Skip to main content


CEG8501 : Quantitative Methods for Engineering

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elizabeth Lewis
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of statistical and other quantitative methods, appropriate to research in water resources and hydroinformatics engineering disciplines. It is designed to provide the foundations for the mathematics and statistics that students will encounter in subsequent MSc modules related to Hydrology/Hydrogeology/ Hydroinformatics and Water Management.
This module provides students with a range of quantitative methods they will need when interpreting and analysing data and developing models in water resources and hydroinformatics.
The above aims will be achieved by adopting a combination of lectures, tutorials and computer-based workshops.
The subsequent, essentially engineering and technically-focussed modules, will provide the student with opportunity to apply the knowledge gained.

Outline Of Syllabus

Algebraic manipulation – linear and non-linear; Functions;
Differential equations;
Solutions of simultaneous equations; Probability & statistics;
Probability distribution; Estimation and confidence limits; Significance tests;
Time series analysis;
Spatial analysis
This module will introduce the students to programming in Python.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Supplementary readings (notes provided)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials150:307:30Video lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Coursework (maths & stats for hydrology)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Course intro, topic intro. In person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00Tutorials - In person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:307:30Tutorial preparation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study151:0015:00Practice questions for self-assessment (provided)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study151:0015:00Practice questions for self-assessment (provided)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Python workbook
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The rationale for the teaching methods employed on this module is to provide ample opportunity for students to try out problems, understand how the methods introduced are applied in in water resources and hydroinformatics engineering disciplines. Formal lectures are used to teach the skills necessary for statistical and other numerical techniques. Taught sessions typically consist of an hour of interactive lecture directly followed by an hour and a half of tutorial. During tutorial sessions, students are expected to apply methods learnt to solve mathematical and statistical problems. These sessions are supervised and help is given when needed to aid skill development. Students then undertake practical-based activities in which their new skills, knowledge and understanding can be reinforced including, for example, statistical analysis. The computer-based workshop (practical) is intended both to introduce students to modelling tools/data manipulation and to consolidate learning by drawing on examples introduced in lectures and tutorials.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Coursework using data analysis
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MSelf-assessment tests which test basic skills in mathematics and statistics.
Prob solv exercises1Mpractice questions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed by written examination and coursework. This format allows a student's knowledge and understanding of quantitative methods to be monitored, applied and tested. Assessment is split between:-

(a)       Numbas tests – self-assessment tests which monitor progress and test basic skills in mathematics and statistics (formative);
(b)       Tutorial questions (formative);
(c)       Coursework - which monitor development and application of data analysis skills in statistics and general maths skills

Formative assessments ((a) and (b) above) are intended to feed directly into tutorial sessions, giving students the opportunity to highlight areas of difficulty which can be reviewed in tutorials.

Reading Lists