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Civil Engineering BEng(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time H200 2017
4 years full time including sandwich year H201 2017
4 years part time (direct entry to Year 2 of course may be considered for those already working in industry) Apply direct to the University 2017

Once you have completed the Civil Engineering Foundation Year (UCAS code H208), you can transfer to Civil Engineering BEng(Hons)/BSc(Hons), dependent on satisfactory grades.

Why choose this course?

Civil engineers deal with the design and construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges and water supply or sewage systems. This course enables you to progress and qualify as a chartered civil or structural engineer, and provides a strong base of high-quality technical abilities together with good management and personal skills.

Watch a video outlining the day-to-day life of a civil engineering student:

What you will study

Year 1 develops skills in engineering science, mathematics, computing, engineering drawing (including AutoCAD), fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, structures, materials and sustainable construction and design. Emphasis on practical work includes practical surveying, model-making and using computer-aided design packages.

Year 2 comprises more focused studies in specific civil engineering subjects such as hydraulics, geotechnics, structures, construction materials and engineering surveying, with a thorough grounding in project and business management. There are two residential field courses - engineering surveying and geotechnical engineering.

Year 3 further develops the core civil engineering disciplines: structures, hydraulics and geotechnics, including a residential field trip devoted to coastal engineering. Studies include the development, design and construction of sustainable infrastructure, focusing on water engineering, transport, highway and the energy sector. There is an emphasis on graduate employment opportunities. You will carry out an individual project and with fellow students work on a major group design exercise.

As with all BEng(Hons) courses, further learning, at university or on a graduate training scheme, is necessary to qualify as a chartered engineer.

Third-year student Joe talks about the benefits of a year-long work placement:

Accreditation for this course: BEng(Hons) Accredited CEng (Partial)

This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), under licence from the Engineering Council, as:

  • fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng); and
  • partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). A programme of accredited further learning is required to complete the educational base for CEng.

See for further information and details of further learning programmes for CEng. The JBM includes the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institution of Highways and Transportation (IHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

Engineering Council logo This accreditation means graduates can progress to become chartered engineers, once further study is completed, and register as professional engineers with the Engineering Council (UK) - the body responsible for regulating the UK's engineering profession.

Download the engineering degree accreditation leaflet (PDF) to find out more about the benefits of studying a degree accredited by the Engineering Council.

Please check the Engineering Council website for more information.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module introduces the fundamental properties of fluids and soils covering the basic conservation equations used in fluid mechanics and the essential aspects of soil mechanics. It also includes the concept of dimensions and the SI units of measurement utilised in science and engineering. There is extensive working in an engineering laboratory, the analysis of test data, using appropriate software, and the production of a succinct laboratory report. 

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • describe basic fluid properties and the fundamental equations of fluid mechanics;
    • describe basic soil properties and the fundamentals of soil mechanics;
    • discuss the role of soil mechanics and site investigation in civil engineering;
    • work safely and effectively in engineering laboratories;
    • analyse laboratory data using software where applicable; and
    • carry out calculations in SI Units and write succinct technical reports.
  • This module aims to provide a thorough background in engineering mathematics and the mathematic skills essential for solving engineering problems. The module introduces the use of computing methods in engineering using MAPLE, MATLAB and Excel. The mathematics comprises algebra, functions, logarithms, trigonometry, calculus, differential equations and vectors.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • formulate equations to resolve engineering problems and solve them using a variety of mathematical and computational methods;
    • apply differential and integral calculus in an engineering context and appreciate practical applications with the use of a suitable computer agebra system;
    • formulate mathematical solutions involving matrix and vector analysis and consider their applications through suitable software such as MATLAB;
    • evaluate statistical data and probability both manually and with the application of computing software such as Excel;
    • solve design problems using geometry and trigonometry; and
    • use, with confidence, appropriate software in the solution of engineering problems.
  • The module covers the fundamentals of structural analysis along with the characteristics and physical properties of a broad range of engineering materials. Material test methods will be used to determine the deformations and failure of the various engineering materials.  A selection of materials for civil engineering applications, such as metal, ceramics, polymer and composites will be studied including their impact on the environment. All engineering structures can be modelled mathematically and are subjected to static loading of different types.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • describe the characteristics of a range of engineering materials including metal, ceramics and polymer and outline the material properties, including their carbon footprint;
    • explain the mechanisms of elastic and plastic deformation and their relationship to the microstructure of the material;
    • understand and apply the concept of fracture mechanics as analytical tools of various failure modes including brittle, ductile, fatigue, creep and corrosion;
    • solve determinate structures, truss and beams, using statics and the principles of equilibrium which include solving algebraic equations, and solving first and second order ordinary differential equations analytically;
    • determine section properties for simple structural shapes; and
    • understand and apply qualitative solutions to structural behaviour, and engineer's theory of bending to determine induced stresses within structural components.
  • This module introduces the concept of sustainability and its impact upon civil engineering and construction.  he module incorporates a consideration of the stages of design including demolition, possible reuse, recycling, sustainable materials, techniques and design and construction methods.   In addition, the module introduces the basic principles of land surveying in an engineering design context and provides practical knowledge on using surveying instruments along with computer aided design (CAD).

