School of Engineering

MEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering

Study at one of the world's leading centres for coastal engineering research for a professionally accredited civil and coastal engineering degree. Explore a wide range of topics from storms, climate change and coastal defence, to structural design, hydraulics and geotechnics. This course equips you with important skills increasingly in demand both in the UK and internationally, and prepares you for life as a civil and coastal engineer.

You will distinguish yourself professionally with an accredited degree. You will get your career off to a flying start by spending an optional work placement year working as a paid student engineer – a great opportunity to further your knowledge and make important industry contacts. You’ll keep pace with the ever-changing discoveries, insights and thinking in the subject. 2018 National Student Survey: 100% of respondents to the survey said they were satisfied with the quality of their degree.*

The Plymouth Engineer Scholarship: Civil and coastal engineering degrees

Up to £1,000. Students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and/or one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science subject or in A level Geography. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2019. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

Sea wall and pier at sunrise Teignmouth South Devon UK.

Key features

  • In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking we are eighth out of 50, and the highest ranked UK university, for Marine/Ocean Engineering.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with an accredited degree. Our MEng (Hons) is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), The Institute of Highway Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation on behalf of the Engineering Council, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). You'll qualify for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Institution of Structural Engineers.
  • Get your career off to a flying start by spending an optional work placement year working as a paid student engineer – a great opportunity to further your knowledge and make important industry contacts.
  • Study at one of the world’s leading centres for coastal engineering research – you’ll keep pace with the ever-changing discoveries, insights and thinking in the subject.
  • Benefit from our new £19 million Marine Building, which offers facilities for teaching water and coastal engineering. Our design project module in coastal engineering equips you to specialise in design or flood risk management and port engineering.
  • Draw on our teaching staff of professionally qualified experts with relevant experience from the civil engineering industry, and researchers with national and international reputations. 90 per cent of our students say our staff are good at explaining things [source: UNISTATS].
  • Learn a host of design skills from problem solving to sustainable development, as well as acquiring the critical thinking that plays a key role in the work of a civil engineer, including interpreting and analysing data.
  • Increase your employability by taking an HSE-recognised diving qualification as part of your course, allowing you to work professionally in underwater technology.
  • Develop your professional skills including communication, self-management, team working and leadership, all vital in obtaining graduate employment and a rewarding career.
  • Join our extensive network of Chartered Civil Engineers who have graduated from Plymouth University and now work at all levels in the industry both nationally and internationally.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In the first year, you’ll be introduced to the role of the professional civil engineer – grounded in an understanding of the application of mathematics in engineering and the behaviour of civil engineering structures. Working in both lab and field, you’ll develop skills in surveying, computer aided design and the properties of engineering materials. We’ll begin your professional development through site visits, group-based design activity and visiting industry speakers.
    Core modules
    • BPIE114 Stage 1 Civils Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • CIVL103 Civil Engineering Practice

      This module introduces and develops students¿ understanding of the skillset, competencies and professional responsibilities required of civil engineering practice. It includes site visits, practical exercises, and talks from practising professional engineers reflecting on their experience in industry. The module also includes `hands on¿ training in Computer Aided Design (CAD).

    • CIVL104 Introduction to Hydraulics and Geotechnics

      This module introduces two important technical subjects in Civil Engineering: Hydraulics and Geotechnics. Hydraulics considers fundamental concepts of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. Geotechnics considers the ground in the context of Civil Engineering. The module includes field trips to local sites of Geological interest.

    • MATH187 Engineering Mathematics

      The module provides students with a number of fundamental mathematical skills and techniques which are essential for the analysis of engineering problems.

    • MATS123 Materials for Civil Engineering and Construction

      This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the origins and properties of materials commonly used by the civil engineering industry. Students will be engaged in the practical testing of materials in order to judge their relative strengths and weaknesses. Health and safety matters associated with each of the materials will also be highlighted.

    • STAD117 Structural Analysis and Design I

      This Module equips student with basic and essential structural analysis and design skills that are key requirements for Civil and Structural Engineering disciplines. This module also introduces students to practical applications of these concepts using hand calculations, laboratory and computer software tools to enhance their deeper understanding.

    • SURV100 Civil Engineering Surveying

      This module covers basic land, site and building surveying methods that are commonly used in the construction industry. It includes principles such as survey control networks and setting out, and the associated calculations. Students will undertake practical use of instruments such as an automatic level and `total station'. There is also an introduction to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and highway alignments.

  • Year 2
  • Explore the core disciplines of civil engineering, from structural analysis and design to hydraulic engineering through lectures, practical activities, site visits and a field course. We’ll introduce you to some specialist areas of the industry, including coastal engineering and water management – with the opportunity to take an option module to develop skills in sampling, survey, underwater photography and inspection techniques (for those who have completed the HSE SCUBA diving qualification).
    Core modules
    • BPIE214 Stage 2 Civils Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • GEEN212 Geotechnical Engineering

      The module introduces different cyclic geological processes then covers the systematic methodologies that help identify, classify and test these materials, with the view to defining their (engineering) strength. Engineering concepts are introduced in order to predict the behaviour of these geotechnical materials in response to any applied loading. Initial design methods will be finally introduced.

