BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Study at one of the largest engineering schools in the UK
Study at one of the largest engineering schools in the UK
Benefit from a unique partnership with BRE & industry expertise
Benefit from a unique partnership with BRE & industry expertise
Combines practical problem-based learning with innovative software
Combines practical problem-based learning with innovative software

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

  • The School has over 50 years' experience of teaching engineering and has established an excellent international reputation
  • This degree allows you to benefit from the use of laboratory facilities and staff expertise at BRE (formerly Building Research Establishment)
  • Students from the School of Engineering and Technology have previously completed work placement years at companies including: BMW (UK) Manufacturing Ltd, Bosch Thermotechnology, and Microsoft
  • Recent Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including: Dyson, Ministry of Defence and JCB

What's the course about?

From the world’s tallest buildings and most spectacular bridges, to airports, highways, hospitals, rail networks and flood defences, civil engineers provide the critical infrastructure that makes our world work. You will learn to apply the principles of structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydraulics and hydrology, environmental engineering, materials, surveying and construction. You will also discover the latest techniques and developments, such as low- carbon materials and sustainability. For this degree we have a strategic partnership with the world-renowned BRE to give you access to specialist facilities, projects and lectures. To become professionally recognised as a Chartered Engineer, graduates from the programme will be required to complete approved CEng Further Learning.

Your main campus is College Lane  

This is where the creative arts, science and health related subject are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.  

What will I study?

The School has a reputation for innovation in teaching and learning, where nearly all modules are delivered through a combination of traditional face-to-face teaching and backup tutorial's using the University's StudyNet web based facility. StudyNet allows students to access electronic teaching and learning resources, and conduct electronic discussion's with staff and other students. A heavy emphasis is placed on theory and practice, and the School has a policy of using industrial standard software wherever possible. Students will also benefit from use of laboratory facilities and staff expertise at BRE (formerly Building Research Establishment). You will also work with other students on an industry proposed design project.

In addition to the academic fees, students will be responsible for their costs of travel to BRE. 

Student Blogs

Gyan - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

I am currently in the third year of my civil engineering degree and this academic year has been significantly different compared to the previous two years. The course has been divided into six modules across two semesters. Individual major project and group design project each worth 30 credits run throughout both semesters while two added modules each worth 15 credits are covered in semester A and semester B.

My week starts with a group meeting with the client as part of the group design project assessment on Monday mornings at 09:00. So, I usually wake up at around 08:00 in the morning. All my lectures and classes are held in the College Lane campus and are only a few minutes walk from my flat as I live in accommodation halls. Most of my lectures and classes start in the morning although there are some slight changes to the timetable each week. On the days when I do not have lectures or classes in the morning, I go to the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) to do some work as I find myself more productive working in the library.

The lectures are two hours long, and the tutorials and practical sessions are usually about an hour long. Before attending the lectures, I go through the lecture slides whenever possible. I have found this to be especially useful in helping me to get a better understanding of the topic. Additionally, there are various activities in which I actively take part such as presentations, group discussions, quizzes, and mock tests. Every now and then, there are talks and seminars on relevant topics from experts and industry professionals and I try my best to attend these when possible.

As there are fewer lectures and classes this year, I am usually free during 12:00 to 14:00. During this time, I return to my flat to have lunch. Occasionally, I head over to the canteen in the Forum whenever I am feeling too lazy to prepare my lunch. If there are no lectures or classes in the afternoon, I usually spend my time in the library doing an independent study or working with my friends for the group project. We usually do this by booking a group study room in the library where we sit down as a group and work together and prepare for the next client meeting.

After a long day, I usually wind down in the evening. I prepare my dinner at around 19:00 and relax for a few hours before going to bed unless I have some urgent work such as upcoming deadlines for assignments.

Since there are no lectures for individual major project and group design project modules, they require a lot of independent study/research. I give a specific day of the week for focusing solely on my individual project. Each week, I spend some time planning for the week ahead to tackle the overwhelming workload. Depending on my weekly timetable and assignment deadlines, I set out a plan. This helps me to track and check the progress for each assignment as well as make necessary adjustments. I believe proper planning and good time management is the key as completing the assignments can be quite challenging.

Student Blogs

Gyan - Why I love Engineering

Why I love Civil Engineering

Hi, my name is Gyan and I am currently in the third year of my civil engineering degree. Here are some of the things that I love about my course.

First, I love the course itself. Studying civil engineering involves more than just sitting in a lecture room for hours and hours. There are lots of practical sessions and hands-on work. Although lectures are crucial to the understanding of the topic, the practicals and various other activities make it more engaging and I always prefer learning this way as I can put the knowledge into practice.

