The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentPostgraduate study

MSc Civil Engineering (1 year)

The MSc Civil Engineering course is ideal for those wishing to switch to a career in civil engineering or graduates looking to advance their career towards Chartered Engineer status. The flexible course offers two professional pathways, and the option to carry out a research project while undertaking an industrial placement.

Introducing your degree

This degree will provide you with a sound understanding of civil engineering design and applications through a series of core and specialist modules in areas covering coastal and maritime engineering, hydraulics, the environment, infrastructure, transport and management. Our modules reflect our internationally-renowned research expertise in these fields. You will be involved in a research project, enabling you to apply the knowledge and transferable skills developed during the programme. The degree includes two pathways: (i) a conventional Masters programme for students with a first degree in civil engineering and (ii) a conversion pathway aimed at numerate non-civil engineering graduates.


The full-time course is taught by leading researchers in this field. You will learn to apply the latest statistical analysis tools. You also have the opportunity to study advanced modules in coastal, environmental, infrastructure and transport engineering.

The year is divided into two semesters. Each semester, you will select from a range of specialist modules, including earthquake engineering and groundwater hydrology and contamination. You also have the option to develop your knowledge of project economics, and law and contracts.

Practical sessions form a large part of the course. You will have access to specialist facilities, including heavy structures, hydraulics and geotechnical laboratories. You will also complete a final research project to evolve your critical-thinking and technical expertise.

We offer two pathways - a conversion pathway for non-Civil Engineering graduates wishing to convert their degree, and a standard pathway for those who already have a first degree in Civil Engineering; both pathways undertake a research project. There may also be the option for UK and EU students to undertake an 11 month industrial placement, please see the ‘Industrial Placement Option’ information below.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You can do this through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. The deadline for new applications to this course is the 31st July each year. Please note that Part-time study is not available on this programme and applicants may be invited to attend an interview. For more background and detailed information, see How to Apply.


Engineering Council

Becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer:

Graduate Civil Engineers

This degree is accredited, as a Technical MSc, 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 for further information.

The accreditation bodies are the following: Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers.

Non accredited graduates

Graduates who do not hold an accredited BEng(Hons) degree, and are applying for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) need to have their existing qualifications assessed by the ICE Academic Qualifications Panel, who will determine whether the MSc Civil Engineering will enable them to later obtain Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. In most, but not all cases, the successful completion of the MSc Civil Engineering will allow you to later reach CEng status.

Programme Structure

There are two pathways through the MSc Civil Engineering - a conversion pathway for non-Civil Engineering graduates wishing to convert their degree, and a standard pathway for those who already have a first degree in Civil Engineering. Both can be taken over 12 months, with the dissertation research project carried out at the University. For UK and EU students who arrange their own Industrial Placement, the research project may be carried out during the placement.


Pathway Standard Pathway Conversion Pathway
Semester 1

Data analysis and experimental methods for Civil and Environmental Engineering – 15 credits

Optional modules - 45 credits


Data analysis and experimental methods for Civil and Environmental Engineering – 15 credits

CENV 6127 Understanding Civil Engineering – 30 credits

Optional module - 15 credits

Semester 2 Optional modules - 60 credits Optional modules - 60 credits
Summer University or Industrial Placement based research project – 60 credits University or Industrial Placement based research project – 60 credits

Conversion Degree Option

Our MSc Civil Engineering conversion degree is aimed at non-civil engineering graduates. The conversion degree includes a compulsory 30-credit module, Understanding Civil Engineering, which will build your qualitative understanding of the core subject areas of civil engineering. These modules encompass the use of materials in construction, the design of steel and concrete structures, geotechnics, engineering surveying and flows in open channels and pipes. You will explore structural form, conceptual design, project planning, environmental impacts and the relevant health and safety regulations. There is also a week-long field based course on modern surveying techniques.

Industrial Placement Option

The Industrial Placement is open to UK and EU applicants only. It is not available for Overseas applicants.

Our MSc Civil Engineering with an Industrial Placement provides you with the opportunity to study at Masters level, whilst gaining valuable work experience and a small income to help cover your costs. The 20 month programme includes two semesters of taught classes followed by an 11-month industrial placement, during which you carry out your research project.

Students taking the Industrial placement route will receive a tax free stipend during the programme (while this figure may be revised, a representative amount is £1,200 each month of the industrial placement and £600 per month during the taught course.)

Please note that industrial placements are not arranged by the University. Students must arrange their own industrial placement. Sponsoring companies must complete the terms and conditions before the commencement of the placement.

The final decision as to the acceptability of the placement and the acceptance of the student onto the programme resides with the University, which accepts no responsibility for providing alternative courses in the event that a placement offer is withdrawn following commencement of the course.

At the discretion of the University, students who have placements withdrawn may be considered for a place on the 12 month MSc programme. Please note that all applicants for the MSc Civil Engineering with Industrial Placement are initially entered for the MSc Civil Engineering without Industrial Placement (12 month programme). If you are successful in obtaining a placement from an approved sponsor, you will then be transferred to the MSc with Industrial Placement and a new offer letter will be issued accordingly. The financial stipend for this programme is only available to students securing an industrial placement. Students not successful in obtaining a placement will have the option to remain on the one year MSc in Civil Engineering.


Key Facts

  • We are actively involved in Track to the Future, a £5.2m EPSRC project which aims to improve railway track performance
  • The new £36million National Infrastructure Laboratory will be based on our new Boldrewood Innovation Campus.
  • We have provided the National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC) with methods to forecast traffic flows on UK motorways


Thumbnail photo of Richard Lebon

“The MSc in Civil Engineering is very well-taught by lecturers who have experience in the real world, and there is the right balance of theory and application. ”

Richard Lebon - MSc Civil Engineering

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree

At least an upper second class honours BEng or BSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant engineering, science or technology subject is required for entry.

All applicants for the conversion degree in civil engineering will need to demonstrate their competence at mathematics or physics. This would normally be either through the successful completion of mathematics modules as part of their first degree or completion of A-level mathematics or physics. 

Equivalent Qualifications

Alternative qualifications are considered on individual merit. For example, a portfolio of appropriate work experience underpinned by an academic achievements equivalent to the basic requirements and recent serious and appropriate study, with clear evidence of scientific aptitude. Applicants in this category are interviewed and might be required to sit the admissions assessment. We are always happy to receive applications from candidates with an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. If you are unsure about our entry criteria, please contact our admissions staff who would be happy to provide advice in advance of your application.

English Language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate that they have sufficient command of English to undertake the course, for example, through an IELTS test score of 6.5 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Intake: 15-25 students per year, half of whom are on the MSc Civil Engineering Conversion Degree option

Average applications per place: 8

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. The University of Southampton welcomes applications from disabled students. We have extensive experience of supporting students with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions including sensory loss, mobility issues, mental health needs, long terms health conditions, autistic spectrum disorders and any specific learning difficulty. Applications from disabled applicants will be considered in the same way as any other application and a decision will be made that is based upon the candidate's academic merit and potential. If you have a disability or health condition and would like to discuss your requirements please contact Enabling Services to discuss your academic and other support needs. Email: or tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7726.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

In addition to the research project you will select 8 taught modules from the MSc Civil Engineering programme.

The modules fall into five categories: coastal engineering, environmental engineering, infrastructure engineering, engineering management and transport engineering. In total you must choose 8 modules in addition to either the research project or industrial placement.

The module CENV 6127 Understanding Civil Engineering is a double module and is compulsory for students on the MSc Civil Engineering conversion degree.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment




Study locations

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