Module code: ENGM057

Module Overview

This is a compulsory module of the MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering. It is an optional module for the MEng programme in Civil Engineering and for the MS in Infrastructure Engineering. 

The module teaches theory and practice of numerical tools for the simulation of river hydraulics and urban drainage networks. These tools are essential for the planning and design of sustainable flood alleviation schemes in the civil engineering practice.  

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 5

Seminar Hours: 2

Tutorial Hours: 3

Laboratory Hours: 14

Guided Learning: 6

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content


Let’s start all on the same page:

  • Revision of key hydrological concepts, i.e. catchment, frequency analysis, rainfall-runoff transformation, design criteria.

  • Hydrometric data sources.


The joy of hydraulic modelling:

  • What is a x-dimension hydraulic model? What are they used for?

  • Theory of open channel flow.

  • Nature-based solutions for flood mitigation.

  • Lab sessions on unsteady hydraulic modelling and flood-mitigation design.

  • Field trip to natural flood management interventions.


Urban drainage modelling 

  • Grates, gutters, storm sewage system: how all work together during a rainfall event.

  • Sustainable urban drainage: what if I add a green roof, a retention pond or a swale? 

  • Lab sessions on urban drainage modelling for network evaluation and design.  

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their hydrodynamic theory understanding and of their ability to design and simulate numerically sustainable solutions.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework 1 (50%): the students are tasked with the modelling and performance assessment of an urban drainage network. They are required to develop sustainable solutions to improve the network performance. 

  • Coursework 2 (50%): the students are tasked with the design and modelling of natural flood management interventions in a river catchment/reach.

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment will be provided during tutorials and interactive discussions in lectures and lab sessions. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions related to past examinations, coursework and also to clarify case studies given in lectures.

Written formative feedback is provided for the coursework.

The students can also have personal discussions with the lecturer after class, during walk-in sessions and by previous appointment.


Module aims

  • To provide students with an understanding of water resources management, with a focus on sustainable, nature-based approaches.
  • To build the students' digital capabilities for the analysis and simulation of water management systems.
  • To develop the students' resourcefulness for the location and exploitation of novel environmental data sources.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
003 Capacity to build and run river unsteady flow simulation models, and to use them to design and assess sustainable engineering solutions. CPT EA3M, EA4
005 Ability to use the urban drainage simulation model to design and assess sustainable drainage solutions. KP EA4, EL2
001 Comprehensive understanding of surface water hydrodynamic modelling principles. KCT EA1M
004 Capacity to discretize and model an urban storm drainage system. KCT EA6M, D2
002 Ability to critically select and apply appropriate modelling tools for a wide range of hydrological and hydraulic engineering problems, such as risk flood mapping . KP SM6M, P2M

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

  The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with:

  • sound theoretical background on hydraulic modelling.

  • comprehensive perspective of the state-of-the-art in sustainable water management solutions.

  • digital capabilities and resourcefulness to develop new solutions for real case situations.  


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • A set of detailed self-explanatory notes and references, which students can use to develop and deepen their knowledge of the subject and link to other modules in the programme.

  • Video recordings of the lectures and lab sessions, which provide the students with the opportunity to go over the lecturer’s explanations.

  • Real cases are explained to illustrate the application of each of the taught methods.

  • Guided hands-on work in the computer lab for building a hydraulic model and running simulations.

  • Towards the end of each lecture, the students are asked to solve practice exercises to consolidate and practice the methods explained during the class. The exercises are then solved by the lecturer on the whiteboard, seeking the students’ interaction.

  • One piece of coursework will provide the students the opportunity to apply hydraulic modelling tools to an engineering case, analyse the information and evaluate results, with the lab support of the lecturer.

  • Worldwide current news related to flooding events, water resources scarcity or dam failure risks are discussed in class, providing direct, up-to-date links between in-class learning and real world engineering applications.

  • Guest speakers will enlighten students with the use of hydrological and hydraulic modelling techniques in real engineering problems.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM057

Other information

This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities: uses state-of-the-art technology to complete realistic assignments Develops a good understanding of key digital tools which are used in the context of water management systems.

Sustainability: the module has a strong focus on sustainable, nature-based approaches to water resources management. The students develop a digital twin of drainage sustainable solutions for their coursework.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: this module is mostly taught through computer lab sessions where students learn to develop their models, while sharing questions with their peers and the academics.  This design maximizes the opportunities for personal direct feedback, team-work, and enhances the emotional/affective dimensions of learning.  

This module furthers the learning acquired at level 6 in ENG3177 and has clear links and synergies with level 7 modules as follows:

ENGM289 Global Challenges in Water and Health

ENGM036 Wastewater Treatment and Sewerage

ENGM285 Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing

ENGM044 Dissertation Project

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Water and Environmental Engineering MSc 2 Compulsory 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
Structural 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
Bridge Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MEng 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 2024/5 academic year.