Geotechnical engineering deals with construction in soil and rock. The tasks of geotechnics are as diverse as these natural building materials, i.e. the building ground itself. They range from the investigation of the subsoil to the planning of foundations, retaining structures and other securing measures of the subsoil to the planning of cuttings, dams or tunnels.

The building ground presents a new and interesting challenge with every construction project. The Master's degree course in Geotechnical Engineering/Tunnelling is aimed at engineers who would like to meet this challenge in the context of a later job in planning offices, construction companies, public sector employers or research and development. The course of studies offers students a wide range of development opportunities in all areas in which the subsoil has to be taken into account in planning, calculation, construction management or legal matters.

The application-oriented course of study can be completed either full-time over three semesters or part-time over five semesters while working.

Application deadline

15 January (summer semester)
July 15 (winter semester)

Study time

3 semesters full-time, 5 part-time

Study title

Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)


The discipline of geotechnical engineering requires individual and goal-oriented solutions within a broad range of tasks, which reaches from the investigation of the subsoil to the planning, execution and operation of structures or infrastructure measures. The course of study imparts methodological and technical skills which are necessary for the development of these solutions. This includes, for example, sound fundamentals of geomechanics and the ability to use computer-based procedures for the analysis of geotechnical problems safely and sensibly. In tunnelling, the focus is on construction methods and the use of machines as well as measuring and observation methods. In order to prepare students for taking on management tasks in later professional life, the course also covers the fields of law, management and corporate governance.

The course of study is designed as a full-time or part-time course and leads to a degree in civil engineering (M.Eng.). It has a standard period of study of 3 semesters (full-time) or 5 semesters (part-time) and is accredited with 90 credit points.

Development and transfer phase

Soil mechanics, rock mechanics, subsoil dynamics and engineering geology Fundamentals and application of numerical methods in geotechnics Reinforced concrete and steel construction in geotechnics Planning and design in geotechnics Foundation engineering with special foundation engineering, tunnel construction Law, management and corporate governance



Interdisciplinary project work Master thesis

Event Date
Start of the semester 16 March 2020
Field trip info: Stuttgart-Munich-Innsbruck 25 March 2020 : 13 -14 hrs
Allplan Basic Training (Registration) 09 - 10 May 2020
Stable party 29.May.2020
Defense of the Master-Thesis July 20-21, 2020
Closing event July 21, 2020
Masterinfo evening 28.October.2020

Subject to change without notice!

General university dates

Key aspects

eine Geotechnikzeichnung einer Baustelle

Geomechanics and numerical methods

The successful and resource-saving use of building ground as a building material requires a sound understanding of the appearance and properties of soil and rock. In the laboratory for geotechnical engineering students can test soil and rock themselves and derive mechanical parameters for calculations. State-of-the-art geotechnical calculation methods such as the non-linear finite element method are discussed in the course of studies, as are classical calculation approaches for soil, rock and pore or fissure water.

eine Baustellenaufnahme von Stuttgart 21

Project-based design in earthworks, foundation engineering and tunnelling

Project-based design in earthworks, foundation engineering and tunnelling Several project-oriented tasks have to be mastered in the course of study - individually or in multidisciplinary teams. The project-oriented tasks prepare students for the world of work, promote the ability to solve problems and think critically, and offer the opportunity to transfer the contents developed in the disciplines of earthworks, foundation engineering and tunnelling to real problems.


Eine Tunnelröhre


Underground construction is often a necessity in difficult topographic conditions. From an urban planning point of view, however, tunnels for roads and railways and other infrastructure are increasingly the best solution in conurbations as well. The HFT is the only university in Germany to offer a course of study specializing in tunnelling with its own professorship for tunnel construction.

Menschengruppe in einer Zeichnung

Legal, management and corporate governance

In addition to technical skills, legal and economic aspects are becoming increasingly important for professional activities in civil engineering, especially in managerial positions. A good knowledge of the contractual basis is just as important for the success of a project as a professional management of costs and deadlines.

Practical relevance

The HFT Stuttgart is traditionally closely networked with regional construction companies and engineering offices and thus guarantees a continuous exchange between theory and practice. Engineers from practice who are proven in their specialist areas support the course of studies, e.g. in the supervision of project and final theses and the design of application-oriented teaching. External lecturers also contribute to the success of the Stuttgart Geotechnical Engineering Seminar, which is also an integral part of the curriculum. The very large number of scholarships in relation to the number of students reflects the interest and the connection of the practice in the HFT and in the study course Geotechnics/Tunnelling. The placement of a working student job accompanying the studies is usually possible without problems. The location of the university, in the Stuttgart metropolitan region with its lively building activities, also offers the possibility of establishing a connection to building practice on concrete building projects and schemes, e.g. in the form of excursions.


In addition to regular one-day excursions during the semester, the programme also offers an excursion lasting several days in 2020. The excursions offer an intensive insight into the practical requirements of construction, the interface between planning and execution as well as the interaction of all persons and trades involved in construction.

  • Excursion Stuttgart-Munich-Innsbruck-Brenner Base Tunnel: 18.05.2020-20.05.20 Information event: 25.03.2012, from 13 to 14 hrs


Each semester a project-based task is offered, which is worked on by the students in project teams. The project teams organize and coordinate their own division of labor and are supported by professors and lecturers of the program as advisors to the project teams. The project extends over the entire semester and is concluded with a presentation of the results at the end.

Lageplan einer Tunnelbaustelle

  • Project WS19/20: Planning of the Ostelsheim railway tunnel on the Hermann-Hesse railway
  • Project SS2019: Planning of the sewage tunnel "Zuckerbergstollen II" for the urban drainage of Stuttgart
  • Project WS18/19: Planning of an exploration and inspection corridor under the weir and powerhouse of the Hessigheim/Neckar barrage

In the winter semester 2019/20 a project: "New construction of railway tunnel" was worked on by the course of studies. The task was .....


Admission to the Master's programme requires an above-average degree with at least three years' standard period of study at a German university or a comparable foreign university in the field of civil engineering as well as good German and English language skills. A subject-related professional activity as a civil engineer in an engineering or planning office or a relevant construction company is advantageous. Applicants with a Bachelor's degree must prove that they have earned at least 210 credit points according to ECTS (CP) from a civil engineering course of study.


Civil engineers* with technical and methodological competence in geotechnics are in great demand on the labour market. The professional fields of activity are thematically extremely versatile and also offer a wide range of possible employers, from planning offices and construction companies to the public sector or self-employment. The degree "Master of Engineering" qualifies for higher service and, in cooperation with a university, for a doctorate.

    Possible fields of activity

    • Subsoil and foundation consulting
    • Planning, design and tendering in earthworks, foundation engineering and tunnelling
    • Design and dimensioning in earthworks, foundation engineering and tunnelling
    • Special foundation engineering
    • Site management
    • Environmental protection and disaster prevention
    • Operation of geotechnical installations
    • Research in soil mechanics and rock mechanics