KB4022 - Design and Materials

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about some of the issues which will underpin your learning and practice as a civil/construction engineer. You will learn about the mechanics of materials, material qualities, material properties at a micro level and at a macro level.Through practical and other class work you will consider and explore a range of the most commonly used materials in the industry. Materials studied will include rocks and soils, steel, concrete and timber. In addition, you will examine alternative material use to achieve enhanced sustainability, including the use of recycled materials, and you will develop skills in designing concrete structural members through your understanding of material properties and capacities.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will include a range of learning materials such as presentations, notes, seminar questions for you to answer, and other resources such as video links, spreadsheets and specific software-related files. All these resources will be arranged in a convenient learning journey, giving you a clear expectation of the material to be studied and tasks to be completed on a week-by-week basis. You will be expected to complete the appropriate tasks in your weekly journey before programmed sessions. You will take part in lectures to develop your knowledge and understanding of the module material and in seminars, where you will learn to apply the concepts learned to engineering problems. During practical sessions, you will be able to gain practical experience of the relevant physical phenomena. There may be occasions within the semester where normal teaching will be suspended to allow your learning to be supplemented by a range of activities such as design workshops, guest presentations, professional body events, site visits and field work.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during seminars, lectures, and practical sessions to clarify and deepen your understanding of the module material. In addition, tutors will use the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to provide electronic versions of module material. The University’s VLE offers remote access to materials and aids for reinforcing your learning. All of these support mechanisms and learning and teaching approaches will help to you to prepare for the assessments and prepare you for further learning in the programme.

The module and the wider programme teams will provide a supportive approach, enabling you to quickly and easily access and speak to any member of the programme team, as required.The University Library and other student services also offer a variety of academic skills training both online and face to face, which you can access as needed.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
The student will be able to:
1. Identify key properties of all commonly used civil engineering materials
2. Synthesise a solution for achieving enhanced sustainability with regard to low environmental impact and cost effectiveness
3. Explain the fundamentals of material performance and apply the learning to theoretical and practical design problems.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4 Specify a suitable use for appropriate materials in a given design scenario, including all health and safety aspects including analysis of simple structural elements with regard to material properties.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5 Work as a member of a small team in order to create materials for laboratory testing and respect the values of other team members.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessments
You will be formatively assessed on module learning outcomes during the timetabled teaching sessions by the module tutor leading the session. Discussion with the module tutor and reflection on your performance will allow you to continuously monitor your ability to feed this forward for your improvement.

Summative Assessment
You will be summatively assessed by means of one Coursework task weighted at 100% of the module marks. The coursework has a maximum length of 4000 words or equivalent and will assess all MLOs.
The coursework will demonstrate your ability to characterise the engineering properties of materials and apply them to design and engineering practice and discuss the material use in an environmental context considering sustainability, environmental impact, and health and safety. Part of the coursework will require you to reflect upon your team effort and evaluate your own input during the practical workshop sessions.
You will receive individual feedback with marks and comments for this summative assignment. Your feedback will give general consideration of your work, highlighting those areas that you completed successfully and those not so successfully. The intention will be to clarify points of learning that have not been fully assimilated.





Module abstract

This module aims to introduce students to a range of design and materials informed by the material component and technology systems. Basic engineering materials that are required within the civil engineering/construction industry are examined to enable the student to develop technical skills and a critical appraisal capability. You will be expected to read around the subject and use problem-solving skills to determine practical applications of the taught content. The module will introduce the engineering properties of materials and apply these principles to design and engineering practice. This will allow you to develop engineering judgement. The learning will be about material use in an environmental context, taking account of sustainability, affordability, environmental impact costs and health and safety. Discovery learning is a key aspect of the module and active engagement is required to enhance the learning experience. Assessment in this module is through a coursework task. Supportive individual feedback will be provided for assessment which will identify areas of merit and offer guidance for future improvement.

Course info

UCAS Code H201

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years Full Time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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