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Civil Engineering BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time H202 2017
4 years full time including sandwich year H205 2017
4 years full time including foundation year H208 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

This BSc(Hons) route leads to incorporated engineer status with the Institution of Civil Engineers or the Institution of Structural Engineers. It enables you to progress to become an incorporated civil or structural engineer dealing with the practical aspects of translating a design into reality through drawings, schedules, materials selection and control of the work on site.

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

What you will study

Year 1 enables you to develop your skills in engineering science, mathematics, computing, engineering drawing (including AutoCAD), fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, structures, materials and sustainable construction and design. There is an emphasis on practical work, including surveying, model-making and computer-aided design packages.

Year 2 comprises practical-focused studies covering specific civil engineering subjects such as hydraulics, geotechnics, structures, construction materials and site surveying. You will also gain a thorough grounding in project and business management. Two residential field courses, in engineering surveying and geotechnical engineering, are also taken in this year.

Year 3 broadens your understanding of building and environmental engineering and civil engineering design. You will also study the development, design and construction of sustainable infrastructure, focusing on water engineering, transport, highway and the energy sector, and with an emphasis on graduate employment  opportunities. You will carry out an individual project and take part in a major group design exercise with fellow students. 

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

Accreditation for this course: BSc(Hons) Accredited IEng (Full)

Accredited IEng degree (Full): The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), under licence from the Engineering Council, and leads to incorporated engineer (IEng) status.

See for further information and details of further learning programmes for IEng.

Engineering Council logoThe 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). This accreditation means that our graduates can go on to become incorporated engineers and register as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council (UK) - the body responsible for regulating the engineering profession within the UK. It is possible to proceed to chartered engineer status later in your career.

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.

The final year top-up programme delivered at our partner institutions is not currently accredited by the JBM.

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 deals with mathematics and computing which is instrumental in modern technology and engineering. The module covers the use of analytical/numerical methods, logic and algorithms in computer programming, modelling and visualisation.  he mathematics section of the module deals with the fundamentals and application of algebra, logarithms, trigonometry, calculus and vectors in engineering problems. The computing section includes such packages as spreadsheets, MATLAB tools and project management software applications.

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

    • Apply arithmetic and algebraic skills in solving typical problems in engineering mechanics.
    • Adopt manipulative skills to problems related to inverse functions, logarithms and exponential functions.
    • Derive analytical and numerical solutions for problems in trigonometry, differentiation, integration and vector algebra.
    • Use of packages such as MATLAB for solving typical problems in civil engineering.
    • Develop spreadsheets to carry out a variety of numerical calculations and graph plotting.
    • Use industry standard software for project planning and management.
  • This module introduces the fundamentals of engineering materials and structural mechanics. The characteristic and physical properties of a broad range of engineering materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and composites will be covered. Materials test methods and the selection of materials for civil engineering applications will be studied including their impact on the environment. You will use mathematical modelling to study determinate structures using the principles of structural mechanics as all engineering structures are subjected to static loading of different types. Analysis of structural components and solving of engineering problems will be developed with basic theoretical skills that are necessary to understand the behaviour of structures and structural systems.

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

    • describe the characteristics of a range of engineering materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers and their behaviour under elastic and plastic deformation;
    • test the physical and mechanical properties of various types of engineering materials and explain the mechanisms of elastic and plastic deformation;
    • solve determinate structures using static analysis and the principles of equilibrium;
    • determine section properties for simple structural shapes; and
    • calculate the developed internal forces and moments in structures and stresses as a result of externally applied loads.
  • 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 deals the utilisation of hydraulics and geotechnics where there are problems involving groundwater flow and pore pressure effects on soil shear strength, consolidation and compaction. The hydraulics section covers the mechanics of the flow of water through pipelines, natural and man-made channels and the analysis and design of dam and coastal engineering structures. The geotechnics section deals with the application of engineering geology, geomorphology and soil mechanics theories in geotechnical design and risk assessment. Soil properties, effective stress theory, bearing capacity and consolidation principles are considered in relation to geotechnical analysis. A residential field course is included.

