MSc Courses in

Soil Mechanics,

Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology

and Soil Mechanics & Environmental Geotechnics

The Blue Book


This is a WWW version of the blue book issued to MSc students on arrival at Imperial to pursue one the above MSc courses.



We very much hope that all our MSc students will enjoy the year they spend at Imperial College. Part of that enjoyment will come from an awareness of all that the College has to offer, as well as more directly from the courses themselves.

This 'Blue Book' attempts to set out background information on the College and the many and various facilities the College provides, as well as some information on the MSc courses themselves. We hope that it will prove to be useful; if you have any suggestions that might improve it, please let me know.

Prof R J Jardine

MSc Course Coordinator.



1. The Campus

History and lay-out


Imperial College and City & Guilds Unions

Humanities programme;Language Classes

Civil Engineering Building

Departmental facilities

Computing facilities


2. Advisory Services

College-based services ie. Accommodation,

Health Centre, Careers Advisory Service

Departmentally-based advisory services


3. Studying in the Civil Engineering Department

Departmental Structure; key staff members

Evening and weekend work

Working alone

Field courses

Criteria for degree assessment


Course Assessment

Arrangements for part-time MSc students

4. Soil Mechanics MSc Bursary Scheme

Companies participating:

Bachy Ltd

Brown & Root Ltd

Geotechnical Consulting Group

Golder Associates (UK) Ltd

Mott MacDonald

Sage Engineering Ltd



Imperial College was created in 1907 by the incorporation of three existing South Kensington colleges of earlier date: the City & Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal School of Science. A fourth constituent college, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, was added in 1988.

The City & Guilds College is made up of the five Engineering Departments (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Aeronautics) and the Department of Computing. Its first-degree graduates add the letters ACGI (Associate of the City & Guilds of London Institute) to their qualifications on successful completion of the course. The qualification DIC is awarded together with all higher degrees throughout Imperial College.


The map indicates the position of the various Departments and Centres on the campus. Three of the five Engineering departments form three sides of a square with the back of the Civil Engineering building forming one side, Electrical Engineering on the west side and Mechanical Engineering on the east. The fourth side of the square is the back of the Royal School of Mines, where the Geology Department is located. The Mathematics Department, which you may have to visit, is in the Huxley building, which is at the Queen's Gate end of the walk-way on Level 2, and may be entered from there.

The Sherfield Building contains administrative offices and is the building adjoining ours which faces the Queen's Lawn and the Queen's Tower. Here the Registry can be found on Level 3. Throughout the College, room numbers start with the floor level; thus the fees and grants office of the Registry in the Sherfield Building is Room 334.



Central Library

Forming the third side of the Queen's Lawn opposite the Civil Engineering building are the College Libraries, of which there are two: the Central Library (incorporating the Science Museum Library) and the Haldane Library.

The library houses the main collection of scientific books and periodicals. It has a photocopying service and is open between 0930 and 2100 hours from Monday to Friday, and 0930 to 1730 hours on Saturdays during term-time and in the Easter vacation. During other vacations the library closes at 1730. The incorporated Science Museum Library adjoins and is now combined with the Lyon Playfair Library is a national library of pure and applied science, specializing in the history and public understanding of science, technology and medicine.

Haldane Library

The Haldane Library is in the same building on the ground floor. It was named after R.B. Haldane, MP, who was involved in the formation of Imperial College. The library contains books for general reading on a wide range of subjects, including fiction, and a collection of recorded music for loan. The Haldane Library has the same opening hours as the Lyon Playfair.


The Civil Engineering Department Library houses the Department's extensive collection of books and periodicals. It is on Level 4 of the Civil Engineering building. Mrs. Kay Crooks is the librarian; special arrangements have been made to help you to learn how to use the library; see your time-table.


The Watts Library is the library of the Geology Department, in the Royal School of Mines.

The Geological Museum Library, in the Geological Museum on the way to South Kensington underground station, is also useful and close by.

Of the other libraries in London that at the Institution of Civil Engineers will probably be most relevant to your needs. Those not members of the Institution will need an introduction in order to use this library; ask your tutor.



