Civil Engineering PhD/MPhil

Our research tackles the problems faced by society today and develops the knowledge and tools to build the communities of thefuture. Many of our projects have already hada significant impact on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.

Our research supports core themes of Transport, and Resilience and Sustainability. It benefits from being funded by industry, charities and research councils, which encourages innovative thinking andcreates internationally recognised research. We pride ourselves in offering a stimulating research environment and are always keen to discuss research opportunities with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.

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Ashley Hayden

Ashley Hayden

PhD Civil Engineering

“I decided to study here at the University of Birmingham because the research community here in this department has been second to none. When I came here on the open day nearly two and a half years ago, everyone I spoke to, whether it was a student member or a staff member seemed friendly, easy to get along with. ”

We tackle the problems faced by society today: we aim to develop the knowledge and tools to build the communities of the future. Many of our projects have already had a significant impact on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.

During your pure research degree you will be supported and guided by a supervisor, producing a thesis of original quality, worthy of publication in a learned journal. Our research tackles the problems faced by society today and develops the knowledge and tools to build the communities of the future. Many of our projects have already had a significant impact
on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.

Our research supports core themes of Transport, and Resilience and Sustainability and is clustered into four research groups. See the research tab for further information.

We work closely with industry, charities and research councils to encourage innovative thinking which has an impact on our lives. As a result we are proud of our heritage of internationally-recognised, multidisciplinary research in a stimulating research environment.  

Hear from one of PhD students


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Why study this course

We have extensive laboratories and facilities both on and off our campus for undertaking research in geotechnical engineering, water engineering, wind engineering and structural engineering.

Advanced computer systems are provided for research into numerical modelling of complex systems and issues associated with resilience. The Department has a long tradition of distinguished research that benefits from being funded by industry, charities and research councils. This encourages innovative thinking and creates internationally recognised results.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees 2019/20 academic year:

  • £4,320 UK/EU students, full-time
  • £2,160 UK/EU students, part-time
  • £21,420 International students, full-time

Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD. You will be able to apply for funding for the 2018 to 2019 academic year in summer 2018.

Follow the video link below to find out more
Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

Further information is available at the student finance zone.

Scholarships and studentships

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.

Additional scholarships can be found in the funding database.

Contact the department for further information.

Entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree, or a first degree of a lower classification, along with an MSc/MRes, or evidence of substantial relevant industrial experience. Learn more about entry requirements.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements. Standard English language requirements apply.

How to apply

It is recommended to contact the research theme leader before making any application for PhD study to discuss your project and funding. Thereafter, applications for PhD study can be submitted on-line.

Professor Miles Tight talks about admissions onto reserach degrees in Civil Engineering.

Learn more about applying

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our research tackles the problems faced by society today and develops the knowledge and tools to build the communities of the future. Many of our projects have already had a significant impact on society; the impact of others will be felt by generations to come.

Civil Engineering research programmes are degrees by research alone with a high level of research training, and we are always keen to discuss research opportunities with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our research supports core themes of Transport, and Resilience and Sustainability. These are clustered into four research groups:

  • Environmental Engineering

    This encompasses the key topics of water engineering, geotechnical engineering and urban living. This is all underpinned by the overriding activity of looking for solutions for a sustainable, resilient future, where we effectively use scarce natural resources.

  • Fluid Mechanics

    This research builds on a fundamental understanding of the motion of fluids – water, air, slurries, waves and weather – in order to address a variety of real-world problems. This allows us to study diverse topics such as wind-induced forces on buildings, vehicle aerodynamics, non-Newtonian fluids in water treatment works, and the behaviour of waves on a beach.

  • Structural Engineering
    This discipline is vital to an efficient and effective development built environment. As urban development and global urbanisation take place, the Structural Engineering group has focused its efforts on structural integrity and serviceability, sustainable design, disaster resilience, structural robustness and innovative structural materials. Working collaboratively with colleagues from academia and industry, we have looked at novel structural materials, energy-producing structures, renewable energy structures and zero-CO2.
  • Transport Engineering
    Including road usage, design and asset management, materials, sustainable transport, railway engineering energy, efficiency and risk management, this research theme is broad and encompasses most transport systems.

Spotlight on our research: Tornado research

Related research

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Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

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