Bircham International University

Faculty of Engineering & Technology

Faculty of Engineering & Technology


MODULE: Geotechnical Engineering via distance learning

Program delivered by distance learning higher education up to a maximum of 39 credits. This module may be combined or completed with other online university courses from this faculty.


DESCRIPTION: Geotechnical Engineering Online

This program focuses on the utilization of natural materials for civil engineering and construction. Historically, the geotechnical engineering program focused on structural foundations, slope stability, and earth dams. Today, the program's scope of activities has expanded to include natural and man made hazard mitigation, advanced techniques for site and material characterization, modeling of natural materials, design of pavement systems, and environmental assessment and remediation.


Courses list (each subject accounts for 3 Academic Credits):

1 BIU Earned Credit = 1 USA Semester Credit (15 hours of learning) = 2 ECTS Credit (30 hours of study).


Foundation Engineering
Environmental Impact
Ground Mechanics
Ground Retaining Structures
Geotechnical Analysis
Urban Geospatial Analysis
Geotechnical Engineering
Soil Science
Structural Engineering
Soil Improvement


More information about this supervisor and instructors at Bircham University Human Network.




This module is applicable to Specialist, Expert, Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. (Doctor) Programs. This distance learning degree program is designed at the postgraduate level – Master’s or Doctoral. This module may be easily adapted to complete the Specialist, Expert or Bachelor’s adult degree program requirements. A further option is the enrollment into the online university courses listed in this module.


Specialist - Expert Diploma via distance learning in Geotechnical Engineering
TOTAL: 21 Academic Credits required for this distance learning degree program: Specialist - Expert Diploma Online. Composition: Select 5 courses for the online diploma of Specialist or 7 courses for the Expert Diploma from the total of 13 courses from this specialization module in Geotechnical Engineering.


Bachelor's Degree via distance learning in Geotechnical Engineering
TOTAL: 130 Academic Credits required for this distance learning degree program: Bachelor's Degree Online. Composition: 39 credits for 13 Specialization Courses in Geotechnical Engineering distance learning higher education + 60 credits in General Education (may be transferred from previous education and experience for the completion of this distance learning degree) + 31 credits or 10 additional online university courses that may be selected from other modules in the Faculty of Engineering & Technology from Bircham International University. This selection must to be approved by the Distance Learning University Education Board.


Master's Degree via distance learning in Geotechnical Engineering
TOTAL: 35~50 Academic Credits required for this distance learning degree program: Master's Degree Online. Composition: 39 credits for 13 Specialization Courses in Geotechnical Engineering distance learning higher education + 13 credits that correspond to research methodology and the Final Project.


Doctor Ph.D. Degree via distance learning in Geotechnical Engineering
TOTAL: 45~70 Academic Credits required for this distance learning degree program: Doctor Ph.D. Degree Online. Composition: 39 credits for 13 Specialization Courses in Geotechnical Engineering distance learning higher education + 18 credits that correspond to research methodology and the Thesis.




METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: Distance Learning Higher Education

This program is delivered by traditional correspondence instruction. Bircham International University will send to your address the physical program suggested textbooks. You will be requested to write 20 to 35 pages reports about these books. You submit these reports by email or mail. The reports are the course exams. Bircham International University will evaluate your required written work. If passed, you will earn the degree from Bircham International University. Read BIU Distance Learning Higher Education Study Guide for more instructions about BIU pedagogy, tutoring and evaluation.



Book and report writing in other language than English must be requested (and approved by BIU) prior to enrollment into this distance learning degree program.



ADMISSION PROCESS: Distance Education University

Bircham International University issues an admission certificate after receiving your complete application for admission. This document will show the amount of credits transferred and validated from previous education and experience, and the amount of credits required to complete the distance learning degree program's major. Bircham University can not perform this evaluation without the complete application for admission.


Students enrolling into this distance learning degree program should be aware that:

1. Location: Bircham International University needs a functional geographical location to ship the book and materials for successful completion of this online diploma.
2. Communication: Email, courier, phone are key communication instruments with Bircham University that play an important role in the progress and support of this program of study.
3. Capacity: Any impediment, physical or psychological, to read a book and write a report must be communicated to Bircham International University prior to enrollment into this distance learning degree program.
4. Technology: No specific technology is required to complete this online university degree.
5. Language: Book reading and report writing in other language than English must be requested (and approved by BIU) prior to enrollment in any online university course.
6. Discrimination: There is no discrimination with respect to race, color, gender, beliefs or religion.
7. Age: Check the admission requirements for each distance education adult degree program.



SUBJECT COURSES: Geotechnical Engineering via distance learning

Each subject accounts for 3 credits.


Each of the following subjetcs may be studied as a continuing education course.


Foundation Engineering

This course presents methods of subsurface exploration and sampling, shallow foundations, lateral earth pressure theories, and earth retaining systems. It explains the engineering properties of soils and how they relate to design and construction including soil identification and classification.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez



This course examines the principles and techniques of surveying; errors in surveying operations; distance measurements; chain surveying; angles measurements and bearings; coordinates geometry; leveling; leveling of profiles and cross-sections contour lines; areas and volumes computations; and photometry.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez



This course explores the origin, structure, and composition of minerals and igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Plate tectonics, volcanism, rock deformation, earthquake activity, and mountain building are integrated to give an overview of Earth’s dynamic internal processes.

