MSc

Civil Engineering

MSc Quantity Surveying
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Our MSc Civil Engineering course is developed from a mix of technical and management-based modules, aligning to current global issues relating to civil engineering and management. Your learning will focus on the civil engineering infrastructure and structural and management aspects of construction, as well as environmental problems affecting construction projects.

To enhance your employability, you will be exposed to industry and visiting academic experts as part of your modules, and the course structure offers flexibility so that you can continue with your work commitments whilst studying.

Who is this course designed for?

This course is suitable for professionals working in the broad civil engineering and construction industries, who aspire to senior management positions. Additionally, this course is suitable for BSc (Hons) and BEng (Hons) undergraduate students in related subject areas, looking to progress to study a technical postgraduate programme. The skills and knowledge gained on this course opens up opportunities for application to senior technical and middle/senior management positions.

Why study this course?

  • Professional accreditation | This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) and recognised as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. See the JBM website for further information.
  • Expert academic staff | Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who have established links to industry and significant experience of working in practice. Most staff teaching on the course are members of one or more professional institutions relating to civil engineering, and participate in industrial activities, consultancy and research, ensuring our course content allies with current industry practice.
  • Workshops and facilities | Benefit from our industry-standard facilities in our Maudslay building, right in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre. You’ll have hands-on access to our workshops and laboratories, supported by our team of expert technicians, enabling you to test, learn and research for yourself. Some modules include laboratory investigations and computer applications as part of the delivery method.
  • Multidisciplinary study | Extend your knowledge and experience by exploring other disciplines interconnected with course, such as energy, manufacturing and other industries. Our course structure enables personal exploration in related areas of interest, helping you to align your developing knowledge to your career aspirations.
  • Visiting industry experts | Hear from visiting industry and academic experts, who will be teaching parts of the modules, providing a ‘real life’ perspective on the topics you will be studying. This input helps bind together both the theory and the practice of civil engineering and management. Selected modules also include a field trip, designed to help develop your understanding of theory in practice.
  • Flexible study options | Our study routes support part-time learners, who wish to balance employment with further study. Significant academic support and guidance is in place to help students returning to study after extended periods in employment, and students who are pursuing high-level study for the first time.

You may also be interested in

Not sure which course to choose? Take a look at our course comparison table to help find the right postgraduate civil engineering course for you.

We also offer a suite of postgraduate construction management courses, which may be of interest to you.

Accredited by:

Engineering Council logo
Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation logo
Institution of Civil Engineers logo
The Institution of Structural Engineers logo
Institute of Highway Engineers logo

What you'll study

Our MSc Civil Engineering course concentrates on the civil engineering, structural and management aspects of construction, as well as complex sustainability and environmental problems affecting construction projects. You’ll gain awareness, an understanding of, and competence in, the design, management and construction of civil engineering infrastructure.

Grounded through Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies’ requirements, the course focuses on the theme of engineering for sustainability. There is an embedded theme of sustainability and innovation in design and construction, taking into account economic efficiency. The course facilitates and supports dialogue and debate on critical issues related to global social responsibility, within the wider sustainability agenda, fostering an appreciation and respect for different values and world views.

Course structure

The MSc Civil Engineering course is formed of seven core modules, three of which are shared with other courses in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. This provides the opportunity for multi-disciplinary group work, which aims to extend your knowledge and peer network. You'll also be able to choose a further one optional module, from four available – three of which are also shared, offering you the opportunity to focus on an area of particular interest.

Your eight taught modules will total 180 credit points. The modules’ credit points are weighted based on the total time you can expect to spend studying the module content, both in terms of contact hours and non-contact hours.

Module titleCredit pointsCore or optional
Current Practices in Civil Engineering15Core
Advanced Structural Engineering15Core
Sustainable Transport Planning and Engineering15Core
Professional Practice and Procedure for Construction and Engineering Management*30Core
Advanced Construction Materials*15Core
Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigation and Design15Core
Research Project/Dissertation*60Core
Advanced Hydraulics and Hydrology15Option
Finite Element Analysis*15Option
Condition Assessment and Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure*15Option
Analysis and Design of Surface Structures*15Option

*These modules are shared with other courses in the School.

