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Master of Earthquake Engineering

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


120 credit hours

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Auckland


Fulfill the increasing need for a new generation of industry leaders in earthquake engineering design and assessment.

Earthquake engineers design new buildings and infrastructure to withstand disasters, and assess the vulnerability of existing buildings and infrastructure, drawing from expertise in structural and geotechnical engineering. The University of Auckland is internationally recognised for our strengths in these fields, putting us in the right position to deliver specialist professional capabilities to both New Zealand and internationally, where there are increasing population densities in seismic regions.

Recent earthquakes in Canterbury and Kaikoura have caused extensive damage to buildings, infrastructure and the natural environment. Investigations into the post-disaster repair and reconstruction efforts have increased our understanding and specialist expertise, but also revealed major demands for earthquake engineers. In this case, the demands have exceeded the capacity of our engineering profession; this need is also reflected in many countries around the world.

Beyond training a new generation of leading professionals, the MEqEng also aims to support current practitioners in the building industries: those who require skills to navigate increasingly complex building codes, policies and requirements in line with new innovations in research and industry.

Programme structure

The Masters of Earthquake Engineering is available as both a taught masters programme and a research masters programme. Students from both tracks choose from the same set of courses which can be found in the Electives tab.


The taught track is available as a 120-point programme. Structures, Geotech, and Level 9 electives can be found in the Electives tab. A research project (indicated as Project X, Project Y, and Project Z in the Electives tab) may be used to fulfil up to 30-points of the Level 9 elective requirements. If you complete an optional 30-point research project, it may meet the research requirements necessary to gain possible into a PhD programme.


The research track is available as either a 120 or 180-point programme. The 120-point programme requires one additional elective course, while the 180-point programme requires five additional elective courses. See the Possible Requirements tab to determine whether the 120 or 180-point programme is right for you.

Where could this programme take you?

There is a growing need for civil engineers– specifically earthquake engineers – with capabilities in new construction, and the assessment and retrofit of existing buildings and infrastructure. Recent disasters in New Zealand alone dictate that highly skilled professionals will be in demand as investments in this field grow over the upcoming decades.

Jobs related to this programme

Earthquake engineer

Project manager

Seismic engineering consultant

Senior geotechnical engineer

Senior structural engineer

Technical director

Entry criteria

Taught 180 points

  • You must have completed an undergraduate degree in a field in a relevant discipline from a recognised university (or similar institution) with a GPE of 5.0.
  • Relevant disciplines may include architecture, construction and science, or a three-year undergraduate engineering degree.

Taught and Research 120 points

  • You need a four-year engineering degree with a GPE of 5.0 or a bachelors degree with a GPE of 4.0 in a relevant degree and three years of approved professional experience.
  • Your four-year bachelors degree in engineering at a recognised university (or similar institution) must include:
  • Broad coverage in your first year of the foundational science topics that underpin engineering disciplines: mathematical modelling, chemical and materials science, electrical engineering theory, mechanics, programming, and engineering design
  • One year of postgraduate-level study
  • A research project or dissertation comprising at least one-quarter of the final year
  • Relevant disciplines for the professional experience-driven entry pathway may include architecture, construction and science, or a three-year undergraduate engineering degree.

IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.5 and no bands less than 6.0; Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 90 and written score of 21; Paper-based TOEFL: Overall score of 68 and a writing score of 21; Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Overall score of 176 and no bands below 169; Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: Overall score of 58 and no PTE Communicative score below 50; Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP): Grade of B-; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85.

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