CVE20004 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn, Sarawak Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 56 hours plus blended

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2024 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

29 Jul 24 - 27 Oct 24

3 Dec 24

Last self enrolment:
11 Aug 24

31 Aug 24

Last withdraw without fail:
13 Sep 24

Aims and objectives

This unit of study aims to introduce you to basic, geological principles, engineering properties of soils and their importance to Civil Engineering projects. You will 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.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. 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).

2. Determine physical engineering properties of sediments (soils) and apply these quantities to phase relationships and the soil model (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2).

3. 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).

4. 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).

5. 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).

6. 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).

7. Estimate immediate and consolidation settlements from various external loading combinations (K1, K2, K3, S1, S2).

Swinburne Engineering Competencies (A1-7, K1-6, S1-4): find out more about Engineering Skills and Competencies including the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies.