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Taught Postgraduate Programme

MSc in the field of Applied Geosciences

 

Poster

Engineering Geology Theme

This theme aims at helping engineering geologists improve their performance in professional work. Engineers and scientists wanting to advance their understanding of geology and the work of the engineering geologist are also invited to apply for admission. This theme concentrates on the application of geology and mechanics in geotechnical engineering and the development of engineering geological skills. It provides 11 of the additional courses which graduates in Earth Sciences or Geology would need to meet the entry requirements of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in the Geotechnical Discipline.

 

Engineering Geology with HKIE Approved Courses Theme

This theme provides all 14 of the additional courses which graduates in Earth Sciences or Geology would need to meet the entry requirements of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in the Geotechnical Discipline.

 

Admission Requirements

Applicants should possess a Bachelor’s degree with First or Second Class Honours (or GPA equivalent) in Science, Engineering or a related subject.

 

For 2020-21 intake:

Application for full-time and part-time study opens in November 2019 is extended to

  • Round 1 deadline January 31, 2020
  • Round 2 (clearing) deadline 12:00 noon, April 29, 2020

Applications can be submitted via our on-line application system here.

Fees for 2020-21 intake:

The annual composition fee for the academic year 2020-2021 is HK$130,000#. Part-time students will pay HK$65,000per year for two years. Payment can be paid in two instalments each year. 
 

In addition, students are required to pay Caution Money (HK$350, refundable on graduation subject to no claims being made) and Graduation Fee (HK$350).
 

#Subject to approval

Scholarships and Financial Support

  • Persons of the Muslim faith born in Hong Kong or Penang are eligible to apply for Taufik Ali Memorial Scholarships
  • The scholarship may cover tuition fees, a monthly living allowance and other items on a case-by-case basis. Contact Professor Andrew W Malone for details. https://www.scholarships.hku.hk/Scholarships/detail/255

 

  • Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (Hong Kong) Scholarship 
    This $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually on the basis of academic achievement.

 

  • Government's Non-means Tested Loan Scheme
    For more information, please visit here

 

  • Prizes 
    Halcrow Prizes are awarded to the Best Student and for the Best Dissertation.

 

Courses Reimbursable by the Continuing Education Fund (CEF)

Courses in the programme:

  • GEOS7012 Site Investigation and engineering geological techniques
  • GEOS8101 Engineering geology and geotechnical design
  • GEOS8102 Rock engineering and geomaterials

are reimbursable courses for the purposes of CEF. All CEF applicants are required to attend at least 70% of the classes of each course before they are eligible for fee reimbursement under the CEF.

The Geological Society

The Engineering Geology Theme and the Engineering Geology with HKIE Approved Courses Theme of the MSc in Applied Geosciences are accredited by the Geological Society of London, the body which awards the qualification Chartered Geologist.  Applicants with an accredited MSc need fewer years of working experience to apply for Chartered Geologist.

 

Geological Society

Fourteen courses of the MSc in Applied Geosciences are approved by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. These are the additional courses which graduates in Earth Sciences or Geology would need to meet the entry requirements of the HKIE in the Geotechnical Discipline.

 

What will this MSc give you?

  • The chance to work with top professors and leading practitioners from industry
  • Technical knowledge and professional skills you can apply wherever in the world you are working
  • An internship in industry for selected full-time students
  • A valuable network of industry connections, career advice and inspiration

 

Programme Structure

To be eligible for the award of the MSc in the field of Applied Geosciences, a student shall complete all core courses and total credits prescribed in a selected theme and elective courses, if any, totalling 66 or 69 credits.

 

ENGINEERING GEOLOGY THEME (66 credits)

 

Core Courses
GEOS7010^ Geology principles and practice (6 credits)

GEOS7011 
OR
GEOS7033

* Advanced geology of Hong Kong (6 credits) OR ^Geology of Hong Kong (6 credits)
GEOS7012Site investigation and engineering geological techniques (6 credits)
GEOS7015Rock mechanics (3 credits)
GEOS7016+Soil mechanics (3 credits)
GEOS7020Project Part I (6 credits)

GEOS7021
OR
GEOS8021

^ Geological fieldwork I (3 credits) OR * Geological fieldwork II (3 credits)
GEOS8001Hydrogeology (3 credits)
GEOS8002Professional practice in applied geosciences (3 credits)
GEOS8003Seminars on unforeseen ground conditions, geotechnical and environmental failures (3 credits)
GEOS8020Project Part II (12 credits)
GEOS8101Engineering geology and geotechnical design (6 credits)
GEOS8102Rock engineering and geomaterials (6 credits)
GEOS8104* Natural hillside landslide and hazard studies (3 credits)
GEOS8204+rBasic structural mechanics and behaviour (3 credits)

Other courses
GEOS7022

#Course of directed studies (3 credits)

* For students with a first degree in Geology or a related subject

^ For students whose first degree is not in Geology or a related subject

 Not a core course for non-geologists and students taking course GEOS7022

+ Students with a first degree in Civil Engineering cannot take this course for credits

# As directed by the programme director

Core courses for students with a first degree in Geology or a related subject:

GEOS7011, 7012, 7015, 7016, 7020, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8020, 8021, 8101, 8102, 8104, 8204 – 66 credits.

Course GEOS7022 may be substituted for course GEOS8204.

Core courses for students with a first degree in Civil Engineering:

GEOS7010, 7012, 7015, 7020, 7021, 7033, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8020, 8101, 8102 – 63 credits.

Core courses for students whose first degree is not in Geology or a related subject, or Civil Engineering:

GEOS7010, 7012, 7015, 7016, 7020, 7021, 7033, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8020, 8101, 8102 – 66 credits.

Core Courses Core Courses

 

ENGINEERING GEOLOGY WITH HKIE APPROVED COURSES THEME (69 credits)

 

Core Courses
GEOS7012Site investigation and engineering geological techniques (6 credits)

GEOS7015

Rock mechanics (3 credits)
GEOS7016Soil mechanics (3 credits)
GEOS7020Project Part I (6 credits)
GEOS7024Management (3 credits)
GEOS8001Hydrogeology (3 credits)

GEOS8002

Professional practice in applied geosciences (3 credits)
GEOS8003Seminars on unforeseen ground conditions, geotechnical and environmental failures (3 credits)
GEOS8020Project Part II (12 credits)
GEOS8101Engineering geology and geotechnical design (6 credits)
GEOS8102Rock engineering and geomaterials (6 credits)
GEOS8204Basic structural mechanics and behaviour (3 credits)
GEOS8205Mathematics I (6 credits)
GEOS8206Mathematics II (6 credits)
Elective courses 
ENVM7013Sustainability, Society and Environmental Management (3 credits)
ENVM7013ENVM7013ENVM7013ENVM7016Environmental Policy (3 credits)
ENVM7017Environmental Law in Hong Kong (3 credits)

 

Certain courses not included in the list above may be accepted as electives at the discretion of the programme director.
 

Teaching will take place mainly on weekday evenings but students are expected to undertake field and laboratory work during weekends. Normally there are two evening classes each week but in some semesters there are three. Full-time students attend the same evening classes as part-time students, most of whom have day-time employment. Concentrated teaching may be held at weekends.

 

Course contents

Courses
GEOS7010 Geology principles and practice (6 credits)

A review of fundamental concepts in geoscience, including earth and geological processes, surface processes, minerals and rocks, geological structures and geological map interpretation. The course also introduces the rocks and geological formations of Hong Kong.

Assessment: Course work (40%) and written examination (60%)


GEOS7011 Advanced geology of Hong Kong (6 credits)

This advanced course examines specialist aspects of the rocks and geological formations and structures of Hong Kong and their significance in the context of geotechnical engineering, environmental management and resource development. Topics include volcanic and granitic rocks, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, weathering processes, superficial deposits, geology and geological aspects of landslides.


Assessment: Course work (50%) and written examination (50%)


GEOS7012 Site investigation and engineering geological techniques (6 credits)

A professional course on the concepts and skills used in geotechnical site investigation. Topics include the design of site investigations, desk study and walkover survey, aerial photographic interpretation, soil and rock description and classification, ground investigation technology and soil and rock laboratory testing.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS7015 Rock mechanics (3 credits)

The course introduces the basic concepts of rock mechanics used in geotechnical practice. Topics include index properties, strength and deformability of intact rock; distribution and measurement of in-situ stresses; and shear strength of discontinuities in rock masses.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS7016 Soil mechanics (3 credits)

An examination of the basic soil mechanics theory used in geotechnical practice. The course reviews phase relationships, soil classification, compaction, fluid flow and effective stress concepts; and provides a more detailed analysis of elasticity, shear strength and consolidation.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS7020 Project Part I (6 credits)

The first phase of an independent study of a problem in applied geosciences. It involves literature review, data collection and data analysis. Students are required to write an inception report and give a presentation on their proposed study. Work is required on the project during the summer following the second semester. Professional geologists are expected to undertake a field mapping task as part of their project. This course provides a capstone experience.

Assessment: Course work (100%)


GEOS7021 Geological fieldwork I (3 credits)

Self-directed study in the field over a 6-month period leading to the production of maps, field sheets, narrative accounts and other geological records for assessment. The fieldwork may be undertaken in association with the excursions of the Department of Earth Sciences, the local learned societies or independently. (Marked on a pass/fail basis.)

Assessment: Course work (100%)


GEOS7022 Course of directed studies (3 credits)

Studies to assist learning in the core courses, involving some of the following activities: professional activities, field work, laboratory work, internship, class exercises, tutorials and reading.

Assessment: course work (80%) and oral examination (20%)

 

GEOS7024 Management (3 credits)

This subject provides the graduate with basic knowledge of project management practice.  It will cover most of the following: engineering processes, programming and procurement strategies: contact management; construction site safety, health and environmental aspects; quality control and quality assurance.

 Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS7033 Geology of Hong Kong (6 credits)

To provide an understanding of the principal components of the geology of Hong Kong and its regional setting, including the distribution and interpretation of the main rock types, age relationships; and superficial deposits; and the locations and orientations of the main regional and local structures.

Pre-requisite course: Pass in GEOS7010
Assessment: Course work (50%) and written examination (50%)


GEOS8001 Hydrogeology (3 credits)

To study the role of sub-surface water in engineering and environmental applications. Topics include the hydrologic cycle, properties of aquifers controlling the transmissivity storage and quality of groundwater, quantification of groundwater flow, the field investigation of groundwater and assessment of field parameters and applications of hydrogeology in engineering and environmental studies.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS8002 Professional practice in applied geosciences (3 credits)

An examination of issues in professional practice in applied geoscience, including regulation of practice, professional ethics and law, contracts and risk management.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS8003 Seminars on unforeseen ground conditions, geotechnical and environmental failures (3 credits)

A series of student-led seminars on case histories of landslides,collapses of engineering structures, excessive ground settlement and environmental disasters. Presentations of facts and opinions are given by students based on suggested reading material. This course provides a capstone experience.

Pre-requisite course: Pass in GEOS8002
Assessment: Course work (100%)


GEOS8020 Project Part II (12 credits)

The second phase of an independent study of a problem in applied geosciences culminating in the preparation of a project report of about 10,000 words. Students will be required to make a presentation of their preliminary results. This course provides a capstone experience.

Assessment: Course work (100%)


GEOS8021 Geological fieldwork II (3 credits)

Self-directed study in the field over a 6-month period leading to the production of maps, field sheets, narrative accounts and other geological records for assessment. The fieldwork may be undertaken in association with the excursions of the Department of Earth Sciences, the local learned societies or independently. (Marked on pass/fail basis.)

Assessment: Course work (100%)


GEOS8101 Engineering geology and geotechnical design (6 credits)

An examination of civil engineering design methodology and the application of soil mechanics theory and empiricism in geotechnical design. Emphasis is given to soil slopes and embankments, earth pressure and retaining structures and shallow and deep foundations.

