Civil Engineering (BEng)

Civil Engineering at Cardiff offers you a a wealth of exciting future career opportunities in designing and working with the built and natural environments.

An Engineering student works on a model
Students are always working to industry standards.

Civil Engineering at Cardiff offers you a highly regarded degree course at one of the top universities in this area, with a wealth of exciting future career opportunities in designing and working with the built and natural environments, nationally and internationally.

You will develop a thorough understanding of civil engineering theory, which will be backed up by practical application through laboratory and research work, field courses and design classes, enabling you to develop your career in any area of the Civil Engineering industry. You will also gain significant experience in a range of transferable skills for whatever career path you choose.

The Civil Engineering course is also available with the following options, click on the links below to find out more:

Key facts

UCAS CodeH200
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
AccreditationsEngineering Council
Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 230 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 1270 applications
Typical A level offerAAA A-level Mathematics is required (or equivalent)
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (excluding Mathematics)
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 - 36 points, including 5 in higher level Mathematics and a Science
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

QAA, Engineering Benchmark Statement, February 2015


Engineering Council, Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (3rd Edition), January 2014

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Iulia Mihai, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in June 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Course details

Cardiff School of Engineering offers degrees in Architectural, Civil, and Civil & Environmental Engineering that are amongst the highest ranked such courses in the UK. We are highly regarded for our teaching both in the National Student Survey and national and international league tables. We are also the highest rated UK Civil Engineering School in the UK  for our research, and the impact of our research.

Our degrees in Architectural Engineering lead towards creative, challenging and fulfilling careers, and Cardiff is one of the few schools to offer both sandwich and full time MEng and BEng degree schemes in this subject. Architectural Engineering focuses on the built environment. The design, construction and operation of buildings is a complex operation requiring the skills of many disciplines, and our degree programmes provide a broad based learning environment which enables you to understand the underlying process of building construction. As a graduate, you will be perfectly suited to a key role in building design, an area of industry with a great need of educated professionals. A career in this area can also offer international opportunities.

Along with academic knowledge and the theoretical aspects of engineering science, you will learn the practical aspects of the subject, including multidisciplinary working and problem solving, field and experimental skills, the design process and numerous transferrable skills. Communication, problem solving, analytical and management skills are specifically addressed in the degree programmes, which are highly valued in all career paths. Throughout the course, you will focus particular attention on structural engineering, building physics and architectural studies. This is supported by a grounding in all the major areas of Civil Engineering. We encourage a research-led approach to our teaching, ensuring you will benefit from state of the art knowledge. For example, our students have recently been involved in research projects involving new materials engineering, thermal performance of buildings and modular construction.

The BEng programme

The BEng involves three years of study, or four if you choose the Year in Industry (sandwich) option. The first year is common across all our degrees in the area of Civil Engineering and so we are highly flexible should you wish to change the focus of your degree once you arrive. In the second and third years of academic study you will focus more on your chosen discipline, with optional modules and a major project allowing you to focus on your own areas of interest.

All of our degrees are fully accredited by the Institutions of Civil and Structural Engineers. In your professional development as an engineer, the BEng degree satisfies the educational requirements to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng), and partially satisfies the requirements to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

The BEng degree produces highly numerate, analytical and adaptable graduates and so is highly regarded by employers in Civil Engineering, the built and natural environment and many other professions. For example, our graduates may undertake careers in the Forces, the financial sector or other high-ranking professions where the skills obtained are highly valued. It is ideal preparation for further study (either at MSc or PhD level).

We welcome any queries you may have on our courses or the application process – please get in touch with us via the contact details provided.

At Cardiff, we place a great emphasis on flexibility, and appreciate that you may be unsure of your future and which path to choose. If you are unable to decide which degree programme is the right one for you, you can change your course at a later date.

Course structure

Teaching is organised into modules and you will take twelve modules per year, normally six in each of the two semesters.

I’m in the Engineering Society, I play squash with other Engineering students, and I went to the Engineering ball, which was great. There’s a lot of stuff going on that’s fun but that can also boost your CV.

Cordelia Overland, Civil Engineering Student

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Environmental Fluid and GeomechanicsEN191120 credits
Computing 1EN109210 credits
Engineering AnalysisEN109120 credits
Professional StudiesEN191420 credits
Materials & ConstructionEN191220 credits
Structures and DesignEN191330 credits

Year two

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Structural Design StudiesEN330710 credits
Structural AnalysisEN330210 credits
Geotechnical EngineeringEN330410 credits
Water EngineeringEN330310 credits
ProjectEN310030 credits
Civil Engineering DesignEN330910 credits
Business ManagementEN300410 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

The Cardiff School of Engineering is an integrated School with a reputation for provided education of the highest quality. The School is renowned for its up-to-date teaching and research facilities and its strong links with industry. The School's graduate students are in great demand from industry and the public sector across the UK, and internationally.

