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Guide to Studying Civil Engineering

What is Civil Engineering?

  • Civil engineering is a discipline that concerns the designing, building and maintaining of man-made products and constructions, including roads, bridges, canals, dams, buildings, and more.
  • Established as the second major engineering branch after military engineering, the name is designed to distinguish it as non-armory. Most civil engineering is funded by the central government.

Why study Civil Engineering?

  • As a civil engineer you will play an instrumental role in planning, constructing and maintaining the physical environment, including buildings, transport systems and water collection and treatment.
  • Civil Engineering is one of the most diverse professions around. Graduates go on to become involved in everything from planning and designing transport systems to enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • Did you spend your entire childhood playing with Lego or Meccano? (Or indeed your adult life?) Then civil engineering should be considered if you like building new, and complex, things.
  • If you did a problem solving series of subjects at A-level - like Maths and Physics - and really enjoyed the applied aspects, then this could be the perfect conglomeration of all your likes.
  • Being a practical subject, there is a lot of project work. You have the enjoyment of planning, preparing, and embarking on something you've had a lot of time putting together. Very rewarding.

Coursework, Assessment and Exams

  • Assessment is carried out via a range of methods. These include lectures, laboratory classes, tutorials, group work and one-to-one chats with tutors.
  • Most courses have good, close ties to industry, which allow for students to take a year in industry, typically in the thir year of a four year course. This is usually assessed via reports and employer feedback.

What degree can I get? 

  • BEng Civil and Energy Engineering
  • BEng Civil Engineering with a year abroad
  • BEng Engineering Geology and Geotechnics
  • MEng Civil Engineering and Management

What qualifications do I need?

  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular institution you are interested in. Requirements can vary and change.

Use the CUG Course Chooser to search through Civil Engineering courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include MSc in Applied Geotechnics, Bridge Engineering, Building Services Engineering, Engineering Management, Sanitation Engineering, and Concrete Structures.

Graduate job prospects

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*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Civil Engineering degrees are producing supply for increasing demand - in a negative job market for graduates, there is an increased need for those who can design and build the structures that allow modern life to happen.
  • Particular job areas include building surveyor, consultancy and contract work, site engineer, structural engineer, geologist, patency, and quantity surveyance.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Civil Engineering graduates, such as BAE.