Module code: ENGM054

Module provider

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Module Leader

BHATTACHARYA S Prof (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 30

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 60
Coursework COURSEWORK 1 20
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 20

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

No prior knowledge of structural dynamics is assumed. Knowledge of 2nd order ordinary differential equations, matrix algebra and the theory of eigen-analysis is essential. In order to carry out the first course work, students should have basic knowledge of soil mechanics. For the second coursework, students should have a basic grasp of either a computing language or a spreadsheet program and able to use a structural analysis program.

Module overview

Earthquake engineering module aims to cover the fundamental concepts associated with the way earthquakes are generated, principles behind seismic  hazard analysis, methods to analyse behaviour of structures and foundations under seismic loading, behaviour of ground during earthquakes (ground response analysis and liquefaction). It also covers earthquake resistant design principles.

Module aims

provide an appreciation of the causes of earthquakes and the hazards associated with it to the built environment.

provide an understanding of the principles of seismic design and methods of analysis

provide the ability to carry out calculations necessary for seismic design

provide the ability to recognise the uncertainties in seismic analysis and design

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Explain the causes of earthquake and describe the nature of seismic loading KT
Identify and assess the hazards that can be caused by an earthquake to a built environment   KCPT
Evaluate the dynamic behaviour of structures and ground analytically and also by using software  KCPT
Review the various methods to mitigate seismic hazards, for example liquefaction and ground modifications at soft soil sites. KCPT
carry out design using appropriate codes of practice KCPT
Technical report writing T
Oral & written communication T
Graphical presentation of data T
Sketching T
3D spatial awareness T
Critical thinking T
Observation T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

•           Earthquakes: A geophysical and geological perspective

Basics of earthquakes, measurement of earthquakes, seismic hazard analysis, estimation of fault movements for design purposes.

•           Earthquake motion

Input motion characteristics and construction of synthetic/artificial input motion

•           Behaviour of structures under seismic loading including design

Free and forced vibrations of SDOF systems, generalised SDOF systems, Rayleigh’s method, time domain numerical methods and Newmarks’s method, earthquake response spectra, behaviour of MDOF systems and modal analysis, Seismic design of structures according to EC8, member and connection behaviour.

•           Behaviour of ground under seismic loading including foundation design

Liquefaction and site response analysis, Advanced soil testing for dynamic design, use of Cyclic Triaxial and dynamic simple shear apparatus to study liquefaction, Liquefaction evaluation and mitigation techniques, Soil Structure Interaction issues in seismic design, design of foundations (shallow and deep foundations) in seismic areas, Winkler Spring approach for foundation design, detailed case studies of building and bridge failures during earthquakes.     

Coursework, which combines both numerical and design aspects of earthquake engineering.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

provide a specialist knowledge of structural and soil dynamics and earthquake engineering.
deliver principally by lectures but also includes laboratory demonstration of advanced soil testing and learning through course work. The course work involves carrying out a structure and foundation design based on the fundamental principles and also by using software.   

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (20 hours)
Specialist seminars (4 hours)
Laboratory classes and tutorials (6 hours)
Course Work -1 including report writing (20 hours)
Course Work -2 including report writing (20 hours)

Directed and guided reading (including revision ad preparation for lab classes) (78 hours)


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of seismic design (LO’s 3, 5) is through a 2 hour unseen examination.
solving open ended problem such as assessing the seismic hazards and evaluate the strategies for mitigation and re-engineering through acquired knowledge and understanding together with the necessary analytical skills to carry out design code specific calculations. This is done through course work (LO’s 1,2,3,4,5).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Examination [Learning outcomes assessed 3, 5] (2 hours) {60%}

·         2 pieces of course work [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2,3,4,5] (40 hours) {40%}.

Coursework -1: Analysis of a pile-supported building (20 hours, 20%)

Coursework -2: Seismic analysis of a reinforced concrete building (20 hours, 20%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment will be through a range of self assessment exercises and quizzes held in the class. These exercises will provide automatic feedback where necessary. Feedback will also be given in tutorial sessions.

Students will receive written feedback on their course work.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Civil Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Structural Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Bridge Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Infrastructure Engineering and Management MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.