Course syllabus

Field Investigation Methodology

VTGN01, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2023/24
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED V
Date of Decision: 2023-03-21

General Information

Elective for: V5-at, W5-ms
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English


The main aim of the course is to increase the student's knowledge of the importance and possible content of preinvestigations concerning large infrastructural projects. Geological methodology for reconnaissance and mapping is included as an important part, and geophysical measurement technology is a central part of the course. Furthermore, drilling and sampling technology including methodology of classification and interpretation are parts of the course. A main theme of the course is integrated utilization and interpretation of the different steps and methods within the field investigation process. An important part of the content is consisting of field measurements for engineering and environmental applications, which here mean investigations applied on problems related to engineering geology, foundation engineering, hydrogeology, groundwater protection and contaminated soil. The course includes training in applied interpretation and evaluation methodology and also presentation techniques, as essential parts of the course are organized as a real field investigation. Hereby, the ability of reviewing and producing background material for decisions for different demands and levels of investigation is improved, related to hydrogeological, environmental and large infrastructural projects.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must


The aim of the course is achieved by a combination of theoretical studies of measuring principles, planning and execution of field investigations, writing of a technical report and oral presentation at a seminar. The course is dominated by a major compulsory project work which is carried out in groups of three-four students. The field investigation project consists of establishing a conceptual model, numerical premodelling for design of investigation strategy, field investigation, data processing, inverse modelling, interpretation and also written and oral presentation of results. The field investigation comprises 2.5 days and consists of geological field reconnaissance, measurements with a couple of geophysical methods in combination with other field investigation methods as drilling, penetration testing and digging of test pits. Two of the days are carried out in small groups of about three-four students with one teacher per group.

During the project work with interpretation and reporting of the field investigations there are frequent possibilities to consult a teacher. The project assignment is presented as a written technical report and it is also presented orally by each group and discussed at the final seminar of the course. Detailed written and oral feedback from the teachers is offered to each group of three-four students .

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: Written examination and also written and oral presentation of a field investigation project. The written examination and the project assignment have equal weight when the final grade of the course is determined.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.

Code: 0111. Name: Written Examination.
Credits: 4. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: To pass the written examination at least 50% of the given points must be obtained. There is one theoretical part and one problem part in the examination but no partial pass requirements. The course literature may be consulted when the theoretical part has been handed in. Contents: Basic theory, application and interpretation of field investigation methodology, applied geophysics and techniques for geotechnical verification.
Code: 0211. Name: Project Task.
Credits: 3,5. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: To obtain a pass mark on the project task, the minimum requirements on content and presentation must be met. This includes form and presentation as well as geological and geophysical content and also processing, interpretation and assessment of geophysical information and other data from field investigations and also other sources. Contents: Application of field investigation methodology and geophysical investigation methods. Analysis and synthesis of geological, geophysical and other data from field investigations related to civil engineering and environmental engineering.


Admission requirements:

Assumed prior knowledge: FMAB30 Calculus in Several Variables.
The number of participants is limited to: No

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Universitetsadjunkt Peter Jonsson,
Course coordinator: Matteo Rossi,
Course homepage:
Further information: The course is a part of the specialisation Civil Engineering within the MSc Programme in Civil Engineering and also the specialisation Environmental Systems within the MSc Programme in Environmental Engineering. It is also very suitable within the specialisations in Water Resources within the MSc Programmes in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. It is also suitable for students, who are interested in field investigations of the subsurface, for example in connection with estimations of environmental consequences at large infrastructural projects. The course is also suitable for Exchange students with adequate prerequisites.