  • Core module content

    Current Practices in Civil Engineering

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    This module evaluates current practices in civil engineering, including Building Information Modelling (BIM), sensing technologies, geospatial engineering, modularised construction, design management and engineering ethics. The module delivers:

    • Advanced understanding of BIM, in terms of available tools and the impact upon practice.
    • In-depth theoretical fundamentals, problems and challenges which an engineer has to tackle when assessing and monitoring civil infrastructure.
    • Advances in, and applications of, sensing technologies and data management tools.
    • A critical analysis of modularised construction.
    • An evaluation of design management practices.
    • In-depth understanding of purpose and techniques used in optimisation.
    • Develop skills to apply ethical codes and an ability to evaluate these critically.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and computer labs, and be assessed via coursework.

    Advanced Structural Engineering

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • This module provides an understanding of the fundamental principles of structural elements design, according to Eurocodes. It covers advanced aspects of structural engineering design of box beams for long-span bridges, steel-concrete composite beams, and structural elements for bridges and buildings.
    • The module intends to provide best practice requirements for the fire-resistance design of structures. A review of case studies where movements (dimensional variations) caused severe cracking or failure will be investigated.
    • The module aim is to provide a background in the design of structures and an understanding on advanced topics in the subject with the use of new concepts, construction techniques and materials.

    The module will be delivered via lectures and seminars, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

    Sustainable Transport Planning and Engineering

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • This module will broaden your understanding of the wider urban environment through an introduction to transport planning, traffic engineering and highway engineering, set within the context of sustainable development.
    • This module aims to provide a sound background to the decision-making processes involved in, and the design and implementation of, major transport infrastructure schemes. It will cover policy, standards, codes of practice and design, and assessment methodologies for a range of transport infrastructure projects.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and workshops, and be assessed via coursework and an exam.

    Professional Practice and Procedure for Construction and Engineering Management

    30 credit points
    Total contact hours: 78
    Total non-contact hours: 222

    • This module introduces you to project environments in which the construction industry operates. The module will be based around studying a live construction project, working in teams to solve a series of problems relating to the management of construction projects in the national construction market.
    • Depending on the nature of the project selected, your teams may also be cross-disciplinary, including members from the MSc Project Management (Construction), MSc Quantity Surveying and MSc International Construction Management courses, with whom you may share some common lectures and workshops.
    • The module may also allow some personalisation of your studies, as you may be able to pursue topics or themes of your own interest and choosing within the assessment, pertinent to the management of the construction process, or the management of construction engineering.

    This module will be delivered via a flexible programme of lectures, workshops, seminar groups and tutorials, and assessed via project work, including a submission, a portfolio and a presentation.

    Advanced Construction Materials

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • The aim of this module is to evaluate knowledge about the behaviour and performance of more specialised construction materials, including composites, as applied to structures built from diverse materials.
    • You will learn about the characteristics and durability of various advanced construction materials, ranging from fibre-reinforced concrete, to reinforced plastics and advanced paving materials. You will be able to assess how, by using various advanced construction materials in a range of structures, you can affect strength/weight ratio, durability and safety of structures. You will learn how fibre-reinforced materials can be used for the rehabilitation of civil engineering structures.
    • In a set of two experimental labs, you will be able to assess the behaviour and performance of samples of advanced materials, and report on how the application of these materials will affect design, durability and safety of structures.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and an experimental lab, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

    Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigation and Design

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours (indicative): 20 hours lecture/seminars, 12.5 hours laboratories/field trips
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • This module develops your knowledge and skills in relation to a range of site investigation techniques on shall ground sub-surface. You will gain awareness of processes and issues across a range of techniques used to provide information during ground investigations.
    • The module will provide a sound background to decision making, relating to the implementation of geotechnical design. You will learn to analyse and design some typical geotechnical structures. These topics will be reviewed within the context of safe and sustainable development.

    This module will be delivered via a flexible programme of lectures, workshops, site visits, seminar groups and tutorials, and assessed via an exam and coursework.

    Research Project/Dissertation

    60 credit points
    Total contact hours: 40
    Total non-contact hours: 560

    • The aim of this module is to manage and produce an extended piece of work, which draws upon extensive and deep knowledge of primary and secondary source material, to investigate a complex problem.
    • You will define an appropriate project scope and review a selection of published works, pertinent to your investigation. Using a methodology that you have proposed, you will collect primary data, and secondary date, analysing the results and interpreting numerical outputs, to derive meaning from the data and draw appropriate conclusions. The output will be a substantial dissertation based upon your investigation, which will presented in writing.
    • The chosen topic should aim to integrate your learning, show well-developed research skills, show your ability to analyse and evaluate, and bring your own perspective to an unfamiliar and complex problem.

