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CEG3003 : Engineering Ethics and Sustainability

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jaime Amezaga
  • Lecturer: Dr Oliver Heidrich
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To understand the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering. To develop awareness of the impact of engineering practice in a global and corporate context.
To understand the requirements for engineering activities to promote sustainable development.

Students will gain an understanding of the ethical and professional challenges for the current practice of civil engineering with an awareness of the global and corporate context within the framework of sustainable development.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module provides an understanding of the global, corporate and individual context of civil engineering taking ethics and sustainability as the main reference points. The topics include the role of ethics in engineering and an in-depth revision of the concept of sustainability including global environmental challenges, financial and social aspects. Some particular tools and approaches will be presented such as Professional Ethics Codes, ICE ethics toolkit, corruption in engineering, ESG reporting, the Equator Principles and social impact assessment. Teams of students will also explore case studies analysing the challenges of the transit to sustainability in infrastructure related to water, energy, transport and cities.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Weekly lecture and OS tutorials if virtual
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Individual analysis
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Integrated Report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Group Tutorials - PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Workshops - PIP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00Incl. background reading for integrated report and reading lecture notes for a full understanding
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Course includes taught material which is delivered interactively with the students through lectures, workshops and tutorials, encouraging debate of the exposed topics. In the workshops, the students analyse ethical case studies in small groups and discuss their opinions with a larger group. Students are set in self-formed groups for the integrated report. They receive an initial brief on 4 possible topic areas. They have to research the topic area and develop the question and the analytical framework that they will apply, demonstrating creativity and initiative in the definition of the content of the report. The first part of this exercise includes a brief literature review. This is combined with small group tutorials where the students will discuss the advances of their group research for the integrated report and their analysis of the chosen topics. The aim is to produce a report with a professional look and quality of analysis, integrating seamlessly the individual contributions.
Student should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M50Integrated Report presented as a professional dossier incl. illustrations and diagrams (approx. 1500 words per group member).
Written exercise2M50Individual Analysis expanding some of the topics presented in the module (approx. 1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Coursework is oriented towards self-learning and development of the student’s own awareness of complex issues using the background information and analytical tools presented in the taught lectures.

Integrated Report – An integrated report will be produced by each group as a professional dossier giving background information about the research topic and an analysis of sustainability issues with an emphasis on ethical and sustainability considerations, leading to a summary of the main findings. The first step in the process will be a literature review produced by each group member. Group members will read and give feedback on all the literature reviews produced by the group. This material will be integrated in a joint analysis. Student will receive formative feedback during the production of this report. This is a group activity but the mark reflects the individual contribution to the final product.

Individual Analysis – Each student will submit an essay on professionalism in civil engineering summarizing the topics covered in the lecture. Students will be encouraged to express their own opinion and demonstrate further learning for higher marks.

Reading Lists