Triangle

Course overview

Who is this course for?

Study for a varied, creative career that can take you around the world. If you want to make a difference to the world and to the quality of people's lives, this is the course for you. Civil engineers shape the world we live in. They design, build, and maintain the infrastructure we take for granted and their expertise is essential for a sustainable future, both in the UK and globally.

What knowledge will I gain?

You’ll develop group work skills working on projects as part of a team. Transferable skills for real life and your future career, and valuable experience of how to manage and delegate responsibilities. Choose from a diverse range of modules, including bridge engineering, railway technology, traffic engineering, coastal engineering, dynamics and wind engineering.

Why should I choose University of Nottingham?

95% of postgraduates from our Department of Civil Engineering are in high skilled work, further higher education or professional study within 15 months of graduation (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-20).

Why choose this course?

Accredited

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate degree.

7th

in the UK for research power

REF 2021

2nd

highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation.

2nd

highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, 5 years after graduation

Modules

Civil Engineering Research Project 60 credits

This is the major project element for all MSc plans in the Department of Civil Engineering. It will normally take the form of an in-depth investigation, whether it involves experimentation or an extensive review of work already completed by others. Typically, but not exclusively, it will include the following:

  • Project definition and aim
  • Literature review
  • Practical experimentation / investigation
  • Presentation of results
  • Critical analysis of findings

The detailed technical content of the module will depend on the specific area under examination. Assessment is based on submission of a report (typically 10,000 to 20,000 words) which covers the above elements.

The project area is flexible and will be supervised by an academic member of staff.

Previous research projects have included:

  • Weather impact on construction schedules
  • Predicted future climate change trends
  • The use and abuse of GPS in current UK survey practices
  • The utilization of laser scanning system for examination and monitoring of tunnel deformation and structural integrity
  • Life cycle assessment of the M25 highway widening scheme
Contextual Topics in Civil Engineering 10 credits

This module introduces important aspects affecting the professional practice of Civil Engineering including sustainability, environmental impact, quality management, continuous improvement and management principles. It will also develop knowledge and skills that will be used in the summer project, including writing a literature review and how to critically review your own and others’ writing.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 04 September 2023.
Geotechnical Modelling 20 credits

This module will reinforce and advance some of the principles of soil mechanics previously learnt, and describe the principles of Critical State Soil Mechanics (CSSM), a model used to predict the behaviour of soils.

It includes revision of previous concepts, shear box and triaxial tests data analysis, critical state line, elasticity and plasticity, development of an elasto-plastic soil model, and constitutive model application in numerical simulations.

Students will learn about and conduct their own triaxial tests on soil samples within the laboratory such that they can obtain constitutive model parameters for the soil. Students will learn to use a finite element method (FEM) software package that is popular for geotechnical analyses as well as the principles of physical modelling using a geotechnical centrifuge. The coursework element will require students to use constitutive model parameters obtained from triaxial testing within FEM analyses.

The FEM analyses will include

  1. the replication of the triaxial tests and verification of results against analytical predictions (using CSSM), and
  2. simulation of a boundary value problem (e.g. vertical loading of a foundation), for which they will compare numerical predictions against a centrifuge test data set provided to them.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Computing 3 weeks 3 weeks 2 hours
Lecture 8 weeks 3 weeks 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight
Coursework 50.00
Coursework 50.00
Advanced Structural Design 20 credits

This module will look into the design of specialised structural systems such as composite beams and floors, portal frames, tubular trusses, and pre-stressed concrete beams and slabs.

It will also look into connection behaviour, the design of steel moment connections and sway stability of buildings. A major group design exercise will illustrate the approach to the design of complete structures.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 2 weeks 3 hours

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 35.00 Group Design Coursework: 60 pages max plus drawings and group presentation
Exam 1 65.00  3 hour exam
Coastal Engineering 20 credits

This module provides an introduction to coastal engineering. This includes:

  • Waves, tides, and wave-generated and tidal currents
  • Beaches and sediments
  • Tidal energy

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 3 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 15.00  
Coursework 2 10.00  
Exam 75.00 Three hour examination
Computational Structural Analysis 20 credits

The module will introduce concepts of linear and nonlinear finite element theory for structural engineering.

