Programme: BScHons (Applied Science) Geotechnics

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

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

  1. Three-year BSc (or equivalent) degree (in Natural Sciences)
    with a cumulative weighted average of at least 60% for the degree
    relevant BTech qualification excluding the National Diploma; i.e. one offered by a department of civil engineering at a university of technology in South Africa
    with a cumulative weighted average of at least 75% for the degree
    no modules failed in the BTech degree
    four-year engineering-based university degree not recognised by ECSA for registration as a professional engineer
  2. An entrance examination may be required
  3. Comprehensive intellectual CV

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.

Examinations and pass requirements

Refer also to G18 and G26.

  1. The examination in each module for which a student is registered, takes place during the normal examination period after the conclusion of lectures (i.e. October/November or May/June).
  2. G18(1) applies with the understanding that under exceptional circumstances an extension of a maximum of three years may be approved: provided that the Dean, on reccommendation of the relevant head of department, may approve a stipulated limited extension of this period.
  3. A student must obtain at least 50% in an examination for each module where no semester or year mark is required. A module may only be repeated once.
  4. In modules where semester or year marks are awarded, a minimum examination mark of 40% and a final mark of 50% is required.
  5. No supplementary or special examinations are granted at postgraduate level.

Pass with distinction

A student passes with distinction if he or she obtains a weighted average of at least 75% (not rounded) in the first 128 credits for which he or she has registered (excluding modules which were discontinued timeously). The degree is not awarded with distinction if a student fails any one module (excluding modules which were discontinued timeously). The degree must be completed within the prescribed study period. 

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:

    *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 regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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