No matter which degree programme you choose, you will be taught the fundamental aspects of engineering through a combination of lectures and tutorials, supplemented by the practical aspects of engineering which are taught through laboratory and project-based work. Our teaching is organised into modules and you will take twelve modules per year, normally six in each of the two semesters. Each semester consists of eleven teaching weeks, one revision week and an examination period. Staff are always happy to clarify any material or answer any of your questions and help with specific aspects of a module can be directly obtained from your lecturers.

Your progress in each module is usually assessed mid-way through each semester (through a one hour test) to give you feedback on your progress, then finally at the end of the appropriate semester. Assessment is undertaken using a variety of different methods including formal written examinations, case studies, assignments and project work.

Your first year of academic life will expose you to a broad range of new and exciting experiences. To help you through this transitional period in your life, upon starting your studies at Cardiff, you will be assigned a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff associated with your degree programme. Your tutor will be there to advise you on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner as and when you need some guidance. We aim to help you overcome any problem, however big or small, as smoothly and quickly as possible.

The Cardiff School of Engineering is an integrated School with a reputation for provided education of the highest quality. The School is renowned for its up-to-date teaching and research facilities and its strong links with industry. The School's graduate students are in great demand from industry and the public sector across the UK, and internationally.

Civil Engineering

Our graduates are mainly employed in the civil engineering industry with major consultancy and contracting firms, such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Ramboll, Arup and Mott McDonald. Typical roles include graduate civil engineer, site engineer or design engineer, and they are based throughout the UK as well as further afield.

A number of graduates have opted for further study, either at MSc or PhD level, at Cardiff as well as institutions across the UK and beyond.

Others have chosen to work for national and multinational companies: recent examples include companies in the financial, media and petrochemical sectors with destinations including Deloitte, PwC, Virgin and Shell. You will be attractive to a wide range of employers who are looking for graduates with good analytical, computing and management skills.

Engineering in general

Our graduates occupy key positions in leading firms where engineering skills are required, such as Halcrow, Atkins, BP, RWE npower, Mott McDonald, Network Rail, Tata Steel, and beyond. Our graduates have also moved on to work within local and national governments, UK and international utility companies and organisations such as Climate Energy and GlaxoSmithKline.

Being at the forefront of engineering research means that Cardiff has excellent links with industry and the school is scrutinised by a panel of top industrialists on a regular basis. In addition, numerous links have been developed with companies, both in the UK and overseas, through our Year in Industry programmes and through consultancy and advisory work by staff. You can be confident therefore that Cardiff's School of Engineering has an ethos which is entirely focused on providing you with the knowledge, experience and connections to succeed in your chosen career.


  • Civil Engineer
  • Technology Analyst
  • Design Engineer


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School admits c350 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Applications received

Typical applications received



QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

QAA, Engineering Benchmark Statement, February 2015


Engineering Council, Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (3rd Edition), January 2014

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The Programme of Study aims to:

  • produce engineering graduates, educated in the application of a broad spectrum of fundamental science and engineering principles to real-life technological, financial, regulatory, managerial and ethical problems encountered in the civil and structural engineering profession, and to produce graduates who are equipped to be key professional players in the wider industry, the professions, and public service;
  • produce graduates who are numerate, literate, analytical, articulate, practical, adaptive, creative, confident and inquisitive;
  • continue to attract motivated and highly qualified students, irrespective of background; and
  • promote the advancement of scholarship to meet the strategic needs of the local region and the wider nation.

