2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Civil Engineering at Ulster - Design and Build your future and the world around you.
Civil Engineering has a multi-level career structure comprising Chartered, Incorporated and Technician Engineers and Civil Engineering Surveyors. The BSc Honours programme satisfies the most appropriate training for the Incorporated Engineer and follows the guidelines of the Engineering Council for the education and placement training of Incorporated Engineers. It also satisfies the academic base for membership of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.
The programme provides a high level of technical design proficiency and a sound knowledge of civil engineering and construction infrastructure.
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The third year of the programme is a mandatory period of Industrial Placement. We strongly believe that this experience sets the context of final year studies and potentially enhances employment prospects. A Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) is awarded to students who satisfactorily complete their placement.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Find out more about placement awards
Course duration, four years (including compulsory placement year).
You are expected to attend lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars. These timetabled classes add up to around 18 to 24 hours per week. Independent study is essential to reinforce face to face sessions with tutors. It is recommended that this time should be greater than the hours spent in face to face sessions with tutors. Development of your independent study culminates with a project in final year and allows you to demonstrate the skills you have attained throughout your degree.
The course has a modular structure with different subjects studied and assessed in each semester.
Year 1: Materials Science, Construction Studies, Design & Graphical Communication, Surveying, Maths, Traffic Engineering, IT & Communications, Fluid Mechanics and Structural Mechanics.
Year 2: Geology & Soil Mechanics, Engineer and the Environment, Public Health Engineering, Computer Applications, Maths, Production Management in Construction, Health & Safety and Structural Mechanics.
Year 3: Diploma in Professional Practice.
Year 4: Engineering GIS, Foundation Engineering, Construction Cost Studies, Structural Design & Performance, Project, Construction Project Administration and Sustainability Engineering.
Teaching is mainly through lectures and tutorials but also involves laboratory sessions, site visits and case studies. The programme is designed to allow students to become independent learners and cultivate a professional attitude to their studies.
Assessment is by formal examinations and coursework. Coursework includes reports, essays, class tests, presentations appropriate to the module.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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An understanding of fundamental behaviour of materials used in civil engineering is essential for their correct specification, design and construction. This module introduces structure and properties of commonly used construction materials and examines their uses and limitations. It also investigates the basic properties and classification of soils. Practical classes help to underpin main principles covered in lectures.
This module covers those mathematics topics which graduates in the engineering discipline will require for professional practice. For certain engineering courses this module also provides a platform for the further study of mathematics.
The module starts with refresher topics, includes basic algebra, mathematical functions, polynomial equations, logarithms and exponentials, trigonometry, complex numbers, matrices and determinants, vectors, differentiation and integration, and finishes with subject of sequences and series.
This module introduces the construction profession and the construction process in its widest form, examining the interaction between design, construction methods/materials, the programming of work and health and safety issues.
Learning will be supplemented by the use of site visits, in order to examine real situations, and MSProject, a computer software package widely used in industry.
Practical sessions will allow students to be introduced to traffic engineering and carry out assessment of junctions and a carpark.
The module is examined both by continuous assessment and examination.
Civil, Safety, and Energy engineering design and construction activities require knowledge of the forces due to the statical and dynamical behaviour of water and the statical behaviour of structures. Methods of determining forces arising from analyses using simple hydrostatics and hydrodynamics are given and applied to practical hydraulics problems. Common analysis methods for simple structures are introduced. Practical classes illustrate the use of these analysis methods at laboratory scale.
The modern day built environment professional is required to communicate effectively utilising electronic tools with the rest of the project team. This has been mandated by the UK Cabinet Office Construction Strategy, by European Commission procurement regulations and is being followed across the world. This module develops an understanding of the key drivers and barriers to fully implementing Level 2 BIM and points towards the development of level 3 BIM working in the near future. The module develops the foundational skills for internationally recognised BIM Level 2 for the contemporary and future built environment professionals.
Proper design, location, positioning and delineation of infrastructure are essential to the built
environment. This module is designed to facilitate learners in developing a working
knowledge of the spatial principles and practices that are essential to the civil engineering,
and construction sectors. Necessary skills are obtainable only through practice in
application of precise measuring and observation equipment. This module offers significant
opportunity to acquire and develop such skills and associated computational methods.
