocated a personal tutor to guide you during your time at Surrey. You can expect a varied, stimulating and rewarding student experience, and you’ll receive all the support you need to progress your learning.
In addition to our Library and Learning Centre’s extensive resources, our excellent engineering testing facilities can support experimentally based dissertation projects.
Masters students benefit from a range of highly specialised facilities in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. These include:
- Air Quality Lab
- Centre for Environmental Health and Engineering, a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for water quality and health
- Geotechnics and Geology Teaching Laboratory, recently upgraded with a £450,000 investment
- Materials and Structures Laboratory
- Surrey Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (SAGE) Lab
- Wind tunnel facilities.
VJ Tech Prize for Best MSc Student in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
A prize of £1,000 sponsored by VJ Tech, one of the world’s top geotechnical engineering manufacturers specialising in advanced soil testing equipment for labs. The £1,000 prize may be awarded to an individual student or split between two students displaying the best performance in their MSc.
Keller Prize for Best MSc Project in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
A prize of £500 sponsored by Keller Group plc, the world’s largest independent ground engineering contractor.
The prize will be awarded to the student(s) with the best dissertation completed as part of our Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc. The £500 prize will be awarded on the basis of quality and potential impact, and may be awarded to an individual student or split between a number of students with the best dissertations.
MSc - Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).
Accredited by CIHT as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.
MSc - Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
Accredited by IHE as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.
MSc - Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
Accredited by ICE as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.
MSc - Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE).
Accredited by IStructE as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.
MSc - European Accreditation of Engineering Programmes (EUR-ACE)
This Programme is accredited by the European Accreditation of Engineering Programmes (EUR-ACE)
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
Our masters courses in civil engineering open up a huge range of career opportunities, and not only with major consultancies and contractors.
Recent MSc graduates have been employed by:
- A-squared Studio
- Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure
- Highways England
- Laing O’Rourke
- Mott MacDonald
- Peter Brett Associates
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in civil engineering (or geology, engineering geology and other allied subjects), or equivalent recognised international degree.
Applicants will be considered on an individual basis, based on strength in specific subjects related to the MSc programme and/or professional experience.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (email@example.com) with any queries.
Start date: February 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 5 years
Distance-learning - 5 years
Start date: September 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 5 years
Distance-learning - 5 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on an unstructured self-paced part-time course, the fee shown is per 15 credits for the 2023-24 academic year
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
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Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
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