Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:2 years
Foreign:$ 17.9k / 1 Academic year(s) Deadline: Jan 25, 2022
StudyQA ranking:246

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Geoengineering relies on a wide range of disciplines including geo- and material sciences, mechanics and construction. Structures of interest include foundations, roads, escavations and underground structures like tunnels. .

Most construction materials, everyday household items, energy sources and groundwater originate from the earth. Megatrends like urbanisation, climate change and the increasing use of natural resources and energy greatly affect our lives. They create both challenges and opportunities for geoengineers.

The Master’s Programme in Geoengineering provides students with knowledge, skills, and competences that are needed to understand the behavior of soils for geotechnical engineering, of rocks for rock engineering and mining and of road structures for highway engineering.

As a geoengineer you have a good understanding of the entire lifecycle of the engineered structure. This understanding covers the whole life cycle from research and design to construction, maintenance and recycling. Field investigations, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling are the tools geoengineers count on.

The programme consists of 60 cr major studies (30 cr of common core studies, 30 cr of advanced selective studies), 30 cr of elective studies and a master’s thesis (30 cr). Students can focus their studies in the fields of geotechnical, rock or pavement engineering by selecting appropriate courses in advanced and elective studies.

In geotechnical engineering, the main fields of research are mechanical, hydraulic and thermal properties of soil and their impact on foundations, soil-structure interaction and soil improvement. Good geotechnical knowledge is the foundation of all construction.

The core fields of rock engineering are rock mechanics, excavation techniques and applied geosciences. Rock engineering provides education on utilizing bedrock as an underground space and as a mineral resource. The education gives proficiency in designing optimal structures in the rock and expertise to carry out these plans in a safe, economic and most environmentally friendly way.

Roads and trafficked areas are an important part of societal infrastucture and have profound impact on everyday life and the entire function of the society. The focus areas of in highway engineering are the structural design of roads and their stucture including bituminous materials.

Master’s thesis (30 cr)

The master’s thesis (30 cr) is a piece of applied research that includes not only the written thesis but also the maturity essay and seminar presentation or a corresponding presentation. The key goal of the master’s thesis is solving a problem relevant to the field of study based on existing scientific knowledge in compliance with the principles of responsible conduct of research. The goal is to produce a scientific thesis. The master's thesis shall be written on a topic related to the advanced studies of the degree programme, agreed upon between the student and the supervising professor. A suitable topic can, for instance, be a research and development project carried out for a partner outside the university, or it can be connected to an ongoing research project of the department. The master’s thesis takes 6 months (fulltime) and it is an individual project.

Most of the topics are acquired from construction and consultancy companies and from authorities in different fields of geoengineering, thus giving also valuable contacts for any student planning a career in industry. For students with academic career prospects, completing the final project within a research group in Aalto University or in another research organisation is also a viable option.

The selection process is paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check of Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the programme spesific academic evaluation.

The following academic evaluation criteria applies to this master's programme:

  • Degree and institution of higher education
  • Relevancy of studies
  • Academic performance
  • Motivation 

To successfully start the studies in Master's Programme in Geoengineering basic knowledge in the following fields is highly recommended: Basics in geology or geotechnics, mechanical and structural engineering, material sciences and statistics, mining or construction.

Academic evaluations are split into two phases

− In the first phase, the applicant’s degree that is used as grounds for the application and the related institution of higher education are evaluated. The applicant’s academic performance is evaluated, while any of the applicant’s other education that is attached to the application may also be evaluated. Criteria used to evaluate academic performance may include the time taken to complete the degree as well as the date of the degree’s completion.

− In the second phase, the acceptable applicants are ranked. A number of eligible applicants no greater than the allotted quota are admitted based on the academic evaluation. The most important criteria are the applicability of previous studies and academic performance in studies relevant to the study option. The aim is to admit only those applicants who have the required competence to begin studies without any supplementary studies.


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