Course Outline

CIV451 Concrete Structures and Technology

Course Coordinator:Christophe Gerber ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Civil engineers need to design concrete structures and infrastructures that meet regulatory standards. In this course you will learn to design reinforced concrete structures and their members (beams, slabs, etc.) to service and ultimate limit states, and to detail the reinforcement of these structures and members in compliance with Australian Standard AS 3600.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online workshops 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – On campus tutorials 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – On campus Labs 1hr Week 3 3 times

Course Topics

Introduction to concrete structures and design procedures.
esign of reinforced concrete members such as beams, slabs, columns, etc.
Use and application of design codes in particular AS 3600.
Application of limit state design.
Application of structural analysis and design of structures.

What level is this course?

400 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Engineers Australia
1 Use and apply design codes e.g. AS/NZS 1170.0, AS/NZS 1170.1 and AS 3600; determine design loads and load combinations for strength and serviceability and understand their importance in limit state design. Empowered
1.2, 1.3, 2.2
2 Describe and explain the nature of concrete and steel and how they work as a composite members i.e. reinforced concrete. Knowledgeable
3 Analyse structures to determine the internal actions on structural elements resulting from the application of the design loads in compliance with Australian Standards. Creative and critical thinker
1.3, 2.1
4 Design concrete members and structures for durability to various environments including design for fire. Empowered
1.1, 1.3
5 Design and size reinforced concrete elements for ultimate and serviceability limit states that conform to Australian Standards. Empowered
1.3, 1.6, 2.2, 3.1
6 Communicate (in your group or to an audience) your design, ie. procedures, outcomes and recommendations, in a manner acceptable to the engineering profession. Empowered
3.2, 3.4
7 Collaborate with others in a team project environment to design concrete structures (concept to optimised solutions), and produce engineering reports. Ethical
3.2, 3.5, 3.6

* Competencies by Professional Body

Engineers Australia
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


You must be enrolled in Program SC410, SC425, SC411, SC404, SC405, AB101.


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Your engagement in weekly formative tutorial exercises will demonstrate your level of proficiency of the course material. You may peer-review the draft of your Task 1a during the Tutorials. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 30%
Four short design reports of max. 250 words. Word limit excludes calculations, diagrams, sketches & Appendices.
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 2 Oral and Written Piece Group 30%
One design report of max. 1000 words (Week 7) and One design summary of max. 500 words and Project presentation (Week 12).
Refer to Format In Class
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hr
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Member design assignments – Design of concrete members to limit states
Explain, demonstrate and apply concrete design procedures to structural concrete members to limit states (strength ie. ULS, serviceability ie. SLS, etc.) in compliance with AS/NZS 1170.0, AS/NZS 1170.1, and AS 3600, and produce detailing of the members (includes specifications).
Product: Written Piece
<b>Submission: Week 3, 6, 9, and 11.</b>

You determine the relevant limit state conditions of structural concrete members, design these members to these limit states, explain the key design aspects and provide the detailing of these members. 

You complete your designs in compliance with AS 3600 for the following members (4 x 7.5%):
1a) 	Beam design – Flexural design,
1c) 	Beam design - Shear design, 
1d) 	Slab design,
1e) 	Column design.

You present your designs in short reports of max. 250 words each or equivalent (word count excludes sketches, diagrams, calculations & Appendices). Your reports adhere to the conventions of engineering reports and are ready for review by a senior professional engineer. If relevant, you may include captioned diagrams, tables of data, graphs, photographs, etc. Calculations must be <b>strictly handwritten</b> and must be in <b>appropriate significant figures</b> and with correct units throughout the reports. The detailing of your designs is complete with correct specifications, dimensions and units (neat hand sketches are acceptable). 

You may collaborate with your peers to complete Task 1. Such collaboration will be clearly stated on the task coversheet. You also provide your details (names and student number) and signature on the cover page of each report. A coversheet template and marking sheet will be available on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Choice of design methods and codes.
Application of design methods and procedures through the use of formulae and codes to analyse and design a concrete member to limit states.
Workings showing sequences of the problem solutions and presentation of design calculations to a professional engineering standard.
1 4 5
Report format and presentation to a professional engineering standard.
Description and explanation of design aspects and phenomena.
All - Assessment Task 2:Structure Design Assignments
Collaborate with your peers to undertake the detailed engineering design of a concrete structure (members of this structure) to limit states in compliance with Australian Design Codes: AS/NZS 1170.0, AS/NZS 1170.1, and AS 3600, and produce detailing of the structures (includes specifications).
Product: Oral and Written Piece
<b>Submission: Week 7 and 12.</b>  
Engineers work in teams on design projects! Task 2 is a challenging design project that will allow you to demonstrate your (structural) design abilities by producing the design of the structure of a concrete building, and will contribute to further developing and improving your collaboration skills (professional soft skills). 
In your group, you collaborate to design the structural elements of a concrete building in compliance with AS 3600: Concrete structures: 
2a) Girder design and detailing (15%),
2b) Slab design and detailing (10%),
2c) Project presentation (5%).
Your team engineers and designs the structural solutions a concrete building eg. the floor structure. Your solutions shall be the most adapted / optimised / sustainable to meet the design and use requirements of the building. Your design must comply with AS 3600 and your detailing must adhere to the industry best practice. Further details will be provided on Canvas and/or in class. 
Your group collaborates to produce design deliverables (refer to Duration/length). Your documents shall adhere to the conventions of professional engineering documentation (e.g. reports) and present your designs, incl. detailing, in a format that is ready for review by a senior professional engineer. You will also complete a project presentation.

The front pages of your report include:
  ● Coversheet listing the names and student numbers of all team members – <b>each team member must sign the cover page</b>,  
  ● Overview of the contributions of each team member (page 2), and
  ● Marking sheet (page 3).
Note: A coversheet template and marking sheet will be available on Canvas. 
<b>As part of your group work, you may be required to actively participate to Peer Assessment, review, feedback and debriefing activities.</b>
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Choice of design methods and codes.
Application of design methods and procedures through the use of formulae and codes to analyse and design concrete structures to limit states.
Workings showing sequences of the problem solutions to allow a professional review (and sign-off) of the design.
1 3 4 5
Presentation of design calculations and drawings to a professional engineering standard.
Functioning in teams when carrying out the designs and writing up the reports.
All - Assessment Task 3:Final Exam
Demonstrate the competencies and skills to compliantly design concrete structures to design limit states.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
The final exam assesses all materials delivered in the course (learning materials, tutorials and assignments) and the self-study material (e.g. prescribed reading).

The exam will require that you solve representative concrete design problems. The exam is partially open book (full details of what may be used or accessed during the exam will be posted on Canvas).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Use of design methods and codes.
Workings showing sequences of the problem solutions.
1 2
Description and explanation of design aspects and phenomena.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Yew-Chaye Loo,Sanaul Huq Chowdhury 2018 Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete 3rd edition Cambridge University Press

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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