Civil engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines in the world. Civil engineers deal with the planning, construction and maintenance of all human-made constructions such as roads, buildings, bridges, dams and canals. They are also responsible for designing and creating a sustainable future.
Students can study civil engineering courses as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the UK and the two most common undergraduate and postgraduate civil engineering courses available in the UK are BEng Civil Engineering and MEng Civil Engineering and students can also merge other specialisations such as Civil Engineering and Management MEng or Engineering Geology and Geotechnics BEng, to improve their career prospects.
Civil Engineering course content
A Civil Engineering degree covers a wide range of topics related to the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure and public works. In year one, students will be provided with a strong foundation in the fundamental concepts of engineering, including topics such as mechanics, materials science, and engineering mathematics. Years 2 and 3 will see students choose from a range of elective courses to specialise in particular areas of civil engineering that interest them, such as transportation engineering, environmental engineering, or construction management.
Civil Engineering careers and salary
Students graduating in civil engineering in the UK can certainly expect to secure good employment prospects post-graduation. Jobs such as engineer, project manager and designer are currently increasing by 8% annually and starting salaries average at £30,000, rising up to slightly over £55k with bonuses and incentives. Of all engineering graduates in the UK, 96% find employment within six months of graduation.
Learn more about the best universities in the UK for civil engineering below (Guardian University Guide 2023) and begin your civil engineering application by arranging a free consultation with SI-UK.
Top Five Universities for Civil Engineering in the UK
1. Imperial College London
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London is among the most prestigious in the UK. It offers a range of courses that are rated highly all over the world. The MEng Civil Engineering programme aims to give a broad perspective on the theoretical principles and conceptual fundamentals of civil engineering. The course opens various doors to employment for graduates, including structural architects, CAD engineers, and construction managers.
You will integrate theory, practice, and application during the programme duration. Key modules include mechanics principles, geotechnics, energy and environmental engineering, and applied dynamics. In the fourth year, students will study several topics related to society and the environment, such as waste management engineering, applied hydrodynamics, and traffic engineering.
- Suggested course: Civil Engineering (MEng)
- Entry requirements: A*A*A or A*AAA (A-level); 40 points (International Baccalaureate)
- International fees: £37,900
2. University of Bath
The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath is home to some of the UK’s top undergraduate and postgraduate Civil Engineering courses. The Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) programme is a four-year course with professional placement. It covers a broad range of topics, including architectural engineering, structural mechanics, geotechnical engineering, construction management, and soil foundation. The curriculum is designed to provide students with fundamental knowledge of the principles and practices of civil engineering.
In addition to a strong academic foundation, the programme delivers practical experience and opportunities for research and innovation. While working in Bath’s state-of-the-art laboratories, you will get acquainted with the practical aspects of hydraulics, soils and materials in civil engineering. The theoretical element of the course includes the history of architecture and engineering practice.
- Suggested course: Civil Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Entry requirements: AAA in three A levels including Mathematics; International Baccalaureate: 36 points
- International fees: £26,200
3. University of Bristol
The University of Bristol’s BEng Civil Engineering is a comprehensive programme that aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to design, construct, and maintain the built environment. The course is an amalgamation of lectures, seminars, laboratory work, and practical sessions, with an emphasis on hands-on experience and real-world applications. Experienced academics and industry professionals design the course curricula to give aspirants a deeper understanding of design engineering, structural analysis, geomechanics, etc.
After the programme completion, you will be able to produce design calculations for simplified architectural and building services cases. The latest industry insights you gain during the course will help you coordinate with the team and perform better. The university is known for better records in graduate employability, thanks to its strong links with industry partners.
- Suggested course: BEng Civil Engineering
- Entry requirements: A*AA including A*A (in any order) in Mathematics and a science-related subject; International Baccalaureate Diploma - 38 points overall with 18 at Higher Level
- International fees: £27,200
4. University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is among the highly prestigious centres of learning in the UK, with 97% of research "world-leading" or "internationally excellent" (REF 2021). Leeds’ School of Civil Engineering is ranked 4th, and its Architecture department is ranked 2nd in the UK. After graduating, you’ll be equipped to deal with a wide range of activities, including planning, designing, constructing, improving and managing the physical environment.
Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), the BEng in Civil Engineering introduces you to the fundamental aspects of civil engineering in the first year. In the 2nd and 3rd years, you will consolidate technical expertise in structural design, engineering mathematics and modelling techniques. Working in the company of some of the finest minds in the fields, students understand the architectural aspects of transport, railway or public health engineering. The school also allows you to take up a one-year industrial placement or study abroad.
- Suggested course: BEng Civil Engineering
- Entry requirements: A-level: AAA, including Mathematics. International Baccalaureate: 35 points overall, with 18 points at a higher level, including 5 points in HL Mathematics.
- International fees: £27,500
5. University of Southampton
The three-year Civil Engineering (BEng) at the University of Southampton is a great way to learn the essential principles of civil engineering, such as thermofluids, mechanics, geotechnics, structural design, and hydraulics. The programme allows you to apply your learnings and analytical techniques to solve engineering problems. From sketching to computer-aided design (CAD) to model-making, you will develop key technical design skills needed to excel in the field.
The degree programme gives you access to the latest technologies and developments in the field at Southampton’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the National Infrastructure Laboratory, Jaguar Land Rover driving simulator, hydraulic flumes, etc. In the last year of the programme, you will study structural stability and finite element analysis, introducing you to the underlying principles of the finite element technique and its application in the analysis of structures.
- Suggested course: Civil Engineering (BEng)
- Entry requirements: A-levels: A*AA including mathematics (minimum grade A); International Baccalaureate: 38 points overall with 19 points required at Higher Level, including 6 at Higher Level in Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches) or 7 at Higher Level in Mathematics (Applications and Interpretation).
- International fees: £25,000
Study Civil Engineering in the UK
Are you considering studying Civil Engineering in the UK? Arrange a free consultation with SI-UK India to get all your questions answered regarding course selection, entry requirements, and scholarship opportunities.