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MEng (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.
This course includes the sandwich year options of:
*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: Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus Space and Defence, 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. This course is designed to provide the educational base you need to become professionally recognised as a chartered engineer. As with the BEng, you will learn the principles of civil engineering and the latest industry developments, but the extra Master’s year will give you a much broader, more in-depth understanding of the subject. For this degree we have a strategic partnership with the world-renowned BRE to give you access to specialist facilities, projects and lectures.
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 projects.
In addition to the academic fees, students will be responsible for their costs of travel to BRE and for the costs of the residential field course at level 5.
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.
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.
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.
- Current role: Head of Learning Legacy, Crossrail
- Year of graduation: 1995
- Degree course: Civil Engineering
We asked Simon...
What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?
My role as Head of Learning Legacy is to collate and promote the lessons learned in delivering the Crossrail programme for the benefit of future major infrastructure projects. I have worked for the last 19 years on the development, authorisation and delivery of this £14.8bn scheme, which was the biggest engineering project in Europe.
How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?
My degree in Civil Engineering was of course important in working on infrastructure projects, but it was the fact that I took a sandwich course, and found for myself an industrial placement with the original Crossrail project in 1993 that was most influential.
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.
What made you decide to study at this University?
The quality of the Civil Engineering course was high, a campus university appealed and also Hatfield was far enough from home in Essex to be away, but close enough for emergencies.
What was the best or most useful thing about your course?
The sandwich year, by a long long way.
What is your stand out memory from your time at the University?
Most of my memories relate to Drama Society productions, which I variously acted in, directed and even wrote. Producing shows with UHDS taught me as much that was of value for the future as my course did.
When I look back I find it hard to believe we did all that, at such an age, basically because no-one told us we couldn’t.
Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?
Absolutely. Dozens and dozens of them. Nearly all from UHDS or the Students’ Union rather than from my course.
What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?
I feel I had such a privileged education, with mostly full grants and a student loan only in my final year, that I would be out of touch to say it, but it would be not to get a part time job. Use your time for studies and everything else that University life affords. I wish this was still possible for all students.
Beyond that, if you are having any difficulty with your course, speak to your tutor at the earliest opportunity, they want to help and they will want to help a self-starter even more.
Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?
Firstly, do a sandwich degree. 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.
While you are there, make yourself known, it’s surprisingly easy to impress people and once you have, it will pay back many times over.
What are your future career plans/ ambitions?
I’d like to start again with another major programme, it’s the early stages when the team is small and the canvas relatively blank, that you can have an impact.
I might look overseas, as British expertise is well respected now and with the world heading to more than 50% living in cities mass transit and other infrastructure will continue to be in high demand.
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.