SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2F724590
Module Leader Martin MacDonald
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject SCEBE - School Office
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

The module contents emphasize the application of the principles of soil mechanics in order to classify the soil. Methods of site investigation, Geology, Determination of shear strength, permeability, consolidation settlements of soil are also dealt with in the module. Concepts of Bearing capacity, Analysis of pressure distribution in a soil mass, stability of slopes also forms part of the module.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Geology : Formation of rocks, Types of rocks, Engineering Classification, Geological cycle, Types of rocks and their characteristics, Tectonics and seismic events, Geologic structures, Weathering processes, agencies and products. Soil Physics : Soil Model, Physical relationships. Soil Classification: Nature, Soil Types and characteristics, Particle distribution analysis, Atterberg Limits, Classification systems. Compaction of soils : Factors, Laboratory and field tests, CBR and MCV Tests, Site specification control of construction Ground Water : Occurrence, Movement, Hydraulic gradient, Permeability, Factors affecting permeability, In situ and Laboratory methods for assessing permeability, Basic filter and drain design, Flow nets, Total and effective stress, Environmental hydro geology Shear Strength of Soils : Introduction, Mohr- Coulomb failure criterion, Types of Shear strength tests, Pore pressure coefficients, behavior of soils under stress, Residual strength, In Situ shear strength tests Site Investigation: Investigation methods(Review), Interpretation of borehole records, Dealing with fill materials and contaminated ground, Report writing Consolidation : Introduction, Process and analogy, Compressibility characteristics, Laboratory tests (Odometer and Rowe cell), rate of consolidation, Terzaghi's theory, Coefficient of consolidation, 1 D settlement problems. Lateral earth pressure : Rankine's and Coulomb's theories, Rankine's theory applied to temporary works, Introduction to soil retainment methods. Stress Analysis : Elasticity and plasticity, Stresses and displacements due to surface loadings. Bearing Capacity and foundations : Introduction, Factors, Definitions, Types of foundation, Ultimate bearing Capacity, Allowable bearing Capacity of clays and soils, In-situ tests. Slope Stability : Introduction, Types of movements/ failures, Remediation, Choice of analysis, translational slips, circular slips (Total and effective stress methods of analysis) Stability numbers/Coefficients.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the students should be able to:-" Assess site investigation in the overall success of construction projects involving ground works( A4, C2, C6)" Classify the soil according to British Soil Classification System and Unified Soil Classification system(A2, A4, C5, D1)" Examine the Soil Characteristics(A5, C6)" Analyze the Shear strength parameters of soils( B3, B5, C2, D1)" Analyze permeability of soils(B1, B3)" Calculate consolidation and elastic settlements(B2)" Analyze pressure distribution in a soil mass( B3, D6)" Calculate bearing capacity of soils(B7, C4, D3, D6) " Analyze soil slope stability(B5, D6)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The main teaching method will be based on lectures. Soil Mechanics Laboratory module experiments relate theoretical concepts to practical experience. The students will be expected to perform directed reading exercises and self-learning exercises on emerging technologies. Tutorials will be used to reinforce the module material discussed during lecture sessions. Tutorials also serve as a platform of technical discussions to clarify any queries that arise from directed studies .

Indicative Reading

-360 1. Barnes, G.E. (2000), "Soil Mechanics" ,2 nd Ed,Palgrave, Britain. 2. Bell, F.G. (1998), "Engineering Geology" , 3 rd Ed.,Butterworth-Heinemann, UK. 3. Budhu, M. (2009), "Soil Mechanics and Foundations " ,2 nd Ed.,John Wiley &Sons,Inc. 4. Craig, R. F. (2004), " Soil Mechanics" ,7 th Ed.,ELBS, Great Britain. 5. Das,B.M. (2009), "Principles of Geotechnical Engineering" , 7 th Ed.,PWS Publishing Company, Boston. 6. Harris, F. (2006), "Modern Construction and Ground Engineering Equipment and Methods " ,3 rd Ed.,Prentice Hall. 7. Smith, G. N. (2007), "Elements of Soil Mechanics" ,8 th Ed.,Blackwell Publishing. Whitlow, R. (2004) (), "Basic Soil Mechanics" , 4 th Ed.,PrenticeHall Tomlinson,M.J. (1995), "Foundation Design and Construction" , 7 th Ed.,Longman.

Transferrable Skills

Problem Solving and Numeracy Communication and Critical Evaluation

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 28.00
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00
Lectures (FT) 56.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (School) 1.50 20.00 35% Mid-term test Unseen written 1½ Hours
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 35% The Course work consists of Quiz as formative assessment The summative assessment is linked with an assignment and a report with 1500 words
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Unseen written - 2 Hours