Programmes - HKU SPACE Community College
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 CEF Course

Certificate for Module (Geotechnics)

Programme Code: CP 107 37622307
Course Code: CP107

Microcredential Course

Programme Code: CP107A
Medium of Instruction: English
Course Fee: HKD $6300
Application Fee: HKD $150

Course Introduction

The programme aims at introducing geotechnics theories and their applications.  It covers soil mechanics, site formation, stability of slopes and the foundation design.

Course Details

On completion of the programme, students should be able to :

  1. Apply soil properties, effects of water, and mechanics principles and theories to analyse the behaviour of soils under different kinds of pressures;
  2. Relate the importance of safety and geotechnical considerations in designing and undertaking site formation and earth-retaining works;
  3. Describe the basics concepts of soil mechanics and how they can be applied to analyze soil retaining structures;
  4. Discuss modern soil improvement techniques, retaining slopes techniques, and soil and excavation techniques;
  5. Design simple foundations.


The course addresses the determination of soil stratification and characteristics of soil required for the design of foundations. It integrates the experimental, theoretical, and design basics of geotechnical engineering:

Soil Mechanics and Geology
Shear strength of soil, lateral earth pressure
Site investigation for deep and complex foundation/basement design and construction, interpretation of borehole log (field and laboratory tests)

Site Formation
Techniques of excavation and de-watering

Stability of Slopes and Earth Retaining Structure
Slope stability, drainage of slopes, ground anchor, slope protection methods. Active and passive lateral earth pressures, analysis and design of soil retaining structures in particular gravity retaining walls, cantilever and anchored sheet pile walls, diaphragm walls, braced or strutted excavation, failure of retaining structure

Foundation Design and Geotechnical Problems
Ground & soil stabilization improvement: compaction and pre-compaction, grouting and chemical stabilization, vibratory methods and soil reinforcement.

Entry Reqirements

Applicants shall:

  1. have gained in the HKDSE Examination Level 2 or above in five subjects* including English Language and Chinese Language#, Mathematics (Core) and one of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Combined Science or Geography; or

  2. hold a Diploma in Foundation Studies or equivalent qualification; or

  3. hold a Diploma Yi Jin.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered by the College.

Applicants who do not possess the above academic qualifications but who are aged 21 or above with relevant work experience will be considered on individual merit.

* Applicants are allowed to use not more than two Applied Learning (ApL) subjects in the application. The recognition of the ApL subjects is as follows: 
“Attained with Distinction (II)” is deemed equivalent to Level 4 or above in the HKDSE Examination;
“Attained with Distinction (I)” is deemed equivalent to Level 3 in the HKDSE Examination; and
“Attained” is deemed equivalent to Level 2 in the HKDSE Examination.

# ApL Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students) would be accepted as an alternative Chinese Language qualification.


Students are required to do a 2-hour written examination, group report and tests.

Upon successful completion of the programme, students will be awarded within the HKU system through HKU SPACE a Certificate for Module (Geotechnics).