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Civil Engineering Courses in the UK

Several of the UK’s state-of-the-art universities offer civil engineering courses through their most reputable schools of science, engineering and technology. Studying civil engineering in the UK is ideal for students who wish to experience world-class education in some of the best universities in the world.

Introduction To Studying Civil Engineering in the UK

Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines in history and involves the planning, design, construction, development and maintenance of man-made infrastructures that are essential to the community. This includes the creation of highways, tunnels, buildings, canals, bridges, railways, dams, transport, pipeline systems etc. Modern living constantly requires civil engineers to create and transform the world we live in. Civil engineering has now garnered attention for its vital role in fields like public and environmental health, sustainable building, green constructions and smart infrastructure.

In the UK there are more than 50 top-ranked universities that offer Civil Engineering courses to national and international students, spread across England, Scotland and Wales, through their schools of science, engineering and technology. Among these the top 5 high-ranking universities that offer Civil Engineering are the University of Cambridge, University of Glasgow, University of Bath, Imperial College London and University of Southampton (UK University Times Subject Ranking 2020). All of them have dedicated and supportive programs for international students. International students who wish to experience world-class education, can compare the facilities and programs to choose a school that best suits their requirements. If you wish to study Civil Engineering in a world-class University with the access to the best teaching faculty, then a UK University offers not just this but also access to amazing campus life, state of the art laboratories and post study work opportunities.

Why choose a course in Civil Engineering?

A discipline that is constantly impacted by the rapid advancement of technology, civil engineering is a field that necessitates continuous updating and innovation. Newer technologies like robotics, AI, 3D printing, big data, smart cities etc. influence the future of civil engineering, which gives this profession great scope, today and in the years to come.

A career in civil engineering is intellectually challenging, lucrative and appeals to the innovative, creative and diligent mind. Civil engineers get opportunities to work on major construction projects and town planning that change the face of society. The Civil engineering courses in the UK, trains students through theory, practical, internships and coursework projects, to build a scientifically sound knowledge base and understand the inner workings of the civil engineering industry.

UK institutes have tie-ups with engineering companies or related industries that employ civil engineers to provide students with practical internship and project opportunities. The duration of the undergraduate course is generally 4 years in the UK. It equips the student with the knowledge and practical training through internships and projects, to make them capable of becoming competent future civil engineers. They also have excellent placement and career counselling cells for fresh graduates and postgraduates.

What will you learn on a Civil Engineering course in the UK ?

The civil engineering course may differ according to how a student selects their specialisations, majors, minors and electives. These play a comparatively significant role in postgraduate and advanced courses. Universities like the University of Cambridge, also offer integrated BA (Hons) plus MEng four year programs that lead to a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, combined.

Undergraduate courses in Civil engineering include BEng (Bachelors in Engineering) and BEng Honours in various disciplines, such as Civil Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering with Project Management, BSc in Construction Project Management etc. Undergraduate programmes prepare the student with the fundamentals of construction engineering, survey, land and town planning, material analysis, building technology, structural design, architecture and other subjects. These courses include extensive theory, practical and professional training focusing on developing a student’s knowledge base, scientific acumen and essential skills.

Specialisation includes advanced courses; mainly the postgraduate MSc (Masters of Science) in Civil Engineering; equivalent to the MS (Masters of Science-Civil) of USA or MTech /ME of India. These allow postgraduate students to develop in-depth knowledge of their field and gain specialization in a sub-discipline of civil engineering. The MSc Structural Engineering, MSc Construction Project Management, MSc Environmental Engineering and Project Management are also popular postgraduate courses.

PhD, MPhil, Diploma, short certificate or special programs are also offered by institutions in the UK for advancement of knowledge, research and advanced specialization.

Career options after studying Civil Engineering in the UK

A civil engineer has a wide and interesting array of career paths to choose from, given the vast scope of this field of engineering, added with the impact of modern technology. Fresh graduates and postgraduates may begin their careers with internships or on-the-job training as assistant or junior project engineers.

The major industries that employ civil engineers are construction companies where your role would be designing buildings and infrastructure. Geotechnical engineers investigate rock, soil and land constituents. Structural engineers work on designing the apt building materials like concrete and steel and design a building to withstand winds, earthquakes and other forces of nature.

A novel arena in construction and real estate development is innovative technology like 3D building, robotics, self-healing concrete, drone technology, BIM (Building Information Modelling, etc. These specialized civil engineers are in much demand.

Another major industry is the public works departments. Some of these roles include rural and urban transport engineers who design roadways that connect cities and towns, and water resource engineers who play an important role in constructing waterways for irrigation or drainage pathways.

An upcoming career field is eco-planning and smart city engineering which involves the use of modern technology to create futuristic ‘smart’ automated buildings, which are also sustainable. This is also called ‘Green Building’.

Management is another allied career for civil engineers and often requires an additional degree. Such candidates hold administrative roles in construction and engineering management.

Other career opportunities include professions like architect, scientist, research professional and educator. As a research professional you can investigate, develop and invent new paths in engineering and construction technology.

No matter which specialized profession a civil engineer chooses to pursue, they become an integral part of society by building the smart cities of tomorrow.

Job Options

  • project engineers
  • civil engineers
  • site engineers
  • rural and urban transport engineers
  • structural engineer
  • water engineer
  • building control surveyors
  • town planning
  • smart city engineers

Other career opportunities include professions like

  • Architect
  • Scientist
  • research professional
  • academician
  • professors

Additionally, completing short term management courses may help a graduate to pursue Construction and Engineering Management as well.

Entry Requirements for Civil Engineering in the UK
International Baccalaureate requirements: 35 points
A-levels requirements: AAB
IELTS requirements: 7.0 overall, with no lower than 6.5 in any one component
*Please note that Entry Requirements vary for each university.
English Language Requirement: IELTS is not essential for some Universities in the UK, English language scores secured in the Higher Secondary (in your country) are accepted by select institutions. English Language classes, delivered by the British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, are available at specific Universities for both before and throughout the program for international students. Speak to us to find out more about English Language requirements, we can guide you to get admission to Universities where IELTS is not mandatory.

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How Global Study Link can help you get placed for a Civil Engineering course at a UK University?

If you are keen to pursue a course in Civil Engineering in the United Kingdom, contact our education consultant now. Global Study Link has an excellent record in helping international students get placed at some of the leading UK Universities. Our UK course advisors will assist you with scholarship advice, English Language requirement, visa application and so on. If you are planning to pursue your studies in Civil Engineering in the UK, speak to one of our advisors right away for prompt and impartial advice!


These are some of the leading UK Universities offering Civil Engineering courses. At Global Study Link, we can help you get placed not just at these institutes but across a wide range of Universities in the UK. Contact our education advisors now if you wish to know more about a University not listed above.

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