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

    • analyse simple pipelines, valves, pumps, turbines, open channel flows and seepage flows;
    • design and analyse basic dam and coastal engineering structures;
    • describe geological and geomorphological processes and their influence on the engineering behaviour of soils and rocks;
    • evaluate soil properties and apply shear strength theories to geotechnical problems;
    • assess the behaviour of slopes, retaining walls and foundations with respect to stability and deformation under loading;and
    • recognise the environmental and health and safety aspects of hydraulic engineering as well as assess geotechnical risk in construction works.
  • This module covers surveying, a fundamental skill expected of any construction professional.  The module deals with the instrumentation and observation principles of modern engineering surveying and develops the practical and computational skills appropriate for the undertaking of site surveys. The operating principles of surveying equipment (including GNSS/GPS) are also introduced along with a range of related themes such as the planning and subsequent reporting of site surveys. A residential field course is included.

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

    • undertake control, detail, setting-out and levelling surveys using standard equipment including GPS;
    • calculate spatial data from field survey measurements accurately and with a full understanding of what they represent;
    • prepare and present survey data and supporting documentation in a clear and professional manner;
    • know how to locate a project with reference to national and local coordinate systems and benchmarks and understand the inherent errors and uncertainties;
    • use (design and interpret) maps, plans and original survey data to communicate spatial information for use in design or construction; and
    • undertake a risk assessment and hazard analysis for a project site to be surveyed.
  • This module develops knowledge of the behaviour of construction materials, as well as taking into account sustainability issues. The design of structures is considered from a conceptual viewpoint. In addition, the module deals with the principles of structural behaviour and the means by which this behaviour may be quantified. The use of construction materials, focussing on concrete technology whilst providing an understanding of the sustainability and environmental issues in the broadest sense. In addition the design process will be covered.

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

    • Investigate and recommend the use of various civil engineering materials as per appropriate BS/EN provisions and assess their sustainability issues.
    • Develop an appreciation of concrete technology including mix design, behaviour, performance, practice, casting and testing and sustainability issues.
    • Appreciate by participating in professional roles in teamwork within an engineering design project, communicating ideas relating to conceptual designs in writing, drawings and oral presentations from the conception to completion.
    • Develop an understanding of structural behaviour through its deformed shape and shear force and bending moment diagrams, as well as define the idealisation and approximation to produce a mathematical model of real structural behaviour and use computer software to solve structural problems and check the computer output through approximate methods.
  • 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 encourages you to make use of and develop materials studied in other modules, applying engineering judgement in order to carry out a realistic engineering design. The module includes a group assignment in which you will work together to prepare a design in accordance with the brief provided. The scope and nature of the design process is to encourage creativity, however, taking into account sustainability issues, as well as being aware of the complex and interdisciplinary nature of engineering projects. Aspects of team working, construction method, health and safety, appropriateness of build and economics affect design are taken into consideration.

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

    • Integrate knowledge and skills from different subject areas; use relevant codes of practice and legislation; apply ideas and principles to produce a range of creative solutions; debate their merits and select the optimum solution.
    • Identify solutions to engineering problems focusing on sustainable options and new technologies, in addition to the wider issues that influence the design process.
    • Carry out a designer's risk assessment and prepare designer's information for inclusion in a health and safety plan, in accordance with CDM regulations and other guidance, including undertaking an economic appraisal of the design.
    • Exhibit professional attitudes (eg leadership accountability, commitment and reliability) and produce evidence of having contributed to the work of a team.
    • Demonstrate ideas professionally in writing, sketching, drawing, modelling, video and verbal presentation.
  • 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 aims to provide a detailed appreciation of construction processes and techniques, the design and integration of building and environmental services, the performance requirements of the building envelope, and the integration of these various factors into a cost-effective building design. The benefits of holistic building design and construction that give due consideration to the performance of the building envelope, the design and integration of mechanical and electrical installations to provide internal quality and the management of buildings during the course of their lifecycle.

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

    • Appreciate purpose and use of construction design options.
    • Recommend the appropriate forms of construction associated with industrial, residential or public buildings, using sustainable and environmentally acceptable materials and architectural styles.
    • Demonstrate the importance of the CDM regulations, building regulations, approved documents and planning law and their effect upon building design and development.
    • Describe the requirements of buildings to meet with current environmental standards; explain the concept of sustainability and the move towards zero carbon development.
    • Identify the efficient design of service systems and their influence on the form of buildings.
    • Reveal the benefits of implementing asset management strategies for the client.
  • 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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