Civil Engineering MSc
MSc Civil Engineering
See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.
Do you want to develop your knowledge of civil engineering to postgraduate level, work towards Chartered Engineer status and have the opportunity to specialise in earthquake, environmental, geotechnical or structural engineering?
On this Master's in Civil Engineering MSc degree course, you'll focus on environmental management for civil engineering in different phases of projects, including the planning, designing, constructing and managing of public works.
You’ll develop strategic and general management skills and learn the theory behind the Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis and its application.
You'll deliver an integrated design project, where you can focus on an aspect of Civil Engineering such as Earthquake, Structural, Geotechnical or Environmental Engineering. You can further develop your specialist research on your dissertation, using experimental and numerical methods.
You'll graduate with an award that reflects the specialism you focused on in your design project, for example, MSc Civil Engineering with Earthquake Engineering or MSc Civil Engineering with Structural Engineering.
When you graduate, you'll have the expertise to enter a career in areas that reflect your specialist skills.
MSc Civil Engineering Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A good honours degree in Civil Engineering or a related subject, or equivalent industrial and work experience.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course you'll:
- Learn the science behind civil engineering, using analytical structural analysis, numerical analysis, and solving engineering problems using the finite element method (FEM) and FEM software packages
- Understand topics including environmental issues associated with civil engineering projects, management in the construction industry, and the development of organisational and project strategic direction
- Have the option to specialise in a specific area of civil engineering in your design project and dissertation
- Learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and discussion groups, and benefit from the expertise of our academic staff as well as experienced practitioners from outside organisations
- Use our laboratory facilities, including an environmental lab and computing equipment
- Apply your skills to practical problems as part of our partnership schemes with local and global organisations
Specialist pathway optionsThe degree you graduate with depends on what area you focus on in your design project and dissertation. Your options are as follows.
MSc Civil EngineeringYou can focus on any aspect of the design task in your civil engineering design project, while your dissertation will allow you the opportunity for in-depth learning of any technical area of civil engineering, such as materials or transportation.
MSc Civil Engineering with Earthquake Engineering
Your design project will focus on structural and geotechnical design to resist earthquakes.
Your dissertation could consider seismic-related analysis of structures and foundations, such as soil-structure interaction and site response analysis. You could use experimental and numerical methods.
MSc Civil Engineering with Environmental EngineeringOn this pathway, you'll cover issues such as pollution, public health and resource management, and study the impacts they make.
MSc Civil Engineering with Geotechnical EngineeringOn this pathway, you'll develop the analytical and technical skills – such as ground investigations and soil structure testing – needed to solve geotechnical problems in civil engineering projects.
MSc Civil Engineering with Structural EngineeringYou'll learn about the design and construction processes in structural engineering and develop the expertise to plan, design, construct and manage large-scale structural engineering projects.
Careers and opportunities
Civil engineers need a wide range of skills and abilities in order to meet society's changing needs. When you graduate from the MSc Civil Engineering degree course, you'll have the expert knowledge, technical skills and competencies that employers in industry expect
What can you do with a Civil Engineering degree?
Areas you can work include:
- Civil engineering
- Site engineering
- Project management
What you'll study on this MSc Civil Engineering degree course
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You'll need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.
Core modules are:
- Civil Engineering Science
- Design Project: Civil, Earthquake, Environmental, Geotechnical or Structural Engineering
- Environmental Management for Civil Engineering
- Strategic and General Management
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the construction industry, or in related fields.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- discussion groups
- independent learning strategies
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2021 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £9,200
- Part-time: £4,600 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
(including Transition Scholarship)
- Full-time: £9,200
- Part-time: £4,600 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full-time: £17,600
- Part-time: £8,800 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
We provide you with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. However, you will need to buy your own safety boots which cost approximately £35.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.