More specifically, the Programme of Study aims to:

  • provide students with sound knowledge and skills, confidence to solve multi-disciplinary problems in the civil/structural engineering context, ability to exercise original thought, have good professional judgment and take responsibility for the direction of important tasks;
  • provide opportunities for students to be creative and innovative in problem solving while maintaining a proper balance of risk management;
  • produce graduates that are proficient in oral and visual communication with other professionals and lay people;
  • produce graduates adept at working in, and leading, teams of inter-disciplinary professionals;
  • produce graduates with sound understanding of problem solving with economic solutions;
  • encourage students to progressively take ownership and direction of their learning so that they may develop as independent life-long learners;
  • form a prevailing ethos of professional, social and ethical responsibility within the learning environment and in the students;
  • provide students with an understanding of Architecture, building conceptual design and building services within the context of engineering and construction (for Architectural Engineering)
  • provide students with an understanding of environmental problems arising from activities and consequence of construction, and their mitigating/remediation (for Civil & Environmental Engineering)
  • provide opportunities for structured training in an extended industrial placements to gain experience and increase appreciation of application of engineering principles in a commercial setting (applicable to the Year in Industry programmes only).

Additionally, for the MEng programmes only:

  • to study Engineering in a different European institution, in a different culture, society, language and academic tradition (applicable to the Year in Europe programmes only);
  • to produce graduates who are familiar with an additional, “international” culture, and appreciate the technical focus provided at international universities (applicable to the MEng (International) programmes only);
  • to study a choice of specialist research-led technical modules at M-Level; and
  • to develop a broadened approach for problem-solving and critical thinking through working in multi-disciplinary teams in extended open-ended design projects.

What should I know about year five?

Students should attend lectures whenever possible, and are expected to attend all timetabled laboratory sessions, as notified. While a 10-credit module represents 100 hours of study in total, typically this will involve 2–3 hours of contact time with teaching staff per week. The remaining hours are intended to be for private study, coursework, example sheets, revision and assessment. Therefore all students are expected to spend a significant amount of time (typically 20 hours each week) studying independently. Students must keep their personal tutor and the Teaching Office informed of any circumstances or illnesses that might affect their capacity to attend teaching or undertake assessment.

Students are also expected to abide by the “Student Charter”


How is this course/programme structured?

Details of the programme structures and requirements, courses and awards are available in the Student Handbook and on the Cardiff School of Engineering webpages.  A module represents 100 hours of programmed study, and typically involves 36 hours of contact time with teaching staff.

In summary, the programme is offered in full-time mode (3Yr BEng, 4Yr MEng) with possibility of an additional sandwich industrial training year after the second year (thus 4Yr BEng, 5Yr MEng in total).  The MEng Year in Europe programmes are 5 years in total, with a year in a partner European institution (in France, Spain or Germany) in the fourth year.  The MEng(International) programmes are 4 years in length.  In each year of the programme, students take modules up to the value of 120 credits (130 credits for Year in Europe).  A choice of modules is available during study Years 3 and 4.  The award of the degree is conditional on successful progression in all years.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required.

What the University will provide:
Cardiff University will make available resources such as computers and associated software, laboratory equipment (including any safety equipment), and any required learning resources (both electronic and in hard copies).

What should I know about year three?

Skills developed are detailed in individual Module Descriptions.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

A wide range of teaching styles will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. Students will attend lectures, participate in examples classes, and carry out extensive laboratory, IT and practical work. The taught modules in the first two years are largely core, but options are usually available in Years 3 and 4.  All students must complete a 30-credit individual project in the 3rd year, for which they are allocated a supervisor from among the teaching staff. There are opportunities for site visits and interactions with potential employers. The Year in Industry route involves a placement with an employer, while the Year in Europe includes a study year at one of our partner universities in France, Germany or Spain.  The MEng(International) programme includes a semester in an overseas institution.

There is an off-site residential field-course in each of Years 1 and 2, as part of a core module, and a further optional residential field-course in Year 4.

The medium of instruction in all components of the programme is English.

What should I know about year one?


Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of class tests and coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January or May. Examinations count for 60-70% of all assessment throughout the programme, depending on the options chosen. The remainder is largely project work and larger pieces of coursework, plus performance in laboratories.

The opportunity to test knowledge and understanding will be provided throughout the semester via class tests in Years 1 and 2, plus feedback on written assessments. Occasionally, peer assessment of an individual’s contribution to a group may be used, and students may also receive oral feedback on presentations and contributions to group activities.

The final degree classification will depend upon performance across all years of study except for the first year.


Students are provided feedback in different ways in different modules but principally, feedback is given via returned of marked coursework, and also verbally in classes like design and project work.


Other information

Students will be allocated a personal tutor to assist them with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. The personal tutor will see students weekly in the Autumn semester of Year 1, and as required thereafter. For the 30-credit project in Year 3, students will be allocated a supervisor in the broad area of research specialism, whom they should expect to meet with regularly. In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, students with specific needs will be supported as required.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback.