Civil engineering design and construction activities require the understanding of mathematical knowledge and skills to solve engineering applications. This module covers topics that are suitable for BSc. in Civil Engineering.
An understanding of health and safety in civil engineering is essential to prepare students for both a design office or construction site environment. This module will develop strategies for risk identification and management and emphasise the responsibility on individuals for health, safety and environment issues for their design and workplace.
The increasing complexity of construction projects demands a significant change in the way the industry operates and in the way in which it is managed. This module aims to equip students with a range of specialist management knowledge and skills; adapted and applied within a construction management context. The module brings together the three components of operations, site and personnel management to provide a range of skills, which encompass the field of construction management. The student will develop a sound knowledge of the workings of an organisation and as a result be able to play their part in optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of a construction company.
There is an increasing need for students to apply standard software packages to provide data and assist in solving design and GIS related problems. Learning is managed through the use of workbooks and exercises to develop competence in the applications. The module is examined through the production of portfolios of evidence and a report.
This module develops an appreciation of the origin and form of the landscape and its influence on construction, knowledge of raw materials used in construction and an awareness of the geological and environmental considerations influencing engineering practice. The basic concepts of ground engineering are introduced. The fundamental behaviour of soils and the measurement of soil properties are studied together with the techniques and limitations of sub-soil behaviour.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of fluid mechanics to prepare students to participate in the appraisal and design of public health engineering projects, within the broad context of the delivery of sustainable development. Hydrological issues and concepts will be dealt with alongside climate change Experience is also given in experimental work and report writing.
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
This module brings together a number of themes which underpins and develops management skills. These include people management issues, industrial relations, Health and Safety and Maintenance Management. The module also details the use of modern communication systems used in the industry.
With the proliferation of multi-format digital data there is a clear requirement for civil engineering professionals to acquire skills in manipulation, processing, analysis and exchange of information. This module addresses that requirement by placing the management of engineering infrastructure within its proper context, an engineering GIS. Numerous opportunities are presented to facilitate acquisition of co-requisite knowledge and transferable skills. Powerful analytical tools allow the GIS to extend beyond a complex database to generate information crucial to the design and management of civil engineering infrastructure.
Ground engineering and the installation and construction of foundations and earth retaining structures, is imperative for all civil and structural engineers. This module is the basis for the development of such expertise.
This module develops skills in the analysis, design and assessment of common structural elements and structural forms. This module also considers philosophy and concepts of key design codes of practice; design methodology and procedures for reinforced concrete, structural steel elements, use of proprietary design and detailing computer packages for reinforced concrete and structural steel.
The construction industry, including the organisations and the people they employ, is always under pressure to improve its performance with respect to cost, time and quality. The module is a response to these demands, in that it examines current practice and possible areas for change in the management and estimation process and people in the construction process. In particular, it draws together the processes of tendering and estimating for construction/design and construction operations, in the context of relevant contractual and financial arrangements and the people/organisations concerned in order to provide information for improved performance. Practical applications and case studies are employed to bring reality to the classroom.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of environmental and civil engineering studies and prepares students to participate in the design of a broad range of engineering projects. The module is firmly grounded in the principles, appreciation and application of Sustainable Development and requires the student to seek optimum solutions in several environmental challenges, across the themes of waste management, water and wastewater engineering, urban planning ands sustainability appraisal.
The module provides an opportunity for extensive student directed study of a specialised technical or operational aspect of civil engineering. It develops competence in time and resource management as well as written, graphical and oral communication skills.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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The A Level requirement for this course is BCC to include grades BC in two from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, Geography, Applied Science or DA Science, Life and Health Science (single or double award), Technology (including Technology & Design, Design & Technology, Environmental Technology, Environmental Science and Digital Technology).
See GCSE requirements.
As long as the two-subject requirement is met, applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications:
BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Construction, Civil Engineering or Engineering with overall award profile DDM.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Civil Engineering or Engineering with overall award profile DMM.
