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Unit information: Soft Systems and Surveying in 2015/16

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Unit name Soft Systems and Surveying
Unit code CENG10004
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Crewe
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Systems: It is becoming increasingly recognised that in modern engineering the 'hard' technical systems of engineering science and technology operate within the 'soft' systems of art/experience, processes and culture. They are however not separate but intimately linked.

This unit aims to provide an introduction to this integration by:

  • Showing how systems thinking and learning integrates the different disciplines of engineering;
  • Showing how the different disciplines have a common basis in Engineering Mechanics;
  • Showing how hard systems are embedded in soft systems;
  • Showing the importance of paying attention to the soft systems;
  • Showing how mastery of communication and learning is at the heart of successful systems integration.

Students will be able to develop their teamwork and leadership skills through surveying while acquiring some practical surveying skills.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • describe the main players in the construction process;
  • describe some models of individual and team learning and relate these to their own experiences;
  • describe the importance of teamwork and team learning;
  • outline the basics of the systems approach;
  • describe how engineers use models;
  • write down the factors to be considered in any communications exercise;
  • write a good job application letter, CV, and critique a book;
  • know how to behave in a safe manner in the University and on a construction site.
  • be able to demonstrate their understanding of the basic principles of surveying appropriate to the construction industry by carrying out calculations, sketching and drawing;

be able to use practical surveying techniques in the field.

Teaching details

20 hours Lectures.

2 x 3 hour lab classes.

4 hours example classes.

Residential field course (6 days).

Assessment Details

Formative exercises (job application letter and CV) - must pass

Coursework exercises associated with residential field course (100%).

Reading and References

  • Gardner, H. (2006) Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice., Basic Books, US
  • Smith, A. (2003), Accelerated Learning in Practice: Brain-based Methods for Accelerating Motivation and Achievement (Accelerated Learning), Network Educational Press, Stafford
  • Goleman, D. (2005) Emotional Intelligence
  • Schofield, W. Engineering Surveying, 5th Ed, 2001. Butterworth-Heinemann

Irvine, W. Surveying for Construction, 4th Ed, 1995. McGraw Hill