Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 10/06/2022 17:32:15

Title of Module: Ground and Highway Engineering

Code: ENGG10014 SCQF Level: 10
(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:Djamalddine  Boumezerane

Summary of Module

This module will support students to develop their UWS graduate attributes, namely: Academic (critical and analytical thinking, inquiring, knowledgeable, innovation, and problem solving); Personal (effective communicator, creative, imaginative); Professional (Collaborative, research-minded, and socially responsible).

Ground Engineering

Students will develop design expertise in sheet pile retaining walls, soil and rock slope cuttings, and soil reinforcement. They are required to consider geotechnical risk registers and methods of reducing risk associated with the ground.

The course will also cover topical issues in ground engineering such as slope stability problems. There will be significant discussion of geotechnical risk in both a project and society context.  Sustainability is considered as a vital element that should be considered at the design phase.

Highway Engineering

Students are introduced to the basics of highway design.  There is a review of horizontal and vertical alignments of roads and the main aspects of pavement design and construction. Roads drainage together with the drainage of slopes will be considered.  Methods of pavement assessment and major techniques of road maintenace will be covered.  An overview of the highway design process will be given.  The environmental aspects of highway development are considered along with sustainable development.  Roundabout and junction design are introduced.

  • Design of retaining walls, rock slopes and soil reinforcement are covered

  • Horizontal and vertical alignment of highways based on the recommendations of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB)

  • Roundabout and junction design in accordance with current practice.

  • Ageing and defects of transport infrastructure

  • Integrated Approaches for Highway Rehabilitation and Assessment for Pavement Design Alternatives

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check markcheck markcheck mark

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:
check mark





check mark


Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. To be able to design rock slopes, reinforced soil slopes and sheet pile retaining walls

L2. To be able to assess geotechnical risk as it applies to projects and to society.

L3. To be able to do the basic design of highway alignments and pavements and identify suitable techniques of pavement assessment and maintenace.

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 10.

• Students will be able to integrate knowledge of ground engineering processes and theory with practical design

• Develop a critical K & U of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles in highway engineering.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

• Students will have developed in depth skills in the design of certain ground engineering and highway engineering works

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

• Students will undertake design where the data is limited and comes from a range of sources

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

• Make a formal presentation concerning project risk

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

• Work in a team environment to determine and make and give a presentation.

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

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
The learning and teaching activity for this module includes lectures and computer labs.
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 Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity0
Independent Study164
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 material for ground engineering and the University's VLE.

Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, handout material extracted from HD25, HD26, HD28, HD29, HD30, HD31, HD35, HD36, HD37, TA46, TA49, TD37, HMSO, various dates.

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:

Environmental Management of Highways, 2001, Institution of Highways and Transportation

Transport in the Urban Environment, 1997, Institution of Highways and Transportation

Soil Mechanics: Principles and Practice (2nd edition), 2000, G.E. Barnes, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing

Value and Risk Management: A Guide to Best Practice, 2006, M F Dallas, Blackwell Publishing

Managing Geotechnical Risk: Improving Productivity in UK Building and Construction, 2001, C.R.I. Clayton, Thomas Telford Publishing
A Short Course in Soil and Rock Slope Engineering, 2001, N. Simons, B. Menzies , and M. Matthews, Thomas Telford Publishing

Designer’s Guide to En 1997-1 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design – General Rules, Frank et al, 2004,

Smith, I. M. (2014) Smith’s elements of soil mechanics. 1st edn. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

(**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

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCivil Engineering and Quality Management
ModeratorShakun Paudel
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


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment Category 1: Courseworks 40%
Assessment Category 2: Examination 60% . Due to Covid 19 Adaptive Assessment might replace exam.
(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) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Design/ Diagram/ Drawing/ Photograph/ Sketchcheck markcheck markcheck mark309
Presentationcheck mark  101

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck markcheck mark602
Combined Total For All Components100% 12 hours

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

[Top of Page]

  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.