Sherfield Building

During the week, breakfast is available in the Main Dining Hall on the ground floor between 0830 - 1000 hours, Monday to Friday during term-time. During the vacation, breakfast is served 7 days a week between 0730 - 1000 hours, usually in the Senior Common Room (SCR).

Lunch is provided in the Main Dining Hall on the ground floor between 1145 and 1400 hours, Monday to Friday. There is the QT (Queen's Tower) fast-food outlet in the Junior Common Room Buttery on level 2, open between 0845 and 1630 hours.

The Senior Common Room on Level 2 of the Sherfield is not open to MSc students.

Café Express offers a range of quality coffees and is open from 8.45am to 4.00pm and is located outside the Senior Common Room.


South Side

Basics Pizza Bar is open from 1200 to 1350 hours and 1730 to 2230 hours (Mon-Sat), and 1200 to 1350 hours and 1800 to 2200 hours (Sundays).


Da Vinci's Snack Bar is situated on the north side of the Beit Quad. It is open from 1200 - 2130 hours (Mon-Sat). It is closed all day on Sunday.



Union Bar

The Union Bar is situated on the north side of the Beit Quad. It is open from 1200 to 1400 hours and 1730 hours to 2300 hours (Mon-Fri). On Saturday and Sunday it is open from 1730 to 2230 hours.

South Side Bar

South Side Bar is open from 1200 to 1400 hours and 1730 to 2300 hours during the week: on Sunday it is open from 1200 to 1400 and 1900 to 2230 hours. There is usually an excellent choice of real ale.

Except for periods at Easter and Christmas, there is always one refectory outlet open.

South Side Shop

The South Side Shop (grocery items, etc.) is open from 0800 to 1900 hours (Mon - Fri) and 1000 to 1500 hours (Sat). It is closed all day on Sunday.


Members of the College are automatically members of the Union, whose function it is to serve the social, cultural and athletic needs of its members. The Union Building, on the north side of the Beit Quadrangle, provides among other facilities a dining hall, a snack bar, a gymnasium, table tennis, snooker rooms and photographic dark rooms. There are tennis courts on the east side of Prince's Gardens and other facilities on the north side of Prince's Gardens, including a swimming pool in the Sports Centre.


The Imperial College Union shop is located on the Level 2 walkway outside the Junior Common Room for the supply of stationery and instruments. Opposite to this is a College Newsagents shop, where stamps are also sold. A branch of Waterstones has been established at the corner of the Central Library block where textbooks and other books may be purchased.

The STA Travel Centre on the walkway offers a range of travel services.



The student newspaper, Felix, is published weekly. Phoenix, the Union literary magazine, is published several times a year. The Union also publishes an Alternative Prospectus and a Handbook listing Union clubs and societies. Information on Welfare is also included in the Handbook. All publications are distributed free to students.



Imperial College Union contains four Constituent College Unions, open to the members of the relevant constituent College. Their function is the same as that of the Imperial College Union. Engineering students are members of the City & Guilds College Union. MSc students are encouraged to join the 'Old Centralians', the C&G old students' association.


During the autumn and spring terms lectures and musical recitals are arranged by the Humanities Department. The lectures range over politics, history, art, literature, exploration, current affairs, and so on. Details are published in an advance programme.



Classes in French, German, Italian and Spanish are available to all members of the College at a moderate fee. Each class lasts one-and-a-half hours and students are expected to support this with at least two hours a week of private study. Enrolment dates are announced and information may also be obtained from Mrs C Gent (extension 48756).



A wide range of other languages may be studied in the Language Laboratories in Mechanical Engineering, R. 305, also under the direction of Mrs C Gent.




Civil engineering has been taught on this campus since 1885, at first in a building which stood on a site now occupied by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and later in the present School of Mines building. However, in 1963 we moved into a new building, the one which we now occupy. The architects were Norman & Dawbarn and the engineers, J Jarvis & Sons plc. In 1987, the facade was refurbished and the plaques commemorating famous engineers were added. A booklet describing their achievements is available.

Building layout

The six-storey building, which faces south on to Imperial College Road, is built partially on the site of the old Imperial Institute, the only remnant of which is the Queen's Tower which was originally part of that building. The building is L-shaped with a 13.5m width of leg enclosing a rectangular area for the large laboratories.

