Department of Civil Engineering


The Department of Civil Engineering strives towards improving its leadership role in the higher education sector, with specific reference to planning, design, construction and maintenance of the civil engineering industry. 

It promotes excellence in appropriate research and application of technology and offers career-orientated diploma and degree programmes, consonant with the requirements of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). 

Its programmes are designed to be relevant to the socio-economic needs of the region. 


Academic Programmes

The following programmes are offered by the Department of Civil Engineering.

  • Diploma: Civil Engineering, 3 years, College Street
  • Diploma: Civil Engineering (Extended), 4 years, College Street
  • Advanced Diploma: Civil Engineering, 2 years, College Street.

Academic Staff

Head of Department

Dr AM Ikudayisi, Telephone +27 (0) 43 702 9258, Email aikudayisi@wsu.ac.za

Secretary

Ms L Mphahlele, Telephone +27 (0) 43 702 9264, Email lmphahlele@wsu.ac.za


Selection Criteria for New Students

The initial selection of new students is based on an applicant’s NSC or Matric results.

Where an applicant has symbols one level above the minimum admission requirement for Maths and Science, such an applicant will be offered direct enrolment.

Students offered direct enrolment will be required to participate in Standardised Assessment Tests (SATAPs) but in such cases, the results will only be used for diagnostic evaluation.

Students who do not gain direct enrolment but who meet the minimum admission requirements are provisionally accepted.

Such students are required to complete a set of three tests, which comprise of Mathematics, Physical Science and English Proficiency. Each test takes two hours to complete.


Admission Rules & Applications for Recognition of Credits

For Admission Rules, see the section on Admission Requirements above.

In addition, the Department considers courses done at other tertiary institutions for exemption, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the University, subject to the following criteria.

If a student wishes to graduate from WSU but decides to enrol for one or more programme courses at another university, then the student must lodge a written application (through the HOD) before registration at the other institution. Students must take note of the institutional rules which state that:

Not more than 50% of the courses of the qualification will be exempted in this way. All exit level courses must be done at WSU.


Diploma: Engineering - Civil

Entrepreneurship & Professional Development of Students

It is part of the department of civil engineering’s mission to instil entrepreneurial skills in our graduates to support their academic talents.

Therefore, ongoing entrepreneurial exposure will be presented via successful local business people and other entrepreneurial experts.

Business principles will permeate throughout the programme on an informal basis.

The Department of Civil Engineering also encourages students and staff to become members of the various professional and institutional bodies.

While studying towards the diploma qualification, students are encouraged to join various institutions and professional bodies.

More information is available from the Head of Department.

Students are encouraged to visit the ECSA and SAICE websites for more information.

The process of professional development of an engineering technician starts with the attainment of a qualification that meets this standard.

After graduation, a programme of training and experience is completed to attain the competencies for professional registration.


Career Opportunities

In general, diplomates can work in the following branches of civil engineering:
Planning and design, Construction, Project Management and Maintenance of facilities and infrastructure.

Specialisation fields in civil engineering include positions in:

  • Hydraulics/water resources engineering
  • Irrigation/drainage engineering
  • Municipal engineering
  • Geotechnical/soil/geological engineering
  • Water systems/pipeline engineering
  • Waste and wastewater treatment engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Transportation Engineering 
  • Project Management
  • Consulting firms in private practice, construction companies, government (national departments, provincial departments and local authorities), private and parastatal organisations research organisations and tertiary education institutions.

Exit Level Outcomes of the Programme

The programme’s exit level outcomes are aimed at providing graduates with the following attributes, skills, and competencies:

  • Ability to apply Civil Engineering principles to systematically diagnose and solve well-defined Civil Engineering problems.
  • Demonstrate the application of knowledge and the requisite skills in a Civil Engineering environment.
  • Perform procedural design of well-defined elements/components to meet desired needs within applicable standards, codes of practice and legislation.
  • Communicate technical, supervisory and general management information effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate language, structure, style and graphical support.
  • Acquire knowledge of self-management principles and concepts for managing projects and/or operations within the Civil Engineering environment, within the range: Maintenance, Operation, Development, Safety, Quality Assurance, and Environmental.

The graduate achieving this qualification should, therefore, be able to:

  • Perform procedural design of well-defined elements/components to meet desired needs within applicable standards, codes of practice and legislation.
  • Follow developments in Civil Engineering and critique the status of current knowledge. 
  • Apply the knowledge gained to new, well-defined, situations, both concrete and abstract, in the workplace/community.
  • Gather evidence from primary sources and journals using appropriate retrieval skills, and organise, synthesise and present the information professionally in a mode appropriate to the audience.
  • Use basic methods of enquiry in a Civil Engineering environment to contribute to a project.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to explore and exploit educational, entrepreneurial, and career opportunities, and to develop him/herself professionally, including the ability to proceed to the Advanced Diploma level.
  • Make independent decisions taking into account the relevant technical, economic, social, safety and environmental factors.
  • Work independently, as a member of a team and as a supervisor.
  • Relate Civil Engineering activities to environmental, safety, cultural and economic sustainability.

