A guide to studying Civil Engineering at university - including what to expect on the course, application tips and careers
What is a Civil Engineering university course?
Civil engineering is one of the oldest types of engineering, it relates to the design, construction and maintenance of the natural and built environment. The different types of structures we see around us such as buildings, bridges, dams and transportation infrastructure come under the jurisdiction of civil engineering. A vital role of civil engineers is construction and maintenance of environments for present and future generations and facilitating sustainable use of resources through appropriate technologies. Civil engineers are responsible for the creation of great structures around the world, for example, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.
What to expect if you study Civil Engineering at university?
Civil engineering consists of many sub-disciplines that you will have the opportunity of studying, these include structural engineering, construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, water resource engineering and transportation engineering.
Most civil engineering courses are broad and will include these types of sub-topics, however, it is essential that you research your chosen universities to see variations in modules and which of them you prefer. Additionally, many courses give the opportunity to experience an industrial placement year to gain experience in this field.
Application tips for Civil Engineering university courses
Before choosing a course, you should research whether it is accredited for you to achieve civil engineer status, as this will significantly improve your prospects when looking for work after graduation.
You should also research the type of facilities on offer at your chosen university to ensure suitability for your requirements, for example, laboratory facilities, teaching methods and industry input, such as guest lecturers and site visits.
What careers does studying Civil Engineering at university lead to?
There are two main routes that civil engineering graduates follow. The first is consultancy which focuses on the design of structures and infrastructures. This tends to be more office based work, with occasional site visits. In contrast to this, the other route tends to be more site-based, there is a focus on the construction process and this is more hands-on. These are not the only options available for you as a graduate however, the transferable skills you will have developed on the course will give you opportunity to pursue a career in almost any sector.
Event speaker on the video:
Dr Therese Sheehan, Lecturer in Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford.