Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
Sustainable, integrated and technical design so you can become a Chartered Engineer.
In this section
This course is unique in Ireland for its breadth across a range of infrastructure disciplines such as water, waste, structures, highways, road safety, project management and sustainability, with strong emphases on design. The knowledge and understanding covers key areas of civil and infrastructure engineering and meets the needs of graduates seeking chartered status. It has significant input from the expertise of a blend of current practitioners and research-led academics, with inter-disciplinary teaching in design and sustainability modules; all of this is integrated and delivered within the principles and practice of sustainable development. It meets the needs of those with an accredited BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering Degree (Further learning) in fulfilling all the additional academic requirements for Chartered Status. It also is a technical masters allowing those with an accredited IEng level degree access to the individual route to Chartered membership of 4 professional bodies: ICE, IStructE, CIHT and IHE.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
In this section
This technical masters programme focuses on Technical subjects in a framework of Design and Sustainability, and this approach is grounded in technical modules covering waste, water, structural design, utilities, road safety and highways, supported by project management and sustainable development; a large Dissertation brings research-led studies and unique knowledge with substantial industrial linkages. Sustainable Development is the key driver in the design, delivery and assessment of all curricula and material; also, all content is set in the context of scholarly activity in which academic research is blended with professional knowledge and experience to provide a rich learning environment. Input from leading professionals as guest lecturers, mentors and advisors enhance the delivery and educational experience. Therefore the course offers a linked postgraduate course which is intellectually coherent, academically challenging, progressive in nature (with appropriate exit points) and has vocational relevance to the disciplines of civil and infrastructure engineering, as well as being linked to transport, construction, waste management and water engineering. It is designed to provide: (1) development of infrastructure engineering in the context of global sustainability and local strategic drivers, by studying relevant theoretical concepts and making critical reflection on their application;& (2) access to multi and inter-disciplinary teaching and professional strengths of the Faculty staff;& (3) innovation in teaching, learning and assessment strategies, thereby relating to current professional practice; (4) leaders of infrastructure engineering for the future; and;(5) opportunities for graduates and professionals within the broad construction and built environment industry to enhance their knowledge and skills through the application of appropriate methods and techniques.
Attendance is full-time for one year over 3 Semesters, commencing normally in September, but it is also possible to commence in January.
Part-time study is over 3 years in which Years 1 and 2 each have 2 semesters requiring 1 day/week attendance in each semester, and Year 3 studies involve the Dissertation in which attendance is agreed with its Supervisor.
Semester 1 - Compulsory: Project Management Practice; Integrated Design Studies; Optional – 2 from Utilities and Water Engineering, Road Safety Engineering or Highway Asset Management; a total of 4 x 15 credit modules.
Semester 2 - Compulsory: Sustainable Development; Infrastructure Design Studies; Optional – 2 from Structural Design for Infrastructure, Waste Systems or Road Safety Engineering; a total of 4 x 15 credit modules.
Semester 3 – Compulsory: Dissertation - 1 x 60 credit module Study will normally involve a weekly 12 hours of lectures, tutorials, site visits, design studio work, with independent study of 20+ hours.
The class contact time allocated to each module of study is indicated on each Module Booklet, and this time is divided between lectures, tutorials, seminars, site visits and laboratory work according to the specific module and module assessment methods. All University courses are designed on the assumption that you will study an average of 10 hours for each credit point; an example being ENE810 Sustainable Development which has 15 credit points, it is therefore expected an average of 150 study hours are required for this module. This is formed from Lectures - 30 hours, Tutorials -10 hours, Site Visits - 8 hours and Independent study (including assessment) -102 hours. The independent study time should be the time you spend in reading around the subject, carrying out preparatory work, preparing assignments, and preparing for examinations – all of which supports and articulates the concept of ‘reading for a Degree’. Assessment and feedback are provided across Diagnostic, Summative and Formative styles using a range methods as appropriate for the qualitative and quantitative nature of the content.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
The module is designed to provide a postgraduate multi disciplinary learning experience on the subject of Project Management. It introduces the concepts of Project Management, examines the recognised practices and accepted principles involved in the project management function, and combines these with an understanding of the increasingly demanding multi-dimensional aspects of the discipline. It provides an overall project orientated management framework (theoretical tempered with world best practice) with local, national and international dimensions within which you can develop your knowledge / understanding and key professional competencies.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of civil and infrastructure engineering, building services engineering and broader transport and energy issues to prepare students to participate in the design of a broad range of built environment projects. The module is firmly grounded in the principles engineering understanding and detailed problem solving tasks. There will also be some application of sustainable development within the modules. The modules is designed to allow students to apply innovation and creativity in a systematic approach to this problem solving module.