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

This qualification promotes, in particular, the following Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

  • In the problem-solving process, the learner is expected to be creative and critical while working effectively with others as a member of a group, organisation and community, for example, demonstrate effectiveness in
    • Individual work and the ability to function in a team situation.
    • communication, including receiving advice from supervisors.
    • Self-management by organising and managing oneself and one’s activities responsibly and effectively
    • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information. 
    • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and /or written persuasion when presenting design and investigations.
    • Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
    • Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation by taking technical, social, economic, environmental factors into account.

Minimum Admission Requirements

APS: 30

Required NSC Subjects (Compulsory)

  • NSC achievement rating of at least 3 (40-49%) for English as a Home Language or First Additional Language level or better.
    NSC Achievement rating of at least 4 (50-59%) for Mathematics (not Mathematics Literacy) or better.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 4 (50-59%) for Physical Sciences.

Recommended NSC Subjects (Not Compulsory)

Engineering Graphics and Design

Other

Minimum statutory NSC requirements for diploma entry must be met.
Applicants are required to participate in National Benchmarking Tests.

Grade 12/Matric

Senior Certificate Requirement

An E-symbol for English (2nd language) on the Higher Grade. In addition, an E-symbol on the Higher Grade or a D-symbol on the Standard Grade for Mathematics and Physical Science.

FET Colleges

National Certificate Requirement
An N3 certificate with C-symbols for at least four subjects including Mathematics and Engineering Science or a D-symbol at N4 level as well as the language requirements as specified for the Senior Certificate.
National Certificate (Vocational) Level 4
Requirements as defined in Government Gazette 32743 dated 26 November 2009 with specific requirements as set out below:
Must meet NC(V) level 4 statutory requirements
Must obtain 50% in the three fundamental subjects which in the case of this programme are required to be:

  • English, as it is the university’s language of learning and teaching (LOTL);
  • Mathematics (not Mathematics Literacy)
  • Life Orientation

50% in Physical Science
60% for three of the following compulsory vocational modules (in any combination):

  • Construction Planning
  • Construction Supervision
  • Materials
  • Concrete Structures
  • Roads

All NCV 4 applicants are required to participate and perform satisfactorily in the Placement Tests (TESS/NBTs) as conducted by the Department.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL may be used to demonstrate competence for admission to this programme.

This qualification may be achieved in part through recognition of prior learning processes.

Credits achieved by RPL must not exceed 50% of the total credits and must not include credits at the exit level.

The provision that the qualification may be obtained through the recognition of prior learning, facilitates access to an education, training and career path in engineering and thus accelerates the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities.

Evidence of prior learning must be assessed through formal RPL processes through recognised methods.

Any other evidence of prior learning should be assessed through formal RPL processes to recognise achievement thereof.

Learners submitting themselves for RPL should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and will be required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) in the prescribed format to be assessed for formal recognition.

While this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of learning may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes (ELOs).

The structure of this non-unit standard based qualification makes RPL possible, if the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this first stage engineering qualification.

Learners who already work in the engineering industry who believe they possess competencies to enable them to meet some or all of the ELOs listed in the qualification will be able to present themselves for assessment against those of their choice.


International Students

Applications from international students are considered in terms of:

  • HESA/Institutional guideline document, “Exemption Requirements: Foreign School Qualifications” institutional equivalence reference document
  • Where required, submission of international qualification to SAQA for benchmarking in terms of HEQF.

Mature Age Endorsement

Refer to requirements as per WSU’s General Rules & Regulations – Section 1.6.


Diploma: Engineering - Civil (Extended Programme)


Entrepreneurship & Professional Development of Students

For details see the same section under National Diploma: Engineering: Civil.


Career Opportunities

For details see the same section under National Diploma: Engineering: Civil.


Purpose of Qualification

The purpose of the Diploma: Engineering - Civil Extended Programme is to equip underprepared students, who wish to study towards a Diploma: Engineering - Civil qualification.

Additional modules are therefore introduced at S1 and S2 levels, hence the extended time period for the completion of this programme.

To achieve its purpose the programme aims to:

  • Provide students “at-risk” with a viable platform to successfully undertake civil engineering studies at the tertiary education level.
  • Provide students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds with an adequate level of foundational competence which is based on specific and discipline-related knowledge. 
  • Improve the retention and throughput of academically disadvantaged students entering the mainstream programme.
  • Provide a learning environment where the gap in terms of academically disadvantaged student needs and the student support required are bridged.
  • Provide a student who has the potential to succeed with Civil Engineering studies at the tertiary level with an opportunity to:
    • gain a contextualised understanding of the field of Civil Engineering
    • develop the knowledge and skills to engage in basic Civil Engineering practices effectively
    • become familiar with the application of basic knowledge and skills in the Civil Engineering discipline.
    • Ensure that the required educational quality standards in teaching and learning are maintained while at the same time achieving the above aims.

The rationale for the Diploma: Engineering - Civil Extended Curriculum Programme is, therefore, essentially the same as for the three-year National Diploma: Engineering - Civil programme but is specifically designed in such a way so as to benefit students by providing support to students to obtain essential skills for completion of the Diploma: Engineering - Civil.

