Module Catalogue 2018/19

CEG8201 : Geomechanics

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mohamed Rouainia
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
CEG3201Geotechnical Design
Pre Requisite Comment

For GE and EG Courses - CEG1201, CEG2201, CEG3201 (or equivalents from previous undergraduate regulations) or suitable undergraduate degree qualification in an engineering, geosciences or geological field.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aim of this module is to introduce the basic skills and knowledge required by an engineering geologist or geotechnical engineer. Specifically, the module aims:

To (a) make students aware of the range of Earth materials and structures that may be encountered in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering, and (b) enhance their knowledge and understanding of the engineering behaviour and properties of these materials and structures.
To introduce key numerical concepts and develop students' skills in mechanics of soils that will allow them to proceed at a later stage to geotechnical design.
To provide students with an understanding of the principles governing the design of geotechnical structures (eg: earth-retaining structures).

This module will provide an introduction to the engineering properties of soils and their relevance to geotechnical design. Students will be introduced to the principles of geotechnical design. Students will also perform standard laboratory practicals in soil and rock description and classification.

Outline Of Syllabus

*Basic characteristics of soils and rocks.
*The concepts of effective and total stress.
*Consolidation and shear strength.
*Seepage of water and flow nets.
*Students will also undertake standard soil testing procedures, including determination of Atterberg Limits, granulometry, permeability, shear strength parameters, compaction and consolidation properties.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
(i) Understand the basic engineering properties of soils and describe the procedures for standard testing of soils to determine the stiffness, strength, and compressibility.
(ii) Perform calculations involving the physical descriptors of soils (e.g. density, water content, void ratio, degree of saturation, etc).
(iii) Understand the principles of effective stress and calculate in-situ stresses for soil profiles.
(iv) Perform calculations involving one and two-dimensional steady-state flow, including drawing of flow nets and estimation of rate of flow, pore water pressures.
(v) Predict the settlements, and rates of settlement of a structure.
(vi) Understand the shear strength of soils.
(vii) Apply the concepts of design to geotechnical structures.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will have had opportunities to develop skills in:
(i) The selection and use of design parameters for engineering soils.
(ii) Carrying out simple geotechnical design calculations.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Assessed
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Assessed
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Leadership : Present
  • Application
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Market Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Report on laboratory work
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:309:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Mechanical and mathematical knowledge is delivered through formal lecture classes supported by practical exercises. Practical skills such as soil description are developed through practical classes. Students are expected to acquire knowledge and understanding through reflection on taught material and through undertaking independent learning. Students acquire practical skills through active participation in the practical class exercises.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201M70Unseen written examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M30Students will be expected to submit a 25 page report.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Each student will submit a 25 page report summarising the results of the laboratory tests and the methods used to obtain the data. The data will be interpreted to produce a conclusion.
Students’ acquisition of knowledge and understanding are assessed through a written examination. Students’ geoscience skills are assessed through practical and their mechanics skills are assessed by means of a soil mechanics report.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.