    This module will be primarily self-directed, supported by a series of lectures and seminars relating to research methods, and one-to-one tutorials with your project/dissertation supervisor.

  • Optional module content

    Advanced Hydraulics and Hydrology

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • This module aims to provide a detailed understanding of advanced hydraulic topics, such as coastal engineering and hydraulics structures, as well as advanced hydrology topics such as estimating floods, flood routing and groundwater.
    • The module will aim to enable you to: design simple coastal structures and other hydraulic structures; estimate floods using a variety of methods including ow flow estimation for small catchments; route a flood and predict the maximum flow with time along a given river/stream, and; appreciate the importance of groundwater and estimate groundwater recharge, and model pollutants transport in groundwater.
    • This module will be delivered via a flexible programme of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials, and be assessed via coursework and an exam.

    Finite Element Analysis

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    • In this module, you will evaluate the Finite Element Method (FEM) for its application to obtain an approximate solution, for the analysis of complex structural problems. You will be introduced to the theory behind FEM, how to derive the governing differential equations, and how to apply the method in sample structural problems. You will be introduced to proprietary FEM software - a leading engineering analysis tool that uses a comprehensive element technology, extensive library of material models and advanced post-processing capability.
    • The aim of the module is to provide you with the intellectual tools necessary to use proprietary FEM software, enabling you to produce computer models of various complex structural problems in order to obtain approximate numerical solutions.
    • You will learn how to use the advanced post-processing capability of the software to produce reports. As part of the module, you will be required to produce solutions for two small projects, which will be assessed for your ability to apply, refine and develop computer models to solve structural problems, and  to generate reports supported with the appropriate graphs and data.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and computer labs, and assessed via coursework.

    Condition Assessment and Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructures

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    This module focuses on condition assessment and the monitoring of civil infrastructure. You’ll be introduced to current methods of structural condition assessment, advances and developments in sensing technologies, technical aspects of structural health monitoring and structural identification.

    This module delivers:

    • The motivation for, and integration of, conditional assessment and structural health monitoring in civil infrastructure.
    • In-depth theoretical fundamentals, problems and challenges which an engineer has to tackle when assessing and monitoring civil infrastructure.
    • Advances in, and applications of, sensing technologies and data management tools.
    • Fundamentals of structural identification.
    • Applications of information technology to generate numerical replicas of physical structures, which are employed to assess their performance.
    • Algorithmic signal processing approaches, which are used to interpret measurements obtained from monitoring projects.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars computer labs and workshops, and assessed via coursework.

    Analysis and Design of Surface Structures

    15 credit points
    Total contact hours: 32.5
    Total non-contact hours: 117.5

    This module will engage you with the advanced study of the principles, analysis and design aspects of surface structure systems, such as roads, airfields, ports, concrete hard standing and industrial ground floors.

    The module aims to:

    • Critically appraise the fundamental scientific and engineering principles of surface structure engineering.
    • Appraise and contrast conflicting theories that underpin the application of design techniques.
    • Make judgements based on skills and knowledge, to apply various design codes and be able to evaluate them critically.
    • Evaluate alternative design strategies and be able to critically select appropriate design strategy in accordance with design requirements.

    This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars, computer labs and workshops, and be assessed via coursework and an exam.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Our MSc Civil Engineering course is suitable for professionals with industry experience, and graduates from courses cognate to civil engineering.

How you’re taught

  • A wide range of teaching and learning methods are used to deliver the course content. In most modules, you’ll take part in intensive sessions of key point lectures, supported by study guides and other literature. Live site visits and laboratory sessions will support your lecture and seminar-based learning.
  • Many modules include presentations by external industry specialists, to provide a real life perspective on the module content. Some modules also include laboratory investigations and computer applications.
  • Non-contact hours include direct out-of-classroom reading and activities, and independent learning and reading is deemed necessary to achieve the learning outcomes for the course.

