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Civil Engineering

The modern civil engineer requires the skills to produce solutions to expensive problems in a safe and environmentally appropriate way.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: H202 BSc/CE

Duration: 3 years (full-time)


Please note this course commences from Year 3 for holders of a Higher National Certificate (or equivalent level qualification).  If you wish to study Civil Engineering with us from Year 1, please visit our MEng/BEng Civil and Environmental Engineering degree.

Why choose this course?  

  • This degree is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).  See the JBM website for further information.
  • It focuses on the development of key transferable employment skills, including digital modelling, problem solving, team working and management skills.
  • A work placement - subject to availability - in a Civil Engineering/Construction organisation for Semester 2 of Year 3, which provides an opportunity to practise skills and test careers.
  • A Sandwich option is available, which leads to the award of BSc (Hons) Sandwich Degree in Civil Engineering. The requirements for this are the successful completion of the Semester 2 of Year 3 work placement, combined with approved construction sector employment through both summers between Years 2 and 3 and between Years 3 and 4.


The 21st Century Engineer is a key player in the sustainable development of the modern world.  Whether it be involvement in the design and building of wind turbines, the reuse of construction materials to develop new roads, or the drive for sustainable construction and low energy buildings, it is the modern day Civil Engineer who plays a key role.

Today’s Civil Engineer requires the knowledge and ability to produce solutions to expensive and diverse problems in a safe and environmentally appropriate way. To achieve this, a whole host of interesting and valuable skills are required.


What you study

What you study
The philosophy of the course is to integrate aspects of civil engineering theory and practice with supporting topics. It provides a distinctive and stimulating undergraduate study programme aimed at students who aspire to manage the design, construction and maintenance processes for enhancing the built and natural environment.

There are three inter-related themes within the course:

  • Structural Engineering, Materials and Geotechnics
  • Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering
  • Supporting Topics including Land Surveying, Mathematics, Graphics & Digital Modelling, Construction Studies, Health & Safety, Project Management and Law

You will be exposed to a variety of stimulating learning environments, such as:

  • Civil Engineering placement in Year 3
  • computer drawing and related software packages
  • analytical work on calculations relating to structures
  • laboratory experimental work on materials testing or fluid flow
  • field courses on geology or land surveying
  • design projects
For more information on the course content, download the Programme information - BSc with Honours in Civil Engineering

How you learn
A variety of teaching methods are used to develop your knowledge and skills.  Teaching is focused around a lecture programme supported by tutorials, case studies and seminars, the use of practical laboratory exercises and fieldwork projects.  External input from local and national practitioners is provided where possible.  You will spend around 18 hours per week attending classes, and, in addition, you will be required to spend at least an equal number of hours studying on your own.  In year 4, the Honours Project is your opportunity to integrate your learning into an individual research programme and produce a professional standard project report.

How you are assessed
Assessment on this course is carried out via a combination of coursework assignments, class tests and closed-book examinations.  A range of methods are used, including short-answer tests, problem solving exercises, formal reports - oral, written or posters - and laboratory assignments.  In the later years of the course, formal examinations are a feature of most modules.


Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

Please note that this course is only available from year 3 entry.  If you are interested to commence study at year 1, please see our MEng/BEng Civil and Environmental Engineering degree.

HND - our Coming from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you are eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer. 

If you expect to receive passes in 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

  • been in care, or
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university, or
  • live in an area, or attend a school, where not many people go to university.

We encourage you to submit an application.

International Applicants
You must provide certified proof of your English language level (minimum requirements are listed here).  Our British Council accredited International English Foundation Course can help you reach that level or, if you would like further develop your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your full potential.

EU applicants:  Entry requirements can be found on our Europe pages.  Overseas (non-EU) applicants:  We're currently developing your country pages, so please email us details of your entry requirements.

Alternative Entrance Requirements
Please email us if you have other qualifications/experience not listed here.

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non-EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Additional costs
Students have to provide their own safety boots, and have to make a contribution of £30 in year 2 to the cost of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card.  In year 3 all students participate in a placement, which may incur travel costs.


The Norman Fraser Design Trust Scholarship

The Norman Fraser Design Trust will award one Scholarship of £2,500 to a student studying a full-time undergraduate degree in either BSc (Hons)/BEng/MEng (Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering or BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology.

The scholarship will be for one year only but students from any year of study may apply. For more information and details on how to apply, please download The Norman Fraser Design Trust Scholarship 2017 - guidance notes and apply using The Norman Fraser Design Trust Scholarship 2017 - application form.

The deadline for applications is Monday 25 September 2017.


The Bill Taylor Scholarship (BEAR Scotland)

The Bill Taylor Scholarship (BEAR Scotland) will be awarded to one Year 3 student on the BSc (Hon) Civil Engineering programme at Abertay.

Those who hold a conditional or unconditional offer for a place in Year 3 are eligible to apply.

The two-year scholarship entails £1,700 per year, a work placement at BEAR Scotland in Semester 2 of Year 3, a paid summer placement before entering Year 4 and a place on the company's Graduate Programme.

For more information about this scholarship and details of how to apply, please download Bill Taylor Scholarship Guidance Notes 2017 and apply using Bill Taylor Scholarship Application Form 2017.

The deadline for applications is Friday 29 September 2017.

Further info

Design Competition for Scottish Schools

Abertay is challenging budding engineers from schools across Scotland to draw up blueprints for a structure which in theory would stand at least 15m high at the Tay Bridge car park in Newport, following strict design specifications.

Entries that show the most creativity and civil engineering potential will be built as scaled down prototypes at Abertay. If you, or someone you know would like to enter, please visit our design competition page for more information.

Career prospects
Exciting opportunities exist for graduates from our course. There are employment prospects with professional consulting engineers, major civil engineering contractors, specialist project management organisations, local authorities, public and private utilities and transportation groups. 

A wide range of organisations seek well educated, innovative employees for their future prosperity, and look towards civil engineers as graduates who combine crucial, high level analytical skills with a practical approach to problem solving.

In particular, the experiences gained in your work placement should better equip you for entering the employment sector, and may also be seen by prospective employers as an advantage.

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081

Quest Scholarships

The QUEST Undergraduate scholarship is now open for applications with a deadline of 15 April 2016.

The scholarship offers students a payment of up to £2,500 a year and the majority of scholarships are sponsored by civil engineering and construction companies who arrange paid work placements for scholars each summer, with the relationship potentially leading to full time employment after graduation.

Students can apply for the scholarship if they’re beginning the first year of a civil engineering degree in autumn 2016 and:

Their degree is accredited by ICE/JBM
Their degree is full time and at a university in the UK
They have at least A B B predicted/achieved A level grades or equivalent

Anyone who’s already started a degree or is beginning a foundation year in autumn 2016 is not eligible to apply. Neither are part-time students or anyone studying outside the UK. Students from overseas can apply, providing they meet the criteria.

For further details, please go to 


"I had a great education at Abertay studying civil engineering. The facilities in the labs were great and the lecturers I had were passionate about their subjects."

Mark Stewart

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