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • demonstrate an understanding of a range of sustainability agenda and possible solutions when dealing with associated engineering design problems;
    • define sustainable construction principles;
    • recommend a range of sustainable materials, sustainable techniques and technologies;
    • describe the engineering design process from conception to completion through design ideas in writing, AutoCAD engineering drawings and oral presentations;
    • describe principles of land surveying in the context of engineering design project and demonstrate competence in operating basic surveying instruments; and
    • appreciate the professional roles in teamwork within an engineering design project, as well as the interpersonal skills required to work effectively.

Year 2

  • This module develops the analysis and engineering design in hydraulics and geotechnics. The hydraulics section considers natural river courses and conveyance of water through pipelines, culverts and canals. The geotechnics section concentrates on engineering geology, emphasising the influence of subsurface conditions on civil engineering design and construction, as well as the principles of effective stress and shear strength and their use in design.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • analyse and design simple pipelines including pipes, valves, pumps and turbines;
    • analyse open channel flows and seepage flows employing fundamental laws and empirical equations, charts and tables;
    • describe the structure of the earth, the formation of rocks and soils, as well as geological and geomorphological concepts and their engineering implications;
    • evaluate the theories of effective stress, shear strength and consolidation including their application to geotechnical design;
    • analyse stresses in the ground due to applied loads and stress-strain relationships for soils; and
    • recognise the environmental and health and safety aspects of hydraulic and geotechnical engineering in construction.
  • This module builds on the basic surveying introduced in Level 4 (Year 1). This module covers the instrumentation and observation principles of modern engineering surveying, and develops theoretical understanding and relevant mathematical expertise as well as practical skills. The operating principles of surveying equipment (including GNSS/GPS), supported by practical exercises including a residential field course. Mathematically advanced themes looking at error analysis and geometric design is included.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • explain the principles and procedures of undertaking control, detail, setting-out and levelling surveys, including relevant measurements and quality checks;
    • calculate spatial data from field survey measurements accurately and with a full appreciation of their significance;
    • carry out partial differentiation and use in the determination of errors and uncertainties;
    • demonstrate an understanding of GPS and its use in engineering surveying;
    • design road curves and earthworks and know how to set them out;
    • identify and assess the risks of, and appropriate safety measures for, undertaking a site or engineering survey.
  • This module expands on the methodologies and techniques of structural design at a fundamental level in steel, concrete, masonry and timber and develops the student's ability to produce competent and professional structural designs. The consideration of a variety of construction materials, including sustainability issues will help to further develop the knowledge and understanding of material behaviour; an essential component of civil engineering projects.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • apply the unit load, flexibility and moment distribution methods to analyse trusses, beams and simple non-sway frames, including the solution of algebraic equations;
    • check the main code provisions for the design of simple beams and columns in steel and concrete for ULS and SLS;
    • apply the main code checks related to timber beams and trusses and masonry walls and piers subjected to vertical loading;
    • specify and ensure the compliance of civil engineering materials for appropriate structural applications, assessing their sustainability issues; and
    • identify the various compliance of BS/EN provisions for materials testing, manufacturing and classification.
  • This module includes principles and commercial practices for the management of engineering projects and related wider business operations. The nature of project engineering and business management is considered in the context of quality, time, risk and sustainability. The module is contextualised for civil engineering and construction professionals to promote and broaden knowledge of how companies and organisations work in the project and business environment. This module continues effective team working as well as developing interpersonal skills.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • apply project and business management techniques to simple projects, including the use of appropriate software, in the context of wider business operations, sustainability and ethics;
    • use quality management techniques, including the application of statistical techniques;
    • describe basic legal and risk principles applicable to civil engineering and construction situations, including health and safety;
    • describe theory and practice underpinning the management of human resources and business;
    • develop the teamwork roles as well as the interpersonal skills required to work effectively in groups or independently.

Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • This module progresses the analysis and engineering design in hydraulics and geotechnics. The hydraulics section focuses on the hydraulic design and analysis of civil and environmental works related to water supply, drainage and hydroelectricity. The geotechnical engineering section concentrates on analysis and design of foundations, retaining walls and slopes, including the application of Eurocode 7, in addition to further  industry-standard computing software.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • design coastal protection works, appreciating the need for sustainable solutions and the potential for marine renewable energy;
    • analyse problems of unsteady flow in pressurised systems and provide an outline design of surge suppression methods;
    • derive and solve mathematical models and use physical models in hydraulic and geotechnical engineering;
    • apply hydrological and geotechnical methods to dam engineering, including safety;
    • analyse and design foundations, earthworks and retaining walls using Eurocode 7 principles; and
    • evaluate risk, safety and sustainability issues in the design of hydraulic and geotechnical engineering works.
  • This module broadens the knowledge and perspective on the infrastructure that underpins a developed society and the role of the civil engineer in its design, construction, maintenance and management. There will be emphasis on sustainable solutions considering the influencing environmental, economic, social and political factors. A global perspective will be introduced by considering case studies throughout the world and discussing the different factors that influence the infrastructure.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • evaluate risk, safety and sustainability issues in the planning, management, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure in the UK and globally.
    • assess the demand for potable water and the various methods of water treatment and supply and wastewater collection and treatment.
    • debate, based on case studies, Government policy on the provision and management of integrated transport systems.
    • model and design highway junctions and alignment based on current standards and computer software.
    • identify problems of environmental pollution and evaluate the methods of alleviation; and
    • investigate the opportunities for employment in the main organisations undertaking planning, management, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • This module covers methodologies and techniques building upon the knowledge of the structural design of steel, concrete and timber structures at an advanced level. You will be able to produce competent and professional structural designs that will be utilised in a group project; enabling students to develop an interest  and awareness of the scope and nature of structural engineering within the design process and to encourage creativity. Development of team-working skills, structural design technical skills, academic and communications skills to increase awareness of the role of the structural/civil engineer in design and construction issues.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • obtain solutions to portal frame problems via moment distribution and stiffness methods using matrix algebra and apply standard computer software for analysis and design solutions;
    • design reinforced and prestressed concrete elements including continuous structures using EC2;
    • check EC3 compliance of steel members subjected to lateral torsional buckling effects and members subjected simultaneously to axial force and bending moment;
    • design timber elements subjected to normal loading conditions in accordance with EC5;
    • identify solutions to structural engineering problems focusing on sustainable options and new technologies, in addition to the wider issues that influence the design process on different stages including conceptual design stage.
  • The module incorporates an individual project giving you the opportunity to explore a subject of your choice in their respective field; to initiate, design and execute a small-scale research project under supervision. The work in the project will draw upon material from all modules previously or currently taught and provide a culmination to your degree. The module allows you to work independently, study a topic in depth, review, interpret and analyse information, as well as develop research techniques to collect and analyse data.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • formulate a valid and topical research proposal relevant to their field of endeavour;
    • demonstrate, through the execution of their research project, that they can  design and manage a small-scale research project competently;
    • collect and/or retrieve datasets competently with intelligence and rigour;
    • analyse datasets in a defensible manner showing understanding of research strategy and methodologies;
    • conduct critical analysis and evaluation, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods in order to draw independent conclusions; and
    • demonstrate an appropriate standard of literacy, scholarly writing and visual and oral presentation throughout showing a professional and ethical approach to research.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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