Rock Mechanics I 7.5 credits

Bergmekanik I
First cycle, Q0038B
Course syllabus valid: Spring 2020 Sp 4 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Syllabus established
by Eva Gunneriusson 10 Feb 2014

Last revised
by Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies Eva Gunneriusson, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering 16 Jan 2020

Education level
First cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Rock Engineering and Mineral Technology
Subject group (SCB)
Mining and Mineral Technology

Entry requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements for first cycle studies you must have successfully completed upper secondary education and documented skills in English language + Swedish upper secondary school courses Physics 2, Chemistry 1, Mathematics 3c (specifik entry A8). Or: Swedish upper secondary school courses Physics B, Chemistry A, Mathematics D (specifik entry 8)

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on final school grades or Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Course Aim

The aim of the course is to give you an introduction to the basics of rock mechanics. You will get the knowledge and skills to determine whether shallow situated constructions in rock, such as tunnels on a small depth, slopes and rock foundation, are stable: You will also be able to provide recommendations for measures to achieve stable conditions for situation where that has not been achieved.

Upon completion of the course, you are expected to be able to:

  • identify structurally controlled failures for shallow situated constructions in rock (tunnels and slopes) using spherical projection and simplified geological descriptions, and where possible calculate the factor of safety
  • carry out field and laboratory work using proven methods to evaluate rock and joint parameters as well as the quality of rock mass
  • explain the in situ stresses in the bedrock and the strength of the rock mass
  • explain different types of reinforcement elements, propose suitable stability enhancing measures for shallow situated constructions in rock, and calculate the factor of safety for selected reinforcement elements
  • in writing and orally explain and discuss your and others' analyzes, results and conclusions


The course deals with the fundamentals of rock mechanics with focus on the stability of shallow situated constructions in rock, such as tunnels on small depths, slopes and rock foundation. The course covers the following areas:

  •  Rock as a material - Engineering geology, rock types, intact rock, joints, and rock mass properties.
  •  Pre-investigation - Rock mass classification, joint mapping, spherical projection, collection and analysis of field data.
  • Slope stability - Basic concepts, failure types, application of stereographic projections, kinematic and constitutive conditions, monitoring and stabilization.
  •  Stresses and strength - In-situ stresses, test methods, mechanical properties of rock, strength
  • Reinforcement methods and reinforcement elements - Rock bolts, mesh and shotcrete. Overview of other reinforcement methods.
  • Written and oral communication - Report writing and oral presentation. Presentation of engineering work, presentation of field data, etc.


Lectures, field work and project assignments.


Written exam 4 credits, project assignment, written and oral presentation, 2.5 credits, and field work 1 credit.



The course overlaps courses Q0010B and Q0023B


Phillip Tretten

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2014 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Nordlund E., Rådberg G. & Sjöberg J. (1998). Bergmekanikens grunder. Upplaga 1.5. Luleå tekniska universitet.

Course offered by
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleHPStatusFrom periodTitle
0001Written examG U 3 4 54.00MandatoryA14
0003Project assignments, written and oral presentationU G#2.50MandatoryS18
0004Field workU G#1.00MandatoryS18

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.