Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1KB09


  • As specified in the Programme Regulations


  • As specified in the Programme Regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in the Programme Regulations


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • This module covers two important areas of knowledge and skills for civil engineers: analysis and design of structures and geomatics (land surveying and GIS).


  • Analysis of structures using paper and computational methods.
  • Land surveying for civil engineering.
  • GIS relevant for civil engineering

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understanding of the qualitative behaviour of various structural forms leading to conceptual structural design;
  • Understanding of methods of computational structural analysis and appreciation of their approximate nature;
  • Appreciation of the role of plasticity in structural analysis;
  • Understanding of the principles of land surveying, errors and adjustments;
  • Understanding of the principles behind and use of GISs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to undertake conceptual design of simple civil engineering structures;
  • Ability to undertake analyses of civil engineering structures;
  • Ability to carry out civil engineering surveying including booking, checking and preparation of plans;
  • Ability to use GIS for civil engineering purposes.
Key Skills:
  • General ability to model, as required by a civil engineer.
  • Ability to assess quality of data from surveying and to recognise possible flaws in data.
  • Team work in undertaking the surveying practical course.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lecture courses in structures, surveying and GIS reinforced by problem sheets. Structures is assessed through an open note written examination which enables each student to demonstrate an ability to analyse and solve new problems.
  • Students are able to make use of staff Office Hours to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one to one basis. These are sign-up sessions available for up to one hour per week.
  • Surveying and GIS are supported by a two-week intensive practical course which is summatively assessed by means of a report.
  • The surveying and structures parts of the course are also supported by a formative lab sessions.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Surveying & GIS lectures 9 1 per week 1 hour 9
Structures lectures 29 1 or 2 per week 1 hour 29
Revision seminar 2 2 in term 3 1 hour 2
Laboratories 3 Typically 1 per week 3 hours 9
Geomatics practical course 1 1 in term 3 1 week full time 30
Office Hours as required weekly sign-up sessions up to 1 hour 8
Preparation, reading and self study 113
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 85%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Structures and Geomatics 3 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Geomatics Practical Course 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Problem sheets for lecture courses. Laboratories.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University