Triangle

Course overview

Construct the future

This is the place where extraordinary civil engineers thrive. Lead teams at the forefront of world-class civil engineering innovation, to build sustainable communities and improve people's lives.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for ambitious civil engineers who want to open up new career opportunities. Fast-track your career in the construction and management sectors, by increasing your technical knowledge of civil engineering and studying a diverse range of management principles.

You could become a design engineer, site engineer, project manager, researcher or academic. You could work for leading consulting and contracting/construction companies (e.g. Laing O’Rourke, Arup and Sir Robert McAlpine) government agencies, infrastructure owners and managers (e.g. Highways England, Network Rail and airport authorities).

If you want to be chartered civil engineer, then we recommend you do our Advanced Civil Engineering MSc or Advanced Structural Engineering MSc.

What knowledge will I gain?

This course is a collaboration between the Department of Civil Engineering and Nottingham University Business School (NUBS). You'll learn how to apply modern management techniques, to solve economic, social and environmental challenges - which are critical to the success of civil engineering and construction projects.

You'll gain the latest civil engineering and management knowledge from globally-recognised experts and will apply your learnings to real-world examples.

Why should I choose University of Nottingham?

We're 8th in the UK for civil engineering (Guardian Good University Guide 2023) and top 100 for civil & structural engineering and for business schools (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Our business school is among an elite group of business schools worldwide to gain ‘triple crown’ accreditation from the three most influential accrediting organisations: AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS.

We are a global university, with staff and students from over 150 countries. We offer comprehensive support for international students, from scholarships and visa guidance to living here in Nottingham. You'll feel like you belong here, even before you start. We know how to welcome international students and have a comprehensive support package for you, from scholarships and visa guidance to living here in Nottingham (UK).

Why choose this course?

Top 100

for civil & structural engineering and for business schools

QS World University Rankings 2022

8th

 in the UK for Civil Engineering

Guardian University Guide 2023

95%

of civil engineering masters graduates are in high skilled work, or further higher education or professional study within 15 months of graduation.

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-20)

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
Research Methods and Project Proposal 10 credits

This is a compulsory module for all students studying an MSc in the Department of Civil Engineering. The module facilitates the development of skills that can be applied within a research project, including a literature review and writing skills, development of technical research skills, initiating a review of literature generally relating to the design/research project which they will undertake in the summer research project, and developing a proposal for the activities to be conducted in the summer research project.

The module will incorporate a mixture of learning environments/resources, including a Nottingham Open Online Course (NOOC) relating to technical writing and literature review techniques, formative feedback provided by academic staff and other students, 2-week technical workshops organised within the Department of Civil Engineering which will provide technical training in areas of interest to the student or of specific benefit to the proposed project (two workshops to be completed, selected from a number of options), and interaction with an individual supervisor who will be a member of staff specialising in an area related to the student’s project.

  1. A report containing a literature review related to the subject area chosen by the student and a reflective commentary on how formative feedback was used in developing their writing
  2. Submissions required as part of the technical workshops
  3. A presentation and viva which details the preliminary aims, objectives, methodology, programme of activities, resource plan, and project-level risk assessment for their summer project
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 Friday 09 December 2022.

Students should take a minimum of 40 credits and a maximum of 60 credits from this group:

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
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
Highway and Pavement Design 10 credits

This module covers the design of highway alignments, including curvatures, gradients, number of lanes, junction design and drainage. It also includes analysis and design of pavement structures and surfaces using different techniques and materials together with the deterioration mechanisms involved.

It module aims to:

  • Embed the ability to design sensible and functional highway alignments
  • Introduce the design of pavement structures
  • Give understanding of the roles and design of different pavement surfaces

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 Highway design exercise
Coursework 2 20.00 Pavement design exercise
Exam 60.00 2 hour exam
Advanced Structural Design 20 credits

The 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.

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.
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
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
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%).

Advanced 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
Environmental Fluid Mechanics

This module introduces fundamental principles of environmental fluid mechanics focusing on buoyancy driven flows, fluid instabilities and the effects of the earth’s rotation on large scale oceanographic and atmospheric features. 

