Student using surveying equipment

Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) / MEng

Design, construct and maintain infrastructure that supports everything from buildings and transportation to safe drinking water and sanitation. Shape the world.

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University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

H200 (BEng), H202 (MEng)

Accreditation:

This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 points (BEng) / 120-128 points (MEng), from 2 or 3 A levels or equivalent, to include a relevant subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Overview

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Look up at skyscrapers you’ve designed, drive on roads you’ve engineered and lead on global infrastructure projects.

Learn to design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure that supports everything from buildings, transportation, and flood defences to providing safe drinking water and sanitation. 

Study this accredited Civil Engineering degree in the city that gave the world Isambard Kingdom Brunel and step into a career that could shape the world.

BEng or MEng?

The 3-year Bachelor's degree (BEng) and 4-year integrated Master's degree (MEng) share many of the same modules in years 1–3.

When you finish the BEng course successfully, you'll meet the educational requirements for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status. The MEng allows you to achieve a Master’s level degree with just one extra year of undergraduate study and when you finish the MEng course successfully, you'll meet the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer status (CEng).

Course highlights

  • Visit constructions sites across the city, such as the Southsea Coastal Scheme or construction sites within the University
  • Explore soil types and rock formations on visits to the Isle of Wight and take a field trip to the National Construction College
  • Enter a global design competition, run by Engineers Without Borders
  • Learn from industry specialists – recent guest speakers have come from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Atkins, Portsmouth Water, Mott MacDonald, Portsmouth City Council, Colas and WSP
  • Study practical diving and underwater engineering and infrastructure, due to our coastal location, and get a recognised PADI diving qualification

95%

of BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

90%

of MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

90%

overall student satisfaction for our MEng Civil Engineering course

NSS, 2022

Accreditation

BEng Civil Engineering

This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Candidates must hold a masters or doctorate accredited as further learning for CEng to hold accredited qualifications for CEng registration.

See www.jbm.org.uk for further information and details of Further Learning programmes for CEng.

MEng Civil Engineering

This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

See www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

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Connected Degrees®

Only at Portsmouth you have the choice to take a traditional sandwich placement before your third year, or to take your placement after your final year.

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Discover how Clearing works

Clearing 2024 opens on 5 July and closes on 21 October

Every year thousands of students find their ideal undergraduate course through Clearing. Clearing matches students who are looking for a different course or university from their original choice, or who are applying for the very first time after 30 June, to courses that universities still have places on.

The majority of people apply through Clearing once they receive their exam results on A level / T level results day (15 August 2024).

You can apply through Clearing if:

  • You don't meet the conditions of your offer for your firm (first) or insurance (second) choice courses
  • Your exam results are better than you expected and you want to change your course or university 
  • You don't hold any offers
  • You've accepted an offer but changed your mind about the course you want to do
  • You're applying for the first time after 30 June 2024 

Find out more on UCAS

Yes, we welcome Clearing applications from international students and you can apply in exactly the same way as UK students do. 

The majority of UK students apply through Clearing once they receive their A level / T level results in August 2024, so as an international student if you already have your exam results you can apply when Clearing opens. 

Make sure that you have time to get your visa, funding, and English language certification sorted out before the beginning of term.

If you would like further information or guidance, please contact our international office for advice. 

The entry requirements for courses can change in Clearing but if you want an idea of what grades we usually accept, take a look at our undergraduate course pages.

Even if you don't quite meet the entry requirements, we'd still encourage you to apply as you could still get a place.

Book your place at our summer Open Day

Yes, join us on campus Saturday 6 July 2024, 8.30am-4pm

Book your place

Clearing Hotline: 023 9284 8074

Entry requirements

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - BBB-BBC, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - BBB-BBC, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.

MEng Civil Engineering Master's degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 120-128 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - ABB-BBB, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM  
  • International Baccalaureate - 29-30

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 120-128 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - ABB-BBB, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM  
  • International Baccalaureate - 29-30

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Alumni profile: Mimi Nwosu, civil engineer

Find out about Mimi's life and success after University

Mimi Nwosu graduated from Portsmouth with a degree in civil engineering. She's now a civil engineer, and has been called one of the top women in engineering in the UK. 