Balancing work and study with our full-time or part-time study options

All of our taught postgraduate civil engineering courses are offered either as a full-time or part-time study route. Full-time study typically takes one year, but there is the option of extending this to two years, and the part-time route takes between two and five years to complete.

The part-time route is suitable for students in full-time employment. We offer a weekend delivery option which is popular with employers, as it tailors study requirements to sit comfortably alongside employment.

Choosing the right study pattern for you

  • Midweek delivery

Modules are taught for up to two days a week, for thirteen weeks and are run in parallel with other midweek modules, enabling you to study more than one module a week.

  • Weekend delivery

Other modules will be delivered over two intensive weekends. These modules will be delivered consecutively, with a significant gap between successive weekend-delivered modules. These modules will be delivered in parallel with the midweek delivered modules.

Most of the modules delivered at weekends in one year, will be delivered as weekday modules the following year, and vice-versa.

Full-time students will be studying a mixture of midweek and weekend delivery modules, whereas it is likely that part-time students will opt to predominantly study weekend delivery modules.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods vary from module to module, however assignments and case studies form a significant part of the assessment process. You may also be required to develop reports and designs for assessment.

Assignments may be essays, case studies, reports and designs. They are investigative in nature, enabling you to develop principles, analyse, critically appraise and evaluate relevant issues, demonstrating your creativity and sustainable thinking.

Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who have established links to industry and significant experience of working in practice.

Careers and employability

Mentoring and support

During your research project/dissertation, full-time students will be allocated an NTU supervisor, whilst part-time students will have the chance to be mentored by a nominated Employer Tutor alongside their NTU supervisor.  This will probably be a line manager who will be willing to act as a mentor to you during the course, supporting you throughout the course and specifically during the Research Project/Dissertation module. The Employer Tutor will also be a point of contact, and represent your employer to discuss your progress.

Course accreditation

This course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators of the Engineering Council, satisfying the educational requirements necessary for advancement to Chartered Engineer status with the following professional bodies: the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institution of Highway Engineers (IHE). This will give you the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and professional recognition to progress into a senior management role in civil engineering.

Your employability

Students from this course will graduate with improved professional and technical skills to operate at senior positions in the construction industry. Although this course does not offer a formal placement, all our courses are vocationally focused and benefit from strong links with industry. Graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of national and international organisations in senior positions in both the consulting and contracting fields. Alternatively, some graduates have chosen to continue within the education sector and embarked on PhD studies.

Sir John Armitt, Institution of Civil Engineering and Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow, delivering a lecture to NTU civil engineering students

Students from this course will graduate with improved professional and technical skills to operate at senior positions in the construction industry.

Benefit from our industry-standard facilities in our Maudslay building, right in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2:2 honours degree in civil engineering, or an appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

We will also consider applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Postgraduate diploma, or equivalent academic achievement in civil engineering or appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with industry experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.
  • If you are applying for the part-time mode, you would typically have two to three years’ experience, and have the support of your employer who will wish to integrate study and projects into your day-to-day work.
  • You will probably be employed on significant infrastructure, and civil engineering and/or building works, either as a direct employee of local or national government, or in the private sector. You will likely have experience of developing and coordinating significant infrastructure, and civil engineering or building projects.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2:2 honours degree in civil engineering, or an appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

We will also consider applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Postgraduate diploma, or equivalent academic achievement in civil engineering or appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with industry experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.
  • If you are applying for the part-time mode, you would typically have two to three years’ experience, and have the support of your employer who will wish to integrate study and projects into your day-to-day work.
  • You will probably be employed on significant infrastructure, and civil engineering and/or building works, either as a direct employee of local or national government, or in the private sector. You will likely have experience of developing and coordinating significant infrastructure, and civil engineering or building projects.

English language entry requirements

  • If you are an international applicant, you will require an English language qualification, normally an IELTS with a score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill). For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

For a step-by-step guide to making an application through our Applicant Portal, please visit our postgraduate application pages.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Advice for non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from applicants without prior qualifications. However, in this instance, you must have proven experience in industry, which demonstrates appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree (undergraduate) standard.

If you are applying without prior qualifications, you will need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step by step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2020 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)
Full-time (1 year)£8,200 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study)£4,100 per year

Funding your studies

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Fees for 2020 entry

Study routeInternational
Full-time (1 year)£15,100 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study)£7,550 per year

Funding your studies

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418