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Civil and Environmental Engineering

If you want to know what the future will look like, ask a civil or environmental engineer. It's up to them to design and build the structures and infrastructures that improve our lives and protect the natural world. Their work involves everything from constructing bridges and energy plants, to designing flood prevention systems.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: MEng/BEng (Hons)

UCAS Code: MEng H2H2 BEng (Hons) H3H3

Duration: MEng 5 years: BEng 4 years


Why choose this course?

  • This institution has over 50 years experience in delivering successful Civil Engineering courses.
  • It offers relevant and valuable work experience in a Civil Engineering/Construction organisation for all students, providing the opportunity to practice skills, test careers and enhance employability.
  • Students regularly gain sponsorships from placement employers.
  • The course combines the study of engineering principles, and environmental science and management concepts, to produce graduates who are well equipped to lead the design and development of sustainable solutions to a range of civil and environmental engineering problems.
  • The course develops key transferable employment skills; including digital modelling, problem solving, team working and management skills, enhanced by a choice of broadening elective module in Years 1 and 2.
  • Common elements in the first 2 years with our BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Technology and, depending on performance, BEng (Hons) students can transfer at the end of Year 3 to the MEng programme, providing flexibility in the choice of final award.
  • In Year 2, you’ll spend a week off-campus working on a project known as Constructionarium. You’ll turn theory into practice, getting hands-on with an engineering or construction project with your class.
  • A Sandwich option leading to the award of MEng or BEng (Hons) Sandwich Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  The requirements for this being the successful completion of the term 2 year 3 work placement, combined with approved construction sector employment through two summers - between years 2 and 3 and years 3 and 4 - for BEng and MEng students, or years 4 and 5 for MEng students.
  • Accreditation is being sought from the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Highways and Transportation and, with regard to BEng (Hons), the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers – fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

The 21st Century Engineer is a key player in the sustainable development of the modern world.  Whether it is involvement in the design and building of wind turbines, the re-use of construction materials to develop new roads, or the drive for sustainable construction and low energy building, the contemporary Civil Engineer plays a key role in the successful completion of the project.  Today's Civil Engineer requires the knowledge and ability to produce cost effective solutions to expensive and diverse problems, in a safe, socially acceptable and environmentally responsible way.  To achieve this, a range of interesting and valuable skills are developed.  The programme offers practical experience in the form of a week-long construction experience in year 2, a Work Placement for all students in term 2 of year 3, and the opportunity to undertake a sandwich option in the summer periods from year 2 onwards.

The relevance and topicality of the course is further underpinned by the teaching team's research activities in the University's two leading research centres; 50% of this research was rated internationally excellent or world leading in the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework. 

BEng (Hons) to MEng progression requirements 

BEng/MEng students are streamed at the end of Stage 3.  To progress to the MEng stream, students will require a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of C+.


What you study

What you study
The philosophy of the programme is to integrate aspects of civil and environmental engineering theory and practice with supporting topics. This 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 four inter-related themes within the programme:

  • Structural and Geotechnical Engineering and Materials
  • Hydraulics and Water Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering, Science and Management
  • Supporting topics, including Land Surveying, Mathematics, Graphics & Digital Modelling, Construction Studies, Health & Safety, Project Management, Construction Contract Law and Sustainability

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

  • Civil Engineering Placement in year 3
  • Computer-aided design and related software packages
  • Analytical work on calculations relating to structures
  • Laboratory experimental work on materials testing or fluid flow
  • Field courses on geology and land surveying
  • Design projects
For more information on the course content, download the Programme Information - MEng-BEng Civil and Environmental Engineering

How you learn and are assessed
We offer a broad range of learning environments, including a traditional lecture and tutorial format, student-led learning, interactive class sessions, and a substantial element of lab work.  We encourage independent study, meaning that you take responsibility for your own learning.

