Highway Engineering 3 ENG3086

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is an introduction to Highway Engineering which includes basic aspects of planning, geometric design of highways, materials used in pavements and pavement design.  It also includes a practical exercise in curve ranging.


2 lectures per week, plus additional tutorials and practical classes

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses





70% Written Exam

20% Set exercise

10% Practical Skills Assessment: Curve ranging exercise

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification.  For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt.  This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students.  Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade.  Any such exceptions for this course are described below.


There will be no opportunity for reassessment in the assessment component on practical skills from the curve ranging exercise.  Reassessment will be possible in the other two components.

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ introduce the basics of planning (route location, cost/benefit analysis, environmental considerations) as they relate to highway engineering;

■ describe the types and properties of materials used for highway construction (in-situ, bound and unbound, assessment of material properties in the lab and in-situ);

■ introduce issues of sustainability regarding pavement design and construction;

■ describe pavement design methodologies for horizontal and vertical curves, sight distances, layer thicknesses, assessment of existing pavements and maintenance options.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe the important parameters involved when planning a major new highway;

■ assess the capacity requirements for highways on the basis of traffic predictions;

■ describe the properties of materials used in pavements and the tests used to measure these properties;

■ undertake calculations on the geometric design of highways;

■ design flexible and rigid pavements using up-to-date methodology;

■ describe the methods used to assess the condition of an existing pavement;

■ undertake a curve ranging exercise for circular horizontal curves.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements; good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.