Content will involve finite element formulation, i.e. bar, beam, plane stress, plane strain and plate/ shell elements as well as their implementation within the direct stiffness method. Aspects of material and geometrical nonlinearities will be examined and the particular cases of concentrated and distributed plasticity beam element formulations for skeletal structures will introduced.

Load, displacement, and general control nonlinear static analysis schemes will also be examined and implemented for the solution of finite element problems. Concepts will be practiced through two individual pieces of coursework on linear and non-linear finite element theory respectively. Coursework will involve both a theory implementation and an analysis aspect using software.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 2 week 2 hours
Workshop 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 - Finite Element 15.00  
Coursework 2- Non-linear analysis 15.00  
3 hr exam 70.00
Dynamics and Wind Engineering 20 credits

For efficiency and clarity, the module will have complementary themes running in parallel at times, as shown below:

Wind Engineering Theme

Dynamics Theme

Basic meteorology

Global circulation; subtropical cyclones; gradient winds

Single degree of freedom (SDOF) systems

Equation of motion; damping cases; free and forced vibration

Wind characteristics

Wind spectra; parent winds; turbulence; atmospheric boundary layer

Multiple degrees of freedom (MDOF) systems

 

Bluff body aerodynamics

Flow around cylinders and buildings; pressure coefficients

Continuous systems

 

Wind Engineering Tools

Eurocode; wind tunnel modelling; computational wind engineering

Wind-structure interaction

Buffeting; vortex-induced vibration; galloping; flutter

The module will involve two pieces of individual courseworks in wind loading and buffeting.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 3 week 2 hours

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 15.00 Individual project using Eurocde to predict forces on a low-rise structure.
Coursework 2 15.00 Individual project using Matlab coding to model the dynamic response of a building to wind excitation.
Exam 70.00 Three hour examination.
Managing Infrastructure and Systems 10 credits

This module considers some of the most commonly-used system reliability assessment techniques applied to support system management.

It covers the construction of reliability models that use basic component failure information to describe specific system failure modes, the qualitative and quantitative analyses of these models, and the critical evaluation of systems using the analytical results. The models will be discussed in the context of their application to engineering systems and infrastructure assets.

The module aims to provide students with:

  • An understanding of the basic statistical, probabilistic and mathematical concepts required to predict the reliability of components and systems.
  • A detailed knowledge of the most commonly used system reliability assessment techniques.
  • The ability to critically evaluate systems and assets using mathematical models.

Assessment method

This module will be assessed by an in-class test (20%) and an exam (80%).

Railway Technology 10 credits

This module will introduce the components of railway track structures, conventional and otherwise. It will include analysis of forces on a railway track and consequent deflections, stresses, alignment design principles, and an overview of the railway as a total system including operational issues, signalling and control.

Assessment method

This module is assessed by individual and group coursework (40%) and an exam (60%).

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 20.00 Track maintenance group coursework - 4 spreadsheet returns at approx. 2 hours.
Coursework 2 20.00 Track design individual coursework - 1,000 word report
Exam 60.00 One 2 hour exam
Sustainable Construction and Life Cycle Assessment 10 credits

This module is designed to deliver an understanding of sustainability principles and how, in particular, transport infrastructure engineering as well as the wider construction industry can contribute to sustainable development.

