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ES4A2 African Field Course

vac.jpg15_cats.jpgModule Leader: Dr T. H. Thomas

Co-lecturers: Dr C. E. Oram and Dr J. Hart

Not available for the vacation 2017.

NOTE:This is a vacation course, because otherwise timetabling would be impractical. Numbers are limited and places must be booked with the module leader early in Year 3. The course may involve working with local students and residents. Warwick students will be subject to Ugandan law rather than UK law while in that country. Please refer to the Student Resources page for further details.

Module Information


This module is one of the masters-level modules for:

Core: Optional:
  • None
  • MEng Civil Engineering
  • MEng Engineering
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering


The purpose of the module is to introduce students, via direct field experiences in Uganda, to the various stages of rural technology transfer, including identification of needs, technology choice, technology adaptation (and associated design), field testing and finally dissemination to potential producers.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to...

  • Apply their engineering skills and understanding to meet the needs of a rural community in Uganda.

  • Demonstrate an ability to work in multi-national and multi-institutional teams.


This is essentially a project-based module.

Supporting lectures relating to rural development, technology need, choice and transfer and to the details of the particular technologies chosen for projects in that year (for example crop processing, water harvesting, rural goods transport) will be provided.

Project groups of typically 5 students each will be formed and each will be given a specific product or process to develop and transfer in the region centred on Mbarara in southern Uganda. The group members will have the tasks of either:

(a) estimating local need for the technology, finding and comparing contending alternatives, identifying necessary design modifications and prototype production,


(b) field testing, dissemination to artisans or to community-based organisations and analysis of uptake.

Because the complete sequence will require more than 3 weeks, for each product/process there will be a 2-year cycle, with tasks (a) being performed by one student team in year 1 and tasks (b) by a different student team in year 2.

Teaching Methods

This module includes a 3 week residential field course held during the summer vacation between Years 3 and 4.


A 15 CATS module: 100% assessed consisting of a:

  • Group Project Report 60%
  • Oral Presentation 10%
  • Hydro Exercise Site Design Report 30%


Links to:

Student Resources

Staff Pages

Reading List

Recommended Textbook: