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AR30402: Bridge engineering

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 25%)
  • Examination (EX 75%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
The overall aim of the unit is to provide a broad introduction to the field of bridge engineering covering the design, construction and assessment of various forms of bridge structures, from which students can approach the creative and holistic design of such structures.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this unit, the student should be able to:
* Analyse the structural behaviour of common bridge types and their components and understand the factors that dictate their design.
* Assess the implication that may arise from design choices in the early stages of bridge design
* Apply knowledge of from a range of engineering topics (including but not limited to structures, material, geotechnics and hydraulics) to the field of bridge engineering.
* Examine and critique existing bridge structures.
* Assessment is through problem solving, technical reports, and formal examination.

Transferable/key skills:
Students will develop the ability to collect, analyse, synthesise and present technical information, demonstrating professional communication skills. The ability to respond in an imaginative and creative way to loosely defined problems will be developed through engagmet in the coursework and lecture material. FACILITATED & ASSESSED
Intellectual skills:
Through the application of sound engineering concepts students will develop skills in the design and analysis of various forms of bridge structure, identifying their key characteristics, and determine if necessary how improvements can be made. Basic abilities are taught through traditional lectures, the higher intellectual skills referred to are developed through tutorial work and coursework. TAUGHT & ASSESSED
Professional/Practical skills:
Students develop skills in use of general purpose computer software, in giving oral presentations, preparing written reports, analytical problem solving, mathematics, and a range of other skills which are intrinsic to the requirements for education towards chartered engineer status, and eminently transferable. FACILITATED & ASSESSED

The history of bridge engineering
Lessons learned from intermittent bridge collapses.
Bridge components and their nomenclature.
The choice of bridge types
Issues involved in short, medium and long span bridge design.
Bridge construction techniques
Design loading on bridges
Elastic and plastic analysis techniques.
Realistic strength assessment
Bridges of the future.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

AR30402 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
  • UEAR-AFB07 : BEng(Hons) Civil Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEAR-AKB07 : BEng(Hons) Civil Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEAR-AFM03 : MEng(Hons) Civil and Architectural Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEAR-AKM03 : MEng(Hons) Civil and Architectural Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEAR-AFM07 : MEng(Hons) Civil Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEAR-AKM07 : MEng(Hons) Civil Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.