At the lowest level, Level 0, can be found the Hydraulics and Concrete Laboratories, heating services, stores and so on.

Level 1 is street level and contains the entrance hall with the porter's desk to the right and the General Office to the left, where the staff can receive mail and communications from students via a pigeon-hole system.

On Level 2 are the main lecture theatres - Room 201 at the west end of the building and Rooms 207 and 208 on the south side. A large concourse area outside these rooms is intended to allow easy interchange of students between lectures and to provide a recreational area. The student letter-racks are situated outside Rooms 207 and 208. Beyond the lifts are two small postgraduate teaching rooms, Rooms 227 and 228, and the Hydrology Section (secretary, Room 230).

In the original design of the building, each speciality of civil engineering was allocated a set of rooms close together. On Level 3 is found the Hydraulics Section (secretary, Room 329); and the Concrete Section (secretary, Room 327).

Level 4 houses the Departmental Library on the south-facing leg of the building in Room 402. Staff concerned with the teaching of Structures mainly have their offices on this floor.

On Level 5 may be found the Soil Mechanics Laboratories, facing north on the long arm of the building; the section offices are on this level and the secretary's office is Room 529. Environmental and Water Resource Engineering occupies rooms on this floor and on level 3; the secretary's room is room 230. In the angle of the building is a set of rooms belonging to Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering; the secretary's room is Room 503. On the short arm of the building are several Public Health Laboratories.

Level 6 houses the Transport Section and also the Head of Department's Office (secretary, Room 612). Surveying is nearby, organised from Room 607. There is also Room 601 on this level mainly used for special meetings. The Centre for Materials and the Constructed Environment (MACE), an inter-Departmental Centre, is housed on this floor.



Department Opening

The Department is open from 0700 until 2300 hours.

Departmental Library

The library is in Room 402 on Level 4, and houses a collection of books which specialise in civil engineering. Students may borrow up to five books for three weeks. The library is open between 1000 and 1800 hours during term-time and 1000 and 1730 in the vacations.


Photocopying facilities are available outside rooms 207 and 208 on level 2. Cards for use on Xerox machines may be purchased there from dispensing machines. The main Departmental copying facilities which include offset-litho, binding, etc., are based in Room 412.


There are men's cloakrooms on Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 and ladies' cloakrooms on Levels 2, 4 and 5.


Coffee-machines are situated on the Level 2 concourse.


Lockers are situated in Room 515. Keys may be obtained from Sue Feller - a £5 refundable deposit is required.


Mail for students is placed in letter-racks on the Level 2 concourse.

The address of the Department is:

    Department of Civil Engineering

    Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

    Imperial College Road

    South Kensington


Telephones for outgoing calls are in the entrance hall. It is not possible to provide a service for incoming telephone messages for students except in dire emergencies.

Please ensure that Sue Feller has your correct home address and London address at all times, informing her immediately if you change your address.



Level 3 houses the two departmental PC laboratories.

Room 314: 10 machines supporting Windows 95, running engineering, word processing and spreadsheet packages; 1 networked laser printer.

Room 317: 36 machines supporting Windows NT4, and running a wide range of packages (including Pro-Engineer, Mathematica, Visual Fortran and MS Office); 1 networked laser printer. This is a brand new facility within the department (so expect some teething trouble early on). Room 317 will open on Monday 13th October and will be reserved for guided tours during that week.

Level 2 houses the departments Unix workstation studio.

Room 210, Munro Design Studio: 18 Silicon Graphics Unix workstations, running engineering, mathematics and spreadsheet software; 1 high quality QMS postscript laser printer; 1 line printer.

All computer facilities are available to students from 09.00 to 22.00 daily. The department system is connected to the College, the University and beyond. At certain times rooms may be unavailable (rooms will occasionally be booked for group teaching or system maintenance). Printing costs 5p per copy (cash is to be placed in the honesty boxes adjacent to the printers). Access to e-mail and the Unix system is through a user ID and password. You will be notified of this in the Autumn term, following which an introduction to the computer facilities will be given by the departmental computing officer at a mutually convenient time.

NB. Level 3 of the department is a swipe card access protected area. You will need your swipe card with you at all times therefore.



