Triangle Triangle

Course overview

Civil engineering combines your creativity with technological and scientific knowledge that can change the world. You will learn how to design and manage high-profile projects. Working together in teams you'll learn about:

  • structures
  • geotechnics
  • materials
  • wind
  • fluids
  • transport
  • surveying
  • construction management

Also as part of your course you will take part in site visits to see civil engineering in action. You will access research and laboratory facilities, including:

  • wind tunnels
  • earthquake simulators
  • design studios
  • CAD

This BEng programme is a five-year accredited degree. You will have the possibility of moving to a MEng masters degree at the end of your second year if your performance meets the criteria. This provides the preferred route to achieving Chartered Engineer status.

Year four is spent in industry.

Why choose this course?

Top 15

in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for Civil Engineering

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021

Top 15

in the Guardian University Guide for Civil Engineering

Guardian University Guide, 2021

Top 20

in the Complete University Guide for Civil Engineering

Complete University Guide, 2022


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAA
Required subjects

Maths A level or 6 at Higher Level (IB) and A level or 6 at Higher Level, from physics, 3D design, chemistry, economics, psychology, biology, design and technology, geography, geology, computing or further maths.

General studies, critical thinking and citizenship studies, global perspectives and research, thinking skills are not accepted.

A level in Quantitative Methods is not acceptable in lieu of Maths requirements.

For A level subjects containing a practical examination, a pass in this element is also required

A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades.

IB score 36 including Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches - 6 at Higher Level or 7 at Standard Level or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation – 6 at Higher Level only plus 6 in a second science at Higher Level - Physics is preferred.

Foundation progression options

A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

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

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

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

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.

Study abroad

There are study abroad options for this course.

Year in industry

There is the opportunity to spend a year in industry and we have a team of careers experts to support you in finding the right placement. During the placement you are classed as an employee of the host company and will receive a salary.

Placements are usually undertaken in the UK, but can be anywhere in the world.

What is it like to study Civil Engineering at UoN?

Hear what our students have to say about studying Civil Engineering at UoN.

Modules

The first year shall introduce you to the core disciplines and context of civil engineering. Engineering design is introduced through project work. Professional skills are introduced in workshops. There is also a residential surveying field course.

Hydraulics 1

This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of hydrostatics and enables you to apply these principles to model problems relevant to civil engineering. You’ll spend around four hours in lectures and example classes each week to study for this module.

Group Project

This is a problem-based group design project which focuses on the application of knowledge and skills, from across the taught modules. Groups develop and cost a major civil engineering project and plan resources to ensure timely and cost-effective completion of the work. Then a design of an engineering structure will be carried out, including presentation of options and a detailed design stage. The final task will be to design and construct a model structure, which will be tested in the laboratory.

Portfolio of Civil Engineering Studies 1

This module builds on core skills and aims to: introduce students to structural analysis and modelling tools; develop their ability to communicate; introduce construction materials and their related design considerations; provide an opportunity to learn advanced surveying techniques.

Structural Analysis

Delivered through four hours of lectures each week, this module covers the following topics: analysis of 2D stresses and strains, virtual work method, strain energy method and analysis of arches and cables, the response of circular and non-circular members to torsion, the stress distribution of a beam under bending moment, shear and axial force, among others.

Mathematical Methods for Civil Engineering

This module, delivered through a combination of lectures and workshops, for three hours each week, covers the fundamental tools to manipulate vectors and matrices relevant to applications in engineering, and introduces fundamental concepts and applications of differentiation and integration in one or more dimensions.

Geotechnics 1

Giving you an introduction to the core areas of geotechnics, this module covers topics such as: origin and types of soil, soil as a 3-phase material, soil description and classification, compaction, water in soils, basic mechanics, and stresses in soils and ground investigation. In an average week you’ll spend four hours in lectures, example classes and practicals per week.

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 28 June 2021.

Core subjects will be developed in greater depth alongside further workshops; and a structural design project to help you see the application of your studies.

Hydraulics 2

On successfully completing the module, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of fluid dynamics. You’ll be able to solve simple pipe flow problems and demonstrate awareness of open channel flows and boundary layers and drag. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and example classes per week when studying this module.

Fundamentals of Materials

You will be spending three hours a week in lectures exploring engineering materials and their basic properties, principles in material selection and sustainability and an understanding of the behaviour of construction materials.

Civil and Structural Steel Design Project

This module provides students with an opportunity to take a design project from concept through to an advanced design stage covering structural, steel, geotechnical, infrastructure and services considerations, whilst working as a group. This is a year-long project, concentrating on site conditions, conceptual design and structural and geotechnical design in the first semester and detailed calculations in the second semester. The project gives students the opportunity to develop their written and oral presentation skills.

Portfolio of Civil Engineering Studies 2

This module builds on core skills and aims to: introduce students to structural analysis and modelling tools; develop their ability to communicate; introduce construction materials and their related design considerations; provide an opportunity to learn advanced surveying techniques.

Structural Analysis 2

The fundamental behaviour established in the first year is extended to cover the concepts of: virtual work, analysis of indeterminate structures, instability of structural systems, plastic analysis and design and vibration. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and example classes per week when studying this module.

Geotechnics 2

This module aims to develop further understanding of fundamental behaviour of soils and you will learn how to perform geotechnical analyses. You’ll spend five hours in lectures and two hours in practicals per week.

Advanced Mathematical Methods

The module covers fundamental tools to manipulate complex numbers as well as ordinary and partial differential equations relevant to engineering. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and example classes each week.

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

Core

Core subjects continue alongside a range of optional modules, and includes a major design-based project to help you see the application of your studies. There is also an optional Construction Practice module on-site.