Find out more about Mimi's experience of building Amazon's London HQ, her advocacy for civil engineers, and the ability to really see a structure. 

 My name is Mimi Nwosu and I'm a civil engineer. 
 
 Growing up, I always wanted a career that saved lives. However, at the time, I only knew of medicine and being a doctor, so I aimed towards that way. It was actually a friend who told me about civil engineering. I attended a lecture and I fell in love and I started studying civil engineering at the University of Portsmouth. 
 
 Our lecturers at university are very supportive. I didn't have the prerequisite grades to study civil engineering, so I didn't study A-level maths or physics. However, lecturers believed in me more than I actually believed in myself, which therefore spurred me on to be the best person I could be. 
 
 After my second year, I took a placement year in central London, where I worked on Amazon's HQ as an undergraduate engineer. I don't actually work too far from it now, so everytime I walk past it with my family and my friends, I can tell them I built this and tell them all the technical know how behind it. 
 
 With civil engineering, I feel like most people see buildings, see bridges, see tunnels, see roads, but they don't know the technical details. So having that speciality to be able to pass it on to somebody else and educate them really makes me proud. 
 
 Before I finished university, I went to the Careers and Employability service to help me with my CV, my cover letter and interview techniques in order for me to find graduate jobs. I attended loads of different workshops, spoke to the advisors who offered fantastic advice, and also sent me jobs to apply for, for top engineering firms. Before leaving university, I was actually offered five jobs. 
 
 In June, as part of International Women in Engineering Day, I was named as one of the top women in engineering in the UK. I'm really proud of that because I love my job so much. It's not just a job, it's a career for me as well and I really love advocating for women in engineering. It's a career for absolutely everybody and I'm so proud to be one of the faces of that. 
 
 I like to describe civil engineers as undercover superheroes. I've always wanted to contribute to people's lives, save lives and have an active impact on sustainability measures, the economy and actually do something that means something to me. Civil engineering just means a lot to me. 
 
 Since leaving the university, I still feel very much part of the community. At times, the lecturers have called me to come to speak to the first years students to talk about my career, my time at the university and my time studying civil engineering, which I think is really, really important. People need to see the link between the university and the industry. Without the University of Portsmouth, I just feel like I wouldn't be the passionate civil engineer that I am today. 

Facilities

The Hydraulics Laboratory

This lab has a 7-metre long tilting channel for investigating open channel flow, a wave generator and mobile hydraulics benches – all the equipment you need to research and test your understanding of infrastructure.

Find out more

Welcome to the hydraulics lab.

This is a powerful piece of apparatus that can show you what happens really when flow, like in a river, passes over a weir. You can get the sense of typical flow patterns.

If we've got a given flow rate, what happens when an obstacle is placed in the flow and also what happens downstream of it. So we get a different sort of flow regime on one side compared to the other and you'll see this as it fills up, that we get a flow rate of something like 20,

The flow builds up on one side, passes over the weir and then reaches the other side like this. So it's the same flow rate, but you can see it's kind of smooth, and then it degenerates into a much rougher profile on the other side.

We call this subcritical and supercritical flow. Subcritical flow is just typically what we might find in a water treatment works during distribution of water around different parts of the works. The other side, this supercritical flow, we have to be quite careful because it can cause damage to the environment. It can cause what we call scour or erosion.

Weirs are really very important in civil engineering because what we're trying to do is to obtain a relationship between flow rate and water level. Pretty obviously really, the higher the water level is, the faster the flow rate.

There are some very precise mathematical equations that can relate that flow rate to the water level here.

Environmental Technology Laboratory

This lab hosts all the facilities you need to conduct simple water tests for biochemical oxygen demand to suspended solids, nutrient analysis, pH and conductivity.

A laboratory worker handling test tubes
Learn more

Environmental Technology Field Station

Conduct tests and analyse samples currently in the ecosystem in a fully-operational waterworks in nearby Petersfield complete with microbiology and environmental chemistry labs.

Aerial view of the environmental technology field station
Explore Station

Concrete Laboratory

Design, mix and test different concrete mixes, and observe and record all stages of the concrete production process via a built in camera system and live stream in this lab.

A woman with glasses using cement mixer
Explore the lab

Structures Laboratory

The Structures Laboratory is where students and researchers investigate the strengths and weaknesses of building materials and how they're put together. 