Students successfully completing the Extended Curriculum Programme will thus be able to:

  • Develop a contextualised understanding of the field of Civil Engineering.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to engage in Civil Engineering practices effectively. 
  • Apply knowledge and skills in the Civil Engineering academic environments.
  • Continue with their studies beyond the S2 level towards the obtainment of a Diploma: Engineering: Civil.

Exit Level Outcomes of the Extended Programme

The exit level outcomes for Diploma: Engineering - Civil Extended Programme are the same as for the three-year Diploma programme (details are as indicated for that programme).

There are, however, outcomes which the Extended Programme aims to reinforce to better equip the students.

These additional modules are introduced at S1 and S2 levels, hence the extended time period.

The additional outcomes of the Diploma: Engineering - Civil Extended Programme are:

  • To ensure students understand and are able to master the basic concepts of mathematics, physics and engineering science and their application which forms part of the National Diploma: Engineering - Civil programme.
  • To develop students computer skills in order to equip them for further academic studies. 
  • To enhance and develop the students’ academic skills with particular emphasis on academic literacy as applicable to the National Diploma: Engineering - Civil programme. 
  • To develop students’ life skills in order that they can use the tools (for example, study and time management skills) in their studies.

Minimum Admission Requirements

The minimum admission requirements are the same as for the Diploma: Engineering - Civil (for details see the same section under Diploma: Engineering: Civil).


Advanced Diploma: Engineering - Civil


Entrepreneurship & Professional Development of Students

For details, see the same section under Diploma: Engineering: Civil.


Career Opportunities

For details, see the same section under Diploma: Engineering - Civil except that graduates will be able to perform work at the technologist level.


Purpose of Qualification

The purpose of the Advanced Diploma: Engineering - Civil is to train technologists who will meet the criteria for registration as a professional technologist by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and who will display competence as part of the engineering team in the execution of technical tasks under remote supervision by using and applying their knowledge in independent judgement in the identification and solution of complex civil engineering problems.

This qualification is intended for technologist level employment in industry within the range of planning, design, construction and maintenance of civil engineering operations.

Diplomats achieving this qualification should, after initial supervision, be able to apply engineering principles, techniques and instruments to systematically diagnose and solve broadly-defined civil engineering problems, perform procedural design functions of limited context, be able to use appropriate terminology, style and structure to communicate effectively with superiors and subordinates, apply management concepts to projects and operations and exhibit an awareness of ethics, professionalism, safety and consideration of the social and natural environment.


Exit Level Outcomes of the Programme

The programme’s exit level outcomes are aimed at providing graduates with the following attributes, skills, and competencies:

  • Ability to apply Civil Engineering principles to systematically diagnose and solve broadly defined Civil Engineering problems.
  • Demonstrate the application of knowledge and the requisite skills in a Civil Engineering environment.
  • Perform procedural design of broadly defined elements/components to meet desired needs. Solutions may be partially outside standards and codes and will require judgement that can be justified.
  • Communicate technical, supervisory and general management information effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate language, structure, style and graphical support.
  • Acquire knowledge of self-management principles and concepts for managing projects and/or operations within the Civil Engineering environment, within the range: Maintenance, Operation, Development, Safety, Quality Assurance, and Environmental.

The graduate achieving this qualification should, therefore, be able to:

  • Perform procedural design of broadly defined elements/components to meet desired needs.
  • Follow developments in Civil Engineering and critique the status of current knowledge. 
  • Apply the knowledge gained to new, broadly-defined, situations, both concrete and abstract, in the workplace/community.
  • Problems require identification and analysis, may be ill-posed and have a degree of uncertainty.
  • Gather evidence from primary sources and journals using appropriate retrieval skills, and organise, synthesise and present the information professionally in a mode appropriate to the audience.
  • Use basic methods of enquiry in a Civil Engineering environment to contribute to a project.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to explore and exploit educational, entrepreneurial, and career opportunities, and to develop him/herself professionally, including the ability to proceed to the Advanced Diploma level.
  • Make independent decisions taking into account the relevant technical, economic, social, safety and environmental factors.
  • Work independently, as a member of a team and as a supervisor.
  • Relate Civil Engineering activities to environmental, safety, cultural and economic sustainability.

Minimum Admission Requirements

The minimum admission requirement is that candidates should have accumulated at least one year of appropriate post diploma experience and

(i) A revised National Diploma: Engineering: Civil (S-stream) or its equivalent OR

(ii) A National Higher Diploma: Civil Engineering (T4) with the appropriate courses at this level for the field of specialisation the candidate wishes to pursue OR

(iii) A National Diploma: Civil Engineering (T3) with four (4) S4-level courses approved by the Head of Department and sufficient appropriate experience in lieu of the other two outstanding S4 courses.

Newly qualified diplomats who wish to proceed directly to the Advanced Diploma programme without the appropriate post diploma experience requirements may be admitted if they obtained an average of at least 60% in their level 3 (P2 & S4) courses.

However, admission is not automatic, as candidates will be selected on the basis of their proven academic record and post-qualification professional experience.