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Unit of study_

CIVL1810: Engineering Construction and Surveying

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Construction: Fundamental understanding of construction materials and techniques underpins Civil design and complements a rigorous analysis covered in other units such as Structural Mechanics and Soil Mechanics. In this unit students will be introduced to the realities of on-site civil construction. For many students this comes as a completely foreign experience and the methods they need to use to succeed in this unit rely on the student building his or her own awareness of the construction world and how it operates. This will be guided by the lectures and on-line material, but will not be spoon-fed to the students. This unit presents concepts introducing students to engineering construction including: - design, control, management, measurement and construction methods for excavation, embankments and other earthworks, hauling and associated operations; - conceptual and formative exposure to building construction methods and materials, including reinforced concrete, masonry, steel and timber; - drilling and blasting. Surveying: The unit also introduces Engineering Survey topics, where the aims are: - give an overall view of the functions of surveying and it's service role in Civil construction; - become acquainted with selected specific surveying techniques, such as: (a) to provide basic analogue methods of distance, angle and height measurement and, (b) to provide an understanding of three dimensional mapping using basic total station electronic field equipment with associated data capture ability, and; - to give an insight into future trends in the use of GPS and GIS systems. Students should develop basic competency in earthwork engineering and awareness of costing issues in formulating building proposals (through simplified examples). Economic optimisation is investigated, and how this impinges on decisions of construction, including proposing and analysing systems and methods, estimation of probable output, unit cost and productivity evaluation. Students should have a basic knowledge of vertical construction in reinforced concrete, masonry, steel and timber. Students should also develop proficiency in the design and implementation of mapping systems in Civil Engineering, using analogue and electronic field equipment and associated software packages. The tutorial exercises give practise for students to implement what they have learned from lectures and their own research about the framework under which construction projects are formulated and analysed; construction engineering fundamentals; construction systems related to excavation, hauling and embankment construction, including selection and evaluation of plant and methods as well as the expected output and cost; introduction to construction operations management, introduction to engineering surveying, distance measurement, angle measurement, levelling, traversing, topographic surveys, electronic surveying equipment, future surveying technologies. While prior exposure to an actual construction site would be beneficial, in any case the key for success in this unit is for the student to develop a hungry curiosity for the world of construction and the professionals and personalities which form the intricate patchwork of talent which sees complex projects through to successful completion.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CIVL1810
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

CIVL1900. Some statistical awareness is an advantage and co-enrolment in MATH1005 Statistics is advised. HSC Mathematics Extension 1 or completion of (MATH1001 or MATH1021) and MATH1002 are sufficient for non-statistical maths preparation

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Faham Tahmasebinia,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final Exam
Students should solve some real technical problems.
50% Formal exam period 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Assignment Assignment 1
Research and analysis task.
15% Week 06 TBA
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
In-semester test (Take-home short release) Type D in-semester exam In-semester test
20% Week 09
Due date: 15 Oct 2021 at 16:00
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7
Assignment Assignment 2
Research and analysis task.
15% Week 13 TBA
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?
Type D in-semester exam = Type D in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

The overall assessment will be based on submitting 2 technical assignments during the semester. An in-semester exam will be held by week 9. The final exam will be held in the exam time.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission will be reduced 10 % per day after the due date.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Weekly This unit will have 2 hours lecture and 2 hours tutorial sessions per week. Also, students will have a field work activity in the surveying part which will be replaced by a survey equipment demonstration by the end of the semester. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

Students must attend either to the online or face-to-face tutorial sessions.

Also, they need to try to do some technical contributions during the tutorial sessions. Students who are unable to take part to the tutorial session will lose 2 marks per week. 


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

In this students are supposed to take special attentions to the available lecture slides as well as the recorded lectures. Extra technical materials will be provided through the CANVAS. 


Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate competence in technical writing
  • LO2. understand the impact of construction projects and aspects to be considered in selection of methods and materials
  • LO3. understand design, control, management, measurement, and construction methods for excavation, embankments, and other earthworks, hauling, and associated operations
  • LO4. understand building construction fundamentals, including reinforced concrete, masonry, steel, and timber
  • LO5. demonstrate practical competence in methods of distance, angle, and height measurement
  • LO6. demonstrate practical competence and conceptual awareness of three dimensional mapping, using basic total station electronic field equipment
  • LO7. demonstrate knowledge in application of GPS and GIS systems.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The new suggested course layout offers more practical approaches. Students will be able to shape up their practical interest to build up their possible occupations.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.