    • HYFM228 Hydraulic and Coastal Engineering

      This module introduces students to two subjects related to fluid mechanics: hydraulic engineering and coastal engineering. The following aspects will be considered: fundamentals of hydrostatics; the continuity, momentum and energy equations and their applications; coastal systems; waves and water-level variations; coastal engineering in practice.

    • MATH238 Engineering Analysis

      This module builds upon the stage one engineering mathematics module, by introducing students to more advanced mathematical ideas, statistical techniques and numerical methods. The methods and techniques studied are used to solve relevant civil engineering applications, with some emphasis on interpreting the results obtained. Industrially recognised software packages are also used where appropriate.

    • MGMT222 Construction Management

      The aim of this module is to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of commercial aspects of construction management and project planning. In addition the module aims to build practical skills in the use of project planning software and the practical use of codes of conduct that guide appropriate personal behaviour in professional engineering practice.

    • STAD215 Structural Analysis and Design II

      This module extends the theoretical base established by the Stage 1 Structural Analysis and Structural Design modules. It is intended to combine the basic principles of analysis with design to develop an integrated approach to solving problems in Structural Engineering. The module is supported by the use of computer software and laboratory work.

    Optional modules
    • CONS203 Civil Engineering Construction

      This module explores the use of construction techniques on civil engineering projects and approaches to the planning and management such woks. The module is delivered with support from the Civil Engineering Contractor's Association (CECA).

    • HYFM229 Water Management

      The module explores the practical and theoretical aspects of the management of water resources, including methods of surface and groundwater yield evaluation, and the requirements of water distribution networks. It also investigates the factors influencing the response of catchments to rainfall, particularly in the prediction of flooding; and appraises methods of flood alleviation. The module is supported by a site visit.

    • OS207 Scientific Diving

      This module allows suitably qualified students (HSE SCUBA or equivalent) to develop industry and research-relevant skills in measurement and monitoring in the underwater environment using professional SCUBA and related techniques. These will then be applied in a multi-disciplinary context to the planning, execution, analysis and reporting of a field-based sampling activity.

  • Optional placement year
  • By taking the opportunity to spend a year in paid professional employment as a student civil engineer, you’ll gain real world experience, industry contacts and the possibility of summer work, sponsorship or a graduate job offer. Our Employability Service will support you in finding a placement and we offer an extensive network of employers across all sectors.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE340 Civil Engineering Related Placement (Generic)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study. Help to prepare the student for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Year 3
  • You’ll deepen your understanding of the core technical subjects in civil engineering with a particular emphasis on coastal engineering design - culminating in an industry-focused group design project. You’ll spend much of the year completing a research-based individual project – that focuses on laboratory experiments, computer-aided modelling, or field work linked to our staff’s research and professional interests.
    Core modules
    • COUE318 Coastal Engineering Analysis and Design

      Building on the basic elements of Coastal Engineering, this module provides the fundamental understanding of coastal processes (wave mechanics, nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport) and coastal structures (design parameters, layout, cross section) required for a coastal engineering project. Emphasis is given to the interactions between coastal structures and processes. Basis for COUE319 design module.

    • COUE319 Coastal Engineering Design Project

      This module comprises of a major group design project focussed on a coastal engineering scheme. It provides experience in the design of a realistic, simulated coastal engineering project. The project is designed as a group project, to mimic a professional practice team.

    • GEEN313 Geotechnical Engineering 2

      Different theories and design methodologies are introduced succinctly at the beginning of each topic, followed by design practice with detailed worked examples and case studies. The emphasis is on introducing students to the latest analysis tools used in practice, and on making them relate to the outcome of different worked examples.

    • HYFM321 Hydraulic Engineering 2

      This module builds upon a fundamental understanding of basic hydraulic theory, to develop knowledge, understanding and ability to use theoretical principles to analyse steady and unsteady hydraulic systems comprising pipes, open channels, hydraulic machines. The module also introduces theory underpinning the use physical hydraulic modelling.

    • PRCE310 Individual Project

      The individual project enables the student to research an approved topic related to civil or coastal engineering. It comprises a critical review of background literature and current knowledge that allows the student to identify a focus for their inquiry. Guided by an academic supervisor, the ensuing investigation comprises theoretical development, experimental and / or computational work, and a final analysis.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you'll extend your existing skills in geotechnical engineering, hydraulics and computation and information technology. Broaden your knowledge by studying subjects such as modelling marine processes, structural engineering and project management. In preparation for your future career, you’ll focus on the commercial aspects of the civil engineering business through a group-based design project collaborating with other engineering disciplines.
    Core modules
    • COUE506 Port and Harbour Engineering

      This module presents the fundamental elements of the layout, design and construction of modern port structures, and provides students with the necessary understanding of the forces and loadings acting of them. The subject combines 3 elements not often found together in engineering: the requirements of a major transport infrastructure, the harsh marine environment, and the design of highly specific structural solutions.

