The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Provides a practical introduction to research and design techniques in geotechnical engineering. An open-ended, integrated, practical problem is considered. Emphasis is on a realistic design problem. Problems are set by practising engineers.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

BCA Singapore

    Learning outcomes

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

    1. Integrate and extrapolate the theory presented in earlier courses to solve a broad range of real problems.

    2. Apply research and design skills to model and understand complex geotechnical systems and to solve open-ended geotechnical problems.

    3. Work as part of a team in the solution of problems that are posed and directed by experienced practising engineers and academics.

    4. Incorporate design tools such as standards and software in the formulation of solutions to real problems, and explore the limitations of these tools.

    5. Critically analyse and communicate outcomes at a professional level, both verbally and as a report.



    Conceptual design:

    • Identify feasible solutions to an integrated problem
    • Identify potential difficulties and consider planning issues

    Geotechnical design:

    • Philosophies for site investigation and developing geotechnical site models
    • Analysis and design of geotechnical structures including soil retaining systems, water exclusion/retention structures, deep and shallow foundations, slope stabilisation and strategies for environmental contaminant investigation and remediation

    Management of team activities:

    • Student teams are encouraged to maintain a design time sheet/diary in which all members sign off weekly on work done by each individual and time taken to complete that work. The diary may be submitted with the final report.



    Exposure to professional and research practice:

    • Students are invited to attend a series of seminars by practising engineering specialists and academics on specific topics related to their projects.
    • Students are required to undertake a formal review of the work carried out by a fellow group member.


    This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civl) program and associated combined degrees.

    Pre-requisite - successful completion of CIVL4201

    Assumed knowledge

    CIVL2280 Geomechanics 1 or CIVL2282 Introduction to Geomechanics and CIVL1200 Earth Systems

    CIVL3280 Geomechanics 2

    CIVL4201 Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

    Assessment items

    Written Assignment: Geotechnical Model Formulation (Preliminary Report)

    Written Assignment: Final Design Report *

    Written Assignment: Peer Review Task

    * This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

    Compulsory Requirements

    In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

    Course Assessment Requirements:

    • Written Assignment: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Fail criterion on the individual technical section of the final design report. Students are required to obtain a mark equal to or above 50/100 for the individual technical section of the final design report and an overall course mark equal to or above 50 to pass the course.

    Contact hours

    BCA Singapore and Callaghan


    Face to Face On Campus 42 hour(s) per Term Full Term

    See timetable for further details.