Professional Master of Engineering Geology


The Professional Master of Engineering Geology (PMEG) is the only programme of its kind in Australasia. Engineering Geology is a multidisciplinary area applying geological sciences to engineering work, identifying and mitigating geological hazards and aspects of land-use planning.

The PMEG is strongly applied and concentrates on professional training for practitioners, delivered in a 12-month format.

Graduates of the professional master’s will:

  • meet the requirements for the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) accreditation of graduate Engineering Geologists
  • undertake a practice-focused personal project
  • be taught by local and international experts and work with industry contacts
  • concentrate on principles of geo-materials, geomorphology, risk and communication as applied to real-life case studies, so they can provide knowledge and advice to engineers in the context of engineering projects.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Every candidate, shall have either:

  • qualified for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology or Earth Sciences, or
  • qualified for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, majoring in Civil, Environmental or Natural Resources Engineering, or
  • been admitted ad eundem statum with graduate status with suitable preliminary qualification to the University of Canterbury, or
  • recognition of prior learning/experience as assessed by the Programme Director.

In addition they will:

  • have been approved as a candidate by the Dean of Science, and
  • have 15 points of MATH 100-level courses and 15 points from STAT 100-level courses This requirement may be waived by the Head of Department if the student can demonstrate an existing suitably high level of ability in Mathematics and/or Statistics.

Relevance of undergraduate studies to Engineering Geology and standard of achievement are the main criteria for approval. Students entering with a Bachelor of Science in Geology or Earth Sciences will normally be required to have passed GEOL351 Advanced Field Techniques and GEOL352 Advanced Field Mapping, and 60 other points in GEOL 300-level courses with a grade average that meets the approval of the Head of Department (the normal requirement is at least a B-grade average for these courses).

Candidates seeking admission may be required to pass a qualifying programme prior to commencing the PMEG.

A relevant tertiary qualification plus work experience may be deemed appropriate to meet the prerequisite training. Candidates may be required to complete preparatory courses prior to entry.

This is a limited entry programme – see 'How to apply' below.

For detailed entry requirements see the Regulations for the Professional Master of Engineering Geology or use the admission requirements checker.

Qualification structure and duration

Each course will incorporate a taught component (including field work) and online material. The programme comprises of eight compulsory courses taught over two semesters, plus a four-month dissertation. The dissertation will include at least one of the following:

  • an individual investigation carried out under the supervision of a staff member, or
  • a cooperative industry-university project where the student works alongside and with working professionals and carries out an individual investigation based on a research question of interest.


The time limit for a candidate studying full-time shall normally be 12 months. The time limit for a candidate studying part-time shall normally be two years, but in exceptional circumstances the time limit may be a maximum of five years, with approval from the Programme Director.

Subjects and courses

For the up-to-date schedule of courses, visit our University Regulations website.

How to apply

Entry to this programme is limited to 30 students per year and by special application prior to three weeks before the start of the semester.

Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Further study

UC offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Geology.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Professional Master of Engineering Geology.

For study planning help contact the Department of Geology or the College of Science:

College of Science
University of Canterbury
Okeover House
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2312
Email collegeofscience@canterbury.ac.nz

Stefan Cook

Stefan Cook

'I like how the methods and techniques taught in courses are transferable to the professional world...'