Civil engineers are responsible for the design, manufacture and maintenance of the infrastructures we see and use every day. As a civil engineer, you might be involved in the design and construction of buildings, transport networks, and energy and water supply infrastructures. Your knowledge of the built environment, as well as other elements of engineering, such as health and safety, will make you an asset to the profession.
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About Civil Engineering
The accreditation of a degree in civil engineering will depend on the institution that you choose to study at. It will also be influenced by the level you are studying at. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or an integrated Master of Engineering (MEng). At postgraduate level, you are likely to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Engineering (MEng). Further study will award degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Some degree courses might be accredited by a professional body, for example the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for an undergraduate civil engineering degree. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £8,500
An undergraduate degree will provide a foundation of knowledge in the main areas of civil engineering. You might study modules on structural engineering, construction management, engineering materials, ground engineering and structural analysis, design and detailing. The majority of undergraduate degrees will be designed to suit students who do not have a vast wealth of civil engineering experience or knowledge. They will also be able to challenge those students who have well developed civil engineering skills. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating practical sessions, field trips and site visits. You may be presented with the opportunity to take part in an industry placement module. Depending on your course, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods could include written work, design projects, and presentations.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MEng, you will build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules studied will be on more complex and specialist areas of civil engineering. You will cover the traditional areas, as well as exploring the more contemporary concepts of the field. Modules and specialisms might include environmental engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, and steel building design. Assessment methods might include written work, design projects, and presentations.
The entry requirements for a degree in civil engineering will depend on where you choose to study. It will also depend on the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in mathematics, with some institutions also requiring and accepting other quantitative subjects. This might include physics, further mathematics, and chemistry. If you do not have a strong background in mathematics, but can show that you are passionate about the subject area, some universities might still consider your application. You can display your passion and enthusiasm through you personal statement, or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most institutions will require that you have an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAB-BBB
- UCAS Points - 136-120 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics
- Degree Requirements - 2:1 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry
Civil engineering graduates will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. The most common destination is for graduates to work directly in the field of civil engineering. Roles might include chartered civil engineering, maintenance engineering, or building control surveyor. You might choose to focus on a certain element of civil engineering, such as the design process, or the manufacturing and maintenance. If you wish to be self-employed, you could become a civil engineering consultant. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to civil engineering, you could work as a business analyst, a health and safety officer, or a project manager.
Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of transferable skills. You will also have developed your analytical and theoretical skills. These skills will make you an asset to many industries, and roles within these. Skills you gain might include problem solving, project management, idea development, and the management of budgets and plans.