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Programme: BScHons Applied Science Geotechnics

Code NQF level Faculty Duration Credits
12243005 NQF level:  08 Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 128

Programme information

The BScHons (Applied Science) degree is conferred by the following academic departments:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
  • Mining Engineering

Any specific module is offered on the condition that a minimum number of students are registered for the module, as determined by the relevant head of department and the Dean. Students must consult the relevant head of department in order to compile a meaningful programme, as well as on the syllabi of the modules. The relevant departmental postgraduate brochures must also be consulted.

Admission requirements

  • Any one of the following:
    • a three-year BSc degree (in natural sciences) (or equivalent) with a weighted average of at least 60%;
    • an appropriate BTech qualification, i.e. one offered by a department of civil engineering at a university of technology in South Africa, with a weighted average of at least 75% and no modules failed in the BTech, excluding the National Diploma;
    • a four-year engineering-based university degree not recognised by ECSA for registration as a professional engineer.
  • The departmental Postgraduate Committee reserves the right to make a thorough assessment of the applicant's academic transcript and CV, and to decide if the applicant is suitable for postgraduate studies. This assessment may include an oral or written entrance examination.

Other programme-specific information

The remainder of the credits to be chosen from the modules prescribed for the BEngHons (Geotechnical Engineering) programme, as approved by the head of department, and after completion of the appropriate modules as listed.

Minimum credits: 128

SHC 797 must be passed before other modules are registered. 

Core modules

  • Module content:

    A research term paper will be prepared.

    Solution of confined and unconfined seepage problems using the methods of fragments, finite differences and finite elements.  Numerical solutions of consolidation problems and secondary compression.  Slope stability analysis methods.  The point estimate method.  Monte Carlo simulation.

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  • Module content:

    A research term paper will be prepared.

    Introduction to critical state soil mechanics.  Stress and strain invariants.  Stress paths.  State boundary surfaces including Roscoe and Hvorslev surfaces.  Cam clay model.  Application of geotechnical constitutive models in finite element analysis.

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  • Module content:

    A research term paper will be prepared.

    Test procedures and interpretation of; Standard Penetration Test (SPT), Cone Penetration Test (CPT), Piezocone (CPTU) and seismic methods.  Theory, application and interpretation of advanced geotechnical laboratory tests.  Laboratory Instrumentation and calibration.  Stress and strain conditions for laboratory tests.  Triaxial stress space, stress paths.  Triaxial tests, direct shear tests, oedometer test and Rowe cell test.

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  • Module content:

    Basic mathematical methods. Algebra. Matrices and matrix algebra. Series expansions. Differentiation and integration. Probability theory. Graphic analysis. Discrete and continuous probability distributions. Moments and expectation. Statistical sampling and experimental design. Parameter estimation. Confidence intervals. Hypothesis testing. Regression analysis.

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  • Module content:

    *This is a compulsory module.

    The course will require all honours students to conduct research in an appropriate field of civil engineering, linked to the main discipline in which the student specializes for their honours degree.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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