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CIV4908 Civil Design Practice

Semester 2, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 0
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Agricultural, Civil, Environmental Engineering
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Trevor Drysdale
Moderator: Jo Devine


Pre-requisite: CIV4508 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MEPR or GDNS or MENS


The Preamble to the Code of Ethics of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, describes engineering as 'a creative process of synthesising and implementing the knowledge and experience of humanity to enhance the welfare, health and safety of all members of society with due regard to the environment in which they live and the sustainability of the resources employed.' Thus engineering is dependent on: knowledge, understanding and skills as developed throughout the course of human history; the current needs of society with respect to welfare, health and safety of its members; the future needs of society as embodied in the concept of sustainability. To a large extent engineering education focuses on the first of these in presenting knowledge and developing the student's understanding and skills in using a variety of logical and mathematical processes to analyse a problem and formulate solutions to it. For example if the problem is to design a bridge spanning 500 metres a student should have at least the basis of the knowledge and skills necessary to analyse the various technical aspects of this problem and devise some solution to it. While an engineer can have pride in being able to do this, it represents only a narrow interpretation of engineering design. Engineering is not just about 'solving a problem' but is also concerned with correctly assessing the nature of the problem in the context of society's needs and of assessing the validity of a proposed solution not just on a technical basis but also on the basis of the solution's impact on individuals and society both now and in the future. This course looks at engineering design in a broad sense. It focuses on human, societal and environmental issues which may prompt a different understanding of the nature of the engineering problem and on new approaches to solving that problem with the emphasis on people and society being at least equal to that on technology.


In this course, students will work as part of a design team with other students. A multi facetted design topic will be suggested in the form of specified client requirements. Each team will work towards an optimised design and group presentation of this design to the other teams. This oral and written presentation will be in the form of a preliminary design report to the client that will address the issues discussed in the above rationale.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. work effectively as part of a team;
  2. develop questions that will need to be asked and answered to fully define the nature of the design problem and to devise solutions to that problem;
  3. break up a design project into a number of separate activities and develop a schedule for undertaking those activities;
  4. develop alternative solutions for the design topic. Analyse the technical and economic feasibility of the alternative solutions, with due regard to legal constraints, and environmental and sustainability concerns;
  5. contribute effectively to a group presentation to the entire class in the form of a preliminary design report from the design team to the client.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Teamwork 20.00
2. Questions 10.00
3. Scheduling 10.00
4. Design development and analysis 40.00
5. Presentation 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Students should have access to the texts and study books supporting the pre-requisite courses.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 17.00
Seminars 8.00
Tutorials 25.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
GROUP PRESENTATION 600 60 04 Oct 2013
GROUP WRITTEN REPORT 300 30 04 Oct 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    This course requires attendance at a residential school. It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade students must complete at least 80% of the practical and other activities at a satisfactory standard, as stated in 2 above.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.