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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 10/01/2023 11:35:24

Title of Module: Civil Engineering Materials

Code: ENGG08016 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Wenzhong  Zhu

Summary of Module

Construction Materials

Concrete materials: constituent materials, advantages and limitations. Properties of fresh and hardened concrete. Types of concrete and specification of concrete. Basic tests for fresh and hardened concrete. Ordinary concrete mix design. Production methods and basic concrete technology. Durability of concrete, corrosion prevention. Advancements in concrete technology.


Masonry, bricks, stonemasonry, rendering.


Structure, decay and preservation of timber. Plywood, glue-laminated timber and cross-laminated timber, etc. 


Introduction to bitumens, binders, fillers, aggregates. Hot-rolled asphalt, dense macadam (asphalt concrete) and other design mix of asphalts. Testing.


Applied Geology

Students are introduced to earth materials in a context of civil engineering. This includes basic geology covering plate tectonics, erosion and deposition, rocks and minerals. 


Students are introduced to basic rock description and properties of rocks, the fundamentals of stratigraphy, interpretation of geological maps and fundamentals of subsurface structures.


This module will work to develop a number of the following key 'I am UWS' graduate attributes: Critical thinker, Inquring, Collaborative, Analytical, Research-minded, Knowledgeable, Problem solver, Autonomous, and Driven.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the characteristics of main construction and geological materials, and some basics of engineering geology.

L2. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge & understanding in properties, test methods and uses for some materials.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts and principles of construction materials and geology.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

• Knowledge and understanding of laboratory and workshop practice and construction processes.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

• Introduce the use of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards.
• Develop awareness of economical, sustainability and environmental issues associated with various construction materials.
• Further develop awareness of health & safety issues in laboratory and workshop practice and construction processes.
• Ability to obtain, interpret and apply the results from laboratory work.
• Ability to apply basic quantitative methods relevant to construction materials.
• Encourage students to see civil engineering with a geological context

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

• Further develop transferable skills in written communication.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

• Further develop transferable skills that will be of value in working with others.
• Develop skills in planning, self-learning and improving performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The Independent Study includes Coursework and report writing (24 hours), and self study (128 hours).

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this Module may be delivered in a 'hybrid' mode with an 'adaptive' online examination. If the Covid-19 restrictions are eased, the preferred mode of delivery will be the one approved by the Accrediting Body (JBM) prior to the global pandemic, which is 4 face-to-face contact hours/week of key practical classes.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery28
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop14
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Various handout materials.

Extension Resources: Consultation of the undernoted resources is recommended and material from these resources may be of benefit to the student in the assessment process:

Construction Materials
Taylor, G.D., “Materials in construction”, Longman, 2000.
Jackson, N and Dhir R.K., “Civil Engineering Materials”, Palgrave, 1996.
Soutsos, M and Domone, P, “Construction Materials, Their nature and behaviour”, 5th Edition, CRC Press, 2018.
"Design of normal concrete mixes", 2nd edition, BRE press, 1997, free access/download through the University library, .

Engineering Geology
Simons, N., Menzies, B, Matthews, M., “A short course in Geotechnical Site Investigation”, Thomas Telford, 2002.
Wattham, T., “Foundations of Engineering Geology”, E & F N Spon, 2002.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCivil Engineering and Quality Management
ModeratorJohn Hughes
External ExaminerJ Oti
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by Joint Board of Moderators of the ICE, IStructE, IHE and CIHT as part of BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Exam (50%)
Coursework (50%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck mark502

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The programme leaders have considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students from minority groups, including students from ethnic minorities, disabled students, students of different ages and students from under-represented groups. Students with special needs (including additional learning needs) would be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students discussed with the Enabling Support Unit and reasonable adjustments would be made for classes and site visits.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.