STUDYING CIVIL ENGINEERING
IN THE UK
British universities offer a wide range of degree and higher diploma
courses in Civil Engineering and related areas, such as Construction Management
and Structural Engineering.
Most B.Eng. and M.Eng. courses are accredited by the Joint Board of
Moderators, representing the relevant professional engineering institutions
(Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered
Institution of Building Services Engineers). Successful completion of these
accredited courses gives exemption from the academic examinations leading to
Chartered Engineer status. Construction Management courses are frequently
accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building. Similarly, a higher diploma (HND)
will lead to Incorporated Engineer status, or may be accepted for progression to
a degree course, often with exemption from at least one year of study.
The U.K. professional bodies are recognized around the World and accredited
U.K. degrees are accepted for entry to the engineering professions in most
countries. A U.K. degree therefore provides a global passport to a rewarding
professional career in civil engineering. The demand for qualified civil
engineers and construction managers is very strong, and in many parts of the
world, the salaries offered to young construction professionals are amongst the
highest of any graduate group. They may be involved in a very wide range of
projects, ranging from highways, railways, bridges and tunnels, through to the
responsibility for the structure and foundations of major buildings, dams, water
supply, irrigation and public health schemes, and many more too numerous to
list. Because of its role in the design, construction and operation of the major
infrastructure systems on which society depends, the industry provides an
exciting, challenging, satisfying and fulfilling career.
The range of courses offered in U.K. is very broad. Some universities offer
courses in engineering science, which may involve general study of all areas of
engineering for the first two years, followed by specialization in later years.
Others offer courses that are specific to civil engineering throughout. These
normally entail three years of study for a B.Eng. and four years for an M.Eng.
Some universities also offer "sandwich courses" which incorporate a year of
structured and supervised professional training in the industry in addition to
the academic study. The range, style and emphasis of course provision in
different universities varies widely, from those with a strong emphasis on basic
theory through to courses with more emphasis on engineering and construction
management practice. Potential students should therefore find out as much as
possible about the style of each course so that they apply for those which suit
their interests and career aspirations.
Some Universities, offer a range of interlinked courses at HND and degree
level. These cover civil engineering, structural design and construction
management, whilst others may focus on only one degree course. A coordinated
program of courses allows students to progress from HND to degree level study
and to change the emphasis of their study should they wish to do so. I am a
strong advocate of the sandwich course and the University of Teesside, for
example, provides good support for students to find them salaried sandwich
training placements in U.K. and overseas and monitor their professional
development during the placement. The benefits of such placements include
increased commitment to final year studies, resulting in improved degree
classifications, and enhanced employment prospects at the end of the course. In
these days of tight student budgets, the income earned during the year also
helps to ease the financial pressures during final year.
Thus the U.K. has a great deal to offer potential students in civil
engineering and other construction related areas. Any university will be happy
to provide detailed information on its particular course provision in the area
and course tutors will be willing to explain the particular features of their
courses to potential applicants.
By: Professor Brian Hobbs
B.Sc. C.Eng. FIStructE.MICE, The
University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, U.K.
List of Civil Engineering Universities in UK