Student in overalls aligning drill head of machinery at Technology Facilities
Read more

Soil and ground facilities

The Geotechnics lab hosts fully automated testing equipment and kit for characterising fine and coarse grained soils.

Find out more

If you are thinking about the soil and the soil mechanic, the load of the house needs to transfer into the ground. So the structural element, which helps you to transfer the load of the structure into the ground, is a foundation.

We are going to teach you how you should design the foundation and everything, so you should know about the soil parameters.

In the first year of your study, I'm going to talk about the different types of soil, the soil classification, and also how we are going to take a sample from the site and doing some sieve analysis, classify the soil as a coarse material and defined soil. So this is the basic stuff that you need to know about the soil mechanics.

So when you are starting your second year of your study, you have a chance to do more experimental tests, doing some probability tests. You are going to do some odometer tests or the direct share to figure out what is the soil behaviour when you are checking the bearing capacity of the foundation, or what is this soil behaviour when you are loading or unloading.

When you are starting your third year of your study, you have a better idea about the soil mechanic, so you are going to do more traxial tests using the GDS test. And also we are going to teach you some numerical modelling because when you are graduating, you should have a nice CV.

As part of your final year, you have a chance to do some research work which will help you to become independent in the research. If you're thinking about the great material that we have, which is improving the tension of the soil, we can see that the soil particle is moving between the descript and this information is very important for the manufacture to find out what is the best shape of the descript or what is the best shape of this apparatus.

So this is a type of research that you are able and you have a chance to do, as a final project.

I hope I see all of you here in the future.

My favourite part of the course was acquiring knowledge from the module 'Behaviour of Structures' and applying it to the 'ENISE bridge challenge' that took place in France, where I designed a model bridge that would not fail in torsion when an external load is applied.

Eman El Briri, MEng Civil Engineering student

Careers and opportunities

All civil engineering roles are listed in the UK Government’s 'skills shortage list' and you can expect an average salary from £30,000 up to £70,000.

In fact, 95% of our BEng graduates and 90% of our MEng course graduates are in work or further study 15 months after they graduate and 100% of those MEng graduates are in highly skilled work – which means the skills you’ll learn on our course are in high demand. 80% of those graduates work as engineering professionals.

What’s more, 100% of our graduates find their work meaningful. So start making a difference, and be rewarded well for it.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • Sir Robert McAlpine – a civil engineering company that’s contributed to the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals and the expansion of the Royal Albert Hall
  • Skanska – a recent project, Haymarket Edinburgh, provides more than 380,000 sq. ft designed to benefit the local residential and business community
  • Multiplex Construction Europe – with offices in Australia, the Middle East, United Kingdom and Canada, this company has completed more than 1,000 projects globally
  • Balfour Beatty – a leading international infrastructure group developing projects from the UK to the United States and Hong Kong
  • Gallagher Group – a UK company delivering civil engineering contracts ranging in value from £100,000 to £15 million
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

What jobs can you do with a civil engineering degree?

Roles you could go into include:

  • materials engineer
  • geotechnical engineer
  • civil engineer
  • construction manager
  • transport planner
  • structural engineer

Placement year (optional)

Taking an optional placement year will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation. Our students earn an average salary of £19,000 during their placements.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

See where a placement year with Civil Engineering can take you

Hear from some of our alumni who took a placement with Hampshire County Council and ended up with careers are graduation there.

 

As a council we decided to take on placement students and form a partnership with the University of Portsmouth with a view to building relationships with with undergraduates through our bursary program.
And then when they graduate potentially considering them for permanent employment with the County Council I decided to do a placement due to employers required in Real World experience and it's hard to go into a field without any background knowledge.
Good way to get early experience whilst you're still learning.
I felt that it would help with my study.
But also I could come to a workplace learn a lot from people and not have too much pressure on some of our undergraduates.
They've never had a real job.
They come in.
They're quite fresh to the working environment, but they quickly get to grips without we will make them feel relaxed.
We'll help them to establish themselves within the workplace.
One of the most important things that you can't be taught in class is the importance of good communication skills and good interpersonal skills.
I learned how to liaise with members of the public counselors other members of staff and the contractor as well.
So sort of really getting a broad range of that communication side of how we're skiing should work and how it should run.
Advice I'd give to students considering doing placements is absolutely go for it.
Like you will not regret it.
It is one of the best things you can possibly do to prefer yourself for a career and civil engineering afterwards.
Hampshire County Council actually offered me my current role as a drainage engineer.
I came back to Hampton County Council after my pleasure because they've offered me a role essentially.
It was amazing.
It was the most fun exciting year of my University degree.
I enjoyed my time here.
I thought like I was a good member of the team so that sort of made me want to come back and to try and Branch out into various other departments to see what else Hampshire has to offer.
I mean incredibly proud of how far we've come with our scholarship program, and I'm equally proud of the relationship that we built up with the University of Portsmouth.

