The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Civil Modules

Current Module Sheet

The information contained within this module sheet is subject to change at any time.

CIV6735 Postgraduate Module

Engineering Hydrology

Credits: 15

Semester : Autumn

Pre-requisities : None

Year offered: 2017-18

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Dr Alma Schellart

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Module Description:

This module is intended to provide an introduction to Hydrology for MSc Water Engineering students and to equip them with basic quantitative skills for generating design rainfalls, simulating rainfall runoff and estimating flood flows.


Gain understanding of engineering hydrology, of how hydrological data are gathered and applied to generate design rainfall, river flows and flood estimates. And understanding of hydrological modelling techniques.

Learning Outcomes:

[1] A broad awareness of issues relating to water resources and awareness of climate change predictions.

[2] A general appreciation of key processes with the hydrological cycle, in both urban and rural environments. An understanding of hydrological measurements such as e.g. rainfall, evaporation, evapotranspiration and flows.

[3] An understanding of rainfall characteristics. The ability to generate design rainfall events.

[4] The ability to apply concepts of rainfall losses, unit hydrograph theory and reservoir routing to predict surface runoff responses.

[5] An understanding of the generation of flood estimations for gauged and ungauged catchments.


Written exam. In line with the nature of this course, providing an introduction to the nature of this topic, the course will be assessed by examination to ensure that basic principles are understood and can be recalled.

Please note, these assessments may be subject to change.






Written Exam Invigilated (LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4) 100 2.5
Autumn Exam Period
Autumn Results Day

Assessment Preparation:

In line with the nature of this course, providing an introduction to the nature of this topic, the course will be assessed by examination to ensure that basic principles are understood and can be recalled.

Exam Preparation Folder


Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module during both lectures and tutorials. Active discussion on exercises will be encouraged in the lectures and tutorials. Lectures will contain some in-class exercises and tutorials will contain exercises that can be done within the tutorial sessions during as well as during self-study. The students have the opportunity to ask for feedback on these exercises during lectures and tutorials. At the end of the module there will be an exam preparation session, consisting of a mock exam paper, where the students can ask for feedback regarding their responses to the mock exam questions.

Teaching Methods :

Lectures and tutorials

Please note, these are the approximate hours spent on each teaching activity.




Lectures 24
Tutorials Tutorial Classes 20
Independent Study(including Prep for Assessment) Private Study 103.5
Invigilated Examination Written Examination 2.5

Outline of Syllabus:

Water Resources

Introduction. The Hydrological Cycle; Exchange rates; Global water resources.
Global water issues. Climate change. 

Hydrological measurements

Introduction to hydrological measurements such as e.g. rainfall, evaporation, infiltration and flows.


Rainfall mechanisms. UK Rainfall patterns. 
Intensity­-duration­-frequency and rainfall return periods.UKCIP Climate change predictions

Rainfall Runoff

The rainfall runoff process (rural and urban areas)The Unit Hydrograph (UH). Synthetic UH from catchment characteristics.

Hydrological Modelling

Continuity and mass balance. Reservoir routing. Flood estimation and flood return periods. Spatial and temporal scales.

Health & Safety:

An understanding of how risk of flooding is defined.

Recommended Reading:

(Click to see)

[1] Recommended

  • Title: 
    Engineering hydrology
  • Author: E. M. Wilson (Eric Montgomery)
  • Edition: 4th ed. 
  • Publisher: Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1990 
  • Identifier: ISBN 0333517164;ISBN 0333517172 (pbk.);ISBN 9780333517161;ISBN 9780333517178 
  • Format: xii, 348p : ill., maps, tables ; 25 cm. 
  • Notes: Previous ed: 1983. 
  • Subjects: Hydrology
  • Further Information: E.M. Wilson. 
  • Record Id: 21167708380001441 

[2] Recommended
Title: Urban drainage [electronic resource]
Author: David Butler; 1959-
Other Contributors: John W. Davis 1938-
Edition: 3rd ed. 
Publisher: London : Spon, 2011 
Identifier: ISBN 0415455251;ISBN 9780415455251;ISBN 0203849051;ISBN 9780203849057 
Format: xxxvi, 625 p. 
Notes: Previous ed.: 2004. 
Subjects: Urban runoff; Urban runoff -- Environmental aspects
Further Information: David Butler and John W. Davis. 
Record Id: 51214930160001441 

[3] Recommended
  • Concise Hydrology
  • Prof. Dawei Han
  • 1st Ed. 2010,
  • Free e-book:

[4] Highly Recommended
Engineering hydrology, E.M. Wilson, 4th Ed. 1990

Concise Hydrology, D. Han, 1st Ed, 2010 Free e-book:

Urban Drainage, Butler and Davies, 3rd Ed., 2011 (electronic resource available from the library)