Instructor: Mina Benjouali



This course introduces the main components of the hydrologic cycle including precipitation processes, evapotranspiration, soil water and groundwater flow, and surface water features. Emphasis is placed on the atmospheric and geologic processes controlling water movement in the cycle at the global and local scales, considering the environmental impacts of urbanization and land-use management.

Instructor: Mina Benjouali


Environmental Impact

This course presents both the theoretical and practical aspects of assessing environmental impact in order to support a policy that leads to the restoration and conservation of animal and plant diversity. It covers the structure and function of disturbed ecosystems and provides adequate the means to evaluate environmental degradation levels and the impact of human activity on environmental health and contamination.

Instructor: Luis Fontanet Sallan


Ground Mechanics

This course examines the physical and engineering properties of soils considering soil mechanics, soil composition, soil structure, soil consolidation, shear strength, effective stress principle, water flow through soil, stability analysis of slope, earth pressure, bearing capacity, soil dynamics, ground motion, vibration, and earthquake engineering.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez


Ground Retaining Structures

This course explores special problems in ground retaining structures and construction-related soil engineering. It reviews diaphragm walls, continuous bored piles, cofferdams, shoring and underpinning methods, and other ground retaining structures.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez


Geotechnical Analysis

This course reviews the geotechnical testing, modelling, and analysis to evaluate prediction versus performance in geotechnical engineering. It also explores the role of rocks and soils as engineering materials, as well as the distribution of rocks at or below the surface; hydrologic influences, geologic exploration of engineering sites, mapping, underground excavations, slopes, reservoirs, and dam sites.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez


Urban Geospatial Analysis

This course explains the use of aerial photographs and satellite image data in urban planning, urban change analysis, land-use and land cover classification, and environmental planning applications. It provides problem-solving approaches using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez


Geotechnical Engineering

This course explains the characteristics of geological materials; soil and rock classifications; physical, mechanical, and hydraulic properties; stress principles; soil and rock improvement; seepage, consolidation; stress distribution; and settlement analysis. It discusses shear strength, bearing capacity, lateral earth pressures, slope stability, and underground construction. It examines the design of shallow and deep foundations, retaining walls, tunnels, and other earth and rock structures.

Instructor: Miguel Ángel Fernández Sánchez


Soil Science

This course presents the properties and mechanics of soil that govern its use for purposes related to plant growth, construction, and conservation. Topics include soil biology, chemistry, water, fertility, classification, and surveys. It relates these concepts to current soil management, wetland management, the use of Geographic Information Systems for soil mapping, and much more. It stresses on sustainable soil uses and prepares students to deal with current environmental issues, such as soil and water conservation, nutrient management, sustainable agriculture, etc.

Instructor: Mina Benjouali


Structural Engineering

This course deals with the structural engineering principles and design techniques. It is a must for every engineer and architect who works with the design of buildings, bridges, and other structures. It provides concise and up-to-date information on the planning, design, and construction of a variety of engineered structures.

Instructor: Graeme Dean Hamilton


Soil Improvement

This course explores the methods of soil improvement, cohesion, de-watering, drains, compaction, ground stabilization, and injections.

Instructor: Mina Benjouali



Recommended Professional References

Geotechnical Engineering via distance learning


Bircham International University graduates may join many professional associations. Membership requirements for each association may vary depending on the degree program, specialization and graduate resume on each occasion. BIU can not guarantee membership in all instances. BIU does not intermediate in these procedures. Bircham International University provides this list of recommended memberships and professional references because we consider that joining the proper association(s) is the best way to become an updated professional. Contact directly the ones you select.


AAEE - Australasian Association for Engineering Education

ABGEA - Associação Brasileira de Geologia, de Engenharia e Ambiental

ABMS - Associação Brasileira de Mecânica dos Solos e Engenharia Geotécnica

AEG - Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

AGS - Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists

AGSSEA - Association of Geotechnical Societies in SouthEast Asia

ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education

BGA - British Geotechnical Association

BTA - British Tunnelling Society

CFGI - Comité Français de Géologie, de l’Ingénieur et de l’Environnement

CFMR - Comité Français de Mécanique des Roches

CFMR - Comité Français de Mécanique des Sols et de la Géotechnique

EAGE - European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers

EEGS - Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society

EFFC - European Federation of Foundation Contractors

ENGC - Engineering Council (UK)

FEBRAE - Federação Brasileira de Associações de Engenheiros

FEIGS - Federation of International Geo-Engineering Societies

FPS - Federation of Piling Specialists

IACEE - International Association for Continuing Engineering Education

IAENG - International Association of Engineers

IAMG - International Association for Mathematical Geology

IESF - Ingénieurs et Scientifiques de France

IET - Institution of Engineering and Technology

IFEES - International Federation of Engineering Education Societies

IGS - International Geosynthetics Society

ISSMGE - International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

ITA - International Tunneling Association

LACCEI - Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions

NAAAEA - National Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects

NSBE - National Society of Black Engineers

SEFI - Societé Européene pour la Formation des Enginieurs

SEMSIG - Sociedad Española de Mécanica del Suelo e Ingeniería Geotécnica.

SHPE - Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 

SWE - Society of Women Engineers

WFEO - World Federation of Engineering Organizations


Geotechnical Engineering Online > Recognition...



BIRCHAM UNIVERSITY - Faculty of Engineering & Technology

Professionally recognized and validated degrees.

Accredited (Non USA CHEA). International legalization available.

Non formal and independent education.