    • GEEN501 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering

      It is expected that students completing this module would be able to (have the option to) pursue a career in geotechnical design, given the level of analysis used (examples include the calculations of the deflection around a tunnel cross section, along a laterally loaded pile or along a combined foundation).

    • HYFM504 Advanced Hydraulic Engineering

      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.

    • MATH511 Advanced Engineering Analysis

      This module consists of two parts: Advanced IT & Advanced Engineering Analysis. The IT part explores the benefits and limitations of IT in engineering practice. State of the art tools will be introduced and experts from industry will demonstrate practical applications of IT to complex engineering projects. The 2nd part of the module uses a range of numerical methods for the solution of various engineering problems.

    • MGMT503 International Engineering Business Management

      In this module students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of general engineering and professional practice through a critical analysis of systems used to conduct engineering business at an international level.

    • PRCE513 Interdisciplinary Design

      This module enables students to undertake a major project to solve an Interdisciplinary Design Problem. Students, working in groups will select and implement a design project from initial concept to a fully documented, planned, and costed proposal for potential stakeholders. Students are expected to address a broad spectrum of design outcomes (infrastructure, structures, integrated systems etc).

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

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

MEngCivilAndCoastalEngineering ProgrammeSpecification September2018 2224

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

124 - 136

A typical offer will be: 128 UCAS points, to include a minimum grade B in A level mathematics and a minimum grade C in a second science/technology or relevant subject. Excluding general studies.

BTEC QCF Level 3 or RQF Extended Diploma in Engineering (equivalent to 3 GCE A levels): Not acceptable as a standalone qualification for MEng entry (upward progression into MEng from BEng is possible). However, will accept DDD (to include all mathematics units with distinction) on condition the applicant also has a pass in A or AS level mathematics.

All Access courses: not accepted for MEng, unless the applicant has additional qualifications or experience. Please refer to our BEng course pages and contact a member of the Undergraduate Admission team on 01752 585858 /  

International Baccalaureate: 32 points overall to include 5 at Higher Level mathematics and a second relevant subject. Standard Level mathematics is NOT acceptable in lieu of Higher Level. English and mathematics must be included.

Other non-A level qualifications also considered, please enquire.

English language requirements         

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.                       

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

The Plymouth Engineer Scholarship: Civil and coastal engineering degrees

Up to £1,000. Students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and/or one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science subject or in A level Geography. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2019. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

International students

Scholarships are available for international students.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Alumni profile: Katy Toms

Katy is now a Chartered Engineer at Aecom and Vice Junior Chair Woman of the Institute of Chartered Engineers (ICE). 

Watch our video to hear her talking about her studies at the University of Plymouth and how we helped to prepare her for her career in industry.

Find out what our graduates are doing now

Joe Driver – graduate profile

As his career as an CS&A engineer goes from strength to strength, Joe Driver tells us how his time at Plymouth lay the foundation to his success.

"The University has great ties to the engineering community and a high regard with some employers, meaning I was able to secure a number of interviews just before I finished."

Find out more about Joe's story

Industry Profile - Paul Santer

Paul Santer, Regional Director of CECA South West, talks to us about why the University of Plymouth is a great institution for students to kick-start their career, in both the civil engineering, and coastal engineering, industries.

Industry profile - Jon Benton

Jon Benton, Regional Director for Dawnus Construction, talks us through his time as a Plymouth student, as well as employability prospects as a University of Plymouth engineering graduate.

This is Civil Engineering South West 2016

This short film by the Institution of Civil Engineers showcases the South West 2016 shortlisted projects and celebrates the fantastic civil engineering work happening in the region.

It features some of our very own graduates: Dominic Primmer, Katy Toms, Jon Petherick and Tom Whitmore.

View the video

Welcome to civil engineering at Plymouth

Dr Liz Hodgkinson, Lecturer, School of Marine Science and Engineering, and our student Tom discuss what it’s like to study here and show you some of our facilities.

Watch our video to find out more about studying civil engineering at the University of Plymouth.

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 civil engineering facilities and resources

What’s the difference between MEng and BEng?

MEng (Hons):  Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. 

BEng (Hons): Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Engineering we recognise that our students are the future of the growing engineering profession. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2018, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Engineering. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

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


Connecting with the industry

As a course focused on employability, we’ve developed a number of relationships with the industry to help provide you with the connections and opportunities you’ll need to begin your career.

We work closely with industry experts, organisations and awards to enhance your employability.

Find out about our industry partners, awards and course accreditation

Find out how our students got on on their work placements


With 100 per cent of graduates employed in a professional or managerial role six months after graduation, the connections we provide are meaningful and will have a direct impact on your employability.

We’ll give you the advice and support you need to begin the career of your choice.

Find out more about how we prepare you for a career in civil engineering.

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at the University of Plymouth through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.