Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 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.
  • Principles are introduced and/or developed in the subject area of civil engineering design to enhance the understanding of the design process and the way theoretical work supports design.
  • To introduce the principles of structural steelwork and reinforced concrete design.
  • Introduce CAD and numerical analysis (frame analysis software) skills that will be utilised in L3 Civil Design work.
  • To provide students with a challenging design activity appropriate for MSc level


  • Structural analysis.
  • Structural design.
  • Sustainability issues.
  • Health and Safety.
  • Estimation of costs.
  • Drawing.
  • Report writing.
  • Tools for Civil Design (CAD, frame analysis software)

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Subject-specific knowledge of fundamental concepts, principles, theories and design concepts relevant to civil engineering;
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of this specialist area of engineering and appreciation of the role and responsibility of the engineer;
  • Appreciation of the implications of material properties on the design process;
  • Understanding of the principles of structural elements in structural steelwork and reinforced concrete.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to design structural members;
  • Ability to critically analyse, evaluate and interpret Engineering data;
  • Ability to apply engineering principles to the solution of a specific, complex problem;
  • Use of CAD package and understanding of reinforced concrete detailing;
  • Use of numerical analysis tools appropriate for civil engineers.
Key Skills:
  • Application of theoretical knowledge gained from other courses.
  • Ability to seek out information from a variety of sources.
  • Ability to organise a body of information into a coherent structure.
  • Ability to rationalise a complex problem into a series of discreet but related design elements.

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

  • Teaching by tutorials supervised by tutors from industry or by members of the academic staff of the University.
  • Summative assessments for the lectures and design work are appropriate because of the open-ended and diverse nature of these activities.
  • The course in Civil and Structural Design is taught by lectures and assessed by a problem sheet based on the lecture course. This allows students to demonstrate subject knowledge and design skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Civil and Structural design lectures 20 2 per week 1 hour 20
Tools for civil design practical sessions 5 1 per week 2 hours 10
Project meetings 19 1 per week 2 hours 38
Preparation, reading, and self directed work 232
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
MSc Civil Design Report 48% Yes
MSc Civil Design Presentation 6% Yes
MSc Civil and structural design exercise 13% Yes
MSc Tools for Civil Design exercise 33% 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