Pre-requisite course: Pass in GEOS7016 except for students with a first degree in Civil Engineering
Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS8102 Rock engineering and geomaterials (6 credits)

This course starts with a brief introduction to the design methodology and the systems approach in rock engineering, and is mainly focused on the collection and analyses of engineering geological data for the design of rock structures. Uses of rock mechanics input and empirical classifications in analysis and design of rock slopes, tunnel excavation and support systems, and rock foundations are demonstrated through case histories.

Pre-requisite course: Pass in GEOS7015
Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS8104 Natural hillside landslide and hazard studies (3 credits)

The contents of this course will include most of the following topics: classification of landslides; Hong Kong terminology, examples of natural terrain landslides and documentary sources of information; hillslope evolution, geomorphological principles (including the evolutionary landform models of Dalrymple and Hansen) and Quaternary geology of Hong Kong; hillslope hydrology, modes of groundwater flow, runoff and infiltration, piping; hydrological and morphological conditions for initiation of shallow landslides in regolith; engineering geological and geomorphological mapping; landform processes; regolith mapping, boulder identification; landslide hazard assessment; landslide susceptibility assessment for risk quantification; design event approach; landslide mobility modelling.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)


GEOS8204 Basic structural mechanics and behaviour (3 credits)

The subject will cover most of the following:
Behaviour of structural members subjected to tension, compression, bending, shear and torsion. Buckling of compression members. Statically determinate and indeterminate structures; including the concept of redundancy of structural members. Load transfer mechanisms of structural systems including foundations and shoring systems. General behaviour and basic concepts in design of reinforced concrete members. Structural design of foundations and retaining walls.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)

GEOS8205 Mathematics I (6 credits)

This course (together with GEOS8206 Mathematics II) strives to provide a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental mathematics that all earth scientists need. Topics include the language of sets, the concept of matrices and its applications, functions, limits, first order differentiation, applications of derivatives, first order Taylor’s expansion, properties of exponential and logarithmic functions, the notation of integration, integration techniques, volume of revolution, higher order differentiation and Taylor’s expansion, Hessian test for functions of two variables, the concept of multiple integration, and volume using triple integration.

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)

GEOS8206 Mathematics II (6 credits)

This course is a continuation of GEOS8205 (Mathematics I).  The first part of the course aims to teach students different solution methods to first order differential equations (separable, linear, Bernoulli, exact/non-exact types), second order linear differential equations with constant coefficients using characteristic equation, method of variation of parameters, method of educated guess.  The second part introduces the concept of probability and statistics, topics include counting, probability (using the language of sets), random variables (including Binomial, Poisson, Exponential, Normal), probability density/distribution functions, cumulative distribution functions, joint distributions, independence, mean, variance, covariance, moment generating functions, sampling and confidence intervals (using Normal/t- distributions).

Assessment: Course work (30%) and written examination (70%)

ENVM7013  Sustainability, society and environmental management (3 credits)

This course begins with intellectual debates on the definitions, conceptions and different interpretations of the notion of sustainable development.  The course then moves on to explore and analyse the implementation of the of the sustainability concept at the macro- and the micro- levels, covering a wide range of issues from international agreements and campaigns to local projects and practice.  This will be followed by a number of implementation tools and techniques including community engagement and sustainability assessment. The course concludes with a series of real-life case investigations on innovative models to achieve sustainability in different contexts.

Assessment: Course work (100%)

ENVM7016 Environmental policy (3 credits)

This course focuses on key aspects of environmental policy-making and policy-implementation processes, such as how policy agendas emerge and evolve, how environmental discourse shapes policy outputs; and how institutions affect the trajectories and outcomes of environmental policy measures. Making references to local, national and international cases of successful and not-so-successful policies that pertain to the sustainable development agenda, the course also examines the theories and praxis of policy transfer and policy convergence, as well as the perennial problematics of policy integration, policy learning and policy failure.

Assessment: Course work (100%)

ENVM7017 Environmental law in Hong Kong (3 credits)

This course focuses on the statutory interpretation of the four principal Ordinances and subsidiary legislation dealing with pollution in Hong Kong; namely the Water Pollution Control Ordinance, the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, the Noise Control Ordinance and the Waste Disposal Ordinance. Some consideration will also be given to the Dumping at Sea Ordinance, the Radiation Ordinance, the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Ordinance, the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance and international conventions effecting the law. Students will study the nature of environmental offences, including the requirement for proving “mens rea” (intent) in order for certain offences to be successfully prosecuted. Students will also be introduced to the principles of judge made law (the Common Law) and will learn to read and interpret relevant case law in order to better understand the current sentencing policies towards environmental offenders, both locally and in other Common Law jurisdictions.