The School also maintains a Personal Development Plan programme through all years of the degree, to give students an opportunity to reflect on their learning, and to assist students with preparation for their professional career. The School and the University provide many forms of support for future career development and opportunities.

Distinctive features

The Programme Learning outcomes are those as provided by the Engineering Council’s “Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence” which are reproduced below (with statements in [bold] principally, though not exclusively, applicable to the MEng programmes).

Science and Mathematics

· [comprehensive] knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, [and an understanding and know-how of the scientific principles of related disciplines], to enable appreciation of the scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of relevant historical, current and future developments and technologies

· Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them [to apply a range of] mathematical and statistical methods, tools and notations proficiently [and critically] in the analysis and solution of engineering problems

· Ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of their own engineering discipline [and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively]

· [Awareness of developing technologies related to own specialisation]

· [comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computational models relevant to the engineering discipline, and an appreciation of their limitations]

· [Understanding of concepts from a range of areas including some outside engineering, and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively in engineering projects.]

Engineering analysis

· Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to [critically] analyse key engineering processes

· Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques

• Ability to apply quantitative and computational methods, [using alternative approaches and understanding their limitations,] in order to solve engineering problems and to implement appropriate action

· Understanding of, and the ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving complex engineering problems

· [ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies]

· [ability to extract and evaluate pertinent data and to apply engineering analysis techniques in the solution of unfamiliar problems]


· Understand and evaluate business, customer and user needs, including considerations such as the wider engineering context, public perception and aesthetics

· Investigate and define the problem, identifying any constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations; ethical, health, safety, security and risk issues; intellectual property; codes of practice and standards

· Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design [and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies]

· Apply advanced problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding to establish rigorous and creative solutions that are fit for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal

· Plan and manage the design process, including cost drivers, and evaluate outcomes

· Communicate their work to technical and non-technical audiences.

· [Demonstrate wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies and the ability to apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations]

· [Demonstrate the ability to generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs]

Economic, legal, social, ethical and environmental context

· Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering, a knowledge of professional codes of conduct [and how ethical dilemmas can arise]

· Knowledge and understanding of the commercial, economic and social context of engineering processes

· Knowledge and understanding of management techniques, including project [and change] management that may be used to achieve engineering objectives, [their limitations and how they may be applied appropriately]

· Understanding of the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development and ability to apply quantitative techniques where appropriate

· awareness of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health & safety, contracts, intellectual property rights, product safety and liability issues, [and an awareness that these may differ


· Knowledge and understanding of risk issues, including health & safety, environmental and commercial risk, risk assessment and risk management techniques [and an ability to evaluate commercial risk]

· [Understanding of the key drivers for business success, including innovation, calculated commercial risks and customer satisfaction]

Engineering practice

· Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (eg operations and management, application and development of technology, etc)

· Knowledge of characteristics of particular equipment, processes, or products, [with extensive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components;]

· Ability to apply relevant practical and laboratory skills

· Understanding of the use of technical literature and other information sources

· Knowledge of relevant legal and contractual issues

· Ability to use appropriate codes of practice and industry standards

· Understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards

· Awareness of quality issues and their application to continuous improvement

· Ability to work with technical uncertainty

· [A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments]

· [Ability to apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints]

· Understanding of different roles within an engineering team [and the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader]

General skills

· Apply skills in problem solving, communication, working with others, information retrieval and the effective use of general IT facilities

· Plan self-learning and improve performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD

· Plan, carry out, [monitor and adjust] a personal programme of work on an on-going basis

· Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader.


How will I be taught?

The distinctive features of the programme include:

●    the opportunity for students to learn in a research-led teaching institution serviced by staff rated in the highest possible category by independent Government assessment (Cardiff Civil Engineering was ranked first in the UK with GPA 3.44 in the official 2014 REF, and 100% of our research was deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance);

●    the opportunity to work in facilities commensurate with a research-intensive unit;

●    academic staff who are Chartered Engineers;

●    a variety of advanced level modules on offer;

●    the opportunity to study a language, and to study abroad;

●    the opportunity to follow a sandwich year in industry;

●    emphasis on progression towards independent learning in preparation for life-long learning;

●    full accreditation for Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, and registration as a Chartered Engineer.

●    an open and engaging culture between students and staff, with student representatives as full members on School committee; and

●    comprehensive and anonymous student evaluation of all aspects of the Programme (both on academic modules and on other aspects of the School).


Admissions tutors

Dr Iulia Mihai, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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