The module will include the following themes:

  • Sustainability: an introduction to sustainability, sustainable development; sustainable construction; and how transport infrastructure engineering can contribute to sustainable construction.
  • Environmental impacts of infrastructure construction: a review of the positive and negative environmental impacts of construction including resources and waste and energy and climate change.
  • Social impacts of infrastructure construction: a review of the positive and negative social impacts of construction including; corporate social responsibility, responsible sourcing, poverty reduction and sustainable development goals.
  • Assessment: indicators, assessment systems, environmental life-cycle assessment, life-cycle cost analysis.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00 2 hour exam
Engineering Risk Assessment 10 credits

This module considers the processes to assess the risk of fatality posed to the general public and workforce through the operation or existence of engineering systems and infrastructure. Risk is defined in terms of its frequency and consequences and modeling techniques are described by which these two elements of a risk assessment can be evaluated. The results obtained from the models are considered in the context of their application to civil and transportation systems and an indication given as to when the risk would be deemed acceptable.

Traffic Engineering 10 credits

On this module you will cover the following content:

  • Fundamentals of traffic flow theory
  • Some elements of traffic data collection
  • Traffic signal control
  • Transport modelling to determine traffic flow distribution

 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 04 September 2023.
Structural and Ground Deformation Monitoring 10 credits

This module will introduce students to the principles of deformation monitoring in civil engineering projects It will focus on the measurements and the data analysis techniques which are applied in deformation monitoring of civil engineering structures, such as bridges, tall buildings, underground structures (tunnels) and ground deformation related to geohazards (earthquakes and land subsidence).

The theory which is taught during the semester is applied in two deformation monitoring projects. One of the projects is the deformation monitoring of a pedestrian bridge, which includes field measurements and data analysis aiming to estimate the bridge response.

 

Method and Frequency of Class 

 Activity

Number of weeks

Number of sessions

Duration of a session

Computing

3 weeks

1 week

3 hours

Lecture

8 weeks

1 week

3 hours

Practicum

1 week

1 week

3 hours

 

Method of Assessment 

 Assessment

Weight

Type

Duration

Requirements

Coursework 1

20

Coursework

 

Individual 1000 word report on time-series analysis of civil engineering monitoring project.

Coursework 2

30

Coursework

 

(1) Group presentation of 15-20 minutes and (2) an individual 1000 word report regarding the analysis of the data for the deformation monitoring project of Wilford Suspension Bridge.

Exam 1

50

Written (in person)

1Hr

One hour written examination

Infrastructure Asset Management 10 credits

This module considers the use of system reliability assessment techniques to support asset management decision making. It covers the analysis of asset failure data, how to construct and analyse asset degradation models and how to use optimisation techniques to enable the selection of optimal maintenance strategies.

The techniques will be discussed in the context of their application to asset infrastructures.

Assessment method

This module will be assessed by a class test (20%) and an exam (80%).

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 1 hour
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 20.00 Class test
Exam 80.00  
Bridge Engineering 10 credits

The module will look into the analysis and design of bridge structures, including definition of loading, structural analysis methods for deck and piers, and design of deck, piers and foundations of steel and concrete bridges.

A group project consists of the conceptual design of a bridge and the detailed design of key structural elements.

Method and Frequency of Class: 

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 2 week 3 hours

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 35.00 Group design project
Exam 1 - 3 hr exam 65.00  
Tall Building Group Design Project 20 credits

This module will use the design of a tall building as a platform for students to practise and apply the skills that they have developed through the modules in the Autumn Semester. Students will work in groups to tackle a tall building design problem based on an architect’s brief and an identified site.

Detailed models of the proposed solution will be developed and evaluated using design and analysis software.

The scope of the project will cover:

  • the social and engineering context of the proposed tall building
  • the principal structural system
  • evaluation of loading
  • outline design of foundations, and
  • presentation of the design.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 1 week 2 week 2 hours
Workshop 11 weeks 2 week 4 hours

Lectures are only held at the start of the project and will not continue throughout the semester.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 - Group Interim design submission 20.00 Written report (1500 words)
Coursework 2 - Group Final Design Submission 30.00 Written report (3000 words)
VIVA 50.00 Individual VIVA on project and individual diary of activities throughout the semester.15 min VIVA and diary (1000 words)
Computational Fluid Dynamics 20 credits

This module consists of:

  • Introduction
  • Fundamental CFD theory
  • Turbulence
  • Multiphase
  • Reactive Flow
  • Quality Assurance

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Computing 8 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Lecture 11 weeks 2 week 1 hour
Un Assign 5 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester.

