New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury logo

Master of Science in Engineering Geology

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Canterbury


The Master of Science usually consists of two parts: coursework and a thesis allowing for students to investigate areas of interest to them and conduct independent and original research. The MSc may be awarded with Distinction, Merit or Honours.

Part I of the MSc consists of coursework, while Part II consists of a thesis or dissertation. Coursework must be satisfactorily completed in Part I before the student can proceed to Part II. The requirements vary depending on your choice of subject, as some subjects require only Part II.

  • Part I and Part II must be completed in 2 years full-time
  • Part I must be completed full-time in 1 year.
  • Part II is completed full-time in 1–2 years.

Students will normally have a background in geology or geotechnical engineering and most will complete one year of postgraduate coursework before undertaking research at the Masters or PhD thesis level, although direct possible to thesis level is also common.

Engineering Geology is concerned with the application of the geological sciences to engineering design and construction practice. Geological data analysis provides site-specific models from which foundation design can proceed, and recognition of active processes such as land sliding is critical for site selection and/or remediation.

Construction materials such as aggregates and armour stone frequently require careful geological study to avoid deleterious components, and to ensure successful project completion. Engineering Geology has an important role in the evaluation of site conditions for surface and underground mining, and increasingly environmental management in both the civil and mining professions requires a sound geological basis. There is also a key role for geochemical and geophysical investigation and data analysis in site evaluation and/or remediation.

Career opportunities

Wide-ranging employment opportunities exist for engineering geologists, and there is presently a strong demand both from the civil and mining professions, as follows:

Geotechnical consultancies (New Zealand; Australia; Canada; United Kingdom)

Mining companies and specific operations (New Zealand; Australia)

Hydrogeology specialists (New Zealand; Australia)

Government agencies and local authorities (New Zealand)

Research institutions (University and other)

Work options include larger construction projects, land subdivision, corridor projects, mining geotechnics, environmental management, and aspects of hydrogeology.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Intake: First day of the month

Entry criteria

Candidates must have completed one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours
  • Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Science
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Geology
  • or any bachelor's degree and a qualifying programme.

Students who have qualified for a Bachelor of Science with Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Science can complete the MSc by Part II only (thesis-only) in their subject.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application deadline: At least 6 months before the planned start date.

Studying in NZ

Border reopeningPlan your study experience

Share this course

Share this course