MSc Engineering Geology

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment

Program Description

MSc Engineering Geology

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment

This course 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 within 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 environmental consulting companies and consulting engineers, 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.

It is vital that we design and build in a manner which is safe, environmentally friendly, cost effective and sensitive to climate change. 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 this process.

Course highlights:

  • Your teaching will be delivered by the School of Earth and Environment with substantial input from the School of Civil Engineering.
  • Attend a series of School seminars and wider university events. The University frequently hosts the Yorkshire Geotechnical Group (Institution of Civil Engineers) and is involved with the Yorkshire Regional Group of the Geological Society
  • Benefit from our strong connections with industry:
    • We have been training Engineering Geologists over 40 years and maintain links with alumni who can be found in many companies across the globe.
    • Industry colleagues contribute to teaching and an Industry Advisory Board informs the content of this course.


The course has also been given accreditation by the Geological Society. The Geological Society's Accreditation Scheme for Masters programmes was introduced in 2007 and provides added assurance that a programme's teaching is of the highest quality, and has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists.


  • Geological Society accreditation will reduce the amount of experience required for you to reach Chartered Geologist status, an important career step in Geoscience.
  • This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) 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 also an accredited European Engineering degree.

Course content

The programme consists of two terms of lectures and laboratory classes, followed by approximately four months of individual work, leading to the submission of a dissertation; and supervised fieldtrips and industrial and construction site visits.

The programme can also be studied on a part-time basis. Please contact the Admissions Team if you are already working within the industry, we can discuss possible routes through the programme to allow continued employment.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time.

All modules are compulsory.

  • Engineering geology modules
    • Geological Models and Ground Investigation (20 credits)
    • Hydrogeology and Contaminants (15 credits)
    • Hazards, Resilience and Sustainable Engineering (15 credits)
    • Laboratory and Field Skills (10 credits)
  • Geotechnical modules
    • Soils Engineering (30 credits)
    • Rock Engineering (30 credits)
  • Dissertation
    • Engineering Geology: Dissertation Project (60 credits)

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes the form of lectures, individual and group class-based practicals, laboratory practicals, field courses and independent project work.


The School of Earth and Environment’s £23 million building provides world class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, many of which will be available to you throughout this masters.

  • Access your own dedicated computing suite with lockers available for storing personal items.
  • Test and interpret data related to the geotechnical, mining and petroleum sectors around the world in our Geotechnical and Engineering geology laboratories.
  • Carry out soil and rock testing from triaxial testing, direct shear tests, density tests to slake durability and permeability tests all to ISRM, CIRIA, EuroCode and other recognised standards.
  • The Engineering Geology laboratory is supported by other departmental laboratory facilities enabling thin section analysis, X-ray diffraction, pulse decay permeametry, computerised axial tomography and other advanced techniques to establish the properties and behaviour of rocks and soils.
  • Use a suite of industry-standard software packages including RocScience and ArcGIS.


Assessment is varied and includes both written and oral assignments, field-based assessments and exams, as well as seminars and a dissertation project.

Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in an earth science, engineering, civil engineering, mining or a related discipline.

Lower qualifications may also be considered based on relevant industrial experience and/or additional supporting evidence.

Mathematics to AS or A level (pass grade) or international equivalent is required, but this requirement can be waived on an ad-hoc basis given appropriate mathematical content of first degree or industrial experience.

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.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme.

Early application

This programme is very competitive. We advise you to submit your application for 2016 entry as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

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.


UK/EU: £6,500

International: £19,000

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.

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 is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.

Industry scholarships

We appreciate that funding to undertake a postgraduate degree is a significant issue for individual students. Based on the programme's long history of turning out well qualified graduates, we have strong company links which typically offer a number of studentships available for UK/EU students (full and partial awards). Applications must be received by Tuesday 29th March 2016, find out more about our Industry scholarships. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview day, usually held on Thursday 21st April 2016.

School Scholarships

The School is also offering two full-fee scholarships available to International applicants with an offer on this programme. Applications must be received by Sunday 1st May 2016, find out more about our School scholarships.

Other funding sources:

Panasonic Trust

Funding for professional development and the retraining of engineers in the UK is available from the Panasonic Trust.

Don Keeble Trust via Southern Testing

Bursaries for UK candidates may be available from the Don Keeble Trust run via Southern Testing. Selection critiera applies. Enquiries can be made in the first instance to the School of Earth and Environment.

If you are thinking of funding the course yourself you should consider that graduates have a high success rate in gaining (generally well remunerated) employment.

Career opportunities

After completion of the course, employment prospects are excellent, many of our graduates have several job offers. Examples of organisations our graduates work for are:

  • AECOMM (formerly URS / Scott, Wilson), Consulting Engineers
  • Arups, Consulting Engineers
  • Atkins, Consulting Engineers
  • British Geological Survey
  • Burro Happold
  • Byland Engineering
  • CH2M-Hill (formerly Halcrow), Consulting Engineers
  • Donaldsons Associates
  • Golder Associates, Consulting Engineers
  • Hyder
  • Jacobs-Babtie Group, Consulting
  • Mott MacDonald, Consulting Engineers
  • Robinson Design Group
  • Royal Haskoning
  • Wardell Armstrong, Consulting Engineers.

Careers support

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, as well as opportunities to undertake dissertation project work with potential employers.

The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. Read more about our careers and employability.

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.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
12 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
6,500 GBP
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
UK/EU £6,500 ; International £19,000