School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Do you want to design large structures or be involved in projects that have great benefit to societies around the world? This accredited 4 year MEng course provides all the further learning required for you to proceed towards becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer. Our Plymouth Civil Engineers imagine, design and create the structures and technical approaches that provide shelter, clean water, sanitation, transportation, energy security and protection from natural hazards.

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

Opportunities available...

  • A scholarship scheme is available: for more information, see the 'Fees, costs and funding' section, below.

Key features

  • Four year integrated masters programmes .
  • Start your professional career from day one with a course accredited by the (ICE) and (IStructE), (IHE), and . As a student member, you’ll join a network of over 80,000 members worldwide, as well as having the opportunity to get involved in our active local branches. Our MEng (Hons) degree is accredited by the as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
  • 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 flood modelling to equip you to specialise in design and flood risk management.
  • Students in engineering, science and the arts have access to a range of specialist equipment and innovative laboratories in our new engineering and design facility.
  • 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. You can further boost your professional development by attending specialist seminars and talks.
  • 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 including engineering surveying, geotechnics, hydraulics, management, materials, and structural analysis.
  • Join our extensive network of Chartered Civil Engineer graduates from the University of Plymouth and now work at all levels in the industry both nationally and internationally.
  • We can also offer you a mentor drawn from our network of engineering professionals.
  • The final year develops your advanced understanding of core civil engineering disciplines and finishes with an integrating design project.

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.

  • Year 4

  • 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.

  • Final year

  • In this final year of the MEng programme you will build upon and integrate your earlier learning. You will develop advanced understanding of structural engineering, hydraulics and geotechnics and learn about computational approaches for the analysis of structures and foundations. As a masters student you will sharpen your project management skills. The year finishes with the completion of an integrated design project that demonstrates your design, presentation and group working skills.

    Core modules

    • Finite Element Modelling and Analysis (CIVL500)

      This module will develop fundamental understanding of the finite element analysis (FEA), further extend the knowledge of using FEA tools, and implement their applications in analysing complex practical engineering problems.

    • Project Management and Professional Practice (ENBS542)

      This module combines the examination of project management process and practice together with the essential requirements of both operating as a professional, and operating in, a professional environment. The module focuses on embedding knowledge and understanding issues faced by modern construction professionals in delivering construction projects in a professional and ethical manner.

    • Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (GEEN502)

      This module builds on understanding and modelling of advanced fundamental soil behaviour. It also considers application to more advanced Civil Engineering design scenarios.

    • Advanced Hydraulic Engineering (HYFM501)

      This module investigates the hydraulic engineering factors influencing the computational modelling and management of riverine flood risk. It appraises the relative merits of techniques used in civil engineering practice for flood modelling and for flood risk management, with an emphasis on reliability assessment. The module is supported by the use of computer software and laboratory work.

    • Interdisciplinary Design Project (PRCE508)

      The module introduces the learner to working on a 'real world' interdisciplinary design project comprising the integration of a number of interlinked design challenges relating to core elements of their Civil and Civil and Coastal Engineering studies. The work will be undertaken in managed teams. The project scope will range from design concept through to construction.

    • Advanced Structural Engineering (STAD506)

      This module provides a deeper understanding of complex structural analysis techniques and training to students in applying advanced structural analysis methods to real structures. The topics include the analysis of frames, deep beams and curved beams, the dynamics of structures to wind and seismic loadings, the torsion of beams with box sections, and the design of structures under complicated loading conditions.

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:

MEng Civil Engineering Programme Specification September 2024 2223

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

120 - 136

A level: Typical offer will be 128 points, minimum of 2 A levels including a B in A level Maths plus studying second relevant 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 QCF Level 3 or RQF Extended Diploma in Engineering (equivalent to 3 GCE A levels): BTEC accepted in combination with an A level. BTEC DDD (to include all Maths units with Distinction) plus Grade C in A level Maths (Core Maths not accepted).
International Baccalaureate: 30-32 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Maths and a second relevant subject
All Access courses:not accepted for MEng, unless the applicant has additional qualifications or experience. Please refer to our BEng course pages and contact a member of the Undergraduate Admission team on +44 1752 585858 / admissions@plymouth.ac.uk
Other non-A level qualifications also considered, please enquire
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.

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

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

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.

Connecting with industry

Connecting with the industry

As a course focused on employability, we’ve developed a number of relationships with the industry to help provide you with the connections and opportunities you’ll need to begin your career.
We work closely with industry experts, organisations and awards to enhance your employability.
Getty image engineering
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.

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.

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.

Elliot Tam, MEng and BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduate

"I found that my masters year had the most bearing on my career plans, as I was properly introduced to 3D modelling, which is now a large part of my job."
After gaining some industry experience, Elliot returned to Plymouth to work as an engineer technician for a large consultancy company.
Elliot Tam MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Engineering a sustainable future

Conner Kearey, MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering student
I am studying civil engineering to have an impact on the built environment and to help the life of societies. I want to see a world where humans manage to reuse or recycle the majority of our waste and remove our reliance on single-use products.
Plymouth’s teaching is tailored to industry needs. The range of facilities and industry links were huge reasons to come here.
Conner Kearey, Plymouth Pioneers

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.

Louise Hetherington – student profile

"As well as learning the academic side of the course, it has also taught me how to work in a team. I have also had the opportunity to take leadership of a team: all vital skills when going out into the workplace."
Louise Hetherington
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.

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.
*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on is updated annually in September.