Higher Diploma in Engineering in Civil Engineering


Organisation profile

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island, serving a diverse group of learners, staff, communities and organisations from our region and further afield.

Training aim

The programme aims to provide graduates from the current GMIT level 8 B Eng  in Civil Engineering with a shorter and better-defined route to the title of Chartered Engineer. The work-based programme will allow students to demonstrate that they have achieved specific Engineers Ireland learning outcomes so that they can pursue the professional title of Chartered Engineer after completing an accredited Masters and initial professional development (IPD).

Learning objectives

Module 1: Research  Skills for Engineers

1. Analyse and evaluate in detail the issues associated with a particular work-based project.

2. Identify, analyse and evaluate appropriate research methods for research project proposal development.

3. Develop a research proposal and undertake necessary research.

4. Critically analyse and evaluate current literature, using appropriate tools and techniques.

5. Demonstrate the synthesis and integration of knowledge.

6. Produce an academic research paper.

Module 2: Professional Civil Engineering Practice

1. Apply knowledge and understanding of engineering principles.

2. Identify, formulate, analyse and solve engineering problems.

3. Design a system, component or process to meet specified needs.

4. Conduct guided research and critically evaluate engineering problems.

5. Recognise and explain the social and ethical responsibilities of engineering towards people and the environment.

6. Demonstrate ability to work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multi-disciplinary settings.

7. Communicate effectively with respect to engineering activities.

Course outline

The registered professional title of Chartered Engineer (CEng) is becoming very important for graduate civil engineers.

The increasing regulation of the construction industry and the requirement to have competent engineering professionals (i.e. Chartered Engineers) to sign off on construction and civil engineering projects has led to employers seeking graduates who can reach Chartered Engineer status quickly.

Research has shown that the employment and salary prospects of Chartered Engineers are significantly improved in comparison to an untitled engineer.

Graduates from the existing 4-year level 8 degrees in the IoT/TU sector do not (typically) meet all the educational requirements (learning outcomes) for the direct pathway to Engineers Ireland’s Chartered Engineer status. These graduates must currently follow a much longer experiential route.

This work-based programme developed in collaboration with Engineers Ireland and employers will allow graduates to meet the Engineers Ireland educational requirements such that students can apply for Chartered Engineer after a minimum of three years experience and an accredited Masters (Level 9).

Currently graduates must have ten years experience and apply through the experiential route.

Trainer's profile

John Hanahoe

Lecturing/Teaching Experience:  

• Teaching at Levels 6, 7 and 8 since 1994.

• Supervision of Research Masters at Level 9 and 10

• Chair of Construction Management Programmes at GMIT

• Chair of Irish Construction Management Education Forum for over 20 years

• Assessor for Engineers Ireland

• Organisation of annual Built Environment Careers Fair

• Organisation of annual Multi-Disciplinary Student Challenge 

• External Examiner at CIT and TUD/SCSI

• Member of various external review panels at other institutions

Relevant Work Experience:

• Dublin Corporation - Graduate Engineer

• John Sisk and Sons - Site Engineer - Contracts Manager

• McInerney/Pierse Contracting - Site Agent/Project Manager

• Cleary & Doyle Contracting - Contracts Manager

Academic Qualifications:

• BE (Civil) Engineering - NUI

• PG Diploma Project Management - Trinity College


Professional Body Memberships:

• Engineers Ireland - Chartered Engineer FIEI Eur Ing

Shane Newell

Lecturing/Teaching Experience

• September 2007 - April 2022 - Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 

• April 2022- Present - Atlantic Technological University (Galway City)

Relevant Work Experience

• January 2002 - September 2007 - Coyle Kennedy Consulting Engineers - Senior Engineer

• September 2000 - September 2001 - Irish Cement Ltd - Technical Advisory Engineer

• September 1999 - September 2000 - PJ Walls Ltd - Site Engineer

• June 1997 - October 1998 - HGL O'Connor & Co - Structural Engineer

Academic Qualifications

• 1997 - B.E. Civil Engineering - N.U.I. Galway

• 2000 - M.Eng. Sc - N.U.I. Galway

• 2020 - Ph.D. - N.U.I. Galway

Professional Body Membership

• Engineers Ireland - Chartered Engineer (CENG MIEI)

• Institution of Structural Engineers - Chartered Structural Engineer (MIStructE)

• Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI) - Scientific Committee Member and Co-Treasurer (2014-16)

• Irish Concrete Society - Member

Course duration

One year

Assessment & certification

Assessment is an integral part of the process of teaching and learning. It is a positive activity, which contributes to, and enhances development and progression. The programme shall employ a variety of assessment techniques.

The assessment methods aim to:

Develop understanding and knowledge in the core areas of civil engineering profession.

To provide a framework through the student can demonstrate their competency in specific Engineers Ireland programmes outcomes. Enhance student learning and progress.

The assessments seek to develop the learner’s skills to work and communicate, both  as an individual and as a member of a team in the workplace.

The assessment methodologies and marking schemes for each of the modules are shown on the individual module descriptors. Teaching and assessment methods will be subjected to continuous evaluation by the Programme Board.

Who should attend

Level 8 BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering awarded by ATU.

Applicants for this programme who have completed the same or similar awards in other Institutions will be assessed in accordance with the ATU RPL policy to determine if their prior education and experience map appropriately to the programme learning outcomes for the BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering in ATU.