School of Earth and Environment

Engineering Geology MSc

(Full time / Part time) 2019 start

Masters in msc engineering geology


Key facts

  • Start date:
    September 2019
  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
    24 months part time
  • UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
    International fees: £22,750 (total)
  • Entry requirements:
    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in an earth science, engineering, civil engineering, mining or a related discipline.
  • Language requirements:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
  • Course terms and conditions

Our Engineering Geology MSc provides concentrated one-year training in engineering geology and related geotechnical subjects to prepare you for professional practice in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering.

It gives you a grounding in the application of geological principles to a wide range of fields appropriate to civil and mining engineering.

Studying engineering geology will provide you with excellent job opportunities as a result of high calibre academic training, as well as the development of strong skills in terms of both critical and independent thought and team work.

Most of our graduates join consulting engineering and environmental consulting companies, while others go on to PhD studies.

Engineering Geologists

Engineering Geologists are found worldwide working on a wide range of problems, from foundation and mine design to the assessment of seismic and landslide risk.

Their understanding of how groundwater and pollutants travel through the ground may impact on the safe design and construction of excavations and waste disposal sites.

They use geological and geomorphological mapping to identify geological hazards and allow for safe development. Their understanding of the ground and how it responds to static and dynamic loads can influence safe and sustainable siting and design of engineering structures.

Engineering geologists, with a unique understanding of the ground, and a broad appreciation of rates of geological processes over engineering time, are intimately involved in many construction and infrastructure projects.

Alumni Profile

"My MSc in Engineering Geology has given me a good and relevant knowledge base for my role. ... I have drawn on specific aspects of the course frequently."

Lucy Griffith, Gardline Geosciences

Read More

Alumni Profile

"The course has greatly improved my employment prospects. It has a global approach to the subject, rather than being solely focused on UK aspects. "

Neal Gunn, Geotechnical engineering consultancy, Australia

Read More

Course highlights:

  • Your teaching will be delivered by the School of Earth and Environment with substantial input from the School of Civil Engineering.
  • The University frequently hosts the Yorkshire Geotechnical Group (Institution of Civil Engineers) and is involved with the Yorkshire Regional Group of the Geological Society.
  • Complete a 4 month individual dissertation project often involving organisations outside the University such as consulting engineers, civil engineering contractors and the British Geological Survey.
  • The School of Earth and Environment's building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, many of which will be available to you throughout your studies.
  • Benefit from our strong connections with industry:
  • We have been training Engineering Geologists over 50 years and maintain links with alumni who can be found in many companies across the globe.
  • Industry colleagues contribute to the taught programme and an Industry Advisory Board informs the content of this course.

Dr Mark Thomas is the Programme Leader for this course.


When you choose a degree with accredited status, you can be assured that the teaching is of the highest standard. The quality and relevance of our teaching has been recognised by an independent body of academics and industrialists through our Geological Society of London Professional Accreditation.

If you have an appropriate degree, our Geological Society accreditation will reduce the amount of experience required for you to reach Chartered Geologist (CGeol) status, an important career step in Geoscience.

Our designation as a “Technical MSc” through Engineering Council means that if you have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree, the degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). In addition the degree is also an accredited European Engineering degree.

The Geological Society - accredited degree programme Engineering Council accreditation logo

Course terms and conditions

Course content

You will take 2 terms of lectures (class and computer-based practical work) and laboratory classes, followed by approximately 4 months of individual work, leading to the submission of a dissertation. You will also take part in supervised fieldtrips and ground investigation and construction site visits.

You can also study this course part-time over 2 years. Please contact the Admissions Team if you are interested in pursuing this route and we can be more specific with the part-time study requirements and time commitments. However, please note that there is one single mechanism for studying this course part-time, which involves the equivalent of full-time attendance on a Monday and Tuesday in one of the years, and Thursday and Friday in the other.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Geological Investigation and Characterisation 30 credits
  • Soils Engineering 30 credits
  • Rock Engineering 30 credits
  • Engineering Geology: Dissertation Project 60 credits
  • Hydrogeology and Contaminant Processes 15 credits
  • Hazards, Resilience and Sustainable Engineering 15 credits

Learning and teaching

You will be taught via lectures, individual and group class-based practicals, laboratory practicals, field courses and independent project work.


  • Access your own dedicated computing suite for use by Masters students only.
  • Collect and interpret data related to the geotechnical and mining sectors around the world in our Geotechnical and Engineering geology laboratories.
  • Carry out soil and rock description and testing including uniaxial, triaxial testing, direct shear tests, slake durability and permeability tests all to ISRM, CIRIA, EuroCode and other recognised standards.
  • For independent project work, access state-of-the-art methods for establishing the composition of rocks and soils through thin section analysis, X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electon Microscopy and other advanced techniques.
  • Use a suite of industry-standard software packages including RocScience, ArcGIS and gINT.


You will be assessed on your written and oral assignments, field-based assessments and exams, as well as seminars and a dissertation project.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in an earth science, engineering, civil engineering, mining or a related discipline. We require mathematics or physics to A level (pass grade) or equivalent but this requirement can be waived on an ad-hoc basis given appropriate mathematical content of your first degree or industrial experience.

Applicants with a 2:2 will be considered on a case by case basis where applicants can demonstrate significant relevant work experience in a relevant specialist field.

All applicants will need to have GCSE English language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Visas and Immigration

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
International fees: £22,750 (total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

We offer a range of scholarships for UK/EU and international students.

Based on the School's long history of turning out well qualified graduates, we have strong company links which typically offer a number of industry scholarships available for UK/EU students (full and partial awards).

Career opportunities

The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals. In particular, employers frequency advertise opportunities via the programme team.

There is also an opportunity to network with industry sponsors at a dedicated Industry Recruitment Day, the School of Earth and Environment Careers Fair, as well as opportunities to undertake dissertation project work with potential employers.

The types of organisations our graduates work for are:

  • AECOMM, Consulting Engineers
  • Amey, Consulting
  • Arcadis, Design and Consultancy
  • Arup, Consulting Engineers
  • Atkins, Consulting Engineers
  • Golder Associates, Consulting Engineers
  • Hyder
  • Jacobs, Consulting Engineers
  • Mott MacDonald, Consulting Engineers
  • Network Rail
  • RSK, Engineering and Environmental Consultancy
  • Soil Engineering, Geotechnical Contractors
  • Wardell Armstrong, Consulting Engineers
  • WSP, Consulting Engineers


Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Industry links

You will benefit from our excellent links with the civil engineering industry. The course includes seminars given by colleagues from professional practice, and site visits that allow you to see current practice in the field.

We also have an active Industry Advisory Board which meets once per year to consider feedback from students and external examiners, as well as the need to ensure course content is updated to reflect current advances in the subject.

A number of industrial sponsors have donated prizes which can be awarded annually to high achieving students:

  • Soils Engineering Prize for Excellence in Geotechnical Studies at Postgraduate Level, for outstanding all-round performance
  • Atkins Prize for excellence in project work
  • Wardell Armstrong Prize for Engineering Geological Fieldwork.

The Masters Programme has a strong and historical alumni association in Leeds Engineering Geological Society.

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