ENGGEN 739 : Cost Engineering


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Key concepts, theories and principles used in cost engineering such as cost planning, cost estimating, cost control, cost analysis and engineering economics. Application of cost engineering in project management practice.

Course Overview

This course builds an understanding of commercial issues around projects and develops knowledge, skills and competencies for cost engineering approaches within the context of the delivery of projects.  It explains the theoretical concepts related to cost engineering and how those concepts apply to the project environment. Students develop competencies and mastery of the subject matter via the applied application of the concepts to case study problems based on commercial projects from the industry. The case studies bring aspects of ambiguity and complexity to the course in order to illustrate the multi-faceted criteria of decision-making, cost planning, analysis and engineering economics. The course also explores aspects of cost estimating against uncertainty, where information may be incomplete or unreliable, in order to illustrate the need for contingencies and the development of cost-risk strategies. Students should therefore expect to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity, in which there is no simple answer, but rather multiple answers may be relevant based on contextual considerations.

The course delivery adopts a flexible learning approach in which materials are delivered via online methods. As such there are no on-campus lectures, but rather delivery is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous methods. Core materials will be available online via Canvas, supported by weekly/fortnightly online tutorials using Zoom (or similar technology). The tutorials will provide an opportunity to clarify content and discuss case studies. All tutorials will be recorded and made available for asynchronous study. Students are expected to undertake considerable additional work per week reading and completing assignments. Students are also expected to undertake a review of some of the current scholarly literature on cost engineering and provide critical comments on the subject matter.

The topics covered in the lectures are as follows (note that the order in which topics are delivered may change): 
  • Cost accounting
  • Methods in cost estimating  
  • Finance, discounting, investment decisions and sensitivity
  • Time value of money and engineering economics
  • Project progress measurement, Earned Value and Forecasting
  • Change Management
  • Other contemporary topics based on the scholarly literature 

Course Requirements

Restriction: CIVIL 709

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply cost engineering knowledge to project scenarios, developing realistic cost estimates for planned scopes of work. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Apply engineering economic theories and NPV analysis to evaluate options and develop financial proposals for funding approvals of engineering projects at the different phases of the project lifecycle. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Be able to manage and control a project’s profitability and cash flows during the project execution phase through techniques such as earned value, forecasting and change management. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  4. Work effectively in a team to implement strategies to achieve positive project financial outcomes. (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments (Individual) 20% Individual Coursework
Case study - Individual Report 30% Individual Coursework
Case study - Team Report 30% Group Coursework
Discussions (Discussion board contributions) 10% Individual Coursework
Quizzes (2 quizzes each 5%) 10% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Assignments (Individual)
Case study - Individual Report
Case study - Team Report
Discussions (Discussion board contributions)
Quizzes (2 quizzes each 5%)

The team assignments will include a peer review system to encourage all students to contribute their fair work effort to the assignments. Individual student marks for the team assignments will be based on the team grade, moderated downwards or upwards, based upon the peer review results. All students are expected to contribute to the team assignments and to complete the peer review. A peer review system will be confidential to ensure fairness.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend up to 10 hours per week in learning, reading and assignments. 

Students can expect 12 hours of online tutorials and 48 hours of reading and thinking about the course content. In addition, students should expect to allocate 40 hours of work on team assignments and approximately 50 hours on individual assignments.   

Delivery Mode


This course is delivered in online learning mode (i.e., no on-campus delivery). Students should note the following:

  • The course will include live-stream online tutorials to facilitate group discussions.
  • Attendance is highly encouraged at scheduled online activities to participate in the learning process, however live attendance is not mandatory. Tutorials will be recorded for remote access in asynchronous mode.
  •  Students will be expected to actively contribute to weekly discussion boards and other online collaborative learning tools.
  • Students will need to engage in online meetings with their peers in order to complete the team assignments.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Learning materials will be made available via Canvas, which will include a range of modules, learning content, case studies and readings. A reading list of relevant sources, along with essential readings and further resources will be provided. Students may find a number of texts that cover the course material well and should refer to several where possible.

Health & Safety

There are no on-campus health and safety risks as this course is delivered online. However, students will need to have a safe and suitable working space in their remote learning location.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Feedback from students taking the course in 2021 has been considered and updates made to the course, in particular the assignments and mode of delivery.

Other Information

Penalties will apply to late submissions as follows:
Time After the Due Date / Penalty
<=24 hours (1 day) -10%
>24 hours but <=48 hours (2 days) -20%
>48 hours but <=72 hours (3 days) -30%
>72 hours but <=96 hours (4 days) -40%
>96 hours but <=168 hours (7 days) -50%
>168 hours (7 days) -100%
Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If you want to apply for an extension, you should discuss your circumstances with the Course Coordinator before the assignment due date.
For medical circumstances, you should provide a copy (or original) of a medical certificate.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

If not already completed, you must complete the Academic Integrity Course. Failure to do so will not be accepted as an excuse for inadvertant plagiarism. https://uoa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3474/~/academic-integrity-course
Canvas will be set up to allow you to submit Assignments to Turnitin as many times as you wish and you will also see the Similarity Score.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 05/07/2023 08:30 p.m.