Civil engineering 4 real (CE4R) : co-curricular learning for undergraduates

Murray, Mike and Hendry, Gillian and McQuade, Robert (2020) Civil engineering 4 real (CE4R) : co-curricular learning for undergraduates. European Journal of Engineering Education, 45 (1). pp. 128-150. ISSN 0304-3797 (

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Vocational disciplines such as engineering provide an ideal opportunity for contextualising the curriculum. The provision of co-curricular activities can stimulate students to assimilate their prior knowledge and skills whilst enhancing employability attributes. Team-based co-curricular activities linked to problem-based learning can offer students a quasi-authentic experience of engineering practice. In this paper, we provide a case study of a successful co-curricular initiative supported by local civil engineering employers. Civil Engineering 4 Real (CE4R) are evening workshops facilitated by practicing engineers, where student attendance is voluntary. Students use authentic documentation and collaborate in peer learning to solve industrial problems. CE4R has assisted student’s anticipatory socialisation into their disciplinary profession. However, further research is required to establish the cognitive legacy that students gain from attending CE4R. There is also a need to explore the synergy that could be prompted through understanding the boundaries between CE4R and the programme curriculum.