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Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5053M Geotechnical Engineering End Point Assessment

Module manager: Mark Thomas

Taught: invalid View Timetable

Pre-requisite qualifications

In addition to the employer’s confirmation that the apprentice is working at or above the level in the occupational standard, the apprentice must have completed the following gateway requirements prior to beginning EPA:
• Achieved English and mathematics at Level 2.
• Completed and passed all credit carrying modules of the Geotechnical Engineering Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship, apart from the final module which will form the EPA

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This project module involves completing a significant and defined piece of work with a real business application. The project must be based on the development and testing of a hypothesis in relation to a geotechnical/ground engineering investigation. It can be a desk study, site; laboratory; or numerically based. It must explore geotechnical concepts/practices in depth. Part of this module will also involve an interview, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence accrued while on the programme.


After completing this module, the apprentice work will meet the needs of the business, is relevant to their role and allows the relevant Knowledge; Skills; and Behaviours of the Geotechnical Engineering Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship. This will be evidenced through the production of a 10,000 word report, a presentation of that work and participation in an interview, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence complied during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship

Learning outcomes
- Soil and rock behaviour (soil and rock mechanics) when exposed to changes in load and/or environmental conditions and the implications this can have on the short- and long-term performance of geotechnical assets;
- Numerical, analytical and critical analysis techniques for the analysis of engineering problems and development of solutions;
- The limitations of these approaches;
- Desk based research techniques for developing a specification for a ground investigation. Correlating outcomes from a ground investigation with fundamental engineering parameters relating to the soil/rock;
- Current and previous industry developments, case studies and forensic analysis for use in design solutions;
- Project management techniques for geotechnical engineering activities: estimating, programming, cost and budget control and resource management;
- Communication techniques: oral, written, drawings and presentations;
- Information technology: digital tools for research, analysis;
- Information technology: digital tools for presentation of data, digital communication and collaboration packages;
- Ground investigation techniques and solutions to derive soil and rock parameters for subsequent geotechnical engineering activities: intrusive and non-intrusive in situ techniques, laboratory tests, and instrumentation and monitoring techniques;
- Ground conditions and ground shaping processes: soil and rock forming, hydrology, hydrogeology and geomorphology; naturally occurring and/or from human activities. How they can impact on construction projects and create geohazards for geotechnical assets;
- Principles of economic responsibilities, ethical principles, social responsibilities and environmental protection and sustainability. How they must be applied to geotechnical engineering activities in the short- and long-term;
- The implications of contaminated land on geotechnical activities and design solutions in the short- and long-term. Contaminated land remediation approaches;
- Design principles and methods for geotechnical engineering and their limitations;
- Design codes and standards for geotechnical engineering activities;
- The need for 'buildability' and consideration of long-term asset performance during the design stage;
- Geotechnical asset management techniques and approaches through construction and post construction; and the importance of considering these during the design stage;
- Construction methods and management approaches used when constructing/managing geotechnical assets;
- Risk management techniques relating to the uncertainty/ambiguity inherent geotechnical engineering activities. For example, controlling risks to the environment, economy and society, risks arising during construction, risks on the geotechnical assets themselves, and those associated with the project: programme/budget control, commercial and financial issues;
- Legal requirements, including Health and Safety at Work, Environmental Protection and sustainability, Construction Design Management (CDM), data protection;
- Commercial and contractual requirements when undertaking geotechnical engineering activities: forms of contract, mechanisms of payment, specifications, and procurement;
- Time management techniques;
- Teamwork and leadership: negotiation techniques, conflict management, development techniques and, diversity, equality and inclusivity considerations;
- Information technology: Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Skills outcomes
- Collect, analyse, and interpret data using numerical, analytical and critical analysis techniques to develop an engineering understanding of the ground and how this will impact upon future design solutions; short- and long-term responses;
- Undertake research and employ suitable methods to improve understanding of the engineering response of the ground. For example, undertake a laboratory study, numerical analysis, interpret previously published data on the ground conditions (or data from laboratory/numerical investigations), learn from previous case studies and/or utilise established correlations between parameters;
- Make geotechnical engineering decisions;
- Communicate with colleagues and stakeholders: oral, written, drawings, and presentations;
- Use information technology: digital tools for research and analysis;
- Use information technology: digital tools for presentation of data, digital communication and collaboration packages;
- Specify ground investigations to obtain geotechnical data including in situ techniques, laboratory tests and instrumentation and monitoring techniques;
- Interpret the ground investigation data and develop a ground model including the identification of geohazards, contaminated land and other risks to the project as appropriate;
- Use geotechnical design principles, methods, codes and standards when developing geotechnical solutions;
- Develop geotechnical engineering strategies and evaluate the potential impacts of these. For example, economic sustainability, ethical, societal and, environmental and sustainability perspectives and practical considerations such as buildability and long-term asset management;
- Produce geotechnical engineering designs, specification and drawings. For example, for tender and construction stages;
- Identify and comply with legal and statutory requirements. For example, health and safety, Environmental protection and sustainability, CDM and data protection;
- Use risk management techniques and manage risks associated with geotechnical engineering activities;
- Plan and manage own time;
- Work with and lead others including, negotiation, conflict management and developing others; taking account of diversity, equality and inclusivity;
- Use information technology: Building Information Modelling;


The project will explore geotechnical concepts such as, but not limited to:
• comparing the performance of a completed geotechnical structure (such as foundation, retaining wall, tunnel, slope or other earthwork) with estimated performance during design and assessing the appropriateness of the design assumptions made for given ground conditions and drawing appropriate
comparing the performance of a geotechnical engineering structure under working load (for example, settlements) with estimated performance from post-construction testing (for example, pile load testing or from Case Pile Wave Analysis Programme, CAPWAP data) or data collected during construction (for example, pile installation rig data) and assessing the appropriateness of the assumptions made for the testing approach in given ground conditions
• undertake testing to consider the impact of techniques used to validate one criteria have on others and the implications of this on long term performance (for example, over-rotation in Continuous Flight Auguring (CFA), pile installations, to prove lack of penetration in rock, smoothing the soil above, potentially reducing the interaction between soil and cast pile in the longer term)
• comparison with a historic data sets, for given ground conditions, held by the company (such as Standard Penetration Testing and shear strength data) with published correlations to assess the appropriateness of these correlations for the ground conditions under consideration
• comparison of datasets for given ground conditions with geospatial/temporal changes to assess changes in given geotechnical parameters and assess the impacts this has on design
• laboratory studies to investigate fundamental geotechnical performance of soils for given loading and drainage conditions and determining the connotations for design
• numerically modelling complex loading conditions on geotechnical structures to better understand the short/long-term performance of these structures and the connotations for design
• desk based research to consider materials not commonly considered for geotechnical engineering applications (such as secondary/recycled aggregates from wastes and site-won materials), identifying current limitations or unknowns that would need to be addressed for widespread embrace within the industry and how statute/design standards would have to be adjusted to allow for the use of these materials conclusions

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 04/09/2023


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