Assessment: Course work (100%)

 

Programme Director

Dr Louis N Y Wong
BSc HKU; PhD MIT; FGS
Department of Earth Sciences

 

Associate Programme Director

Professor Y C Chan
BBS; BSc HKU; MSc Lond; DIC; FHKIE; MIStructE
Department of Earth Sciences

 

Admissions Tutor

Professor Andrew W Malone
BBS; BSc Leeds; PhD Lond; FGS; FICE; RGE
Department of Earth Sciences 

 

Part-time Lecturers

  • Ir P K S Chau, BEng, MEng McGill; MHKIE; MIOM3; CEng; PEng (Ont); GEO
  • Prof P W K Chung, JP; BSc HKU; MSc Lond; DIC; CEng; FHKIE; FGS; GEO
  • Mr J Hart, BSc Edin; MSc Lond; CGeol; GeoRisk Solutions Ltd
  • Prof K K S Ho, JP; BSc(Eng), ACGI; MSc, DIC; FICE, FHKIE, CEng, RPE(Geotechnical), RPE(Civil); EurIng; GEO
  • Ir I M L Ho, BEng MPhil HKUST; MHKIE; MICE; CEng; GEO
  • Mr B P Hoy, LLB; Solicitor Hong Kong, Robertsons
  • Ir Florence W Y Ko, BEng HKUST; LLB Lond; MSc London; DIC; MA HKCityU; MICE; MHKIE; CEng; GEO
  • Dr Vickie W W Kong, BEng, MEng Auckland; PhD UWA; MICE; MHKIE; CEng; GEO
  • Ir P C T Kwok, MSc HKU; MHKIE; RSE Fugro
  • Mr M H Y Lam, LLB, LLM; FCIArb; Solicitor Hong Kong; Clyde & Co
  • Prof R P Martin, BSc PhD Lond; CEng; CGeol, FHKIE, FIMMM; Geoconsult HK
  • Dr S W P Ng, BSc; MPhil HKU; DPhil Oxon; FGS; SEG; Minersoc; CUHK
  • Dr P L Ng, BEng, PhD HKU; MBA; MHKIE; MICE; CEng; RPE; HKUST
  • Prof R J Sewell, BSc, PhD Cant; FGS; CGeol; CSci; Eur. Geol; AGU; GEO
  • Ir K Styles, BSc UNSW; CGeol; CEng; FHKIE; Fugro

Graduate/ Student Sharing

 

Lin Mohan

Mohan LIN

Class of 2018

 

"At HKU I got the chance to learn from world-class professors who have abundant working experience and are willing to share their knowledge. My MSc included an internship in Arup and on graduating I got a job in Hong Kong with Fugro."

 
ABD Rasid Jaapar

JAAPAR Abd Rasid Bin

Class of 2006

 

"The MSc really helped me to understand how to approach engineering geological problems. It built up my confidence as a young geologist in dealing with other professionals. I believe this is the best course of its type in East and Southeast Asia."

 

Enquiries

Dr Louis N Y Wong

Programme Director

Department of Earth Sciences

  • Room 309 James Hsioung Lee Science Building
  • (852) 2241 5970
  • (852) 2517 6912

Professor Y C Chan

Associate Programme Director

Department of Earth Sciences

  • Room 309 James Hsioung Lee Science Building
  • (852) 2857 8247
  • (852) 2517 6912

Professor Andrew W Malone

Admissions Tutor

Department of Earth Sciences

  • Room 309 James Hsioung Lee Science Building
  • (852) 2559 2555
  • (852) 2517 6912

Faculty of Science

The University of Hong Kong

  • G/F Chong Yuet Ming Physics Building Pokfulam Road Hong Kong
  • (852) 3917 5287
  • (852) 2858 4620