Studying civil engineering involves a lot of fieldwork and there are many opportunities for site visits which help to broaden my understanding as some of the challenges involved with fieldwork cannot be fully understood through lectures. I also love the fact that I get to travel to various places as part of my course and learn new things. For instance, as part of surveying modules, I had the opportunity to carry out fieldwork in Bayfordbury and Yorkshire.

The course is tailored in a way that it prepares us as future civil engineers. There are certain assessments which involve working with other students as part of a group. It helps us to understand the importance of proper planning and team coordination. In addition to this, there are several activities in which I actively take part such as presentations, group discussion and quizzes. These are designed to simulate real-life situations in the industry, and I find them extremely helpful.

All the lecturers and teaching staff are very friendly and helpful. They make the lectures interesting and engaging by using a variety of tools and teaching methods. Most of them have an industrial background and they adopt a practical approach to teaching/learning which is helpful for me. They are also easy to approach and welcome any questions. Although they do have preferred drop-in hours, most of them have an open-door policy and are always happy to help. Assignments can be quite challenging, and some can take a long time to complete but the teaching staff are always happy to supply guidance and support. I like the fact that some of these assignments are tailored to reflect real-life problems and sometimes require thinking out of the box. Constructive feedback is supplied for all assignments within four weeks and most of the time, it is much quicker. This feedback provides me with valuable information on how to get better and how to overcome my shortcomings in the future.

Additionally, there are various events such as relevant talks and seminars which supply insight to the industry. Careers and employment team also supply excellent advice and support. Overall, Herts is a great place to study civil engineering and I am enjoying my course here as it provides a wonderful opportunity to shape the world around us and be a part of the future.

Student Blogs

Gyan - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts

Hi, my name is Gyan and I am currently studying Civil Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire. I am in my third year and the last three years have been a wonderful experience.

Before joining the university, I attended one of the applicant days and that was when I decided this was the place for me. It was hosted by the Dean of the school and a few other members of the staff. I was incredibly happy to learn that the Dean himself was also a civil engineer. They were all very enthusiastic and friendly. I was at once captivated when I got a tour of the campus facilities. I really enjoyed the programme on that day. I was also made aware of the close partnership of the university with BRE (Building Research Establishment). As one of the world’s leading organisation for research on the built environment, I realised the potential benefits of this partnership and it was one of the many factors which helped me choose Herts.

The location was perfect for me too. I wanted to live away from my family home in west London and be more independent. It was far away enough for me to move out, but at the same time not too far away as I could always go back home during the weekends whenever I wanted to. I was also given a tour of the accommodation halls and I loved how well kept all the rooms and buildings were. It seemed like a safe and friendly place and I am glad that I was not wrong. Moreover, I liked the neighbourhood and the surrounding areas. There were lots of open space and it felt like a place where I could relax, learn, and grow as an individual.

I was also impressed by the other facilities. The Learning Resources Centre with designated silent study areas and group study rooms was a place where I could picture myself using for when I would be studying and doing my assignments. In addition to that, there are excellent sporting facilities in the Hertfordshire Sports Village and a 24-hour gym at the Oval.

With over 25,000 students from all over the world, Herts has a diverse population and I’m glad that I picked Herts because it is a wonderful place to learn, live and be more.

Alumni Stories

Simon Bennett

Meet Simon Bennett who utilised his course and industrial placement on the original Crossrail project to work his way up the ladder. He is currently Head of Learning Legacy at Crossrail.

Current job roleHead of Learning Legacy
Year of graduation1995
Course of studyBEng(Hons) Civil Engineering

Simon Bennett

University life and experience

After initially choosing the University of Hertfordshire for its proximity to his hometown in Essex and reputation of the course, Simon took full advantage of all of the opportunities his degree had to offer, including a placement year.

Simon stresses the important and influential role his placement year at Crossrail - where he now works - had on his career. He says, ‘In that year I learnt so much about how projects are taken from an idea to feasibility studies and into the authorisation process that my career path turned towards transport planning and stakeholder communication.’

If given the opportunity, he believes all students should undertake an industrial placement year to gain valuable work experience and direction before graduating. He advises, ‘As early as you can in your second year, research and approach companies who might be willing to give you a placement, and maybe sponsor you beyond that.'

Outside of his studies, Simon played an active role in the Drama Society where he acted, directed and wrote production. He says ‘Producing shows with UH Drama Society taught he as much that was of valuable for the future as my course did. When I look back, I find it hard to believe we did all that at such a young age.’

Future aspirations

After delivering the Crossrail programme for the past 19 years and taking the programme from the early development stages through to the authorisation and delivery of the scheme, Simon would like to start again with another major infrastructure programme. He hopes that this will take him overseas so he can share his knowledge and expertise further afield.

As early as you can in your second year, research and approach companies who might be willing to give you a placement, and maybe sponsor you beyond that.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.