School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Do you dream of building a suspension bridge or designing earthquake-proof buildings that save lives? Civil engineers imagine, design and create structures and the technical approaches necessary for realising large-scale projects that provide shelter, clean water, sanitation, transportation, energy security and safety from natural hazards. Our engineering students are taught by enthusiastic academic staff who use live site visits and laboratory work to reinforce your academic learning.

Apply to the Tamar Engineering Project

Open for applications to ambitious students who want to embark on a career in engineering and who have shown potential for high academic achievement at A level, but whose background or personal circumstances may be a barrier to university study. Successful applicants will receive:
  • £3,000 per annum towards living costs for the duration of the taught element of their degree (usually three years)
  • £1,500 fee waiver per annum
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.

Applications close 30 June 2024

Key features

  • Start your professional career from day one with a course accredited by the (ICE), (IStructE), (IHE), and . Our BEng (Hons) is accredited by our professional institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a (CEng). You'll qualify for graduate membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Institution of Structural Engineers.
  • Immerse yourself in the real world of civil engineering through site visits, field trips and visiting lectures from leading Chartered Civil Engineers working on major projects.
  • Benefit from our £19 million Marine Building, which offers you opportunities to learn water engineering and coastal engineering. We offer major options in structural engineering and water management to equip you to specialise in design and flood risk management.
  • Explore our new engineering and design facility, which will benefit students in engineering, science and the arts alike. This new building houses a range of specialist equipment and innovative laboratories built to enhance your learning and experience here in Plymouth.
  • Learn from our teaching staff of professionally qualified experts with relevant experience from the civil engineering industry and researchers with national and international reputations.
  • Get ahead in your career by spending an optional placement year working as a paid student engineer, a great opportunity to further your knowledge and make important industry contacts.
  • Learn a host of design skills from problem solving to sustainable development, as well as developing the critical thinking that plays a key role in the work of a civil engineer, including interpreting and analysing data.
  • Develop your professional skills including communication, self-management, team working and leadership, all vital in pursuing a rewarding career.
  • Increase your employability by taking an extra-curricular HSE-recognised diving qualification (subject to availability).
  • Study core subjects include engineering surveying, geotechnics, hydraulics, management, materials, and structural analysis.
  • Join our extensive network of Chartered Civil Engineer graduates from the University of Plymouth who now work at all levels in the industry both nationally and internationally.
  • Progress onto the MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering at the end of the second year, subject to achieving the required level of academic performance on the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering.
  • Our academic staff are keen to support and educate you with the skills and knowledge highly sought after by employers of our Plymouth Civil Engineering graduates.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • In the first year of your civil engineering course you will study alongside other engineering students to learn about the fundamental principles that underpin technical subjects which are studied throughout the course. You will develop your mathematical skills and study engineering materials, structural mechanics and fluid mechanics. You will learn about generic design and computer-aided design, and work in a team to undertake a real-world design challenge. Laboratory sessions will form an important part of your learning.

    Core modules

    • Stage 1 Civils Placement Preparation (BPIE114)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Engineering Science (ENGR103)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental scientific principles of fluid mechanics appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications; the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics relating to the interaction between systems and their surroundings, including both flow and non-flow processes, heat engines, and mechanisms of heat transfer; and the fundamental principles of electrical engineering.

    • Engineering Mathematics (ENGR104)

      This module provides students with a number of fundamental mathematical skills, and techniques, which are essential for the analysis of engineering problems.

    • Mechanics and Structures (ENGR105)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental scientific principles of engineering mechanics and structures appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications. Deeper understanding of these scientific principles will be developed through practical applications using hand calculations and computer software tools as appropriate.

    • Engineering Materials (ENGR106)

      This module introduces students to a broad range of engineering materials appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications. The module will consider the relationship between structure, manufacture and properties, presenting practical applications wherever appropriate. Students will also be introduced to standard material test methods.

    • Engineering Design (ENGR107)

      This module introduces students to engineering design practice appropriate to civil, marine and mechanical engineering disciplines. Students will develop sketching and technical drawing skills and use computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create digital models of technical systems. Working in a team, students will be tasked to create sustainable solutions to real-world technical design challenges.

    • Engineering Practice and Experimental Techniques (ENGR108)

      The experimental basis of this module allows students develop their engineering science knowledge and practical skills using a student-centred, laboratory-based approach to learning. The module will help students develop good quality study skills, teamwork, and competency in technical communication.

  • Year 2

  • The second year introduces core civil engineering disciplines that comprise structural analysis and design, geotechnics and fluid dynamics. These subjects are explored in lectures, through practical activities, and field trips. You will develop essential and professional transferable skills and tools for the management of projects. At this point of the course, it is still possible to swap between our ‘civil’ and ‘civil and coastal’ engineering degrees.

