Develop creative, practical and theoretical skills for the construction industry
Why take this course?
Civil engineering is key to economic and social stability throughout the world. From roads and bridges to skyscrapers and airports, modern civil engineers plan, design, construct and manage the large-scale public works and amenities that underpin our society.
This course is a dynamic mix of specialist civil engineering knowledge and essential learning of current technical and practical methods.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Create your own designs and models in response to industry-relevant civil engineering demands
- Apply your skills to real-life practical problems as part of our partnership schemes with local and global organisations
- Venture overseas on a European exchange programme or do a paid work placement in industry
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course will lead you to a recognised professional qualification in civil engineering. It is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
It fully satisfies the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) under the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). We maintain excellent links with these professional bodies and regularly update and advise you on matters relating to your progress to professional status.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- civil engineering
- site engineering
- project management
My favourite part of the course is professional development, which includes fieldtrips, practical design challenges, surveying and group work that will enhance your skills from the conceptual to reality.
Tim Lee-Lewis, MEng Civil Engineering student 2015
- UCAS Course Code:
- 4 years full time, 5 years sandwich with work placement
- 300-360 points to include 200 points from a minimum of 3 A levels or equivalent, to include Mathematics at grade B. General Studies is not normally accepted. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
- School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
During your first year you will study fundamental engineering principles and be introduced to the key theories upon which civil engineering practice is based.
Core units include:
- Construction Management and Practice
- Engineering Analysis
- Professional Development 1
- Soils and Materials 1
- Understanding Structures - Analysis and Design
- Water and Environmental Engineering
In year two you will extend your understanding and ability to analyse complex civil engineering systems.
Core units include:
- Behaviour of Structures
- Design of Structural Elements
- Numerical Skills and Economics
- Professional Development 2
- Soils and Materials 2
Options to choose from include:
- Diving and Underwater Engineering A
- Diving and Underwater Engineering B
- Fieldwork for Civil Engineers
- Heritage Property
- Introduction to Project Management Principles
- Water Infrastructure
Years three and four*
During your final two years you will build on all the knowledge you have acquired enabling you to analyse, design and manage civil engineering systems in an integrated manner. You will develop practical proposals for complex civil engineering problems in a simulated professional organisation. You will also complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice and a design project, which covers the practical application of knowledge and techniques in the identification, design and management of a simulated major construction project.
Core units include:
- Professional Development 3
- MEng Individual Research Project
- Project Management for Civil Engineers
- Design of Bridges
- Soils and Materials 3
Core units are:
- Advanced Engineering Science
- Environmental Management
- Integrated Design Project
*This course is also available as a 5-year sandwich (work placement)
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work, and be fully supported throughout your degree. We promote many practical teaching methods by way of lab and fieldwork supplying you with proactive, hands-on learning opportunities.
How are you assessed?
We guarantee sustained feedback to make sure your studies are on track. Providing you with valuable skills and experience, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, including:
- written exams
- web assessments
- essays and reports
- project presentations
- a 10,000-word dissertation
Dr Lee Woods
You are supported throughout your degree course by excellent lectures, seminars, labs and a virtual learning environment. Staff have extensive experience in industry and academia ensuring that our curriculum is relevant to employers and based on cutting edge research. Meeting recent graduates at industry events and hearing about the fantastic careers they are embarking on, gives us great confidence in this course.
Facilities & Features
We offer you a range of labs where you can carry out materials and structures testing, fluid flow modelling and chemical investigation. We also have an onsite environmental laboratory located at a real sewage treatment works. All are well equipped with industry-standard experimental and computational facilities.
Go on site visits and carry out fieldwork that will introduce you to the markets and environments in which you will eventually work. Undertake field studies in surveying, soil mechanics, environmental hydraulics and construction. We also have a network of civil engineering consulting and contracting organisations that provide real-life case studies. This course makes extensive use of the ‘real-world laboratory’.
Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
As a University student I have access to a large number of resources both in the library and online to compliment my learning experience. There was an opportunity to take up Scuba Diving for one of my modules, which I did and kept at, now I am working as a Divemaster on weekends.
Edward Bown, MEng Civil Engineering student 2013
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
We will provide hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. You will need to buy safety boots costing approximately £35.
There is an optional residential field trip in year two, for which a contribution of about £230 is required.
There are two optional Diving and Underwater Engineering units in year 2, for which a contribution is required of approximately £858 for Diving A and £778 for Diving B.
Careers & Opportunities
Working in the construction and engineering sector will make an interesting, challenging and rewarding career. There will be a wide range of roles within the construction industry open to you once you have completed your studies.
This course is an appropriate first degree leading to a recognised professional qualification in civil engineering should you wish to continue your studies. What’s more, it also meets the entry requirements for many of the major graduate engineering programmes.
Overall, you will be a versatile graduate who will have the employable skills to secure work in many areas of the job market.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- structural engineer
- construction manager
- design engineer
- highway engineer
- envinronmental and drainage engineer
- site engineer
- traffic engineer
- assistant engineer
Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make and, more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. Our Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) not only helps you to arrange your placement, but also acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on anything and everything related to your employability, as well as assisting you in securing other types of work experience.
Examples of companies our students have taken up placements with include:
- Blair Rains M&E Design
- Portsmouth Water
- Bardon Contracting
- Cemex Rail Productions Ltd
Types of placement roles that could be relevant to this course include:
- trainee site engineer
- trainee highway engineer
- assistant project manager
We also offer you the chance to do part of your studies abroad. Our educational links branch out to institutions in France, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
After my graduation from my course I’m hoping to work as a structural engineer, ideally working on highway structures such as bridges.
Marta Kidane, MEng Civil Engineering student 2013
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days 2016
- Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm
Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.
Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.
Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.