Natural landscapes and built environments can be engineered to optimise the goods and services delivered to society, including provision of natural resources and the regulation of water and carbon. Technologies that prevent and/or reverse land degradation can be devised and implemented to ensure sustainable use of finite land resources. 

Environmental engineers and land managers need sound understanding of the environmental properties that determine land capability for any given desired end use, as well as the interrelationships between soil, water, vegetation and built structures. This understanding is grounded in basic soil physics, hydrology, hydraulics, geotechnics and agronomy. With this background, appropriate interventions such as drainage, soil erosion control, slope stabilisation and irrigation can be designed and implemented to improve inherent land quality. The required skills set also informs the management of environmental projects involving land forming, reclamation, restoration and protection, which require selection, design, engineering and maintenance of appropriate structures.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost


What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Apply the concept of land capability to site assessment and carry out land capability classifications,
  • Explain how to design earthworks and select appropriate land-forming machinery / equipment,
  • Calculate the stability of slopes and design of simple support and stabilisation systems,
  • Undertake an erosion survey and risk assessment,
  • Devise strategies for the long-term management of top soil and subsoil in land engineering projects.

Core content

  • Site Assessment: Concept of land capability and land quality,
    • Criteria used for assessing land capability and its classification,
      • USDA scheme, Canadian Land Inventory, urban land capability scheme.
  • Land forming, earth moving and landscape modification,
    • Earth works design,
      • Defra recommendations,
      • Pipeline corridors,
    • Machinery and equipment used (+ visit to JCB or similar),
  • Geotechnics: Slope stability,
    • The stability of shallow and deep slope failures,
    • Methods of slope stability calculations,
      • Finite slope analysis etc,
    • Slope engineering for slope stability,
      • Bunds and berms,
      • Bioengineering,
      • Biotechnical engineering,
  • Surface erosion of slope forming materials,
    • Soil erosion processes,
    • Soil erosion consequences,
    • Soil erosion risk assessment and modelling USLE, MMF,
    • Surface soil erosion control,
      • Terraces,
      • Check dams,
      • Agronomic techniques (bioengineering),
        • Vegetation as an engineering material (bioengineering and biotechnical engineering),
        • Geotextiles,
  • Top and sub soil management,
    • Vegetation establishment,
    • Site maintenance. 


Dr Lynda Deeks

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.