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Higher Diploma in Geotechnical Engineering

Programme Code: HD 138 3416 6338 2305 5315
QF Level: 4
QR Registration No.: 18/000830/L4
Registration Validity Period:  01/09/2019 to ongoing

Application Code 報名編號 : HD138

Background information

Thriving development of the infrastructures in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area are expected to continue, resulting in a steady increase in demand for trained and skilled workers in the geotechnical industry for the next ten years and beyond. As stated in the Policy Address 2017, the HKSAR Government will continue procurement with various new development projects. Graduates with knowledge and skills at semi-professional level or above are in great demand who can be employed by construction or geotechnical engineering firms in the public or private sectors. In response to both the industry and community requirements, this new programme is designed to train our graduates for bright and competitive career prospects in the future.

Programme Aims & Features

This programme aims to provide students with the foundation training of engineering geology and geotechnical investigation. The curriculum is designed to prepare them for careers in related geotechnical engineering and construction sectors. Students will gain basic knowledge, transferable experiential learning, and hands-on project management skills via industrial placement, laboratory testing, field instrumentation, and site investigation on geotechnical or related engineering disciplines.

The programme has received support from local and international organisations in both the academic and industry sectors, including:

  • Geological Society of London (Regional Branch)
  • Geological Society of HK Professional Branch
  • Association of Geotechnical & Geo-environmental Specialists (Hong Kong)
  • Planning Division of Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) of HKSAR Government
  • Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) Geotechnical Division
  • Site Investigation Contractors Committee (SICC) (Hong Kong Construction Association)

Job Placement

The programme has received tremendous support from the local industry. These organisations will provide job placement opportunities for students to gain first-hand knowledge of the industry and develop the skills required in the workplace. Students will apply the knowledge they have learnt during the placement. Those who perform well will also have the opportunity to build ties with the industry and facilitate their career development.

Professional Recognition

The programme is designed to satisfy requirements for Technical Officer (Geotechnical) in Geotechnical Engineering Office of the HKSAR Government and Class 3 Competent Persons requirements of government contracts as stipulated by the Building Department. Recognition of the programme is being sought for above credentials.

Opportunities for Further Studies

Graduates could apply for admissions to various UGC-funded degree programmes at local universities. Below are some examples*:

University of Hong Kong
BSc (Major in Geology)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
BEng (Hons) Energy & Environmental Engineering

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
BEng in Civil Engineering
BEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

City University of Hong Kong
BEng Civil Engineering

HKU SPACE International College

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to various degree programmes offered by HKU SPACE International College.

Career Prospects

Graduates will be able to take up a broad range of positions in the private, public and government sectors in construction or civil engineering disciplines in HKSAR, civil or geotechnical engineering corporations, construction contractors or agencies. Graduates can also pursue further studies for career advancement to professionals.

Potential career opportunities for graduates include:

  • Geotechnical field technician
  • Assistant geotechnical officer
  • Assistant engineer
  • Assistant geologist
  • Technical officer

Special Entrance Requirements

In addition to the minimum entrance requirements, applicants are also required to have obtained Level 2 or above in HKDSE Mathematics (Core) and one of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Combined Science or Geography, or equivalent.

*The above list is not exhaustive and only shows some of the examples.



  • Introduction to Academic English
  • English for Academic Purposes I & II
  • Practical Chinese
  • Techniques in Engineering
  • English for Science and Technology
  • Elementary Statistics

Experiential Learning Course

  • Industrial Placement (Geotechnical Engineering)



Year 1

  • Structural Mechanics
  • Engineering Mathematics I
  • Properties of Construction Material
  • Elements of Geology
  • Description of Rocks and Minerals
  • Structures and Field Studies

Year 2

  • Soil Mechanics
  • Geotechnics
  • Field Instrumentation and Site Investigation
  • Ethics and Computing Professionalism
  • Construction Project Management
  • Environmental and Earth Science

Courses offered in each semester are subject to student enrolment, timetabling and resources available

Chan Wai Man Sam
  • Advancement to HKUST B.Eng. in Civil Engineering

Every failure is a valuable experience for us to move forward. The HKDSE is not the only path for you to study at a university and you should never give up. I am more motivated to study at HKU SPACE CC since I really love the programme that I studied. I am grateful for the teaching and help from all the people involved in this programme. The knowledge that I learned is highly related to my future career which encouraged me to put effort into study. Moreover, the industrial placement arranged by the College that enabled me to sharpen my skills in a professional manner. With sufficient knowledge and understanding of it, I have determined the career goals and path that I should pursue.