The College provides advisory services to help with some of the problems you may encounter. Some of these are College-based, while others are provided within the Department.



The college has 2500 places at its disposal in halls of residence, student houses, college flats, halls of residence, student houses, college flats, tenancy schemes, etc. The Accommodation Service is also able to help students find flats and bedsits, although this can often be difficult in London.


If you obtain accommodation through the Accommodation Office you will be expected to agree a Licence for accommodation. Please note that if you sign a 51 week licence it is not at present possible to get a refund if you give notice before the 51 weeks are complete. You have been warned!

For further information contact:

Ms. Alison Hollingsworth (Accommodation Officer)

15 Prince's Gardens on 0171 594 9444

Health Centre

The College Health Centre at 14 Prince's Gardens is staffed by nurses and doctors and has a surgery, consulting rooms and a sick bay. The service is available to all students. There is an open clinic between 08.30 - 10.00, but at other times, appointments must be made. The Centre is open until 18.00 during term time, and 17.00 during vacations, and is closed between 12.00 and 13.00. Emergency and home call services are available only to those registered with the Health Centre. If you do not have a doctor in the London area, you are strongly advised to register with the Health Centre, otherwise it may be difficult to obtain help in an emergency.

The staff at the Centre provide general medical and occupational health care. Both men and women doctors are available. Help is available for matters such as study difficulties, contraceptive advice, pregnancy, counselling, immunisations and travel abroad. Pre-employment and other medical examinations are given, and there are weekly visits by an optician, acupuncturist, osteopath, homeopath, physiotherapist and Alexander Technique teacher. Dental services are available locally.

For further information ring:

Tel: 0171 594 9375 between 8.30 and 18.00


0171 584 6301 at any time.

Careers Advisory Service

The College provides for you a Careers Advisory Service which you are welcome to use. The service, which is located in the Sherfield Building in rooms 306 - 310, organises an annual graduate recruitment programme, a series of seminars and talks and offers the use of library resources and videos on different sectors of the job market, interview techniques etc. It is also possible to arrange one to one interviews for personal advice. A copy of the graduate recruitment programme should be available for all postgraduate students. If you do not receive a booklet by mid November contact the Careers Advisory Service directly.

For further information ring:

Tel: 0171 589 5111 x 58025 (within normal working hours)

Internal extension 58025

The Director of the Service is Mr J Simpson

College Tutors

The College Tutor, Dr W G Jones, and the Tutor for Women Students, Dr D M L Goodgame, are available to give help and advice. They are happy to see any student who would like to talk, in confidence, about any problems.

For further information contact:

Dr Jones (Physics) on 0171 594 7805

Dr Goodgame (Chemistry) on 0171 594 5722


Nightline is a student-run telephone service, based at the University of London Union, Malet Street, operating over-night between 1800 and 0800 providing a friendly ear and all those essential pieces of information that you are likely to need at three in the morning.

For further information ring:

017l 436 5561

Student Counselling Service

The Student Counsellor, David Allman, offers confidential advice on social, domestic, personal or other problems: he is available during the week, between 0930 and 1730. Though appointments are preferable, Don will see students without appointment if the matter is urgent. The Counselling Service is based at 15 Prince's Gardens.

For further information ring:

0171 594 9391

Welfare Services

The Welfare Adviser, Ms M Kavlak, is based in the Student Union Building and can help with legal, housing, grant, consumer and immigration problems. She can also give advice about State benefits. The Union Office also has a collection of useful reference leaflets from the DSS, DOE, Inland Revenue, etc. Her office is open at the following times:

Monday 1100 - 1300, 1400 - 1830

Tuesday 1030 - 1300, 1400 - 1700

Wednesday 1400 - 1700

Thursday 1030 - 1330, 1400 - 1700

For further information ring:

017l 594 8067




Chaplains from the Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches will give personal advice to any student seeking it whether Christian or not. There is a chaplain on duty every afternoon during term-time in the basement of 10 Prince's Gardens and the Roman Catholic chaplain may be contacted at More House, 53 Cromwell Road. Counselling for those of other religions can also be arranged.

For further information ring:

0171 594 9600 (10 Prince's Gardens)


0171 584 2040 (More House, 53 Cromwell Road)

Wardens and Sub-Wardens

The Wardens and Sub-Wardens of halls of residence are available to give help and advice, whether personal or academic, to students in residence.

The Registry

Advice on academic-related matters, such as registration, course transfers, temporary or permanent withdrawal from the course, grants, sponsorship, financial difficulties etc, are available from Registry staff.

For further information:

Go to Room 343 on Level 3 of the Sherfield Building,

where you will be directed to the appropriate senior

member of the Registry staff.


The Department tries hard to ensure that all students have a way of discussing and resolving problems, both academic and personal.


While in the Soil Mechanics, Soil Mechanics & Environmental Geotechnics, and Engineering Seismology Sections, you will have a PERSONAL TUTOR, who will take an interest in your social, academic and professional development, with whom you can discuss any problems and to whom you can turn for advice and help. Students will be advised of their Personal Tutor sometime during the first week of the Autumn Term.

The Course Organiser, Dr Richard Jardine - Room 534, has responsibility for students on the three courses, and will always try to give assistance and advice. Dr John Newman - Room 326 is the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Dr Julian Bommer - Room 324 is the Departmental Postgraduate Tutor, and he will also be happy to help if asked.

If you experience difficulty in contacting your tutor, write a brief note and leave it in the appropriate staff pigeon-hole on Level One, adjacent to the photocopying room. You will receive a reply in your own pigeon-hole, level 2.

Academic issues

If there are more general problems with your work, which you and your colleagues may experience, you can always discuss these with the individual lecturer, either in tutorials or by appointment.

Ad hoc Staff-Student Committee

Most difficulties can be resolved by discussion with the staff listed above, but sometimes it will be necessary to talk about matters more generally. The forum for this is an ad hoc committee consisting of Professor J B Burland, Dr R J Jardine and elected MSc student members, one from each MSc course.

Class representatives

Early in the Autumn term the three Soil Mechanics MSc groups will be asked to elect one representative for each of the MSc classes. The representatives will be asked to relay feedback from the class to the course organisers.





Nearly 700 people contribute to the normal work of the Department. Among them, around 300 undergraduate students are reading for Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees of the University of London and for the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI). About 100 postgraduate students are taking one year MSc degrees, which also lead to the Diploma of the Imperial College (DIC). Additionally, there are some 70 research students, most of whom will be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree when they complete their research programmes.


The departmental staff includes 40 academics, comprising 12 Professors, 6 Readers, 2 Senior Lecturers, and 15 Lecturers. In addition to library and administrative staff, 4 Research Fellows and some 25 Research Assistants who are employed on research contracts; most are also registered for the PhD degree. Much of the bureaucracy is dealt with by 12 secretaries; and the research laboratories employ 35 technicians to support the large volume of research.

Every day, the Department receives important visitors - industrial clients, government advisors, professors from other universities. The cleanliness of the building is an important component in the image of a well-managed and professional team of workers; this responsibility falls mainly on just a few cleaners. All who work in the building share that responsibility.


Head of Department: Professor Tony Ridley FEng

Deputy Head of Department: Professor J B Burland FEng, FRS

Head of Soil Mechanics: Professor D M Potts

Emeritus Professors and Senior Research Fellows:

Professor A W Skempton, FEng, FRS

Professor J N Hutchinson

Professor P R Vaughan FEng

Professor N N Ambraseys FEng

Director of Postgraduate Studies : Dr J B Newman

Soil Mechanics

Professor D M Potts

Professor J B Burland FEng

Professor R J Chandler

Professor R J Jardine

Dr T I Addenbrooke

Dr A M Ridley (Research Fellow)

Sue Feller, Sectional Secretary

Tel: 0171 594 6077

Fax: 0171 225 2716

Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering

Professor A Elnashai

Dr S K Sarma

Dr J J Bommer

Angela Bishop, Sectional Secretary

Tel: 0171 594 6056

Fax: 0171 225 2716


If at any time during your period of study in the Department you need to work between 1800 and 2200 from Monday to Friday or at weekends, you must sign the register at the Messenger's desk (main entrance), and ensure that an "appointed person" such as a Night Security Guard is present while you are in the building. While in the building you may also be required to show a valid Students' ID card to members of the security staff to determine that you are a bona fide student.


It is prohibited under current Health & Safety Executive legislation and College Safety Council regulations for any person to work alone in a laboratory or workshop at any time.

At least one other person must be within calling distance. The second person must know how to contact emergency services (details are given at the front of the College telephone book).

Any activity involving tools or machinery is deemed to be "working in a laboratory or workshop"; purely office or computing activities are excluded.


The MSc course requires all students to attend two field courses. The first will take place on the 24th - 26th October 1997 and will consist of visits to sites in the Kent area of South East England, with the group being based overnight in the historic city of Canterbury. All students should bring safety boots with metal toe protection) and waterproof clothing. We will supply hard hats.

The second field course will last for a full week and will take place after the main examinations. The entire class will be travelling overseas and visiting many sites of interest in connection with gemorphology and geotechnical engineering. A separate programme may be arranged for students on the Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology course.

You will be given further information on the two field courses later on in the year.


In order to be awarded your MSc degree and the Diploma of Imperial College (DIC), students will have to pass all four of our main exams and submit all of the requested coursework to a satisfactory standard. The main elements of coursework are:

1. Reports on the Kent field course

2. Reports on all laboratory experiments

3. Reports on the overseas field course

4. Main research Dissertation

5. In the case of Seismology students: Case Studies of earthquakes

The laboratory reports and Kent field course reports are required towards the end of January 1998 following a colloquium which is held to discuss the laboratory testing programme. The Case Studies of earthquakes must be handed in on the last day of the 2nd term. The Greek field course report and the main Dissertation must be handed in before the end of August 1998.

December Test

All students must sit an informal test which is taken towards the end of the first term. The purpose of the test is to give students a chance to experience the form and style of an examination at Imperial College and to gauge how well they are coping with the course. The test papers are marked in the same way as the final exams, but the scores obtained do not count towards your degree. Students review their results and progress in conjunction with their personal tutors in early January.

Degree Results

The final assessment of how well students have performed on the course is made at an Examiners meeting which will be held in September 1998. At this meeting all of the coursework and examination results are reviewed in conjunction with our three external examiners. The pass list is posted shortly after the meeting has ended; the list also shows which students have achieved a mark of Distinction. Formal notification of the degree results is made at a later stage by the University of London.


The Dissertation is the main element of coursework submitted for the MSc. Students are asked to agree a topic in conjunction with their personal tutors, reaching a decision as soon as possible after the Greek field course. The subject can be chosen freely, although some suggestions for titles will be posted in room 515. It is important that students make clear what part of the Dissertation is their own original work. Plagiarism (that is simply copying from texts or other's work) can lead to a Dissertation being failed outright.

Dissertation work may consist for example of a laboratory study, a computer project, a literature review, a case history or a parametric study. The work normally continues through from May until August although a report could be handed in from mid July if it was complete. All students should make sure that they leave sufficient time to write up their work and prepare their reports to a high standard. Academic supervision cannot be relied upon from mid-July onwards.

Students may wish to consider possible choices of dissertation topics during the first two terms of the course but it is usually unwise to devote too much time to dissertation work before completing the examinations.

Arrangements for the submission of Dissertations.

TWO COPIES of dissertations required are to be submitted to Sue Feller by 1700 on Friday 28th August 1998. Of these one copy will be held by the Civil Engineering Library; the other will be held by your personal tutor.

Dissertations should be submitted in a comb binder of A4 size. The title of the dissertation and the name of the student, together with the year, should be displayed on page one, through the cover. Alternatively, an appropriate table giving the same information, may be affixed to the front cover. There is a binding machine in the Reprographic Section, and for the sake of consistency it would be preferred if you would use this machine to bind your dissertations. The machine is housed in Room 412. Please check with the staff in the Reprographic Section about suitable times to use the binding machine.

All students should sign a copyright form, which is obtained from Sue Feller, and must be submitted with the dissertations.

Dissertations should be printed on A4 paper, double-spaced, with at least 3cm margin on the left to allow for binding. A table of contents should be included. An executive summary must be given at the start which informs readers of the subject, the contents and the main points of the Dissertation, identifying clearly any original work undertaken by the candidate. The length of the executive summary should not exceed two pages and the main points should be set out under clear "bullet points".

There is no 'correct' length for a Dissertation; the preferred length is about 12,000 words, plus figures. Extensive test data, etc., should be put in an Appendix. If you anticipate producing a lengthy Dissertation you should consult your Tutor.

When you submit your Dissertation you will also be expected to complete a form recording your Dissertation title and other information regarding your period of study in the Department.

The Section is keen to encourage industrial involvement with Dissertation work, but students must remember the need to agree the topic with their Tutor, and must maintain regular contact with him during this period. It follows that, except in exceptional circumstances (when you should contact your Tutor), you will need to attend College on a regular basis and that you will need to continue to live within convenient travelling distance of the College.


At the end of your course you will have the opportunity to mark us! All students are asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire evaluating the courses they have undertaken and commenting on all aspects of the programme and its management. Please complete this questionnaire as constructively as possible.


The three 'Soil Mechanics' MSc courses may be taken part-time, on a term-by-term basis, as follows.

Year 1. Autumn Term: attend for the whole term (11 weeks), students thereby taking the first half of the taught portion of the course.

Spring Term: no attendance, but the time is available for revision prior to examinations; supervision will be provided for Dissertation work.

Summer Term: take examination Papers 1 and 2 (which contain material taken from the Autumn Term) of the four examination papers taken by the full-time students. This will involve attendance on two successive days, late April/early May. Supervision is provided for Dissertation work.

Year 2. Autumn Term: no attendance, but supervision is provided for Dissertation work.

Spring Term: complete (11 weeks) attendance, students thereby attending the second half of the taught portion of the course.

Summer Term: take examination Papers 3 and 4 (which contain material from the Spring Term) of the four examination papers. This will involve attendance on two successive days, late April/early May. Attend one-week field course. Supervision will be provided for Dissertation work during the remainder of the term.

Course work will be submitted at the time required for the full-time course, that is either during Year 1 Autumn term, or during Year 2 Spring and Summer terms, or later as appropriate.

The Dissertation will be submitted in late August of Year 2, in time for the September Examiners' meeting.

This arrangement involves a part-time schedule of two 11-week absences from employment, plus four days for examinations, and a further one-week field course.


Following discussions between the Section and Industry, a new Bursary scheme was set up in 1996 which is aimed towards providing support for those MSc students who are likely to work with a UK based company when they graduate. The scheme is intended to run in parallel with the EPSRC awards and to provide funds for students who have appropriate academic qualifications and experience but were not able to obtain an EPSRC award.

The scheme is presently supported by the following four companies:


Bachy Limited, Foundation Court, Godalming Business Centre, Catteshall Lane, Godalming, SURREY GU7 1XW

Tel: 01483 427311 Fax: 01483 417021

Contact: Mr D J Corke

Brown & Root Ltd, Brown & Root House, 125 High Street, Colliers Wood, LONDON SW19 2JR

Tel: 0181 544 5000 Fax: 0181 544 4400

Contact: Dr B Kazerani

Geotechnical Consulting Group, 1a Queensberry Place, LONDON SW7 2DL

Tel: 0171 581 8348 Fax: 0171 584 0157

Contact: Dr R J Mair

Golder Associates, Land Mere Lane, Edwalton, NOTTINGHAM NG12 4DG

Tel: 0115 9456544 Fax: 0115 9456540

Contact: Mr M Jefferies

Mott MacDonald, 20-26 Wellesley Road, Croydon, SURREY CR9 2UL

Tel: 0181 686 5041 Fax: 0181 681 5706

Contact: Mr A Powderham

Sage Engineering Ltd, 1 Widdecombe Parade, BATH BA2 4JT

Tel: 01225 426633 Fax: 01225 447443

Contact: Mr P George

The six companies are keen to promote advanced geotechnical education in the UK and to help students who are seeking employment at the end of their period at Imperial College. Representatives from the companies will be visiting College on two occasions during the academic year and we will let students know if any of them are interested in conducting interviews or suggesting topics for your MSc dissertations.

The following pages include some publicity material which the companies have asked us to place in the Blue Book.

The College run Access Fund scheme also exists to help home students who are experiencing financial hardship. A notice will be posted which describes this scheme later in the Autumn term.