Civil Engineering BEng

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23:
£9,250 (UK)
£25,860 (International)
Further information

Our stimulating Civil Engineering BEng degree programme enables you to gain strong theoretical and practical skills in civil engineering and to collaborate with academics who are global experts in their field.

Civil Engineering BEng

 This course is designed to give you as many opportunities as possible to tackle problems by applying taught materials in design exercises. These interdisciplinary design projects thread through our degree programmes, increasing in complexity as the course continues. You’ll work alongside Mechanical and Electrical Engineers to develop designs for technologies with impact in the world.

If you have a good grasp of maths and design and love to solve problems creatively, then this civil engineering degree will be an excellent choice for you. During this degree, you will be actively involved in developing the specific design and professional skills required by civil engineers and will tackle numerous design problems to develop your analytical, technical and decision-making abilities.

You will benefit from our excellent links with industry to gain real-world experience during your study, and to prepare you for entering the workplace as a graduate. Civil engineering is all about helping people and shaping the world – are you ready to help shape the world?

Husna Bibi, Admissions Officer

I'm here to help answer your queries related to applications, scholarships and fees. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Why study Civil Engineering BEng at Birmingham?

  • Shared first year across disciplines of Civil, Mechanical and Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering allowing students to gain foundations of understanding in all three areas.
  • Study in our state-of-the-art School of Engineering building which includes a 179-capacity Design Centre and a basement that houses a full-size set of railway points, the University’s pantograph test rig and a test track for the scaled hydrogen-powered train.
  • Shared first year across disciplines of Civil, Mechanical and Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering allowing students to gain foundations of understanding in all three areas.
  • Strong design theme which allow students to be creative and develop design skills which are highly prized by employers.
  • Many opportunities to work as a team which is great preparation for the types of roles that students can secure after graduation.
  • RESPECT scheme allowing students to build strong links with industry supporting employability opportunities.
  • The reasonable staff student ratio allows for enhancing learning, and good interaction between the academic staffs and students
  • Opportunities to be involved in cutting edge research projects on built environment of infrastructure, and energy and working with internationally leading researchers in those fields.
  • Accredited degrees, providing employers with assurances that you have the qualities they seek.

Meet Sara

saraSara is a 3rd year Civil Engineering student from Egypt. This year she will be regularly blogging about her experiences studying at Birmingham. She also talks about her experiences as an international student. She enjoys travelling and having pizza nights with her friends and flatmates.

Read Sara's blogs >> 

A degree that’s flexible to you

The programmes within the School of Engineering have been designed to give you choice. This allows you to find out more about the field of engineering that you want to further your studies in. These choices are shown below:

Choice 1: Complete year 1 and then decide which branch of engineering to follow. This also includes Mechanical (Automotive), Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering and Railway routes.

Choice 2: Complete year 2 and decide whether to continue onto the BEng or MEng* pathway. *Must achieve minimum grade for MEng pathway.

Choice 3: Complete year 2 and decide whether to take an industrial option, international study (MEng only) or continue with studying at Birmingham.  *Please contact Admissions for specific information about options.

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory supports the early years of the course by providing a flexible learning space. As a first year, you’ll be doing practical experiments in a facility that reflects industry expectations of interdisciplinary working.

Sarah Jackson, MEng Civil Engineering

Interested in Computer Science?

Our ' Year in Computer Science'  offers students from non-computing disciplines the chance to gain in-depth knowledge of computing and enhance their work-based skills through the study of Computer Science. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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Year 1

Our first year has been designed to provide a contemporary and flexible educational model that builds upon essential engineering fundamentals to develop your broader understanding of behaviour, policy, entrepreneurship, and global perspectives and kindles the passion necessary to address the societal challenge agenda. The first year is shared across the disciplines of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering.

  • Electrical Engineering 1 - 20 credits
    In this module, the fundamentals of electronic and electrical engineering are covered. It will begin with analogue circuits describing the fundamentals of circuit analysis and the design of analogue devices. The fundamentals of digital systems will then be covered using Boolean algebra and related techniques to analyse digital circuits up to an introduction to flip flops. Finally electrical power and machinery systems will be introduced.
  • Engineering Materials - 10 credits
    The aim of the module is to introduce the range of materials and their key properties used in engineering in order to allow them to select the appropriate materials for a given application. The module also introduces fundamental science that determines the electrical or mechanical properties of materials, such as atomic / molecular structures. In addition students will also be introduced to software which will allow them to model the properties and behaviour of engineering materials and analyse the results of experiments.
  • Engineering Mathematics 1 - 20 credits
    The module aims to enhance student knowledge and understanding of the mathematics used in engineering and to develop the skills of its use.
  • Fluid Mechanics and Energy Transfer - 20 credits
    In this module, the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and energy conservation, and introduce associated engineering applications.
  • Integrated Design Project 1A - 10 credits
    The aim of the module is to introduce students to the design process and the skills employed therein, within an engineering context.
  • Integrated Design Project 1B - 10 credits
    The aim of the module is for students to continue the design process and the skills employed therein, within an engineering context.
  • Introduction to Computing for Engineers - 10 credits
    The aim of this module is to introduce engineers to computers and computer programming using an important modern programming language which has applications from small embedded systems to supercomputers.
  • Mechanics 1 - 20 credits
    In this module, the mathematics and scientific principles related to mechanics in the context and application in engineering. The module covers: general principles, the mechanical properties of material and the basic principles of analysis, all underpinned with essential mathematics. Where relevant, historical examples are embedded into the module in order to provide context for the taught material.

Year 2

Your second year will build on the broad base of Year 1, and begin your departmental specialisation with coverage of the core fundamentals that underpin Civil Engineering. The strong design theme running through our programmes will become apparent, where detailed design work shows you how to apply the taught theory to design key components of Civil Engineering structures, continuing the theme of integrated design project working established in Year 1.

Year 3

Year 3 allows you to develop further as your specialisation increases. You have the option to choose some modules and can also tailor your study towards your interests through individual projects. In the later years of the course, we aim to challenge your innovative, creative, technical, management and presentation skills to bring together your learning over the degree programme.

All final-year students will also ‘go it alone’ in a supported research project where you develop an understanding of an area of civil engineering that particularly interests you. You have an individual supervisor throughout the research project and may work with their research team for additional support.

Core modules

Optional modules

Choose 10 credits of optional modules, examples listed below:

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Annual tuition fees 2022/23

  • £9,250 - UK
  • £25,860 - International

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.


Tuition fees for placement years (where applicable)

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code H200.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics.

General Studies or Critical Thinking not accepted. However, a good performance in one of these may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

6,6,5 at Higher Level to include Mathematics with a minimum of 32 points overall. 


BTEC Extended Diploma will be considered for BEng programmes providing there is sufficient Mathematics content and applicant satisfactorily completes our Mathematics aptitude test.
Grades: BEng; D*D*D* plus Distinction in mathematics and further mathematics.

BTEC Diploma considered in combination with A Level. 
Grades: BEng; D*D* plus B. If the A level taken is not in Mathematics, then the BTEC Diploma must include Maths and Further Maths units, and the applicant must satisfactorily complete our Mathematics aptitude test.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered in combination with 2 A Levels
Grades: BEng; D*plus A B. If A level Mathematics is not taken, then the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma must include Maths and Further Maths units, and the applicant must satisfactorily complete our Mathematics aptitude test.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.  

Foundation Year

Are you a UK student and would like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? If you are not studying A Level Mathematics you can consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.


Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

You will benefit greatly from ongoing and substantial investment in new teaching spaces and experience interdisciplinary working alongside other engineering branches, replicating industry expectations. The mixture of labs, lectures and projects provides a balance of practical and theoretical learning.

Resources and facilities

Your learning is based around dedicated teaching and research facilities, with laboratories for teaching and project work.

New building and facilities for the School Of Engineering

Work successfully completed on the £46.5M new School of Engineering building in February 2021. The state-of-the-art building is a 12,000 sqm facility, spans five floors and features a double-height atrium.

Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) is a hub for science and engineering teaching, with multi-functional labs suitable for subject-specific and cross-disciplinary teaching and team working.

How you will learn

We are an engineering department within a larger engineering school – so you get the best of both worlds. You will be taught from a combination of large-scale lecture tuition, small-group teaching and lab and other practical classes. We make extensive use of online learning tools, too, so you can study even when you’re not on campus.

You will extend your technical knowledge and creativity to solve real-world problems through challenging design projects, working as part of a team and as an individual. Examples include structural work involving concrete and steel, geotechnical projects such as 'intelligent' tunnels, wind-loading problems and flooding of rivers. You will experience interdisciplinary working alongside other engineering branches, replicating industry expectations, whilst the mixture of labs, lectures and projects provides a balance of practical and theoretical learning.