Mimi stood in front of Portsmouth Guildhall

When I spoke to my [company] director, he was shocked at how much I already knew. I explained that this was because of my course and my placement. The University equipped me well for life outside university. I was actually offered five jobs before I left.

Mimi Nwosu, BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduate

See how Mimi became an award-winning graduate

Potential roles

Previous students have taken placement roles such as:

  • service auditor
  • trainee civil engineer
  • student site engineer

Potential destinations

They've completed placements at organisations including:

  • Osborne
  • Network Rail
  • Francis Jackson Homes
  • Wentworth House Partnership (Keltbray)
  • Cappagh
  • Dyer and Butler

Joshua's story

"I would definitely recommend Portsmouth..."

Joshua is going into his third year of study on our BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree, having just finished a placement year at Geoffrey Osborne, a UK contractor. Find out why he chose to study with us, and what's next for him after graduation.

My name is Josh Mason and I'm a third year civil engineer at the University of Portsmouth.
I chose University because I wanted something bigger than the campus university, something with a bit of life but I wanted something compact enough that it was going to become my new home.  
I've just finished my placement year in between my second and third year. I've just finished with Jeffrey Osborne, they're a huge contractor in the UK, and I've actually been offered a graduate scheme and sponsorship out there so I've got that link into industry.
I would definitely recommend Portsmouth to anyone thinking about further education whether you're seventeen and you're scared about your undergrad or you're like me and you're about to start a master's next year.
I think it's a city that's easy to make friends in, and you become part of something bigger.

DiscoverUni course data – BEng (Hons)

Modules

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

You'll recognize basic techniques for common on-site activities like excavation, concrete work, and steelwork. With a focus on health, safety, quality, and the environment, you'll identify risks and outline mitigation measures. Through case studies, you'll work on appropriate construction methods, estimate resource needs, and appreciate the importance of planning cost, time, and quality. By the end of the module, you'll have the solid understanding of temporary and permanent structures you'll need to manage complex construction projects.

You'll manipulate equations, model complex systems, integrate real-world datasets, and determine appropriate techniques for different technical challenges.

You'll gain skills in technical drawing, collaboration, surveying and design. You'll also build key career abilities for working in diverse teams and recognising future career pathways.

You'll analyse different types of metals, concrete, and masonry to understand their properties and behaviour. Through hands-on laboratory testing of materials like steel and concrete, you'll evaluate how mix design affects performance. Expand your knowledge through lectures, lab sessions, and a field trip. You'll learn to describe and classify soils, analyse their phases and compaction, and appraise soil permeability and shear strength. By the end of the module, you'll be able to recognize soil and material properties and confidently use these for sustainable construction projects.

You'll study mechanical forces on various structures, including shear force and bending moment, then use what you've learned to inform your designs of real structures. On completion, you'll have the grounding in structural analysis to derive loads, check equilibrium and evaluate stress in your future designs.

In this module, you'll study stationary and moving fluids, tackling calculations for closed conduits, open channels, rotodynamic machines, and more. Analysing interactions between infrastructure and ecology, you'll also assess the role of the water engineer in building resilient communities.

Core modules

You'll synthesize career development skills with social and environmentally conscious design, and broaden your knowledge with lectures from guest speakers. Key skills you'll develop include creative technical realization; well-rounded data analysis; communication of your proposals graphically and textually; and formulating continuing development plans. You’ll hone your technical creativity, refer to professional standards to plan your career, and reflect on your progress towards success in civil engineering.

