Civil Engineering and Surveying contributes to the design, construction and management of infrastructure used by millions of people around the world every day, such as waste plants, office blocks and railways – and within our School, we're committed to creating sustainable, built environment projects by encouraging creativity and new ways of thinking among our students and researchers.
We have a track record of successfully preparing students for employment – the last three HESA surveys (2017-2020) show over 90% of our students were in work or further study 18 months after graduation. And we have a longstanding history of producing quality surveyors, celebrating 50 years of teaching surveying in 2019.
Gender equality commitment
We hold a departmental Athena Swan Silver award for gender equality, and we're committed to promoting equality of opportunity and to making careers in the built environment more attractive to women and under-represented communities.
Within the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, we emphasise practical, hands-on learning. Our students put theory into practice on field trips where they explore the built and natural environment, and conduct site visits which mirror those done by professional Civil Engineers and Surveyors.
Students can study the viability of coastal defences at Highcliffe, soil erosion on the Isle of Wight, and the longevity of railways at Meon Valley Railway. Our exceptional teaching staff help transform our students into graduates who are ready to become successful surveyors and civil engineers, complete with the technical skills and experience demanded by the industry.
Our students complete placements in the field, and benefit from the School's strong links with employers in the civil engineering and surveying industry, including companies such as Fluor, Mott MacDonald and AECOM. After graduating, many of our students return to work for the company where they worked during their placement year.
In addition to our full-time and part-time, campus-based and distance-learning degree and postgraduate degree courses, we offer a full programme short courses and continuing professional development courses that cover all aspects of the land, property and construction industries – including programs in construction law, fire safety, and health and safety.
Our teaching areas
Architecture and surveying courses
Develop practical problem-solving and creative skills to work in architectural design, building surveying or the conservation industry.
Make use of maths, engineering and your own ingenuity to plan, build and maintain the world we live in, on one of our engineering degree courses.
We've developed close partnerships with national and global organisations like Southern Water, Ministry of Defence, THA Aquatic, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Hampshire County Council (HCC), Grundon Waste Management, First Wessex, Atkins, WPL, WRc plc, Grainger, Mayer Brown, The Environment Agency, Enigma Electronic, Plantwork Systems, Environmental Treatment Concepts and CIRIA.
We work with industry professionals through our Industrial Advisory Committee and Professional Advisory Board to shape course content and provide opportunities for site visits. Through these collaborations, we understand the needs of employers, and give our students the knowledge and skills that employers want.
Members of our School can use the following facilities.
We operate the Environmental Technology Field Station, a research station for university and industry collaboration and teaching. At the station we deliver expert consultation, environmental monitoring, laboratory analysis and training to water industry staff and civil engineering and surveying students.
Our Concrete Laboratory is used by students and researchers to produce and test concrete specimens. The lab offers researchers and students a space to practice, review and improve their mixes. All stages of testing are recorded and live streamed in the lab to help students review their work in class.
The Environmental Science Laboratory laboratory has all the analytical equipment students and researchers need to conduct water testing — from biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand, to suspended solids, nutrient analysis, pH and conductivity. We also have facilities for preparing soil and water samples for analysis, and for analysing hydrocarbon pollution.
Our Geotechnics Laboratory has equipment for fully characterising fine and coarse grained soils, fully automated testing equipment for teaching and research, and a 60 seat area for interactive tutorials.
The Hydraulics Laboratory has a 300mm wide, 7 metre long tilting channel for investigating all aspects of open channel flow – from flow over weirs to hydraulic jumps. Students and researchers can use a wave generator and several other smaller mobile hydraulics benches to conduct experiments.
Our Materials Characterisation Suite has X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy equipment available. Students and researchers can gain microscale insights into materials and their interaction with the environment.
Our Surveying Store has equipment including theodolites, automatic levels, robotic and standard total stations, GNSS receivers, and laser level and handheld distomat distance meters.
We want to rethink how people build. We do this through collaborative and cross-disciplinary research into the ways civil engineering and surveying contribute to creating sustainable built environments and resilient infrastructure.
Our researchers have made significant contributions to understanding the sources and impacts of microplastics in the environment. We are developing models for better places for people to live through integrating green infrastructure into developments to provide flood protection and deliver cleaner water and also establishing how heritage areas can also contribute to green community spaces.
Our work is global, with recent projects finding better ways to remove pesticides from drinking water in Thailand and understanding the international distribution of COVID related PPE litter.
We work closely with industrial partners on real world problems and have received research funding from the Royal Geographical Society, European Commission, Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Mary Rose Trust, Southern Water and the South East England Development Agency.
The national Research Excellence Framework in 2022 rated 75% of our research outputs as internationally excellent or world-leading and recognised the impact that our longstanding work on water engineering has had on policy and practice in the UK and overseas.
Our research groups
Much of our exceptional research takes place within the following cross-disciplinary research groups – find out more below.
Construction Management and Surveying Research Group
Our construction management and surveying researchers explore sustainability and regeneration, quantity surveying and construction law, the application of computer systems in construction, and design in construction processes.
Environmental Technology and Management Research Group
This University of Portsmouth research group was one of the pioneers in establishing Constructed Wetlands. Explore their previous research projects. Read more.
Materials Structures and Geotechnics Research Group
Our research group at the University of Portsmouth covers advanced composite structures, safety & security engineering, and more. Discover our research now.
Microplastics research group
The University of Portsmouth is researching the impact of microplastics on human health and the environment, and finding innovative solutions to plastic pollution.
Explore our faculty
School of Computing
Learn more about the School of Computing at the University of Portsmouth, and explore the teaching and research activities taking place within the School.
School of Energy and Electronic Engineering
Find out more about the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, and explore the teaching and research activities taking place within the School
School of Mathematics and Physics
Explore the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Portsmouth, and find out more about the teaching and research activities taking place within the School.
School of Mechanical and Design Engineering
Explore the School of Mechanical & Design Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, and find out more about the teaching and research activities that take place within the School.
Faculty of Technology
Find out more about the Faculty of Technology at the University of Portsmouth, and explore the teaching and research activities that place within the Faculty's various schools and institutes.