Course Title: Geological Site Investigation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Geological Site Investigation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: A/Prof. Matthew Currell

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0402

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.13.11

Course Coordinator Availability: Email to book appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

EASC1075 Geology or equivalent introduction to geology course.

Course Description


Geological Site Investigation is a problem based learning (PBL) course that will help you to develop the necessary skills for advancing your understanding of the basic principles in geosciences and geo engineering, making the link between the Earth’s dynamics and the shapes and the forms reflected at the Earth’s surface.

You will learn to identify soils, rocks, minerals and discontinuities and make initial predictions related to their geo-engineering properties and behaviour. During the practical sessions you will learn how to plan, implement and report geo-engineering site investigations, which include data interpretation and analysis.

These site investigation fundamentals are also applied in CIVE1184 Hydrogeology, CIVE1122 Advanced Hydrogeology and OENG1032 Land Contamination and Geohazards.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course contributes to development of the following program learning outcomes for BH080 Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) (Honours):

1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

1.4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.

1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.

1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline.

2.4. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.

3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

3.4. Professional use and management of information.

3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Research and define regional geological conceptual models.
  2. Propose and construct physical and/or digital site-specific conceptual geological models.
  3. Plan a field investigation involving appropriate site investigation techniques and appropriate processes to ensure protection of Indigenous cultural heritage.
  4. Log and report different types of soil and rock sample derived from engineering site investigation techniques.
  5. Conduct a basic desk study search and produce a report using GIS.


Overview of Learning Activities

This course involves viewing weekly pre-recorded lecture videos, practical sessions and a field session. Assessments are completed individually (practical assignments) and in teams (group report). These assessments build analytical and communication skills relevant to professional practice.

Overview of Learning Resources


A textbook, recommended readings, selected videos, modelling software, lecture presentations and weekly practical instructions will be available (some in hard copy and some online via the Blackboard LMS).

Support can also be found at RMIT Library Guides:


Overview of Assessment


☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Group Assignment (45%), including: 

Interim report (site recon report), project presentation, and final report and site model

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Individual Practical Assessments (30%), including: 

Week 2 to Week 11 Meeting(s) Minutes (10%) 
Soils and rock classification test (10%) 
GIS Test (10%)

This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 5, 6

Final Assignment (25%)

Final take home assignment (application of relevant theory to practical site investigation scenarios).

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6