SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1K225125
Module Leader Agnieszka Klemm
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme entry qualifications

Summary of Content

The composition, properties and applications of materials commonly used in the construction industry. Specification requirements of selected materials. The percentage of Work Based Learning for this module, as represented by the Independent Learning "Activity Type" , is 66%. There is no Work Based Assessment, but reflective learning is encouraged.


Concrete: constituent materials, hydration process; properties of fresh and hardened concrete; concrete durability: mechanisms of deterioration; concrete mix design. Limes and natural stone: main properties, applications and durability issues. Ceramics: structures and properties of ceramic based materials; fired clay products durability and strength properties, asbestos materials structures and properties, health and safety implications; glass production and properties. Metals in Construction: production and properties of common metals, fabrication methods, service problems - corrosion, brittle fracture, fatigue, creep and stress relaxation. Polymers: types, structures and properties; application in construction, adhesives, paints and sealants. Timber: structure and properties; seasoning; factors affecting strength, visual and mechanical stress grading, durability, composite materials. Bitumen: origins and production of bitumen; penetration and cut-back grades, emulsions; chemical and physical properties; uses in construction.

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes all relate to concrete, brickwork, timber, steel and other commonly used alloys and polymeric materials.On successful completion of this module the apprentice should be able to-1. State in simple terms construction materials characteristics - their internal structure and main properties - strength, durability and deformation 2. Explain the theoretical background to materials, specification and good workmanship associated with their materials (A5, B2)3. Identify the main applications for materials and potential restrictions on use. Select appropriate materials for specific environmental conditions. 4. Design standard concrete mixes. 5. Describe in simple terms the most common experimental techniques for testing concrete, steel and bitumen and critically assess the limitations of these methods [A1, A2, A6, A8, B4, B5 SDS GA: 1.3,1.4,2.2,4.2-4.5]

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Teaching will follow traditional lines: lectures for imparting the fundamentals of materials and tutorials for practising on the fundamentals. These will be supplemented with a wide range of videos and lab demonstration. Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the module. Work Based Education aims to maximise the direct and digitally mediated contact time with students by practicing teaching and learning strategies that use authentic work based scenarios and encourage action learning, enquiry based learning, problem based learning and peer learning. All these approaches aim to directly involve the students in the process of learning and to encourage sharing of learning between students. The module team will determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery, inputting when necessary either directly or with the support of external experts who will add to the authenticity, the credibility and application of the education and learning to the workplace.

Indicative Reading

Jackson N., Dhir R. (1997) 5th ed "Civil Engineering Materials", MacMillan Press Neville A. H., (1997) Brooks J."Concrete Technology", Longiman Ltd Illson J. M., (1994) "Construction Materials their nature and behaviour E&FN Spon Taylor G. D. (2000) 3rd ed "Materials in Construction", Longman

Transferrable Skills

Identify design criteria in structured materials Independent and group working Effective time management Effective communication: written and graphical with utilising IT skills [C1, C2, C3, C5, D1, D4, D5, E1, E3, E5-7 SDS GA: 5.1 - 5.3]

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 35% Class Test Activities