    Core modules

    • Stage 2 Civils Placement Preparation (BPIE214)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Civil Engineering Practice (CIVL201)

      This module develops understanding of construction materials and site surveying through lectures and practical work. Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills for Civil Engineers are developed through practical laboratory work. The module provides the opportunity to engage in a range of laboratory work relating to structures, geotechnics and hydraulics.

    • Geotechnical Engineering 1 (GEEN200)

      This module introduces Geology, and the properties/ behaviour of soil as relevant to Civil Engineering projects. The concepts of groundwater flow and consolidation are considered, with associated calculations. Methods of analysis for estimation of stability and deformation when the ground is loaded are also introduced.

    • Hydraulic and Coastal Engineering (HYFM200)

      This module develops hydraulic engineering concepts introduced in the first year, and introduces hydrodynamic concepts required for coastal engineering. Hydraulic engineering material includes predicting flow in pipes and open channels. Coastal engineering topics include study of waves and tides, and their application to coastal engineering. Learning is supported by laboratory work and a site visit.

    • Engineering Analysis (MATH200)

      This module builds upon the stage one engineering mathematics module, by introducing students to more advanced mathematical ideas, statistical techniques and numerical methods. The methods and techniques studied are used to solve relevant civil engineering applications, with some emphasis on interpreting the results obtained. Industrially recognised software packages are also used where appropriate.

    • Structural Analysis and Design 1 (STAD200)

      This module extends the theoretical base established by the Stage 1 Mechanics and Structures module. It is intended to combine the basic principles of analysis with design to develop an integrated approach to solving problems in Structural Engineering. The module is supported by the use of computer software and laboratory work.

    • Construction Management (MGMT224)

      In this module students will develop an understanding of responsible professional engineering practice, by critically analysing commercial and professional aspects of construction management and project planning systems.

  • Optional placement year

  • By taking the opportunity to spend an optional year in paid employment whilst still a student civil engineer, you will obtain recordable professional experience, build a network of industry contacts and often obtain offers of summer work, sponsorship or employment on graduation. Our placements team will support you in finding a placement, and we have an extensive network of employers across all sectors.

    Optional modules

    • Civil Engineering Related Placement (Generic) (BPIE340)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study. Help to prepare the student for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year

  • You will deepen your understanding of the core technical subjects in civil engineering with a particular focus on designing infrastructure solutions. You will immerse yourself in the execution of your individual project throughout the year. This project will focus on a research question or a practical issue relevant to a civil engineering topic of your choosing under the supervision of an academic member of staff. This might involve the use of laboratory facilities, modelling and analysis software.

    Core modules

    • Geotechnical Engineering 2 (GEEN314)

      This module considers the application of Soil Mechanics to analysis and design of a range of common Civil Engineering structures. This includes shallow and deep foundations, retaining structures, and slope stability.

    • Water Engineering (HYFM300)

      This module develops hydraulic engineering concepts introduced in the first and second year, and combines them with elements of water engineering and management. The main areas covered are urban drainage, flood management, water resources, and river/channel engineering. Learning is supported by laboratory work and a field trip.

    • Structural Analysis and Design 2 (STAD300)

      This module focuses on the analyses and design of whole structures, i.e. multi-storey buildings. It includes computer modelling and analysis, and methods of the validation of the obtained results using approximate analysis.

    • Structural Engineering Design (STAD315)

      This module introduces students to standard industry design practices and builds on their previous knowledge by introducing them to bridges and complex low rise / multi storey building structures. The module provides students with the opportunity to develop their conceptual design skills and adopt a holistic approach to structure design by considering the "whole" as well as the individual elements.

    • Individual Project (PRCE312)

      The individual project allows the student to research an approved topic of interest related to civil or coastal engineering. Guided by an academic supervisor, the student independently conducts an investigation comprising theoretical development, experimental/computational and analytical work.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BEng Civil Engineering Programme Specification September 2024 0118

