BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Materials 1 (Civil)

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL10152
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit provides an introduction to materials science and engineering and emphasises throughout properties that are fundamental to the materials commonly used in construction.
The unit starts with investigation of classification, properties, origin and manufacture, test procedures, assessment of suitability and codes and standards.  Since durability is a key property of buildings and structures, response to external forces and response to the environment are discussed for each category of material.  The unit introduces the concept of microstructure and how mechanical properties depend upon it. It also acknowledges how the fundamental properties of materials limit design.
The course is delivered around 24 hours of formal lectures and eight hours of Student Centred Learning  Assessment is 80% exam and 20% coursework. The coursework comprised 2.5% each for the four Student Centred Learning exercises and 5% each for two on-line quizzes.


To provide an introduction to civil engineering materials technology. 
To develop an appreciation of the source, use and properties of the materials used in construction. 
To emphasise the diverse ways by which different classes of materials interact with the environment and hence deteriorate.


Materials classification; metals; fatigue; ductile/brittle behaviour; introduction to corrosion; an introduction to steel; bricks and masonry; natural stone; timber; lime, cement and concrete. Degradation, failure mechanisms and durability are discussed for each.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts and principles related to the major materials used in construction.
Appreciate the science underpinning this knowledge.
Appreciate some of the social, environmental, ethical, economic and commercial considerations of the extraction and use of materials.

Intellectual skills

Practical skills

Use materials information and selection software (CES Edupac from Granta Design).

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Write a succinct response to teh information required for the student centred learning exercise.
Work with group members to effectively complete the student centred learning exercise.
Demonstrate general IT and information retrieval skills along with the ability to reference the scientific literature and to present general conclusions.
Successfully complete the four student centred learning exercises.

Assessment methods

Online quiz 'short (10 - 12 questions)' - 4 hours,10%
Assignments 'Four student centred learning exercises' - 8 hours,10%
Unseen examination 'Traditional large group lecture. Some printed notes made available to students. Copies of all diagrams made available. Note taking essential and strongly supported.' - 2 hours,80%

Feedback methods

Marks provided electronically following ratification by exam board. Individual students have opportunity to obtain feedback from lecturers on exam performance.

Written report: constructive written comments on laboratory reports; general feedback given to whole group as a tutorial. When: 2 weeks after submission.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 23
Practical classes & workshops 2
Tutorials 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 70

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Amanda Lea-Langton Unit coordinator

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