School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

MSc Civil Engineering

Are you a civil engineering graduate? Do you want to improve your technical knowledge and enhance your career prospects? Our MSc deepens and broadens your understanding of civil engineering and helps you fulfil your professional role in creating, improving and protecting the environment. You obtain advanced analytical skills in the core subject areas of structural analysis, design and finite element analysis.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £11,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

Key features
  • Accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, Institute of Highway Engineers).
  • Be inspired by our £19 million Marine Building, housing the acclaimed COAST laboratory which offers facilities for teaching water and coastal engineering as well as conducting world-class research.
  • This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation on behalf of the Engineering Council 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 www.jbm.org.uk for further information.
  • Develop advanced level technical capability in structural analysis and design aspects of civil engineering.
  • Learn about management and professional practice at advanced level.
  • Undertake a dissertation relating to the range of ongoing civil engineering research in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • Recent graduates work in a wide range of consultant, contractor and client organisations, including: Hyder Consulting, Babcock International Group plc, Manhire Associates Consulting Engineers and Maverick Ventures UK Ltd.

*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.

Course details
  • Programme overview

  • You will obtain advanced analytical skills in structural engineering and hydraulic engineering and be introduced to the broader issues of project and process management in civil engineering. You will develop skills in engineering research and have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project on a topic of your choosing under the supervision of our academic staff.

    Core modules

    • Finite Element Modelling and Analysis (CIVL500)

      This module will develop fundamental understanding of the finite element analysis (FEA), further extend the knowledge of using FEA tools, and implement their applications in analysing complex practical engineering problems.

    • Project Management and Professional Practice (ENBS542)

      This module combines the examination of project management process and practice together with the essential requirements of both operating as a professional, and operating in, a professional environment. The module focuses on embedding knowledge and understanding issues faced by modern construction professionals in delivering construction projects in a professional and ethical manner.

    • Engineering Research Methods and Professional Development (ENGR501)

      You will use a methodical approach to engineering research that helps identify and define projects that are practically realistic and academically worthwhile. You will plan your research project and select ethically suitable quantitative and qualitative research methods. Your progression towards professional registration will be appraised and plans made for your personal development.

    • Advanced Hydraulic Engineering (HYFM501)

      This module investigates the hydraulic engineering factors influencing the computational modelling and management of riverine flood risk. It appraises the relative merits of techniques used in civil engineering practice for flood modelling and for flood risk management, with an emphasis on reliability assessment. The module is supported by the use of computer software and laboratory work.

    • Interdisciplinary Design Project (PRCE508)

      The module introduces the learner to working on a 'real world' interdisciplinary design project comprising the integration of a number of interlinked design challenges relating to core elements of their Civil and Civil and Coastal Engineering studies. The work will be undertaken in managed teams. The project scope will range from design concept through to construction.

    • MSc Dissertation (PROJ517)

      You will demonstrate practical skills and knowledge of research methods to plan and implement high quality research. You will carry out a substantial research investigation on a topic of your choice and report upon the aims, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and conclusions through a high quality, scholarly and professional write-up of the project, either as a formal dissertation or journal paper.

    • Advanced Structural Engineering (STAD506)

      This module provides a deeper understanding of complex structural analysis techniques and training to students in applying advanced structural analysis methods to real structures. The topics include the analysis of frames, deep beams and curved beams, the dynamics of structures to wind and seismic loadings, the torsion of beams with box sections, and the design of structures under complicated loading conditions.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Civil Engineering programme specification 2367

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

You’ll need a minimum of a lower second-class BEng honours degree (2:2) in civil engineering or an upper second-class BSc honours degree (2:1) in civil engineering.

If you have considerable professional experience and can evidence an academic ability to undergraduate degree levels you may also be considered.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check your comparability with the UK equivalent through ECCTIS, who provide an advisory service.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. 

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,100 To be confirmed
International £16,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £500 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • A 20 per cent discount on home tuition fees.
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
  • A 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.

For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our alumnus discount policy.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

MSc Civil Engineering

The skills of the civil engineer have long been recognised as providing the tools for the solution of engineering problems to benefit society. However, the role of the civil engineer is rapidly changing as society changes.

You are responsible for being proactive and proposing and seeking funding for engineering schemes, not just the technical aspects of the scheme.

Our facilities and resources

From dedicated computer laboratories to a wealth of electronic information, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.

Our facilities include our £19 million Marine Building and dedicated engineering laboratories equipped with industry standard software.

Find out more about our exceptional engineering facilities and resources

Marine Station

Boasting lecture facilities overlooking the sea, a wet lab for sample examination and analysis, a seawater aquarium, and field equipment storage and changing facilities.

The Marine Station is a landmark £5 million development; a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility on the shores of Plymouth Sound.

Discover more about the Marine Station

Why Civil Engineering at Plymouth?

University features in film celebrating Plymouth’s engineering prowess

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) presents Engineering Plymouth. A film celebrating how civil engineers have helped to shape Plymouth over the last 500 years. The film tells the story of Plymouth through its engineering milestones. From laying the foundations for a new town to the introduction of the Great Western Railway and the impressive Royal Albert Bridge. Through the Blitz bombs and on towards new horizons – robotics, artificial intelligence and the use of drone technology – we see how engineers are tackling problems and safeguarding the future for generations to come. 

Read the full article and watch the video

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.

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