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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5030M Soils Engineering

30 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Professor Doug Stewart

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module enables students on the programme to learn the basic principles of soil mechanics and foundation engineering as practiced by civil engineers.


* To introduce soils as engineering materials so that by the end of the module students will have an understanding of the main types of soil, their stress-strain behaviour and strength characteristics, and will be able to apply these concepts to Geotechnical analysis
* To teach the methods, and underlying principles of basic foundation design
* To demonstrate an overall approach to foundation engineering

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. An understanding of the how soils are characterised and tested for engineering purposes, while having an appreciation of limitations of testing and uncertainty.
2. Apply a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the factors that control strength and stiffness of engineering soils
3. Analyse shallow & deep foundations and earth retaining structures, and an appreciation of the complex geotechnical design process (problem idealisation, analysis, and detailing).
4. Apply essential geotechnical skills for (a) idealizing soil profiles, and (b) idealizing soil-structure interaction, to permit analysis.
5. Apply a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the two "limit states" that must be considered (ULS and SLS) and appreciate that foundation design is often dominated by the need to limit deformations (SLS).
6. Communicate effectively complex engineering matters in the context of soil engineering with technical audiences.

Skills learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Critical evaluation of data.
2. Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design.
3. Extract and evaluate pertinent data and to apply engineering analysis techniques in the soil engineering.
4. Apply advanced problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding, to establish rigorous and creative solutions that are fit for purpose for all aspects of geotechnical problems.
5. Decision making based on engineering analysis.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours220.00
Total Contact hours80.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Evaluation of performance and provision of feedback after each assignment (both formative and summative).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

No resit assessment is available for group work (2nd attempt resits assessed by individual coursework (20%) and by unseen examination only (80%).

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam3 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/04/2024


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