Civil Engineering postgraduate research degrees
Civil Engineering postgraduate research degrees
If you're ready to take your existing knowledge and qualifications in Civil Engineering into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the place to do it.
With climate change and pollution at the forefront of public concern and political debate, we're exploring ways to transform our civil engineering expertise into real-world solutions to the planet's environmental crises.
We're finding new ways to make construction projects more efficient, sustainable and environmentally-friendly, searching for sustainable ways of tackling the pollution caused by increased urbanisation, and developing the technology needed to deal with new pollutants – including pharmaceuticals and microplastics – in the environment.
Join us and study for a postgraduate research degree, and you'll have the opportunity to make your own unique contribution to the outstanding work we're doing.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil and PhD by Publication opportunities in Civil Engineering below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Civil Engineering PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Civil Engineering, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
- Fibre reinforced concrete structural design for reducing carbon footprint
- Experimental investigation and numerical simulation of stabilised compressed earth building blocks
- Dynamic analysis of offshore wind turbines foundations
- Assessing climate change-induced risk to concrete structures
- Achieving sustainable nitrate neutrality
- Fibre reinforced concrete: structural design for reducing carbon footprint
- An artificially intelligent camera imaging algorithm for monitoring multi-scale damage
- Advanced engineering analysis of chalk in construction
- Community-focused heritage regeneration: Developing a sustainable regeneration framework for historic industrial-military and associated residential heritage in southern England
- Incorporating water leakage reduction in the automatic creation of water supply zones
- Predicting building performance in future climate change scenarios: a comparative study of actual and simulated data
- Soil reinforcement interaction mechanics
- The Combined Effect of Blast and Thermal Loading on Structural Connections
- Transparent soil modelling of soil-structure interaction under dynamic conditions
- Use of Iterative multi-parametric design enabling tools for the optimisation of structural response and seismic behaviour
- Using simulation to design comfortable housing for the poor in the low income tropics
- The use of 3-D modelling of flow patterns and pollutant retention to optimize the layout of vegetated detention ponds
- Characterisation and applications of trommel fines derived from recycling of construction, demolition and excavation wastes
- Exploiting Smart Contracts and Blockchain Technology: Blueprint for a new AEC Industry
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
What do my tuition fees cover?
If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.
Your tuition fees cover:
- The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
- Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
- Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
- A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
- Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
- Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 78% of our research impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014
- Your graduation ceremony
- Viva examination and administration costs
- The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
- Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
- University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
- Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
- Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)
*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
2021/2022 fees (applicable to October 2021 and February 2022)
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204*
- International full-time students: £17,600*
- International part-time students: £8,800*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,407*
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,720
All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
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.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
Our key facility is the Environmental Technology Field Station at Petersfield sewage works, where we have labs and testbeds for pilot plants. We also have environmental engineering and hydraulics laboratories at the main campus.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Explore the work we're doing in our two areas of research expertise in Civil Engineering.
We're working to understand the increasingly complex and pressurised nature of modern construction, and developing new approaches to project management that take these new challenges into account.