This unit of study aims to introduce students to basic geology, geological principles, engineering properties of soils and their importance to Civil Engineering projects. Students should be able to identify soil and rock specimens, construct simple geological cross sections, carry out a basic site investigation, and determine various strength and compressibility parameters of soils.


ENG10003 Engineering Mechanics

CVE10004 Mechanics of Structures *
EAT10002 Engineering Mechanics

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Interpret the geological rock cycle and be able to identify common rock forming minerals, basic types of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks (K1, K3, S1)
  • Determine physical engineering properties of sediments (soils) and apply these quantities to phase relationships and the soil model (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2)
  • Perform a mechanical (sieve) analysis and a series of soil index tests on a soil in order to determine its particle size distribution plot and Atterberg limits according to Australian Standard AS1289. Thus, enabling classification of the soil via Australian Standard AS1726 (K1, K2, K3, K6, S1, S2, S3, A2, A7)
  • Appreciate the basic concepts of water flow through soil in order to construct simple flow nets and estimate relevant discharge calculations for various ground structures (K1, K2, K3, S2, A2)
  • Clearly understand the effective stress concept in soils by calculating total stresses, effective stresses and pore pressures for various ground conditions (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2)
  • Determine changes in soil stresses due to external point loads, line loads, loaded areas, uniform and non-uniform strip loads using elastic theory, and soil strength parameters from a range of physical field and/or laboratory test (K1, K2, K3, K6, S1, S2, S3, A2, A7)
  • Estimate immediate and consolidation settlements from various external loading combinations (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2)

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
0.67 12 weeks 8
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
7.83 12 weeks 94


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 5% 
ExaminationIndividual 60% 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 
Laboratory PracticalsIndividual 25% 2,3,4,5,6,7 
Online QuizzesIndividual 10% 1,2,3,4,5,6 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) an aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) Obtain at least 40% in the final exam, and (iii) complete all lab workStudents who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) and (iii) in full, will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Basic Geology and Geological Mapping
  • Engineering Properties and Classification of Soils
  • Soil Hydraulics
  • Geostatic Stresses and the Shear Strength of Soil
  • Compressibility of Soils

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.