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Unit information: Field Methods in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Field Methods
Unit code CENG10005
Credit points 20
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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to the fundamentals of engineering geology and the basic surveying techniques required for mapping the surface profile of the ground for civil and environmental engineering projects. The unit will highlight the importance of developing a detailed understanding of ground conditions in successful civil engineering, and will help students to develop an understanding of ground modelling and measurement, to recognise major geotechnical hazards, to plan appropriate site investigations, and to develop safe and successful geotechnical design. Students will also acquire practical surveying skills and start to build the knowledge necessary to commission and critically review surveying fieldwork. The field work will also allow students to develop teamwork and leadership skills.

Topics covered:
Rocks and Weathering: Igneous Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, Metamorphic Rocks, Physical and Chemical weathering
Structural: Folds and Unconformities, Discontinuities, Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes, Superficial Structures.

Stratigraphy: Geological column, Usefulness to engineers.
Geological Maps: Introduction to maps and mapwork, geological sections, true and apparent dip.

Surface Maps: sketching and plotting land maps

Field Surveying techniques: use of levels and theodolites, setting out techniques

Surveying calculations: field book keeping, bowditch spreadsheet

Communication: Showing how mastery of communication and learning is at the heart of successful teamwork.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit the student will be able to:

1. create 3D ground models from a variety of sources of information,

2, describe different rock types and their origin, and how this will influence their engineering properties

3, recall simple stratigraphy and apply to the use of geological maps

4, Describe geological processes and illustrate their impact on construction.

5. be able to demonstrate their understanding of the basic principles of surveying appropriate to the construction industry by carrying out calculations, sketching and drawing;

6. be able to use practical surveying techniques in the field.

7. describe some models of individual and team learning and relate these to their own experiences;

8. know how to behave in a safe manner in the University and on a construction site.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, examples classes, practical classes and field trips

Assessment Information

Coursework exercises associated with residential field course (70%)

Field investigation exercise (30%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CENG10005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.