You will gain a thorough grounding in fundamental engineering topics before specialising in an area that particularly interests you. Our courses cover areas around structural, water, geotechnical and energy engineering, and management, with many of our pathways offering optional modules allowing you to tailor your study in later years. With a shared first year and a common second year, you will have the opportunity to add on International Study or an Industrial Year after you arrive at the University.

How you will be assessed

Each module is assessed independently and methods may include end-of-year exams, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, computer-based tests, class tests, and laboratory and project reports. The early years of your course are assessed mostly by examination, whereas in later years, this emphasis will shift to continuous assessment in project work. This model reflects your ability to specialise in the final Years 3 and 4, after undertaking thorough grounding of engineering principles at the start of your studies.

Feedback is an essential part of learning and we use a wide range of methods, such as written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor. You'll receive feedback on each assessment, highlighting the positives of your work as well as any areas that need more attention. 

Your personal tutor

At the start of your degree, you'll be assigned a personal tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies to help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and dealing with any welfare issues.
We also have our own Welfare Tutor/Wellbeing Officer who is able to provide practical and emotional support for you if you are experiencing personal problems that interfere with your academic work.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as testing your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

The greatest inspiration that I had whilst I was here at the University was actually the lecturers. They're just so smart, and they should be because they're lecturers at university, but they just have such a breadth of knowledge.

Joanna Maguire, MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience graduate

You will be taught by lecturers who are experts in their research fields: staff with extensive industrial connections, research staff and staff with teaching qualifications. They will provide you with tools to gain the creative, problem-solving and technical skills needed to undertake your final-year individual project.

As well as specialised labs with state-of-the-art facilities, you may also get to work with internationally leading research groups. There are also opportunities to work in industry which will provide real-world experience.

Contact Hours

Throughout your degree, depending on module choice, you can expect about 20 hours of contact time per week on average. This consists of approximately 14 hours of lectures and 6 hours of tutorials/labs.

In your first and second years, the course is delivered as lectures, small group workshops, laboratories, computer-based activities, enquiry-based learning and tutorials.  A strong emphasis is placed on design project work in your third year.

As a student at Birmingham, you will benefit from our excellent relations across all areas of the civil engineering industry. These will help enrich and enhance your learning, and prepare you for the best possible start when you graduate.

Opportunities include:

  • Mentoring with a recent graduate or industry leader (second year)
  • Site visits to get involved in real projects around Birmingham
  • Engineering-specific careers events
  • Work experience through your degree programme and/or our RESPECT scheme
  • Benefitting from our extensive industry connections with help finding placements
  • Extra-curricular lectures delivered by industry professionals
  • Access to our award-winning Careers Network team

Industrial experience

We offer two types of accredited industrial experience, both of which count towards your degree. You will gain valuable experience working on real-world problems whilst developing your personal and professional skills in the workplace. Many students who engage with industrial experience during their study find their academic learning becomes more meaningful, and they tend to perform better as a result. 

Industrial Year: Adding an extra year to your degree, you can spend a year working with an organisation, before returning to the University to resume your study. You can add an industrial year to any of our BEng and most of our MEng programmes. 

Industrial Experience: Your degree remains the same length and you instead have your work experience formally recognised over two summer placements.

When I came to Birmingham it was the third University I'd ever been round and I just felt really at home, it offered everything I wanted. It offered a great department, it offered a great location, I loved the city, it offered great extra-curriculars what I wanted to do.

Becky Drew, MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience graduate.

Where our graduates work:

  • Amey
  • Arup
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Interserve Construction
  • KBR
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Keller Ground Engineering
  • InBev
  • The British Army
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Aecom
  • Buro Happold
  • Barclays
  • IBM
  • URS
  • CH2M
  • Osborne
  • BP
  • Cundall

When looking at graduates it is highly important that they are engaged and connected with the working environment and are, for example, aware of the tools that are applied as part of their chosen profession.

The University of Birmingham prepares its students with practical hands-on sessions bridging the gulf between academia and industry very well, which in turn is very helpful to the individual candidate.

Johnny Ojeil, Director, Arup.

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details


Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience:

Professional Accreditation

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Services and facilities