Civil engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure that supports everyday life. The work of the civil engineer encompasses roads, railways, airports, bridges, pipelines, tunnels, ports and harbours, tall buildings, water supply and wastewater treatment schemes, power stations, renewable energy schemes and so on.
We offer a broad-based course which covers the theory and practice of civil engineering. The early years of the course are designed to build on your mathematical and scientific knowledge and to provide a common platform for all students in the department. The course is more flexible in the final years enabling students to tailor their curriculum to match their interests.
The course is broken down into the following core areas:
Transport and Construction Management
In addition, themes in design, sustainability and health & safety are developed across the curriculum in each year of the course.
Learning and Teaching Methods
We aim to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to build a successful career as an engineer. You will learn how to take a project from an initial idea to a finished proposal, creating reports, designs, drawings and calculations from which you can build. You will use theory and models to predict how your design will perform, test ideas in the field and be part of a team with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities.
We use a number of teaching methods ranging from class lectures to small group tutorials and practical laboratory sessions. Each class has its own dedicated a website which contains material to support learning. Field trips are an essential component of the course and students can expect to participate in several trips each year.
We have also pioneered small group design projects in each year of the course which enable students to apply technical skills from other classes and to develop an appreciation of the complexity of real-world engineering problems.
The course also benefits from specialist lectures, case studies and supervision provided by members of our extensive industrial network. We also support less formal learning methods exemplified by our mentoring system which provides a framework for student-student and graduate-student support.
We assess students individually and in groups using a mix of methods ranging from class examinations, on-line quizzes, coursework, fieldwork and laboratory reports, and design submissions.
Engineers are expected to be able to communicate orally, in writing and in drawings and sketches and our assessment methods seek to test this range of skills.
Students are also required to undertake straightforward calculations by hand and to use computer software, often of a specialist nature, to support more complex analysis. In design exercises, we place emphasis on the ability of students to develop coherent solutions to problems that are supported by engineering principles and also on the ability of students to defend solutions in oral presentations, calculations and reports.