Through applied soil mechanics lectures and labs focused on structure-soil interaction, you'll build on your geotechnical engineering skills. You'll analyse bearing capacity, settlement, and site investigation methods. By designing retaining walls and evaluating ground strength and soil properties, you'll link theory and practice in foundation design. With extended knowledge of materials selection and geotechnical engineering, you'll be equipped to tackle more complex construction problems.

In this module, you'll assess load paths, design structural elements, and present your calculations in an appropriate format.

You'll use statistical techniques and software to quantify risk for projects, evaluate construction proposals, and present your analysed data clearly. With skills in data handling, probability models, and project economics, you'll be equipped to develop robust financial models and cashflows for the industry.

You'll investigate problems and select technical literature using physical scale models and workshops. By applying virtual work and matrix methods, you'll determine displacements and analyse indeterminate structures. Through examinations of buckling, collapse loads, and failure mechanisms, you'll gain qualitative and numerical proficiency. With a focus on experiential learning and critical thinking, you'll be equipped to evaluate and predict the performance of complex structures.

Optional modules

You'll evaluate industry fragmentation in a major project, and see how BIM can provide integration across disciplines. Moving beyond 2D, you'll model projects in 3D for deeper insights. Collaborating securely in teams, you'll use BIM standards to complete virtual buildings.

In this cross-disciplinary module, you'll analyse generation processes, conservation avenues, resource transportation/storage, and factors influencing plant siting. On completion, you'll be empowered to pursue energy infrastructure solutions balancing sustainability, reliability, and accessibility.

In the initial phase of this module, you'll plan your field study collaboratively, gaining experience in desktop research, CAD drawing, and equipment calibration. You'll then travel to a residential fieldwork site, where you'll gather spatial data, perform calculations, and construct temporary structures. Across the module, you'll learn to appraise peer work, reflect on your own growth, and prepare for your civil engineering career.

By surveying local sites like Portsmouth Dockyard, you'll evaluate refurbishment issues first-hand. You'll analyse factors that enhance heritage value for different groups, and appraise strategies like listing and conservation areas. Working in a team, you'll organize a focus group, synthesize literature, and present recommendations for a heritage project. With real-world experiences, you'll gain insight into protecting our past while meeting modern needs.

Through theory and case studies, you'll develop skills to plan, monitor, and control projects while considering technical and human factors. You'll use industry-standard techniques like WBS and CPM to create organizational structures, schedules, budgets, and risk management plans, covering the project cycle from initiation and stakeholder engagement to procurement and sustainability integration. With individual and group assignments, you'll apply your learning to demonstrate effective project planning, teamwork, and communication. By the end, you'll have core competencies and techniques to successfully manage construction projects.

Core modules

Following professional methodology, you'll assess the validity of problems, analyse literature, create ethical data collection plans, apply sound technical principles, and critique your own findings.

You'll undertake software-based analysis and fieldwork to address real world infrastructure problems, from slope stability to offshore structures. When you complete the module, you'll be able to compute stabilized slopes, specify sustainable concrete, validate hand calculations digitally, devise economical remediation tactics, and comply with safety standards.

You'll design sustainable networks that build on usage data, forecasting models and developing technology, then learn to contribute industry-quality proposals. You'll also consider the role of transport across environmental, social, and economic realms, enabling you to minimize infrastructure repercussions, optimize existing assets, and encourage equitable access to transport networks.

You'll use traditional and digital methods to sketch and analyse structures, evaluate stability and consider load cases. You'll also explore methods of design that meet Eurocodes to both Ultimate Limit and Serviceability Limit States.

You'll undertake a multifaceted analysis of technical, environmental, and social dynamics in water, spanning rainfall patterns, quality standards, conservation goals, wastewater remediation, and more. Examining drinking water treatment processes alongside sustainable drainage oversight, you'll develop professional design skills, modeling capabilities, and testing expertise.

Core modules

You'll propose ethical solutions to significant problems, analyse literature, and plan in-depth investigations, then undertake your plan, collecting key data and communicating your findings clearly.

You'll undertake software-based analysis and fieldwork to address real world infrastructure problems, from slope stability to offshore structures. When you complete the module, you'll be able to compute stabilized slopes, specify sustainable concrete, validate hand calculations digitally, devise economical remediation tactics, and comply with safety standards.