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

A level: A typical offer will be 112 points with a minimum of 2 A levels, to include a C in A level Maths plus studying second Science/Technology subject: Applied ICT, Applied Science, Applied Science (DA), Biology, Chemistry, Computing/Computer Science, DT (Product Design Resistant Materials), DT (Systems and Control Tech) DT Product Design (Textiles Tech), Electronics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Further Maths/Use of, Statistics, Music Technology, Physics, Technology and Design. Excluding General Studies.
BTEC National Extended Diploma in Engineering: DDD to include all mathematics units with Distinction. Level 3 Engineering Principles (Mandatory Module), Level 3 Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems (Mandatory Module) and Level 3 Further Engineering Mathematics (Optional Module).
Or, where A or AS level mathematics has been achieved: DMM to include all mathematics units with Merit. (Core Maths not accepted).
New Diploma RQF: DDD, to include distinctions in level 3 engineering principles, calculus to solve engineering problems and further engineering mathematics.
12 unit QCF Diploma/RQF National – is considered alongside A/AS level mathematics.
International Baccalaureate: 28-32 overall to include 4 at Higher Level Maths, plus studying a second relevant subject. (Standard Level Maths is not acceptable instead of Higher Level). GCSE Maths and English equivalent: Higher Level grade 4, Standard Level grade 5. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each element.
Access to HE Diploma in Engineering: Pass Access in Engineering/Maths with 45 credits at level 3 to include 21 credits in Maths with Distinction plus a further 12 credits in a second relevant subject at Merit or above.
Access to HE Diploma (other): Pass other relevant Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits at Merit or above. Must include 21 credits in level 3 maths with Distinction and 15 credits in physics with Merit or above.
Other non-A level qualifications also considered, please enquire.
Students may also apply for the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering with Foundation Year. Successful completion of the foundation year enables progression to the first year of one of our civil engineering degrees.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.
Please note: We understand that many applicants remain anxious about meeting the exact terms of our standard conditional offers. We will look again at your application and revise our offer for those applicants who we continue to believe are a good match to our courses, once we have the certainty of your actual results in August.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £18,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the .
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.
Find out more at UPIC or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

Babbage Building: where engineering meets design

"The building provides a state-of-the-art setting to inspire the engineers and designers of tomorrow, making it the ultimate place to bring together students, academics and industry in an environment that not only benefits them but also society as a whole." – Professor Deborah Greaves OBE
Situated on the western edge of our city centre campus, the landmark new facility is home to the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and offers additional space for the School of Art, Design and Architecture.
New Engineering and Design Facility
COAST Laboratory, Marine Building

Facilities and resources

From dedicated computer laboratories to a wealth of electronic information, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.
Our facilities include our £19 million Marine Building and dedicated engineering laboratories equipped with industry standard software.

Work placements

Harriette Scowen – MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduate

"I was encouraged to take the industrial placement year...Now here I am, four years later as a graduate with a First Class MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree."
After her industrial placement with AECOM, Harriette was offered sponsorship and a full-time graduate position after the completion of her studies.
Harriette Scowen

Award-winning student: Matthew Lees

Matthew Lees, final-year BEng Civil and Coastal Engineering student, received the SW Industrial Placement Award in October 2020 for his placement year work with Jackson Civil Engineering. The award was presented by the local Chair of CECA, Dave Ellis, who is also a graduate of the Civil Engineering programmes at the University and who now runs a successful civil engineering contracting company called Bridge Civil Engineering in Newton Abbot (Devon). The event was organised and sponsored by Paul Santer, the Regional Director of CECA SW. Many thanks to CECA and congratulations to Matt for his hard work on placement, for writing an excellent report, and for winning this award.

Connecting with industry

Getty image engineering

Think about your future

A career in civil engineering can take many paths. We’ll give you the advice you need to take the direction you want, helping you to bridge the gap from graduation to employment, and take the first step towards your rewarding career.

With many of our graduates employed in a professional or managerial role six months after graduation, the connections we provide are meaningful and will have a direct impact on your employability.

We’re an employment-focused course: preparing you for your chosen career is our priority. Developing the next generation of chartered civil engineers means providing you with opportunities to connect and engage with the industry, from site visits and guest speakers to work placements.

Our graduates are employed in a wide variety of roles and disciplines across both he public and private sectors, here in the UK and overseas. Possible career paths include:

  • bridge engineering
  • highway engineering
  • water and waste engineering
  • flood engineering
  • nuclear engineering
  • geotechnical engineering.

What’s the difference between MEng and BEng?

MEng (Hons): Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
BEng (Hons): Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Civil Engineering Students on site visit to the new engineering and design facility project (NEDF). The new Babbage building is being built by BAM Construct UK.

University features in film celebrating Plymouth’s engineering prowess

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) presents Engineering Plymouth. A film celebrating how civil engineers have helped to shape Plymouth over the last 500 years. The film tells the story of Plymouth through its engineering milestones. From laying the foundations for a new town to the introduction of the Great Western Railway and the impressive Royal Albert Bridge. Through the Blitz bombs and on towards new horizons – Robotics, artificial intelligence and the use of drone technology – we see how engineers are tackling problems and safeguarding the future for generations to come.

People

Meet our school technical staff

Our technical staff are integral to the delivery of all our programmes and bring a diverse range of expertise and skills to support students in laboratories and workshops.
athena swan bronze

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.
*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on is updated annually in September.