Specific modules are required and depending on the BTEC subject the required modules are:
QCF in Construction or Civil Engineering – Merit in Further Mathematics in Construction and the Built Environment or Structural Mechanics and Public Health Engineering or Surveying in Construction and Civil Engineering.
QCF in Engineering - Merit in Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians andMechanical Principles.
RQF in Civil Engineering – Merit in Further Mathematics for Construction or Principles and Applications of Structural Mechanics and Public Health Engineering
RQF in Engineering - Merit in Engineering Engineering Principles and Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems.
A levels with
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with two A Levels which must be in the specified subjects;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with two A Levels which must be in the specified subjects;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the relevant subjects.
The two-subject requirement must be met.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
104 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. Higher Level subjects must include 2 subjects at grade H3 from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics/Chemistry, Technology, Technical Drawing/Graphics, Construction, Engineering or Geography. The overall profile must also include English at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL). If Maths is not being offered at Higher Level grade O4 at Ordinary Level is also required.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BCCCC to include two subjects from Physics, Mathematics, Technology, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Engineering or ICT.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CDD to include 2 subjects from Physics, Mathematics, Technology, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Engineering or ICT.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points (12 at higher level) to include minimum grade 4 in HL Maths and another HL science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.
Engineering, Science, Technology, Construction or Civil Engineering Access with overall mark of 60% in level 3 modules, and 65% in the level 2 NICATS Mathematics for year 1 entry.
GCSE Mathematics Grade B, C*, 5 (or equivalent)
If A Level Physics is not being offered then GCSE Double Award Science at grades BB, C*C*, 55 or 2 GCSEs at grade B, C* 5 from GCSE Physics, Chemistry, Geography or Technology is required.
GCSE English Language at Grade C or 4.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
HNC requirement in a Construction or Civil Engineering subject is overall Merit to include 60 level 4 credits at Distinction and a Merit in the Level 4 Maths module for year one entry.
HND requirement in Construction or Civil Engineering subject is overall Merit to include 30 level 5 credits at Distinction and a Merit in Engineering Maths, Structural Analysis, Hydraulics/Hydrology and Soil Mechanics for year 2 entry.
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in Civil Engineering with an overall mark of 45%, and 45% in all taught level 5 modules, and 45% in the 20 credit Mathematics module for year 2 entry.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence
The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C or 4 (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger
Prospective students studying Higher National Diplomas or Foundation Degrees in Civil Engineering or Construction may apply for entry into second year, subject to satisfactory performance.
Year 1 students achieving an average of 70% or above may transfer to year 2 of the BEng Hons Civil Engineering programme. A further maths module must be passed in the summer semester.
Students graduating with at least a 2:2 classification may wish to consider application to postgraduate study.
If placement was Undertaken at a Further Education college, there is no DPP awarded with the degree.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
Graduates of the programme will typically take up opportunities with civil engineering contractors, consulting engineering practices, surveying practices and government departments. The additional accreditation by the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors significantly broadens the career base.
Year 3 comprises of a mandatory year in Industrial Placement. Opportunities for employment can be found either at home or abroad. It has been found that generally students who obtain placement and experience in the workplace are better equipped and perform better in the remainder of their studies. The Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) is awarded on graduation to students who have successfully completed the year of Industrial Placement.
Accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
Accredited by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
Accredited by the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
Accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
Accredited by the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES) for the purpose of eligibility to apply for Graduate Membership.
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
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The Institution of Structural Engineers sponsor a course prize in final year for the best performing student in structural subjects.
During your time at Ulster, field trips and laboratory work must be completed and you are required to have a set of safety shoes (Steel toe capped boots or shoes). As part of the Ulster risk management strategy you are required to have this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the above named activities, failure to have these items will result in exclusion from field trips and laboratory work. Investing in such PPE will benefit you during your studies, placement and when you graduate.
Other costs incurred include the 4 day residential Survey Camp in Tullymore Forest Park in Newcastle County Down. This survey camp is scheduled in semester 2, generally in week 12, the exact details will be confirmed by the Module Coordinator. You will be required to either travel to survey camp OR book local accommodation for three nights. As part of the survey camp it is expected that you wear appropriate footwear and wet weather clothing is required.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.