What our students say

Two of our students tell us why they decided on Civil Engineering


Duration: 3.49 mins


MH: Mark Hipwell, 3rd year MEng Civil Engineering

PJ: Philippa Jefferis, 3rd year MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience

MH: I decided to pick Civil Engineering because when I was younger my favourite toy was Lego. I really enjoyed it and I wanted to grow up and build the slightly bigger versions and I really enjoy construction and consulting and all that sort of, the work that goes into that, you know, the designing aspect, the drawings, the being on site, all that sort of thing.

PJ : I think I chose to do Civil Engineering because it was a problem solving kind of subject and I'd taken Maths and Physics at A-level and I really enjoyed the applied aspects of the Maths in the Physics. So when I came to look at degree subjects it was the perfect solution really. Engineering allows you to use the skills you learn in Maths and apply it to real world problems and actually make a difference in the world, especially with Civil Engineering.

MH: I was attracted to the University of Birmingham because at the Open Day all the lecturers were genuinely interested in the subjects, we were taken round, met a lot of the different subject lecturers such as structures and concrete. They had a genuine interest which I didn't find in other Open Days and also the labs are fantastic.

PJ: Birmingham University has that great aspect where it does a lot of project work and with Civil Engineering you're definitely looking towards going to a career, it's not just a degree, it's a sort of a stepping stone and with Birmingham it really helped to put you in the right space. So with project work you're learning to work as a team, get to know people and it really helped me when I came to apply for jobs to say that I've had the experience of working in a team, especially with a peer group that works really well to get an idea of how to lead but also to work with other people. Birmingham also has a great access to the industry and there's some really good ties with existing companies in Birmingham with its Respect Scheme and I was very lucky to get sponsorship through the Respect Scheme in my second year and spent the summer working with a company and really got some hands-on experience in the industry, not just sort of the theoretical side with my degree but put that theory into practice. So it's been brilliant to have that experience and I'm hoping to be employed by them when I actually come to graduate.

MH: It's really good to actually be doing some of the labs for the first and second year rather than spending all your time in a lecture just taking notes, you actually go out and do some proper labs and do some practical information. Also socially the intra-league sports teams are really good. You don't necessarily have to be the best to get into the university, all the societies have got intra-league teams, so I really enjoy playing in the hockey and that's good, it's a really good thing to do on Sundays and Wednesdays.

PJ : Birmingham has a great range of societies that you can join. There's a huge number. I lose count of how many there are, probably over 200 different societies, so there's something for everyone. In my first year I became President of the Engineers Without Borders Society which is using my degree, but in – for developing countries looking into how we can use engineering to aid those countries that haven't been so well off such as the UK. It's one of those societies that's a little bit off the norm from just sort of socialising but we actually have a purpose as well, so it's been really enjoyable to put my engineering skills to practice.