Students should take a minimum of 0 credits and a maximum of 20 credits from this group:

Engineering Risk Assessment 10 credits

The module assesses the risk of injury posed to the general public and workforce through the operation of engineering systems and infrastructure. This is considered in the context of civil and transportation systems and an indication is given of acceptable risk. You will spend three hours a week in lectures to study this module.

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 Friday 09 December 2022.

Students should take a minimum of 50 credits and a maximum of 50 credits from this group:

Managing for Sustainability 10 credits

Sustainable companies are those that are managed in socially, economically, and ecologically responsible ways. Today's managers are expected to understand the impact of management decisions and practices on the environment and society.

This module considers how sustainability principles are applied in organisations, and how to manage for sustainability. Through use of multiple learning approaches, the module enables you to practically interact with real businesses to address some sustainability challenges faced by the organisation.

The module introduces the you to frameworks and theories use to critically assess sustainability, and to integrate sustainability into the business strategy.

The module enables you to develop an understanding of the practical dilemmas facing businesses as they seek to respond to multiple, and often, conflicting stakeholders expectations. You will be expected to critically reflect upon your practical experiences and capture these using a learning journal.

Procurement and Purchasing 10 credits

The module covers:

  • Strategic sourcing concepts
  • Supplier management
  • Supplier segmentation
  • Category management
  • Negotiation
  • Retail buying
  • Services sourcing
  • Compliance
  • Sustainability
  • Procurement organisation
Corporate Strategy 10 credits

The module covers:

  • Strategic analysis
  • Industry analysis
  • Positioning
  • Creating and sustaining competitive advantage
  • Diversification
  • Strategic decision making
  • Strategy practice and implementation
  • Strategy and organisation
  • Strategic leadership
Corporate Risk 20 credits

We hope that the module will enable you to make sense of some of the different perspectives that exist and understand their strengths and limitations when applied in the modern business environment. We will try to address various questions in this environment:

  • Can all risks be identified?
  • Can all risks be managed?
  • Should all risks be managed?
  • If not, how do we decide which should be ignored and which managed?
  • How can risk, in particular financial risk, be measured?
  • What techniques of risk management are available and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can the risk management process be structured and planned?
Strategy and Leadership 20 credits

The module will include:

  • The meaning, nature and evolution of the field of strategy
  • External and internal environmental analysis
  • Strategies for competitive advantage
  • Strategy and organisation
  • The meaning, nature and evolution of the field of leadership
  • Leadership and strategic change
  • Leadership and sustainable strategic management
  • Leadership in public sector strategy
Human Resource Management 20 credits

The intricacies of managing the human resources within the business context are developed in this module. It examines processes, practices, and procedures associated with HRM management and administration that an employer/manager needs to be familiar with, and analyses the current best practice in the HR function.

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 Friday 09 December 2022.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Group study
  • Independent study
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

You'll study on our award-winning University Park and Jubilee campuses, only two miles from the vibrant and student-friendly city of Nottingham. Civil engineering is based at our University Park campus and the Business School (which delivers the management studies part of your masters) is based at our Jubilee campus, with just a short walk or bus ride between campuses. You'll access the best of both worlds - with libraries and learning facilities on both sites.

Students will gain an appreciation, first-hand through their summer project, of how technical and management principles must be considered together to overcome the challenges facing the Civil Engineering sector.

You'll access state-of-the-art facilities which enable you to experience real-world multi-disciplinary projects. The Faculty of Engineering has a world-class testing facility for transportation engineering materials (roads, rail and airports). You'll also have access to specialist soils and fluids labs and modern labs dedicated to structural testing of materials (steel, concrete and composites). The Business School library offers access to books, journals and specialist databases.

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Group coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Presentation
  • Research project

Practical assessments in addition to the below: 

Contact time and study hours

On average, you will have at least 20 contact hours a week in year one and two. Combined with coursework and self-study, you may spend over 40 hours a week on your studies.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 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

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2023 entry to be confirmed in August 2022.

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

You could become a design engineer, site engineer, project manager, researcher or academic. You could work for leading consulting and contracting/construction companies (e.g. Laing O’Rourke, Arup and Sir Robert McAlpine) government agencies, infrastructure owners and managers (e.g. Highways England, Network Rail and airport authorities).

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

This content was last updated on Friday 09 December 2022. 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.