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MSc (Eng) Geotechnical Engineering

Year 1

(Award available for year: Master of Science)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the programme students should have shown evidence of being able:
1. demonstrate in-depth specialist knowledge of techniques relevant to geotechnical engineering and to demonstrate an advanced understanding of concepts, information and techniques informed by knowledge across, or in aspects at, the forefront of the geotechnical engineering;
2. exhibit mastery in the exercise of generic and subject-specific intellectual abilities;
3. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research, advanced scholarship or area of specific interest within geotechnical engineering;
4. take a proactive and self-reflective role in working and to develop professional relationships with others;
5. proactively to formulate ideas and hypotheses and to develop, implement and execute plans by which to evaluate these;
6. critically and creatively to evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in geotechnical engineering
7. be able to assess geotechnical risk, undertake analysis of geotechnical structures and complete designs of geotechnical structures that are sustainable, safe, and fit for purpose.
8. Knowledge and Understanding of:
a. the mathematical principles necessary to underpin their education in geotechnical engineering and to enable them to apply mathematical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of multi-disciplinary engineering problems;
b. properties, behaviour and use of relevant materials;
c. management techniques which may be used to achieve geotechnical engineering objectives within that context;
d. the role of codes of practice in design;
e. principles and implementation of advanced design techniques specific to geotechnical engineering;
f. mathematical and computer models relevant to geotechnical engineering, and an appreciation of their limitations;
g. the role of the professional engineer in society, including health, safety, environmental, sustainability, ethical issues and risk assessment;
h. developing technologies related to geotechnical engineering and the ability to develop critiques of them;
i. the framework of relevant requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety, and risk issues (an awareness of);
j. advanced design processes and methodologies and the ability to adapt them in unfamiliar situations.
9. Intellectual Skills:
a. analyse and solve problems;
b. think strategically;
c. synthesis complex sets of information;
d. understand the changing nature of knowledge and practice in the management of culturally diverse construction environments;
e. select and transfer knowledge and methods from other sectors to construction-based organisation.
10. Practical Skills:
a. extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and apply its solution using computer based engineering tools where appropriate;
b. evaluate and integrate information and processes in project work;
c. show a capability to act decisively in a coordinated way using theory, better practice and harness this to experience;
d. use concepts and theories to make judgements in the absence of complete data;
e. observe, record and interpret data using appropriate statistical methods and to present results in appropriate forms for the geotechnical engineering industry.

Transferable (key) skills

Masters (Taught), Postgraduate Diploma students will have had the opportunity to acquire the following abilities as defined in the modules specified for the programme:
1. the skills necessary to undertake a higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity in industry or area of professional practice;
2. evaluating their own achievement and that of others;
3. self direction and effective decision making in complex and unpredictable situations;
4. independent learning and the ability to work in a way which ensures continuing professional development;
5. critically to engage in the development of professional/disciplinary boundaries and norms;
6. the skills necessary to work as an individual or as a member of a team.
7. Methods of project/problem specification and management;
a. In-depth knowledge of methods for independent study/research;
b. Critical review of the work of colleagues in a professional environment;
8. Methods of independent learning which will allow successful participation in continuing professional development as required for professional accreditation by the Institution of Civil Engineers;
9. The development of strong teamwork skills within a scientific environment.


Achievement for the degree of Master (taught programme) will be assessed by a variety of methods in accordance with the learning outcomes of the programme and will involve the achievement of the students in:
1. evidencing an ability to conduct independent in-depth enquiry within geotechnical engineering;
2. demonstrating the ability to apply breadth and/or depth of knowledge to geotechnical engineering;
3. drawing on a range of perspectives on an area of study;
4. deal with uncertainty
5. demonstrating the in-depth knowledge of geological principles and techniques relevant to civil engineering;
6. demonstrating skills competence in areas that cover the broad range of geotechnical engineering as a discipline;
7. a satisfactory demonstration of breadth, as well as depth, of knowledge relevant to the practice of geotechnical engineering;
8. making reasoned judgements on the basis of incomplete geological and geotechnical data about parameters necessary for design.
9. ability to work independently, setting appropriate aims/objectives and workplan, in the context of the dissertation project.


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