MSc/PgDip Applied Geotechnics

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time Up to 3 years
  • Geology
  • Engineering
LocationCornwall (Penryn)
Start date September


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This programme will provide you with the necessary training and skills to undertake professional employment in the civil, environmental, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering and mining-related industries. It also provides specialist knowledge in tunnel, surface and underground excavation design, and applied hydrogeology and risk assessment.

Taught modules take place at Camborne School of Mines (CSM) over two semesters and individual projects are undertaken throughout the summer, often as industrial placements. The programme is suitable for geology and engineering graduates wishing to specialise in applied geotechnics

This degree is professionally accredited under licence from the Engineering Council, as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree. Visit the Accreditation tab for further information.

Programme structure

You will study 180 credits to obtain an MSc and 120 credits for a PgDip. You can either study the course full time over a year or part-time over 3 years.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

The taught part of the programme is structured into two terms. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.

For the award of the Masters (MSc), you must pass four modules and complete a project and dissertation. To obtain a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), you must pass two modules and a project with dissertation.

The project is undertaken from June to September, after the second semester examinations. Completed dissertations must be submitted by mid-September. You are encouraged to undertake projects directly linked with industry, which may result in industrial placements for the project period. The projects are normally design-based and allow further specialisation in a topic that is of particular interest to you. This could involve the use of state-of-the-art engineering design software, risk and hazard analysis and other analytical techniques.

Timetables are designed to allow the completion of the modules and the project within one calendar year. For part-time (block release) attendance, the completion of the MSc or Diploma must normally be within three calendar years.

A research- and practice-led culture

We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.


A degree from the Camborne School of Mines will give you the practical and vocational skills to pursue a career in related fields, such as mining or exploration. It will also give you a range of broader skills in teamwork, problem solving and communication. We have excellent rates of graduate employment, with many of our postgraduates working abroad after graduation.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Geologist, BHP, Australia
  • Geo-Environmental Surveyor, Wheal Jane Services Ltd, Truro
  • Post Doc Fellow, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Trainee Civil Engineer, Cornwall County Council
  • Supervising Engineer, Scott Wilson Limited, Bath
  • Engineering Geologist, Mott Macdonalds, Croydon
  • Resource Geologist, Wardell Armstrong, Cornwall
  • Metallurgist, Rio Tinto, Australia
  • Land Surveyor, Marshal Survey Associates, Sutton
  • Mineral Processor, Wheal Jane, Cornwall
  • Production Geologist, First Quantum Minerals Ltd, Kawsanshz
  • Geotechnical Engineer, Frederick Sherrell Ltd, Cornwall
  • Metals and Mining Analyst, Freelance, Stafford
  • Exploration Geologist, Deno Gold Mining Company, Japan
  • Mine Geologist, Barrick Gold, Australia
The Career Zone at our Cornwall Campus provides high-quality careers information and guidance to students of all disciplines. Our experienced careers team can give you individual support whilst you are at the University and after you have graduated.

Services include talks, confidential careers interviews and an extensive careers library of reference books, magazines and journals. A new computer suite is also available for accessing online careers information, vacancy services and specialist software on, for example, sources of funding for courses and worldwide volunteering.

The CAS can help you to identify attractive jobs, careers paths and employers and assist with your CV, interview technique and identifying work experience placements.

Professional accreditation

Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 

Accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer for candidates who have already acquired an  Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

Engineering Council

This  degree has been accredited by IOM3 under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.  Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).  An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).  Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

The Engineering Council provide an accredited course search web page as well as further information for prospective students, where you can find a list of all our accredited degree programmes.

Entry requirements 2017

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a mining, geological, engineering or science discipline.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

MSc fees

  • UK/EU: £10,000 full-time; £5,000 part-time (where available)
  • International: £21,000 full-time

PgDip fees

  • UK/EU: To be announced
  • International: To be announced

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Current available funding

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If you have any questions about any of our taught masters programmes, please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0) 1326 371801

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Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)

Accredited under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.