Module code: ENGM264

Module provider

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Module Leader

IMAM B Dr (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 36

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 75%
Coursework COURSEWORK 25%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

 Normal entry requirements for a degree course in Civil Engineering

Module overview

Infrastructure systems have become increasingly complex and interconnected which results in strong interdependencies between them. These systems may become fragile and subject to disruptions that can have significant consequences both in the local as well as national and global level. This module provides the background required for modelling the interconnected nature of infrastructure systems and understanding the different types of interdependencies that exist between them. It also gives an overview of the different risks that need to be considered for assessing the resilience of these systems and discusses the different options available for sustaining their continuous operation and preventing cascading failures.

Module aims

Introduce the terminology and definitions required for systems modelling of infrastructures and their resilience assessment.

Provide understanding into the resilience and vulnerability of infrastructure systems against different types of hazards and unanticipated conditions.

Demonstrate the interdependent nature of infrastructure systems through case studies of past failures

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Discuss the different types of interdependencies that exist within and across different infrastructure sectors. KCPT
Assess the different types of hazards and risks that need to be considered during infrastructure systems analysis. KCPT
Synthesize and specify appropriate policies and actions to improve the resilience of infrastructure systems CT
Discuss the cross-sectoral challenges existing within the complex nature of interconnected infrastructure systems CT
Technical report writing T
reviewing, assessing and critical thinking T
independent learning skills T
Information retrieval skills T
Synthesis of data T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Definitions and Terminology

Systems Thinking vs. Systems Engineering – the different levels; Policy vs. Strategy vs. Component; Interdependencies and Complexities – situations and interfaces; Infrastructure; Resilience. Catastrophic examples.


Sectors; Systems; Controlling mind; Asset Management.


Resilience within and across sectors; Hazards and risks, security threats, weather, technical vs. real, asset failures; Short term vs. long term – to include climate change; Cascade failure; Optimisation vs. redundancy; Soft vs. hard measures, i.e. management, investment.


Overview of interdependencies; Importance of understanding interdependencies; Real examples, to include supply chain; Complexities; Criticality and prioritization; Modelling – introduction to Systems Thinking.

Systems modeling and analysis

Information and data; Systems thinking – history; Application and real examples; State of the art – research, Cascade failures; Future developments.

The role of Government

Regulation concepts; Regulated vs. non-regulated industries; Cross-sector issues; Interfaces and ‘Standards of Service’.

Examples of Good Practice

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

This compulsory module forms the foundation required for system modelling and analysis of infrastructure systems and their performance assessment under the influence of different risks/hazards and interdependencies.

The module is principally delivered by 3-hour lectures/seminars by academic staff as well as invited external expert speakers on the topic.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures/Seminars (30 hours)
Independent learning (including directed reading) (118 hours)


Assessment Strategy

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

Ability to identify and different types and levels of interdependencies that exist between different infrastructure sectors and prioritise them according to their criticality (LO’s 1, 2) through a 2-hour unseen examination and coursework.
Ability to propose system models and adopt a systems approach to appraise the resilience of infrastructure systems with respect to different risks and hazards (LO’s 1, 2, 4) through a 2-hour unseen examination.
Ability to propose measures for increasing the resilience of infrastructure systems (LO’s 3, 4) through a 2-hour unseen examination and coursework.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Examination [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4] (2 hours) {75%}

·         Coursework on case study of an infrastructure sector [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 3, a, b, c, d, e] (15 hours) {25%}

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment will be through written feedback on the submitted coursework and through discussion exercises on SurreyLearn 

Reading list


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.