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 50.00 Individual project up to 4000 words
Exam 1 50.00 2-hour written examination
Sustainable Construction and Life Cycle Assessment 10 credits

This module is designed to deliver an understanding of sustainability principles and how, in particular, transport infrastructure engineering as well as the wider construction industry can contribute to sustainable development.

The module will include the following themes:

  • Sustainability: an introduction to sustainability, sustainable development; sustainable construction; and how transport infrastructure engineering can contribute to sustainable construction.
  • Environmental impacts of infrastructure construction: a review of the positive and negative environmental impacts of construction including resources and waste and energy and climate change.
  • Social impacts of infrastructure construction: a review of the positive and negative social impacts of construction including; corporate social responsibility, responsible sourcing, poverty reduction and sustainable development goals.
  • Assessment: indicators, assessment systems, environmental life-cycle assessment, life-cycle cost analysis.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 100.00 2 hour exam
Managing Infrastructure and Systems 10 credits

This module considers some of the most commonly-used system reliability assessment techniques applied to support system management.

It covers the construction of reliability models that use basic component failure information to describe specific system failure modes, the qualitative and quantitative analyses of these models, and the critical evaluation of systems using the analytical results. The models will be discussed in the context of their application to engineering systems and infrastructure assets.

The module aims to provide students with:

  • An understanding of the basic statistical, probabilistic and mathematical concepts required to predict the reliability of components and systems.
  • A detailed knowledge of the most commonly used system reliability assessment techniques.
  • The ability to critically evaluate systems and assets using mathematical models.

Assessment method

This module will be assessed by an in-class test (20%) and an exam (80%).

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 04 September 2023.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Lab sessions
  • Self-study

Our MSc Civil Engineering course is studied over 12 months. Sixty credits of modules are studied in each of the Autumn and Spring Semesters. Any digression from this (for example 50:70 credit split) can only be with agreement of the course director. A research project is undertaken in the summer period.

The compulsory Research Methods and Project Proposal module taken on this course is designed to give a strong foundation in the skills and methodology necessary to successfully complete your research project over the summer period.

In addition, you will be able to choose from a number of optional modules to create a more generalised path of study for the award of MSc Civil Engineering or to augment your degree with a specific theme.

Over the summer period, you will be required to complete a 60-credit dissertation/research project. The research project is a chance to carry out a major piece of independent research under the supervision of a suitable member of academic staff.

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

A range of assessment methods are adopted, with a pass mark of 50%. To attain the accredited MSc degree, students must pass 100 credits of their taught modules (comprising 120 credits) and have a weighted average of at least 50%. The Research Methods and Project Proposal module and the Civil Engineering Research Project module must be passed to attain the MSc degree.

Contact time and study hours

Teaching on this course takes place throughout the week during term-time, with a 10-credit taught module usually having 3 hours of lecture time per week (6 hours for a 20-credit module). Self-guided learning is an expectation on the course, with an expectation that students nominally dedicate approximately 10 hours of work per credit over the course of the term. Each student will work closely with a member of academic staff who will provide general guidance and support as well as specific instruction related to the student's chosen area for the summer research project. 

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in relevant subject. Applicants need to have studied multiple courses in Structures, Geotechnics and Fluids.

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £11,850
International £28,600

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

The blend of academic study and development of practical and professional skills that the course provides is an ideal preparation for the future challenges of working in a multidisciplinary environment. Graduates of this course are highly sought-after and enter a range of careers related to the field of civil engineering.

Joint Board of Moderators

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Institution of Structural Engineers

  • This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators of the ICEIStructECIHT and IHE.

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)

Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)

Chartered Engineer (CEng)

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. See www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

This content was last updated on Monday 04 September 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.