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MSc Tunnelling and Underground Space (H214)


Tunnelling and Underground Space

This specialist Master’s course prepares students with a background in civil engineering or engineering geology for a career as a tunnelling engineer

This is a specialist Master’s course designed to prepare students with a background in civil engineering or engineering geology for a career as a tunnelling engineer. The course prepares students to carry out and manage tunnelling projects through their lifecycle - from geological investigation and ground characterisation to feasibility study and selection of construction method, to analysis and design, to health, safety and environmental risk assessment and construction programming and project risk management.

This degree is endorsed and supported by the British Tunnelling Society and the International Tunnelling Association.

  • Enrol on the MSc full-time for 12 months (October to September)
  • Enrol on the MSc part-time for 24 months
  • Study an individual module (without enrolment on the MSc) as a one week short course

The MSc is made up of 8 taught modules and a project (total 180 CATS). Contact time for each taught module is a one-week block (Monday to Friday). This enables part-time students to continue working while doing the MSc, and also enables people working in industry to take single modules as a short course. There is also two days of induction to the course at the start of October for all new students.

For full-time students the project is a group design project on a realistic tunnelling scheme, giving excellent preparation for industry. Part-time students undertake an individual research project in their second year, which may be on a topic related to their work if they are already employed in the tunnelling sector.

  • Tunnel Design ( ES94V - 15 CATS )
  • Geological Investigation and Ground Characterisation ( ES94W - 15 CATS )
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Considerations ( ES94Y - 15 CATS )
  • Underground Construction Methods ( ES95A - 30 CATS )
  • Construction Management ( ES96Q - 15 CATS )
  • Communication and Leadership ( ES97I - 15 CATS )
  • Finite Element Methods for Tunnelling ( ES96V - 15 CATS )
  • Rock Mechanics ( ES95C - 15 CATS )
  • Individual research project ( ES95B - 45 CATS )

For module dates, refer to the Short Courses page.

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.

  • Taught Degree: at least a lower second class honours degree or equivalent*.
  • 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.
  • Confirmation that you understand the level of mathematics required for this course. Important note: All applicants will be expected to know the prescribed mathematical concepts. The onus is on the individual to ensure that they understand the required material. Essentially 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 ask that you look at the problems shown on the linkfor the prescribed mathematical concepts and see if you can do them.
  • English Language Qualifications: If your first language is not English you will be expected to obtain one of the following recognised English Language qualifications:
    • IELTS: Overall score of 6.5 with no component less than 6.0
    • Cambridge Advanced (CAE): Overall score of 60+ (pass at grade C) - A minimum of 3 borderline and 1 weak component results
    • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE): Any pass grade - In order to verify the CPE online, applicants need to supply their "secret number". The following CPE results apply to courses in all English Bands.
    • Pearson Academic (PTE): Overall score of 62 with all components at 51+

In addition to your academic qualifications and experience, Course Selectors will look for evidence of your interest in the course you are proposing to study 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.

*Q. How do I know if my qualification grade is equivalent?

A. Overseas Qualifications: UK Equivalent Scores Stated equivalents are neither absolute nor complete. Satisfying the grade requirement of your course is only one aspect of the application and does not guarantee admission.

This 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.

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 28th JULY 2018**

The following companies are also offering financial support:

Balfour Beatty offer 1 studentship @£15k available to any applicant, plus 1 scholarship @£15k available to existing employees only [contact: roger.bridge(a t)].

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

Postal address:

Postgraduate Office
School of Engineering
Library Road
University of Warwick

 The course has been both challenging and rewarding. The technical modules are delivered in collaboration with industry experts. This opportunity to learn from leaders in industry is invaluable. I have learnt a vast amount and my employer is already reaping the benefits of their investment. 


Shingai Mutukwa

Shingai Mutukwa, MSc in Tunnelling and Underground Space part-time student (14/16 cohort)

Careers in Underground Space

For a flavour of what an engineering career in underground space might be like, watch the following video produced by the International Tunnelling Association.

Essential Information

Degree title:

Degree of Master of Science in Tunnelling and Underground Space (MSc)


1 year full time

2 years part-time
A 12 month registration taking into account 30 weeks of teaching during the academic year and project work throughout.

Application deadline
31st July 2019

Course Start Date
30th September 2019

Location of study
School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom

Postgraduate Magazine

Campus Tour and PG Visits

How to apply

This information is applicable for 2019 entry.