Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module ENGI4337: Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 4

Department: Engineering

ENGI4337: Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 4

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to H100


  • ENGI3311, ENGI3341


  • As specified in programme regulations.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations.


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • The module will provide graduates with advanced knowledge of the design and analysis of embankment and concrete dams and foundation design for offshore structures and advanced limit analysis techniques.


  • Dam Classification (earth and rockfill, roller compacted, gravity, buttress and arch)
  • Stability and internal seepage in embankment dams
  • Concrete dam stability
  • Classification of offshore foundation types
  • Limit state analysis
  • Anchors
  • Lateral loading on foundations

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Appreciation and technical understanding of the characterisation and testing of soils to enable the design and analysis of a variety of geotechnical structures.
  • Understanding of the capabilities and limitations of advanced simulation methods when applied to geotechnical engineering problems.
  • Knowledge of simple analysis tools and modelling techniques for the prediction of the performance of geotechnical structures.
  • Understanding of the different types of dam structures and their suitability for different geological/topological conditions.
  • Understanding of the different types of offshore structures.
  • Knowledge of simple design methods for offshore structures.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The awareness of current design codes of practice and engineering approaches to geotechnical design.
  • The ability to carry out assessments of the stability of geotechnical structures.
  • The awareness of current technology, analysis methods and industrial practices along with the ability to apply those methods in novel situations.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Highly specialised analytical and numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This course is taught using lectures and reinforced by problems. Written timed examinations are appropriate for this module because of the largely quantitative methods covered in the courses. The examination will enable students to demonstrate their ability to solve advanced problems independently.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 20
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 70
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University