Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
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CIVL4401 Applied Geomechanics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit develops students' knowledge of geotechnical engineering and explores the application of geomechanics principles to the solution of problems related to shallow foundations, slopes, embankments, retaining walls and ground improvement. Students learn how the mechanical characteristics of soils, as inferred from laboratory and in situ tests, can be applied in geotechnical design. Topics include site and soil characterisation, laboratory tests in soils, bearing capacity, earth pressure theory, retaining wall design, road cuttings and embankment design, ground improvement and slope stability.
Students are able to (1) proficiently write an engineering report on a laboratory experiment; (2) exercise improved interpersonal skills by working in groups; (3) apply soil mechanics principles to the solution of engineering problems related to the stability of foundations, walls and slopes; (4) extend soil mechanics principles to the solution of previously unpractised geotechnical problems; (5) proficiently interpret geotechnical laboratory and field ground investigation techniques; (6) apply new solution techniques, including bound theorems and the finite difference method; (7) demonstrate increased awareness of construction practices; and (8) discuss accuracy requirements and limitations.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class assessments and laboratory reporting; (2) mid-semester test; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Barry Lehane
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Civil Engineering specialisation or Mining Engineering specialisation
Advisable prior study:
ENSC3009 Geomechanics
Contact hours
49 (lectures: 20 hours; seminars: 13 hours; practical classes: 12 hours; labs: 4 hours)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.