SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3F620811
Module Leader Nicholas Hytiris
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M2F602833 Geotechnics

Summary of Content

The student will gain a fundamental knowledge of geotechnical theory and processes including soil physics, shear, consolidation, pressure and stability.


1. Site Investigation: Objectives and stages (i.e. desk study, interpretation of maps and part soils and mineral records). Ground investigation, mineral bores, soil bores, boring and sampling techniques. In-situ testing, geophysical surveys, interpretation of borehole records, dealing with fill materials and contaminated ground. Report writing. 2. Consolidation: Introduction - process and analogy, compressibility characteristics, laboratory tests (odometer and rowe cell), rate of consolidation, Terzaghis theory, coefficient of consolidation, 1 D settlement problems. 3. Stress Analysis: Elasticity and plasticity, stresses and displacements due to surface loadings. 4. Bearing Capacity, Foundation Engineering: Introduction - factors and definitions, types of foundation, ultimate bearing capacity, allowable bearing capacity of clays and soils, in-situ tests. 5. Ground Treatment and Ground Stabilisation Techniques: Vibro compaction, sand drains, geotextiles, dynamic consolidation, piling (basic theory and design). 6. 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. 7. Lateral Earth Pressure: Rankine and Coulombs theories, design of gravity/cantilever walls. Introduction to Lateral Earth Pressure: Rankine Theory applied to temporary works. Eurocode 7.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:-1. State methods of site investigation and appropriate plant. (A2)2. Calculate consolidation and elastic settlement. (A1,B1,B2)3. Analyse pressure distribution in a soil mass. (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3)4. Understand the concept of the ground's bearing capacity. (B2, B1)5. Analyse soil slope stability. (A1, A2, B1, B2, B3)5. Determine safety of excavations and understand all concepts of soil retainment. (A2, A3, A4, C2, C3, C4)7. Apply sound engineering principles to problems. (A3, B2)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Teaching will be mainly by lectures with supporting tutorials and practical laboratories. Theory will normally be given on handout notes with examples for directed learning of the application of theory, demonstrated by example and practical classes. Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to student needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the module.

Indicative Reading

Basic Soil Mechanics, Fourth Edition, 2004, Whitlow R. Soil Mechanics, Seventh Edition, 2004, Craig F. Site Investigations and Foundations Explained, First Edition, 1989, Carter and Symons. Foundation Design and Construction, Seventh Edition, 1995, Tomlinson. Solving Problems in Soil Mechanics, Second Edition, 1993, BH Sutton. Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, Seventh Edition, 2009, Das. Modern Construction and Ground Engineering Equipment and Methods, Third Edition, 1994, F Harris Elements of Soil Mechanics 8th edition, 2007, GN Smith Soil Mechanics and Foundations, Second Edition, 2009, M Dudhu

Transferrable Skills

Setting personal targets and time management. Learning skills should be enhanced by use of libary information and IT skills to research and collate information for case studies. Communications skills should be enchanced by requiring the use of appropriate language when writing and speaking to fulfil assignments and when making presentations in seminars. Group-work skills should be developed to address case study problems including the taking of initiative and assuming responsiblity in carrying out agreed tasks. Problem-solving will be required to determine the solution to case studies. The student will be required to define the boundaries of the problem, analyse the components of the problem and identify strategic options.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 122.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 70.00 35% Exams office Unseen exam
Coursework 0.00 15.00 35% Consolidation settlement of clays using experimental data (from lab odeometer testing).Design of soil structure.
Coursework 0.00 15.00 35% Design, assessment and calculation of ground settlements imposed by semistructure (water tank or other).