You'll design sustainable networks that build on usage data, forecasting models and developing technology, then learn to contribute industry-quality proposals. You'll also consider the role of transport across environmental, social, and economic realms, enabling you to minimize infrastructure repercussions, optimize existing assets, and encourage equitable access to transport networks.

You'll work as a team, reviewing existing literature, recognising relevant standards, and considering commercial factors as you create your design. By considering ethics, safety, and environmental issues, you'll be able to justify your design decisions as you communicate your results clearly and professionally.

You'll undertake a multifaceted analysis of technical, environmental, and social dynamics in water, spanning rainfall patterns, quality standards, conservation goals, wastewater remediation, and more. Examining drinking water treatment processes alongside sustainable drainage oversight, you'll develop professional design skills, modeling capabilities, and testing expertise.

Optional modules

In this module, you'll assess your strengths and weaknesses against industry credentials, identify opportunities for graduate work, and formulate a plan for self-improvement. Alongside your self-improvement, you'll develop your skills in producing quality CAD drawings with appropriate layout and detailing.

You'll identify and analyse a real-world problem, reviewing past solutions. After proposing an innovative solution, you'll develop a rigorous project plan. Applying sound technical principles, you'll collect and interpret data through surveys, lab work or other methods. By module's end, you'll have demonstrated analytical and practical abilities to solve a complex engineering challenge.

Core modules - MEng only

You'll learn about Finite Element Modelling and apply FEM software packages to identify complex challenges, translate physical behaviours into robust mathematical formulations, conduct parametric studies on component interactions, and critically assess the validity of data-driven structural proposals.

Analysing relationships between infrastructure and community through technical and social lenses, you'll quantify effects, select tailored mediation techniques, engage pressing challenges from contamination to ecology, and propose balanced sustainable growth pathways compliant with legislation.

You'll demonstrate specialized civil engineering design talents, considering environmental, social, economic, and technical requirements. Within your small team, you'll review literature, generate and appraise ideas, perform detailed modelling to meet relevant standards, and present your results. The module's authentic design experience empowers you to shape meaningful infrastructure plans as you develop and reflect on your own teamwork skills.

Through analysis of literature and case studies from industry, you'll solve complex problems, provide effective safety management, and evaluate each phase of the project lifecycle. You'll assemble an extensive toolkit, packed with understanding of project management techniques, roles and processes, that will help you excel in any project environment.

On this course, you can do an optional study abroad or work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years, or after your third year, to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The placement furthered my skills in problem-solving, communication, time management, teamwork and individual initiatives.

Thomas Glenn, Civil Engineering student

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • group work

There's an emphasis on learning through field trips and lab work with many practical opportunities to put your knowledge into practice.

Interact with the 360 image below to see our civil engineering students using surveying equipment on a practical class in the centre of Northern Quarter campus.

We are aware that this H5P component is not fully accessible.  If you would like a copy of this item, please email websupport@port.ac.uk. Please also refer to our Accessibility Statement

How you're assessed

  • written exams
  • web assessments
  • essays and reports
  • project presentations
  • a dissertation

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.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 70% by exams and 30% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 25% by exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 20% by exams and 80% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 30% by exams and 75% by coursework

Figures are rounded to nearest 5%

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Civil Engineering degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops for about 18 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2, 3 and 4, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. Optional field trips may involve evening and weekend teaching or events. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty 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:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

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.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight 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 will provide you with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. You will need to buy your own safety boots costing approximately £35.

If you go on the optional residential field trip in year 2, you’ll need to contribute around £230 to the cost.

If you do the optional Energy and Resources Infrastructure module, you'll need to contribute £100 to the cost of a field trip.

If you take either of the 2 optional Diving and Underwater Engineering modules in year 2, you’ll need to contribute to the cost.

This is approximately £858 for the Diving A module and approximately £768 for the Diving B module.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – H200 (BEng) or H202 (MEng)
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS (BEng)

Apply now through UCAS (MEng)

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form:

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – H200 (BEng) or H202 (MEng)
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS (BEng)

Apply now through UCAS (MEng)

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form:

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.

DiscoverUni course data – MEng