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Unit outline_

CIVL5330: Global Engineering Field Work

Intensive July, 2023 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The aim of this unit of study is to provide fieldwork experience for undergraduate engineering students. The unit of study is one of the four subjects offered in the Humanitarian Engineering Major. The fieldwork will be between two to four weeks in either a developing country or remote communities in Australia. From this fieldwork experience, students will learn about the diversity of communities in need and how engineering can be used to address some of these problems. The fieldwork will focus on applying the human-centered design process to a student identified design challenge in the community. It is not anticipated that there will be any implemented project at the conclusion of the fieldwork. However, the fieldwork design challenge will result in student-generated ideas that the local partner organisation might wish to develop further. The fieldwork unit will require students to demonstrate an applied use of engineering skills, cross-cultural competence, effective communication, resilience and an ability to work closely in teams. Enrolment in this subject is competitive and is open to undergraduate engineering students from any stream of engineering.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Aaron Opdyke,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Background report
Submitted work
20% Week 01
Due date: 23 Jun 2023 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4
Participation Participation
In-class assessment
10% Week 03
Due date: 12 Jul 2023 at 23:59
3 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Reflection diary
Submitted work
20% Week 03
Due date: 09 Jul 2023 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5
Assignment group assignment Project presentation
Group work
20% Week 04
Due date: 10 Jul 2023 at 23:59
20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment group assignment Final placement report
Group work
30% Week 06
Due date: 28 Jul 2023 at 23:59
6000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Background report: Structured assignment covering the background of the fieldwork location.
  • Participation: Level of participation will be assessed over the intensive, along with their adoption of the theoretical teaching.
  • Project presentation: Each group will be assessed on the final presentation to the partners.
  • Reflection diary: Essay on the individual’s experience during the fieldwork. Students should keep a reflective diary during the fieldwork to document their thoughts for this essay. 
  • Final placement report: This will be a technical report documenting each groups’ project progress, project findings, and future steps for work for partners.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

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 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.

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
Week 02 Seminars and site visits Block teaching (37.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Project placement Placement (37.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Seminars and debriefing Block teaching (15 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Daily in-person attendance to site visits, seminars, and other program activities are mandatory. All students must attend a mandatory pre-departure briefing.

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

All readings for this unit will be made available through 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. understand the application of global humanitarian and development frameworks to locally implemented projects
  • LO2. collect field data to identify human development challenges facing communities
  • LO3. synthesise and evaluate information and data from a variety of sources to inform sound engineering decisions in resource-constrained settings
  • LO4. apply specialised engineering knowledge to propose improvements in the delivery of humanitarian and development projects
  • LO5. convey engineering analysis to multi-cultural audiences to inform effective technical solutions and policy recommendations
  • LO6. apply ethical and appropriate judgement in development practice while introspectively examining positionality

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.

This unit has adapted to incorporate more structure into the onset of the program to introduce students to the selected context.

Work, health and safety

Students are to consult with a doctor prior to departure to ensure that immunisations are up to date and that they are fit for international travel.


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

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