BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Geotechnics 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL10212
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is the first out of the four Geotechnics modules that the students will come across in the School of Engineering. In this introductory module the students will understand why the module is important for their curriculum by looking at various civil engineering projects and appreciating the relevacen of geotechnical engineering in each one of them.


- To understand the basic background behind soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering and their importance and relevance in civil engineering.
- To understand the importance of basic geology in civil engineering and learn about the three rock groups and origin of soils.
- To classify different type of soils.
- To understand the principle of soil compaction and representing soil as a three-phase system.
- To understand the mechanics behind the flow of water through soils and to understand the concept of permeability of soils.


The unit comprises of the following 3 broad topics:
1. Geology
- Learning about the different types of rocks and how they disintegrate to form soils.
- Learning about basics of folds, faults and joints and they relate to various civil engineering projects.
- Learning about the engineering classification of rocks by understanding the RQD and RMR techniques.

2. Origin of soil and classification
- Learning about how soils are formed and the methods with which they are classified.

3. Phase relations, soil compaction and flow of water through soils
- Learning various mass-volume relationships as used in geotechnical engineering.
- Learning about the principle of soil compaction and understanding its importance in civil engineering projects.
- Learning about the mechanism of the follow of water through soils and understanding the Darcy’s law and soil permeability.

The unit comprises of the following 2 lab based activity:

1. Rock Identification Lab – a 2 hour session in which the students describe, classify and name 10 handheld samples of rocks that they are given.
2. Index tests and soil classification lab – a 2 hour session in which students do basic index tests and watch demonstrations of some other tests.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

After the examination, via the Blackboard.

Report - Via comments on the individual scripts + Class feedback

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 70

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mohd Ahmad Syed Unit coordinator

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