Along with planning, investigation, construction, and management, design work is a key element of civil engineering. This unit of study aims to give students design practice and skills in a number of areas of civil engineering, and to further develop a range of more generic skills including teamwork and communication. Students will work in small design teams (typically 3-4 students) to carry out two designs of varying focus and complexity, but drawn mainly from the areas of water and road engineering. Each design will typically involve data gathering, analysis, calculations, preparation of engineering drawings, and a report. To increase student exposure to current real-world practice and requirements, at least one of these designs will often be offered and run by an external civil engineering organisation in collaboration with the unit coordinator. Students will also prepare and deliver an individual oral presentation on one of the designs performed during the semester.

Unit details

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Unit code:


NEC2203 - Hydraulics

NEC2204 - Highway Engineering

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Identify key issues in a typical civil engineering design problem, formulate the problem, and use a systems approach to solving it;  
  2. Locate, evaluate and use additional data and information from a variety of sources relevant to a particular design;  
  3. Carry out preliminary designs for projects in the broad fields of water and road engineering;  
  4. Evaluate design options against technical and other criteria;  
  5. Work effectively as a member and/or leader of a small design team; and  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Oral presentation (6-7 minutes) on aspects of a particular design 5%
Test Mid term test on SOURCE (1.5 hours) 15%
Assignment Two team-based design reports (2500 each) 60%
Examination End-of-Semester Exam on Road (1.5 hours) 15%
Workshop Team weekly briefing on progress 5%

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