About this course
Help the world adapt to urbanisation, climate change and natural disasters with a master’s degree in civil engineering.
This 2-year integrated course is ideal if you didn't graduate in civil engineering, but have maths and physics skills. You'll spend a year learning the basics of civil engineering before progressing to the main MSc course for your second year.
You’ll spend your first year studying key topics and improving your knowledge to prepare for your second year, when you’ll join the full-time MSc Civil Engineering course.
Throughout the course you’ll study:
- fundamental principles, methods, analysis and synthesis in civil engineering design and applications
- specialist modules in engineering fields such as: coastal, environmental, infrastructure, transport and engineering management
- information and communication technology relevant to civil engineering, as well as management practices, health and safety issues, risk assessment and regulatory frameworks
- the role and professional responsibilities of engineers in society
You’ll complete a research project to apply the knowledge and transferable skills you have developed on the degree.
Dr Benjamin Cerfontaine is a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering. His research focuses on offshore geotechnics and infrastructure for renewable energy. Visit Dr Cerfontaine's profile page to learn more about his work.
If you already meet the entry requirements for our MSc Civil Engineering master's degree, you can apply for the programme without a qualifying year. Visit the page to find out more and apply:
This degree is accredited 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. Learn more about accreditation on the Joint Board of Moderators website.
“Southampton was perfect for me. It has a fantastic reputation and is a very well respected Russell Group university for civil engineering. More specifically, the department has one of the largest geotechnical departments in Europe. Boldrewood Campus houses brand-new laboratories and equipment for geotechnics and infrastructure.”
This course is based at Highfield and Boldrewood.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in a relevant engineering, science or technology subject, such as:
You must demonstrate your competence at mathematics or physics, either through completion of maths modules as part of your original degree, or an A level pass in one of these subjects.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
We will consider alternative qualifications on individual merit. For example:
- a portfolio of work experience supported by academic achievements equivalent to our basic requirements
- recent study with clear evidence of scientific ability
If you apply with alternative qualifications, we will ask you to attend an interview. We may also ask you to complete an admissions assessment.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course with an additional qualifying year. Each year is divided into 2 semesters. You’ll study for 24 months in total, starting in September.
You will spend the qualifying year studying compulsory modules on key topics to improve your knowledge and prepare you for year 2.
On completion of the qualifying year, you will progress onto the full-time master’s course.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course. This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules in year 1:
Highway and Traffic Engineering
This module combines the two main elements of Highway Engineering – geometric design and road pavement structural design. You will gain an understanding of key issues and practices in both elements, including design case studies where you will put theory ...
This module continues to develop the fundamental themes on fluid mechanics introduced in the module FEEG1003 “Thermofluids” and applies them to the study of incompressible fluids in adiabatic conditions. It will focus on problems associated with water flo...
Cities are continually evolving in response to economic, social and environmental drivers. Globalisation is accelerating this process and cities which are unable to respond may quickly lose their purpose and vitality. In a UK context, many cities have are...
Railway Engineering and Operations
This module provides comprehensive coverage of the main features of railway engineering and operations, including topics ranging from system planning through to the impacts of noise and vibration. During the module students will develop an appreciation o...
This module provides an introduction to the principles of soil mechanics – how soil behaves when subject to engineering loads and construction processes. It also provides knowledge of simple analysis methods that are appropriate for assessment of geotechn...
The aim of this module is to develop and deepen knowledge and understanding already gained in FEEG1002 of how structural elements and assemblies behave, and can be analysed. The module provides a firm basis for all subsequent structural analysis and desig...
This module aims to provide a detailed understanding and practical application of methods of structural analysis and design to approved codes of practice relevant to typical steel and concrete framed structures. This module will build on the content of CE...
Urban Water and Wastewater Engineering
The module covers two main themes. One looks at the types of process that are used to purify water to a standard acceptable for distribution. The subject material is taught so as to give a fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical and biological...
Year 2 modules
You must study the following modules in year 2:
Data Analysis & Experimental Methods for Civil and Environmental Engineering
This module concerns the design of experimental or observational studies aimed at enabling the understanding, analyses and interpretation of data and to deliver datasets from which robust, statistically defendable conclusions can be drawn. Essentially the...
MSc Research Project
Within the context of your programme of study, students will undertake independent, original and critical research on a relevant topic. Students will then communicate the research objectives, methodology, analysis, results and conclusions effectively both...
You must also choose from the following modules in year 2:
Advanced Finite Element Analysis
This module is aimed at providing exposure to and understanding of advanced, specialist areas of Finite Element Analysis and their underlying Solid/Structural Mechanics concepts. It then concentrates on using this knowledge for solving discipline-specifi...
Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical design underpins the performance of vital civil engineering infrastructure related to energy, water, transport and the built environment. This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of geotechnical analysis for a range of civil ...
Advanced Structural Engineering
This module covers the advanced design of reinforced concrete structures, prestressed concrete structures and steel-concrete composite structures. For each of these structural typologies, the fundamental principles of structural behaviour and design requi...
The bioenergy industry is undergoing rapid growth due to the policy drivers underpinning the current interest in bioenergy, such as energy security and climate change. This module provides an overview of key topics on sustainable bioenergy production, inc...
