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5042f - Geotechnical Engineering MSc

Geotechnical Engineering MSc

Entry Year:

Start in: September 2021

Our MSc will give you the specialist knowledge and training to prepare you for professional practice, meeting the national and international demand for geotechnical engineers.


Our MSc gives you an in-depth understanding of geotechnical engineering. It covers topics associated with:

  • the engineering behaviour of soils and rocks
  • geotechnical design
  • site investigation and testing
  • construction practice

Advanced geotechnical specialisms are also taught. These include the application of state-of-the art computational tools in design and the engineering of specialist earth structures such as tailing dams.

Our Geotechnical Engineering master's is for both practising professionals and new graduates in:

  • earth sciences
  • civil engineering
  • geological science
  • geology
  • geophysics
  • maths
  • physics

This course meets the growing need for skilled geotechnical engineers in:

  • construction
  • environmental sector
  • energy industries

It highlights cutting-edge technologies in geotechnical engineering and provides an understanding of:

  • design and construction
  • project management and health and safety
  • sustainability and environmental impact


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

What you'll learn

The course provides you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of:

  • soil mechanics and ground characterisation
  • key aspects of geotechnical design, such as foundations and slopes
  • ground engineering practice and professional skills
  • design of reinforced slopes, retaining structures and tailing dams
  • applied rock engineering
  • engineering geology principles and applications
  • soils and rocks and their engineering properties
  • site investigation, testing, interpretation and reporting processes
  • construction practice and awareness of safe operation
  • application of mathematical methods and computational tools

The course covers a broad range of topics and is taught by expert staff based in the School of Engineering.


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

How you'll learn

Your development

Professional skills

Once you have graduated you'll be able to:

  • identify, generate and interpret data relevant to an engineering scenario
  • employ numerical methods for modelling and analysing problems
  • select and apply ideas, concepts and data to generate innovative designs
  • evaluate the quality of data through testing and measurement equipment in field and lab
  • present and summarise data and critically appraise its significance, using numerical techniques
  • formulate and test key hypotheses using logical and consistent quantitative or qualitative arguments

Our degree programmes are shaped by our strong engagement with industry. They have been developed to equip you with the professional and technical skills, crucial in industry.

Your future

Graduate destinations

We'll prepare you for a wide range of careers across the globe in construction, environmental and energy sectors. Some graduate destinations include:

  • specialist geotechnical consultancies and contractors
  • global engineering firms
  • geoenvironmental consultancies
  • offshore engineering services
  • international classification societies

Our close industry links and strong graduate community have seen graduates go on to destinations including:

  • Arup
  • Cundall
  • Jacobs
  • Milestone
  • PTV
  • Systra

This course also provides a route into PhD level study.

Industry links

Our close links with industry and our graduates will also provide you with a network, allowing you to enhance your employability.

You'll benefit from:

  • industry guest lectures
  • study tours
  • site visits
  • projects
  • placements and employment opportunities (with added support from our Careers Service)

Recent contributors to the MSc programme include engineers from:

  • Arup
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Buro Happold
  • Subsea 7
  • Cundall

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


The School of Engineering has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation. These support our research, teaching and contract research projects.

Find out more about our Geotechnics and Structures Research Laboratories.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:

  • additional costs
  • living costs
  • tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts

Search for funding

Find funding available for your course

Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

How to apply

Using the application portal

The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.

You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.

If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.

Apply Online  

Applications for 2022/23
You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021

Open days and events

Open days

The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.

From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:

  • explore our beautiful campus
  • find out about our vibrant city
  • discover what students think about studying at Newcastle

You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.

Find out about upcoming postgraduate open days


We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

We also hold various online and virtual events.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

School of Engineering
School Admissions Team


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

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