Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1KB09


  • As specified in programme regulations.


  • As specified in programme regulations.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations.


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • The module will provide graduates with advanced knowledge and understanding of structural design, highway construction, traffic engineering, construction planning and law


  • Prestressed concrete
  • Composite steel-concrete construction
  • Design in timber and masonry to Eurocodes
  • Novel, low energy and sustainable building materials
  • Road construction materials.
  • Pavement design
  • Highway alignment design
  • English law, contract, tort
  • Construction contracts
  • Project planning techniques
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Construction site management

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Ability to design pre-stressed concrete beams and simple timber and masonry structural elements
  • Ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses of civil engineering materials.
  • Understanding of the legal issues associated to the professional practice of civil engineering.
  • Knowledge of the sources of hazards in construction and understanding of the relevant measures for the control of risk.
  • Understanding of road construction materials.
  • Knowledge of design methods for pavements and highway alignment
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An awareness of current technology, analysis methods and industrial practices along with the ability to apply those methods in novel situations.
  • The ability to apply modelling, estimation and control algorithms for traffic related problems.
  • An appreciation of the influence of material behaviour on design methods.
  • The ability to carry out the preliminary assessment and planning of construction processes.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialised and advanced technical and professional skills, an ability to perform critical assessment and review and an ability to communicate the results of their own work effectively.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Highly specialised analytical and numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Highly specialised use of information technology (IT) relevant to the engineering profession.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.

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

  • There are three courses: Structural Design, Highways Engineering & Construction Planning.
  • These are delivered as lectures and are reinforced where appropriate by seminars and problem sheets, leading to the required problem solving capability.
  • Construction planning includes student presentations on researched topics.
  • Students are able to make use of staff 'Tutorial 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.
  • Structural Design is assessed by a coursework exercise, which matches industrial practice.
  • The other courses are assessed by a written timed examination which is appropriate because of the wide range of analytical, in-depth material covered in these courses, which allows demonstration of the ability to solve advanced problems independently.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 42 2 per week 1 Hour 42
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 Hours 100% Yes
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:


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