Coastal and Maritime Engineering
This module will introduce you to the range of skills needed in the determination of design requirements and conditions, planning, and the design of coastal structures. These skills comprise the determination of wave conditions, the determination and anal...
Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Design of Steel Buildings
This module provides an overview of the breadth of earthquake engineering as a discipline, providing the most important knowledge and intellectual skills for students to be able to assess earthquake hazards and ground motions (shaking), and then to analys...
Energy Performance Assessment of Buildings
This module gives an overview of the policy issues, various planning aids and assessment methods available to quantify energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings. Students will be able to use different tools to investigate building energy performan...
Energy Resources and Engineering
On completion of the module, you will have developed a broad understanding of energy resources, engineering technologies for energy conversion and have an appreciation of solutions available to meet the world's power demands. You will be able to formulate...
Flood Modelling and Mitigation
Floods are amongst the most damaging and costly of all natural hazards. Worldwide, frequent occurrences of heavy rainfall and other drivers combine with high levels of human exposure and high-value and vulnerable assets to produce multi-billion losses eve...
This module will introduce you to the analyses often used in the design of gravity, embedded and reinforced soil retaining walls, simple shallow and pile foundations, the assessment of slope stability and slope stabilisation schemes. It will build on the ...
Project Economics and Management
Your studies to date have given you a comprehensive understanding of how civil and environmental engineering projects work in a physical sense. This module will give you a systematic understanding of how such projects work in financial, economic, social a...
River and Estuary Restoration
To critically examine current knowledge of the application of River Restoration techniques and their transferability to the UK and worldwide. As many river restoration projects are done to improve the status of fisheries, the costs and benefits of techniq...
Structural Stability and Finite Element Analysis
This module builds on the structural mechanics, analysis and design modules in Parts 1 and 2. It covers structural stability and the influence of material and geometric nonlinearity; it also introduces the theory and underlying principles of the finite el...
Sustainable Wastewater Treatment
The module assumes a basic knowledge of conventional wastewater treatment systems. The course reinforces the importance of wastewater treatment for the protection of public health and draws attention both to the epidemiology of globally distributed water...
Transport Management and Safety
A key component of Transportation Planning and Engineering is enabling safer and more efficient use of transport infrastructure through transport management. This often involves making use of new technologies, in particular those related to Intelligent T...
This module builds on theoretical aspects of transport planning and engineering to introduce a more applied approach covering the state-of-the-art in transport modelling. The module is divided into three intermixed strands: 'Transport Demand Models' for p...
Transport, Energy and the Environment
The transport sector is currently heavily fossil fuel dependent and, in advanced economies, accounts for around one quarter of carbon dioxide emissions. This module will provide you with a systematic understanding of the inter-relationships between transp...
Waste Resource Management
The module considers solid wastes from industry, commerce and domestic sources. The concept of a waste management hierarchy is introduced and practical ways in which it might be implemented are discussed. These include waste minimisation, reuse, recycling...
Learning and assessment
We’ll teach you to apply the latest analysis tools in the design of buildings, bridges, roads, foundations, flood defences, water supply and treatment systems and renewable energy systems.
You’ll learn through a combination of:
- lectures, seminars and tutorials
- field and laboratory classes
- independent study and research
Depending on the modules you take, you’ll have access to our specialist facilities, including large structures, hydraulics and geotechnical laboratories.
We'll encourage you to openly communicate your professional experiences, exchange ideas and share knowledge. We arrange one-to-one tutorials to cater for individual learning differences.
We also connect with a global network of companies, shared facilities and expertise to boost your learning.
We’ll assess you through a combination of unseen written examinations, as well as coursework in the form of:
- problem solving exercises
- laboratory reports
- design projects
- individual and group projects
- research project and dissertation
In your second year, you’ll carry out a research project and complete a dissertation. This is your chance to demonstrate what you’ve learned throughout your degree.
- sourcing and gathering information
- critical analysis
- evaluation and presentation skills
We can provide the subject matter for your dissertation. Topics could include:
- nonlinear structural analysis
- structural mechanics
- seismic analysis and design of structures and bridges
- coastal flood defense
- nanotechnology in water treatment
- railway systems
- underground structures
- geotechnical engineering
Alternatively, you may be able to choose a research project from a different discipline. This is only where the invitation to take part is feasible and you have the background knowledge and competence to meet the project challenges in the available time.
You’ll have access to:
- course books for each year of the programme
- library information retrieval seminar, introductory sessions, workshop training and small group tutorials
- our Engineering Development and Manufacturing Centre (EDMC) equipped with a range of workshop equipment, CAD/CAM
- a personal tutor for personal and academic support
- your Faculty Student Office for administrative support
- additional research seminars and invited lecturers
When you graduate, you’ll be ready for a career in the civil engineering industry. Our graduates move into engineer roles with a wide range of leading employers including:
- regulatory and local authorities
You’ll have several transferable skills, making you attractive to many graduate recruiters in industries such as financial services, IT and management consultancy.
You can also get careers advice and support from Southampton alumni through our E-Mentoring Southampton service.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £27,404.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 7 July 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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