Civil Engineering

Civil engineers make a difference to the world and to people's quality of life. They are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of much of the infrastructure society relies on, including reservoirs, dams, bridges, roads, tunnels and large buildings. They tackle global environmental challenges such as the need for resilient infrastructure, sustainable development, water and energy.

We will equip you to be leaders in designing and delivering resilient and sustainable infrastructure. Working with professional institutions, we anticipate emerging needs and the future shape of civil engineering.

Our research activities provide a stimulating study environment and our graduates have an enviable reputation worldwide.

Why study Civil Engineering at Bristol?

Bristol's Department of Civil Engineering offers research-led teaching that benefits from our international reputation for research and which shapes the next generation of engineers.  

You will study under the guidance of leading international researchers and have access to our world-class experimental and laboratory facilities. These include the most advanced earthquake shaking table in Europe and the Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamic Engineering (BLADE).

The course structure is continually updated to reflect developing knowledge and the latest advances in civil engineering around the world. Our degree courses are fully accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators which includes the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Strong links with civil engineering industry allow us to assign an industrial mentor to you in your first year giving you the opportunity to experience practical activity in design offices and on construction sites. You will benefit also from our dedicated Industrial Liaison Office, which develops engineering-specific industrial links for students.

What kind of student would this course suit?

These courses will suit you if you are a creative student with a strong interest in working in a fast-moving, challenging and rewarding profession involving design, construction and management of the world we live in. You will be a good all-rounder with excellent mathematical skills. Strong people skills are also very useful.

You will develop an excellent set of transferable skills, including effective oral and written communication, problem definition and problem solving, teamwork and leadership.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our courses are demanding but you will be taught in a friendly and supportive environment. Your first two years cover the core elements of engineering analysis and design and some specialist optional topics. The third and fourth years add further core and specialist topics and you will undertake substantial research and design projects.

We provide a wide variety of learning methods including lectures, tutored classes, computer-based analysis, site visits and group work in laboratories and on projects. Practising engineers may deliver special lectures or co-supervise projects. Learning is assessed through a combination of written examinations, reports and oral or poster presentations.

What are my career prospects?

We equip you with the skills needed to become a future leader in civil engineering. Our graduates are highly sought after by top employers and regularly feature very highly in national graduate employment tables. Starting salaries among our graduates are competitive and recruiters of civil engineering graduates often look for accredited degrees.

A high proportion progress to further study. Further approved training with an employer is required to gain Chartered Engineer status. Find out more about Bristol's What Civil Engineering graduates do.

Read more about what students from Civil Engineering go on to do after graduation.

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Civil engineering leaflet 2017 (PDF, 424kB)

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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