The module builds upon previous conceptual design experiences, builds on the themes offered in the Master technical modules, and requires a detailed design folio to cover several infrastructural aspects of a large project. The connections between the themes will be captured through procurement, environmental audits, appraisal of health and safety matters and a whole life costing approach. The module is firmly grounded in the principles and application of sustainable development and requires each student to apply innovation and creativity in a systematic approach.
This module addresses prudent resource management and low energy usage wastewater treatment systems. The waste issues cover the fields of municipal, hazardous, commercial, construction and industrial sectors, including yields, collection, treatment and disposal of by-products. Wastewater treatment impact on the environment requires energy efficient and appropriate treatment, and is dealt with through secondary and tertiary processes, as well as their effective management due to potential pollution from sewage discharges.
This module provides students with the opportunity to further their knowledge, understanding and appraisal of the specialist nature of civil engineering structures with a particular emphasis on infrastructure projects. Several techniques are used in design studies of bridge and culvert structures, earth retaining, water retaining and other geotechnical solutions. Specialist geotechnical design methods are introduced for the solution of a range of geotechnical problems.
This module consolidates and develops knowledge and understanding of Sustainable Development concepts, practice and context. Sustainability-related legislative frameworks and auditing and measurement methods ensure a deep appreciation of SD and its position within the Built Environment disciplines, while seeking greater integration across disciplines and within the pillars of Economy, Environment and Society.
This module introduces the professional skills necessary to design, appraise and maintain a safe sustainable highway, applying a range of technical and managerial systems.
This module is optional
This module introduces advanced structural analysis techniques such as frequency determination, stress evaluation in thin plates and concrete strain calculation. These techniques are used in design studies of framed structures, structures comprising plactes and water retaining structures. Advanced geotechnical design methods are introduced for the solution of a range of geotechnial problems. Parametric studies are undertaken to identify critical technoeconomic features of designs.
This module is optional
This module describes and develops a broad range of water engineering and utilities services covering legislation, construction, remediation and decommissioning. Hydraulic analysis and performance of key elements of water supply and distribution systems will be given detailed attention; this will all be set in the context of water supply resilience.
This research project and associated dissertation gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in problem solving and desision making by engaging in rigorous research into a practical problem in infrastructure engineering. They then have to demonstrate their skills in written and oral presentation of their work, demonstrating their knowledge of the subject treated, their powers of critical analysis, the investigation methods employed and the principal arguments and conclusions of their work.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Applicants should either possess an Honours degree or equivalent qualification, in a civil engineering or similar area from a recognised institution or an equivalent professional qualification, for MSC entry. Entry to the PgDip may be from a non-honours degree for those seeking chartered status via a ‘technically focused MSc’. Exceptionally, we will admit students with non-engineering related qualifications provided they have significant industry /professional experience. In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of the graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, specified by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
English language requirements for international applicants. The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Exemption can be obtained for up to 60 credits of study by using industrial output experience by application of the University policy on 'Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning'. Students may transfer out to similar Masters programmes. Students may transfer into this master's degree by application of the University policy on 'Accreditation of Prior Learning'
In this section
Graduate employment may be found in public or private sectors in built environment disciplines or careers such as civil engineering, transportation, public health or environmental engineering, dealing with many key activities such as utilities, construction, design, infrastructure, sustainability, environmental and traffic impacts and waste management. Skills developed will include rational thinking, integrative studies and recent knowledge of current issues such as legislative structures, sustainability challenges, design practices and research-led knowledge. Recent graduates have found professional employment in the UK Water Sector, Australian engineering industries, Scottish Local Authorities, Irish County Councils and in Research posts.
Accredited by the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
In this section
William Bald Scholarship - 'Best Dissertation'
Engineers Ireland Prize ' - 'Best MSc Student'
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.