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This is a specialist Master’s course designed to support students with civil engineering, mining or engineering geology background to develop their career as a tunnelling engineer. New tunnelling projects are planned all over the world, and the course equips students to contribute to these exciting developments. The course covers all stages in the project life cycle - from feasibility and planning through to design and construction management - with particular emphasis on health and safety, managing project risk, and communication and leadership skills. Graduates from the programme are sought after by leading international companies as they look to address a skills shortage in this area.

Teaching is delivered by a growing group of academic staff at Warwick who also carry out cutting-edge research in tunnel design and innovative construction methods. University staff are complemented by a wide range of speakers from industry who strongly influence the course with their up to date knowledge and practice. Learning takes place in a small group context in a modern environment benefitting from excellent library and computing facilities. Visits are organised to tunnelling sites or companies to gain first-hand experience of the industry.

The degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators, supported by the British Tunnelling Society and endorsed by the International Tunnelling Association.

A range of study options are available to suit individual circumstances. You may already be working in tunnelling and wish to consolidate and formalise your knowledge, or you may be looking to join the industry, at any level.

  • Enrol on the MSc full-time for 12 months (October to September)
  • Enrol on the MSc part-time for 24 months or 36 months
  • Enrol not on the full MSc but another award (PGDip, PGCert, or PGA) - see here for details
  • Attend an individual module (without receiving an award) as a one week Short Course




The MSc is made up of 8 taught modules and a project (total 180 CATS). Contact time for the taught modules is in one-week blocks (Monday to Friday). There is also a two-day course induction at the start of October for all new students.

For full-time students, the project is a group design exercise on a realistic tunnelling scheme, giving excellent preparation for industry. Part-time students undertake an individual research project in their second or third year, which may be on a topic related to their work if they are already employed in the tunnelling sector; otherwise it may be a topic offered by the School of Engineering, usually linked to its current research.

  • Geological Investigation and Ground Characterisation ( ES94W - 15 CATS )
  • Underground Construction Methods ( ES95A - 30 CATS )
  • Communication and Leadership ( ES97I - 15 CATS )
  • Rock Mechanics ( ES95C - 15 CATS )
  • Tunnel Design ( ES94V - 15 CATS )
  • Finite Element Methods for Tunnelling ( ES96V - 15 CATS )
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Considerations in Tunnelling ( ES94Y - 15 CATS )
  • Construction Management ( ES96Q - 15 CATS )
  • Individual Project (part-time students) ( ES97L - 45 CATS )
  • Group Design Project (full-time students) ( ES97M - 45 CATS )

For module dates, refer to the Short Courses page.

This information, including more detailed module content information accessible via hyperlink, is applicable for 2020 entry.

Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our central website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.



How to apply


Entry Requirements:

In order to come to Warwick, you need to hold an unconditional offer. All applicants must satisfy the general postgraduate admissions requirements and also those of the course which they wish to pursue.

    • A second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a relevant branch of engineering or science degree.
      • You can see how your current degree score or GPA equates to the British system on the International Office's equivalent scores table.
    • Two academic references. You should nominate referees who can provide an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for your chosen programme of study.
    • Maths requirement: All applicants will be expected to know the prescribed mathematical concepts shown here. The onus is on the individual to ensure that they understand the required material in order to cope easily with the course. We are looking for competence in the majority of mathematics that is taught in the first and second year of an undergraduate Engineering or Physics course. We reserve the right to request that you undertake a short online test assessment.
    • English Language Qualification: If your first language is not English you will be expected to obtain one of the following recognised English Language qualifications:
      • IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.5 with no component less than 6.0
      • TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 92 with minimum components; Reading 22, Listening 21, Speaking 23, Writing 21
      • Other tests are accepted, click here for details of Band A scores.

      You may be exempt from this requirement if you have been educated entirely in English for the duration of your first degree and completed this qualification within the last 2 years.

            In addition to your academic qualifications and experience, Course Selectors will look for evidence of your interest in the course and your understanding of the demands of postgraduate work.

            Industrial experience is not a requirement for entry but in cases where the candidate does not satisfy the requirements, it may be taken into account.

            Start your application

            Apply online now through our application portal. You don’t need to complete your application all at once, you can start now and save for later.

            Apply for 2020 entry

            There is a non-refundable online application fee for taught postgraduate courses of £60 for online applications. Unpaid applications remain within the system for 20 days from completing the application form online before being withdrawn automatically. For payment details please contact Postgraduate Admissions

            Application Form Course Details:

            Department: School of Engineering

            Type of course: Postgraduate Taught

            Tunnelling and Underground Space (MSc) (P-H21F)

            Tunnelling and Underground Space (PG Award) (P-H21E)

            Tunnelling and Underground Space (PG Certificate) (P-H21D)

            Tunnelling and Underground Space (PG Diploma) (P-H21C)




            This MSc degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See Joint Board of Moderators for further information.

            If you are a graduate with a non-accredited degree, this MSc degree will not automatically be regarded as providing the required educational base for a Chartered Engineer. If you wish to know if your package of qualifications (bachelor plus masters) will satisfy the educational base for a Chartered Engineer, you must have your qualifications verified by one of the Individual Case Committees of the JBM member Institutions (refer to the website of the individual Institution for more details).


            Fees & funding


            There are two main costs for students undertaking postgraduate study - academic fees and living expenses.

            Tuition fees

            Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. For details of the fees and how to pay, please review the Warwick Student Finance pages - Engineering are 'Standard Course Fees Band 2’.

            Living expenses

            As well as tuition fees, students should budget for accommodation, food, books and other general expenditure such as clothes or leisure. Living costs will depend upon your lifestyle and spending patterns.

            International students must be able to prove they have the necessary funds to cover these expenses. For more information on all costs see living expenses.


            The British Tunnelling Society offer scholarships to individuals holding a civil engineering or mining based degree and are resident in the UK. For the 2018/19 academic year they will offer 1 scholarship @£10k DEADLINE TO APPLY 24th JULY 2019

            The International Tunnelling Society ITACET Foundation offer scholarships to young engineers from emerging economies for ITA-endorsed Masters courses including at Warwick, see:

            The School of Engineering offer scholarships throughout the year, check the page regularly for the latest funding opportunities.

            UK Government Postgraduate Loans

            The MSc Tunnelling and Underground Space (full time only) is a qualifying course if you wish to apply for a Postgraduate Loan. See Postgraduate Loans for Masters Courses for more details. The loans are available to UK and EU students and some others, subject to nationality and residency status – see Master's Loan for the full eligibility criteria.