A researcher works in the Geotechnical Engineering lab.
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Soil Mechanics and Environmental Geotechnics

Obtain a solid technical basis in key areas of soil mechanics and apply that knowledge to aspects of environmental geotechnics.

Obtain a solid technical basis in key areas of soil mechanics and apply that knowledge to aspects of environmental geotechnics

Improve your lab research skills with hands-on experience in state-of-the-art facilities

Apply what you’ve learned in the field, with field trip opportunities in the UK and abroad

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year, 2 years

  • Start date

    October 2023

  • Study mode

    Full-time, Part-time

  • Fees

    • Full-time: £16,600
      Part-time: £8,300 per year Home

    • Full-time: £38,600
      Part-time: £19,300 per year Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

Minimum entry standard 2023

  • 2:1 in civil engineering, natural sciences, earth sciences or other numerate disciplines

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Acquire first-hand experience of experimental soil mechanics and apply that knowledge to environmental geotechnics on this broad one-year MSc course.

You'll explore key aspects of soil mechanics before specialising in areas of geotechnical study, including containment engineering.

Hone your technical and research skills in modern, purpose-built laboratories and carry out an extensive research project exploring a dedicated area of geotechnics.

This degree will also enable you to forge strong links with industry and enhance your fieldwork expertise on a series of trips to areas of geological and geotechnical interest in the UK and abroad.

This course is part of the geotechnics cluster of courses at Imperial. These streams share approximately 80% of the curriculum, while the remaining 20% allows specialisation in the areas of advanced Soil Mechanics, Engineering Seismology, Environmental Geotechnics and Engineering Geology.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

You’ll take all of these core modules.

Core modules

You’ll also undertake a specific piece of independent research.

This could take the form of a critical review, a laboratory- or field-based experimental investigation, or a modelling/numerical analysis project. 

Your project and results will be reported in a research dissertation.


Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures and seminars
  • Independent study

  • 30% Lectures and seminars
  • 70% Independent study

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Computer sessions
  • Field trips
  • ID badge for site visit or facility tour
    Site visits
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Books for research studies
    Research project

Balance of assessment


  • Coursework and practicals
  • Examinations

  • 25% Coursework and practicals
  • 75% Examinations

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group projects and presentations
  • Papers from a written report
    Field trip notes and presentations
  • A person completing a written exam
    Written exams and e-examinations
  • Research dissertation

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Tuition fees

Home fee





Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Overseas fee





Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Your future career

Hand holding soil and a plant

Develop the essential core knowledge and skills for a career in soil mechanics.

Person surrounded by small images of other people

Build relationships with industry contacts you'll meet throughout the program.

Chemistry research on computer screen

Work in the field, conduct lab tests, and analyse numerical data to gain practical experience.

Consultant with a speech bubble

Become an international consultant, contractor or work for a governmental body or academic institution.

Graduate Cap above rolled Degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research in geotechnics.

Recruitment CV

Each year, a number of our MSc graduates are recruited by companies participating in our Industrial Bursary programme.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications