Training objectives, professional opportunities & competencies

Training objectives

The Master's Degree in Geotechnical Engineering aims to train professionals and academics at the highest level in field engineering, underground hydrology, geophysics and seismic engineering. From a professional point of view, it seeks to respond to the growing demand for experts associated with the increase in the construction of infrastructures closely related to the field, with the interest in knowing about water resources and how to manage them, as well as in the behavior of pollutants with regards to the soil. It also aims to train specialists in the field of geophysical and seismic engineering, so that they are able to evaluate, predict and reduce seismic risk.

Professional opportunities

Graduates of the master's degree are generally employed as managers or as experts working on teams in areas and activities related to geotechnical engineering.

  • Management and planning of geotechnical works.
  • Management and planning of water resources.
  • Modelling, assessment and management of geological resources.
  • Assessment and reduction of seismic risk.
  • Assessment and reduction geological risk.
  • Assessment and reduction of hydrogeological risk, including soil contamination.
  • Land survey campaigns.
  • Energy resource prospecting campaigns.
  • Planning and management of waste storage solutions.
  • Civil engineering, geotechnical, geological and seismic consulting.
  • Hydrology and hydrogeology consulting.
  • Doctoral studies in civil, geotechnical, geological and earthquake engineering.
  • Doctoral studies in hydrology and hydrogeology.


Generic competencies

Generic competencies are the skills that graduates acquire regardless of the specific course or field of study. The generic competencies established by the UPC are capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability and social commitment, knowledge of a foreign language (preferably English), teamwork and proper use of information resources.

Specific competencies

On completion of the master's degree, graduates will be able to:

  • Apply scientific and technological concepts in analysing and solving problems.
  • Characterise the geological environment and its interaction with civil works.
  • Interpret laboratory tests and field observations to identify the mechanisms responsible for the Earth's response.
  • Plan laboratory experiment programmes.
  • Make, use and interpret models in analysing and solving problems.
  • Observe, interpret, quantify and mathematically model the various processes that govern the Earth's response.
  • Perform, present and defend, to a university examination board, an original, individually prepared exercise consisting of a study or project in the field of geotechnical engineering that brings together the competencies acquired in their education, adopts advances and new developments in the field and contributes innovative ideas.
Specialisation in Geotechnical Engineering

If they specialise in this area, they will be able to:

  • Apply their knowledge of soil and rock mechanics in the study, design, construction and operation of foundations, embankments, slopes, tunnels and other structures.
  • Apply advanced scientific and advanced technological concepts in analysing and solving complex geotechnical engineering problems.
  • Carry out studies of land and urban area management, including the construction of tunnels and other underground railway infrastructure.
Specialisation in Groundwater Hydrology

If they specialise in this area, they will be able to:

  • Evaluate and manage the environmental impact of waste storage and soil and subsoil contamination.
  • Calculate, evaluate and regulate surface water and groundwater resources.
  • Plan and implement hydraulic installations, including transport, distribution and storage facilities for solids, liquids and gases and water treatment and urban, industrial and hazardous waste management plants.
  • Environmentally evaluate projects, plants and facilities.
  • Evaluate and manage geological resources, including groundwater and mineral and thermal springs.
Specialisation in Earthquake Engineering and Geophysics

If they specialise in this area, they will be able to:

  • Apply their knowledge of soil and rock mechanics in the study, design, construction and operation of foundations, embankments, slopes, tunnels and other constructions over or through land, whatever their nature and state and whatever the purpose of the work.
  • Design civil structures considering seismic loads.
  • Design remedial solutions.
  • Assess seismic risk. Consider and design risk reduction measures.
  • Identify all types of structures and materials.
  • Design, plan, implement and maintain civil structures and buildings.
  • Analyse structures by applying software design and advanced structural design methods.
  • Assess structural integrity.