Your study is assessed with a variety of methods, enabling you to demonstrate progress in different ways.  Coursework typically includes laboratory reports, essays and oral presentations. Formal exams typically include questions that require short answers, problem-solving and design challenges.  Your placement will be assessed by industrial and academic supervisors, as well as by report and oral presentation.  In your final dissertation, you are individually supported by a research-active member of staff. 

Examination techniques
Laboratory reports, design problems, essays and exams.  Year 1 is approximately 30% exam and 70% coursework.  Year 4 is approximately 70% exam and 30% coursework. 

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

All applicants must have a pass in Maths in any of the following: National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4

BEng (Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering

 BBBB to include Maths
A Level CCC to include Maths
Irish Highers H3H3H3H3 to include Maths
BTEC Extended Diploma MMM Construction and the Built Environment (all pathways)
International Baccalaureate 28 Points to include Maths at S5 or H4
AHEAD - successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses 

Advanced Higher BBB to include Maths and Physics
A Level BBB to include Maths and Physics
BTEC Extended Diploma DDD Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering)

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 1 to the cost of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card.  In year 2, each student contributes £100 towards the cost of Constructionarium, and 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.

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
During degree studies, all students undertake a relevant industry work placement during the second term of their third year. This provides an opportunity to practice skills and review different career options from the wide range of possibilities within the profession.  In addition, the Civil and Environmental Engineering degree also offers the option of undertaking a Sandwich degree by combing the Term 2 work placement with summer work placements during Years 2-3, 3-4 and, in with regard to the MEng programme, 4-5.  Experiences gained in work placements increase the employability of students and have been acknowledged by employers as an advantage.

Exciting opportunities exist for graduates from our programme.  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.

Industry links

  • Work placement
  • Constructionarium Year 2
  • Variety of industrial speakers throughout all years of study
  • Site visits
  • Student and staff representation on local and national professional body committees for ICE and CIOB

“I know from my own personal experience how useful work experience is during a civil engineering university course. Transport Scotland has a long standing relationship with Abertay University and I am delighted that we have been able to offer opportunities to work on the Queensferry Crossing and its approach roads each year during the construction period.

"I have been very impressed with the consistently high calibre of the students involved who have been both enthusiastic and diligent in their periods with the client team.” David Climie, Forth Replacement Crosssing Project Director.

“For a number of years now, we’ve been brining students for the 12 weeks placement in their third year and we also tend to find that they generally come back for the summer gaining further experience.

"That’s also led onto graduate employment at the end of their course. For us, we get to know them better and provided they perform, that’s a good route for us to find good graduates.Mike Hodgeson, SWECO Technical Director of Transportation.

"The main reason I chose Abertay was because the Civil Engineering programme offered a good mix of technical and academic activity, in particular the Sandwich placement.  

"This allowed me to get a real life experience of working as an Engineer.  For my sandwich placement I worked for Balfour Beatty on the M8 motorway extension at Hermiston Gait in Edinburgh.  

"This was a very challenging experience, from which I gained a great deal and professional and life experience.  

"Fifteen years on and I am now an employer and have been fortunate enough to select a number of students from Abertay as part of their sandwich placement.  We try to ensure that the students get as much variety as possible working within out specialist teams (structures, civils, geotechnical, environmental and transportation).  

"I would recommend this programme to candidates who are keen to get a good mix of academic and life experience throughout their higher education years." Alun Rae, Regional Director, Waterman.

More info

  • New entrants need to provide their own safety boots
  • Year 2:  Intensive, on-campus survey week, and one week, off-campus Constructionarium - part-time work will be difficult during this time
  • Contribution of £100 towards Constructionarium
  • Contribution to CSCS (Construction Safety Card Scheme)
  • Year 3 Term 2:  Compulsory placement depending on location of the placement travel costs may occur

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

"The main reason I chose Abertay was because the Civil Engineering programme offered a good mix of technical and academic activity, allowing me to get real working experience."

Alun Rae, Waterman.

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