Exciting placement opportunity for geoscience students

With UCAS applications now well underway, Nick Koor of Portsmouth University has news of a great opportunity for students considering a geoscience degree.

Marc Othen - Keller

Marc Othen-Keller

The Engineering Geology & Geotechnics degree at Portsmouth, of which Nick is Course Director, is a three or four year course providing students with technical expertise to work in engineering geology projects, such as the building of tunnels, dams, offshore oil or gas platforms or mine excavation.

Megan Vaughn-Ellis

Megan Vaughn-Ellis

The Geological Society funds one of a number of bursaries which all students applying for the course are eligible to apply for. The bursary involves a years paid work placement at the end of year two – a great opportunity to gain relevant work experience, get a foot on the employment ladder and earn money whilst still a student.

Says Nick, ‘This degree leads to direct graduate employment without the need to take a specialist Masters degree – our graduates are highly sort after by industry. Levels of employability after graduation are very high, in jobs which offer a good starting salary and the opportunity to work and travel with your job.

The bursaries, which can be applied for by anyone considering taking the degree, provide:

  • A £1750 per year cash awards to students
  • An 8 week paid placement at the end of year 1
  • A 44 week paid placement at the end of year 2.
Stephan Gehne

Stephan Gehne

Student experiences

William Deakin

William Deakin graduated with a first class degree in Engineering Geology & Geotechnics from the University of Portsmouth, and now works for the world’s largest offshore investigation company, Fugro.

William spent his one year placement with Fugro at their UK headquarters in Oxfordshire, and was lucky enough to be trained to go offshore and experience life on a working drill ship.

Hear from William about how the course, together with the Industrial Bursary scheme, helped him obtain his 1st class degree and a well paid job on graduation.

Zoe Horrell

Zoe is a final year student at the University of Portsmouth studying for a degree in Engineering Geology & Geotechnics. She spent her placement year with ground engineering consultant RedRockGeo, located outside Exeter.

Zoe worked whilst on placement on a new tungsten mine in Cornwall as part of the team carrying out tests to determine how fast water would flow through the ground – this was needed to assist in the design of a dam which will eventually contain the mine waste. Zoe used her placement to collect data for her final year project which means that she will have top quality industry standard results to produce a high level final year project.

James Dutchman

James is now a Geotechnical Engineer with SRK Consulting in South Africa, having graduated from the BEng degree two years ago.


Mapping in the DRC

‘I was lucky enough to work for a consultancy company in South Africa as an Engineering Geologist for my placement. The experience took me all over Africa, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia, to name a few countries!

While working within a team of experienced engineers on a wide number of projects within the mining sector, I covered most aspects of the degree course and applied that knowledge to almost all the projects with which I was involved.

‘As a bonus, I was paid to do this – as a student, what could be better?! I have now been employed with the company for two years since graduation.’

How to Apply

‘Students who apply for the degree will automatically be sent a link to an online application for an Industrial Bursary with their University offer’ says Nick. ‘Interviews for the bursaries are normally held in March – April at the Geological Society, prior to you making your final University choice. Online applications need to be complete by the end of February.’

‘Further information can be found on our web site: or better still come to one of our open days to find out more!’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s