The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


The aim of this course is to introduce the principles of soil mechanics. Its purpose is to provide the foundation for geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering design.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

BCA Singapore

  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interpret the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion for geomaterials and apply it in geotechnical analysis and design.

2. Calculate and explain soil shear strength and strength parameters.

3. Apply basic concepts in critical state soil mechanics to describe soil behaviour.

4. Apply strength failure criteria to the analysis of shallow foundations, retaining walls and slope stability.

5. Conduct basic laboratory experiments and derive soil shear strength and strength parameters from these experiments.


The content of the course includes failure criteria, the use of the effective stress principle for estimating the strength properties of soil and rock.

Specific topics covered in detail include the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion for soils, soil shear strength, critical state soil models, foundation and retaining wall design, seismic behaviour of soils, and rock and soil slope stability.

Assumed knowledge

Content covered in course CIVL2282 Introduction to Geomechanics (previously CIVL2280 Geomechanics 1).

Assessment items

Quiz: Mid Semester Quiz

Report: Lab Reports

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Written Assignment: Assignments

Contact hours

BCA Singapore and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 9 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 12 hour(s) per Term Full Term