Structural Concrete Design

This module introduces reinforced concrete construction and the relationship between structural behaviour and the design of reinforced concrete elements. It includes the structural design procedures for reinforced concrete elements in flexure, shear and compression. On average you will spend about four or five contact hours per week in lectures, laboratory classes or in the design studio for this module.

Geotechnics 3

This module introduces the fundamentals of consolidation and the different components of settlement. In addition, shallow and deep foundation design, from both a fundamental and Eurocode approach is covered. Reinforced soil, 1D & 2D water flow through soils, and sustainability considerations in geotechnical design are also discussed.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) Project

Students work in groups on the design and planning of a civil engineering project that aims to integrate all the disciplines covered on the course. Typical projects include: water works, major highway schemes and retail parks. Staff and visiting professional engineers provide guidance.

Hydraulic Design and Experiments

This module addresses real-world hydraulic applications and designs using the theory learnt by the students in Hydraulics 1 and 2 and newly obtained knowledge about urban drainage systems, flood protection, water supply and surge protection. Seven laboratory experiments cover fundamental aspects of hydraulics in open channel flow, pipe flow and river flow. A number of common hydraulic systems will be designed under application of the newly obtained knowledge in the class room and the laboratory.

Optional

Mapping for Engineering Surveying and GIS (autumn)

The module describes the theoretical and practical aspects of photogrammetry, laser scanning and gives an introduction to geometrical remote sensing. Subjects covered include:

  • Single and multi image/photograph geometry
  • Digital imagery and processing
  • Selected work flow and procedures
  • Data capture techniques and products
  • Aerial triangulation
  • Airborne and mobile laser scanning
  • Recent developments

Method and Frequency of Class:

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

3 hour morning block

Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Exam 1 100.00 written examination (unseen)
Engineering Risk Assessment

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 (Autumn)

This module introduces some of the theory that forms the technical basis of the management and control of urban road networks, including; traffic flow theory, transport modelling and operation of traffic signal control systems.

Assessment method

This module will be assessed 100% by exam.

Advanced Mathematical Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers

This module covers advanced analytic mathematical techniques used to provide exact or approximate solutions to common classes of ordinary differential equations (ODES) typical in Engineering.

Techniques covered include: method of variation of parameters, Laplace transform methods, Taylor series method, Frobenius method, asymptotic regular perturbations and strained coordinates and multiple scales. Each week there will normally be a one one-hour lecture and a two hour workshop to introduce key mathematical knowledge on module topics.

Computerised Methods in Engineering

The methodology and associated numerical techniques are introduced to enable a selection of mathematical operations to be evaluated with the use of computer-based software algorithms to problems that cannot be solved analytically.

Topics include: introduction to concepts of numerical analysis, quadrature and curve fitting, numerical linear algebra, qualitative and finite-difference methods for ODEs and numerical methods for solving PDEs. Each week there will normally be one one-hour lecture and a two hour workshop to introduce key mathematical knowledge on module topics.

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

The fourth year of this course is spent in industry. You will receive support in applying for a year-long placement with an appropriate company. During the placement you will significantly enhance your engineering knowledge and skills. You will have regular meetings with your tutor throughout the year and will remain fully registered with the University.

A wide range of optional modules, including a major group design project and individual investigative project, are available during this final year.

If you choose to take a year in industry, this will usually be during your fourth year and you will then study the following modules on your return.

Core

Individual Investigative Project

Students choose a project in their preferred discipline and plan a detailed investigation. Projects involve lab work, field investigations or computer modelling and require data collection and analysis. 

Group Design Project

Working in groups, you'll design and plan a major civil engineering project. Typical projects include water works, major highway schemes and retail parks. Staff and visiting professional engineers provide guidance.

Optional

Sustainable Construction and Life Cycle Assessment (Spring)

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 (Autumn)

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 (autumn)

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
Dynamics and Wind Engineering

This module considers the effects of wind on structures. It shows how the wind loading codes are developed from first principles and how they can be applied to predict wind induced forces in structures. The dynamic response of structures to wind is studied with the help of wind tunnel tests.

Coastal Engineering

This module is delivered through six hours of lectures and computer-based tutorials each week and covers the principles of water height variation, ocean forces (from waves and tides) and energy conversion into electrical power and to the design of energy production systems.

Managing Infrastructure and Systems (Spring)

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

The module will look into advanced structural analysis methods including finite element, non-linear analysis and stability. It will also look into the analysis of dynamic systems.

Geotechnical Modelling (autumn)

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

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.

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

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2021*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2022/23 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

If you choose to attend the Constructionarium, you will be charged an accommodation fee of approximately £200.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

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

International scholarships

Careers

Students will be equipped to embark on a career in civil engineering, or other disciplines that require numerate problem-solving graduates.

Key sectors for our graduates are:

  • civil engineering consultancy
  • civil engineering contracting
  • civil engineering management
  • finance
  • surveying

Find out how our links with industry could give you a head start while you study with us.

Professional accreditation 

MEng Accredited CEng (Full)

This degree is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

See jbm.org.uk for further information.

Engineering Council accredited degree
 

This degree has been accredited by

Under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data: www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44413086)

Average starting salary and career progression

97.6% of undergraduates from the Department of Civil Engineering secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £26,595.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Chartered Engineer (CEng)

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

It 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.

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" I spent a year working for one of the biggest construction companies in the world. I was working on a student accommodation project for The University of Essex where my main job was to manage the façade. The placement team helped me a lot in finding a placement, getting my CV right and getting through interviews "
Weixhao Zhu talking about his industrial year with Bouygues

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.