2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Engineering 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
Innovate and engineer your environment.
The course in Civil Engineering is designed to allow graduates to work in both consultancy or contracting within industry. It incorporates elements of Structural design, Highway design and Water and Wastewater design.
You will be involved in all aspects of planning and design, construction and operation and maintenance of the various types of Civil Engineering projects such as reservoirs, pipelines, and water/wastewater treatment plants related to the water and wastewater element of the course; roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, ports and airports related to the highways elements of the course and large multi-storey structures, sports stadia, commercial and industrial buildings, power stations related to the structures elements of the course.
The University has one of the most advanced and best equiped highways laboratories in Ireland which is working with clients such as Red Bull Racing and the Highways Agency on Skid Resistance. You will be in this laboratory for testing during years 1 and 2 and will also be using it should you take a highways project in year 4.
On the Jordanstown campus the University has the second biggest fire lab in the UK and the biggest in a University setting. Research from this laboratory has formulated the Eurocodes for castellated beams. Lecturers from this laboratory take you for some of the structures elements of the course.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
In this section
The course is designed and structured to provide you with the opportunity to study the scientific, technical and managerial aspects of civil engineering to an appropriate level. The skills of self-motivation, original thought, problem solving and decision making, which are so essential to the professional engineer, are encouraged and developed by a programme of project work and design which is undertaken either individually or in small groups.
Classes are timetabled over 5 days and you are expected to attend all timetabled activities. These include lectures, tutorials, flipped classrooms, debates, computer laboratories, course specific laboratories, presentations, site visits, field trips, seminars, guest and evening lectures.
In Years 1 and 2 the emphasis is based upon knowledge acquisition and understanding using formal lectures, tutorials, laboratories and coursework. These will provide all the necessary background to function as a Civil Engineer. As you progress through these first two years, a more student centred teaching strategy is employed to encourage you to focus on self learning through individual reading, research, laboratory experimentation and design. There are a mixture of individual and groupwork so that personal and inter-personal skills are developed.
The class contact time allocated to each module of study is indicated on each Module Booklet. The class contact time is divided between lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory work and practical work according to the specific module and module assessment method.
Assessment is designed to incorporate diagnostic, formative and summative approaches. A wide range of assessment methods are used at different levels of the course linking teaching and learning strategies. The assessment methods include examination, coursework, essay, individual project and group project, case studies, site visit, seminar presentations, engineering laboratory report, computer simulation exercise, portfolio, problem solving, poster, class test, peer assessment, oral test, multiple choice questions, literature reviews, design and dissertation.
All University courses are designed on the assumption that you will study an average of 10 hours for each credit point. The independent study time should be time you spend in reading round the subject, carrying out preparatory work, preparing assignments, and preparing for examinations.
There is a split between coursework and examinations. For most module assessments it is 25% Coursework 75% examination. Several modules such as design and computer applications such as CAD are assessed as 100% coursework.
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.
A globally recognised hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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.
In this section
This module investigates structure/behaviour correlations, bonding, states of aggregation, composites, imperfections, behaviour phenomena and property enhancement of metals, cement pastes and concrete, timber, organic binders, masonry and synthetic polymers. Basic properties and classification of soils are also investigated. Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials and laboratory assignments.
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. The module is examined both by continuous assessment and examination.
This module introduces the design process. It uses an historical perspective and the observation of existing structures and infrastructure to develop an understanding of civil engineering systems. Creativity/innovation are encouraged in the solution of problems and the construction of physical models undertaken. Skills in the graphical communication of design ideas and details by sketching, manual draughting and CAD are developed.
This module introduces the topics of BIM and sustainability to the students in the broad context of the built environment. It covers sustainable development on a thematic basis and ensures that the students are aware of the key sustainability challenges facing engineers. Both written and oral communication skills are developed through lectures, BIM practicals and practical IT computer labs, to help embed the critical communication and referencing skills needed throughout their academic studies.
Civil and Safety engineering design and construction activities require knowledge of the forces due to the statical behaviour of structures. This module introduces common analysis methods for simple structures comprising rigid bodies, beams, two member pin jointed structures and multi member determinate pin jointed plane trusses. Practical classes illustrate the use of these analysis methods at laboratory scale.
Civil, Safety and Energy engineering design and construction activities require knowledge of the forces due to the statical and dynamical behaviour of water. Methods of determining forces arising from analyses using simple hydrostatics and hydrodynamics are given and applied to practical hydraulics problems. Practical classes illustrate the use of these analysis methods at laboratory scale.
A fundamental understanding of survey principles and practices is essential to the civil engineering and construction sectors. Moreover it lays a solid basis for progression to higher levels of study. Control of the survey and construction processes invariably requires precision and accuracy. These are obtainable only through competent use of survey equipment. This module is designed to offer significant opportunity for learners to acquire these necessary practical and computational skills.
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, construction and GIS sectors. The requisite 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.
This module covers mathematics topics which are suitable for a first year BEng course in Engineering and first year BSc Computing with Mathematics. These topics include Calculus, Algebra, Statistics and Probability.
This module is optional
This module provides an understanding of the fundamental principles of traffic engineering and the various types of solutions to the engineering and policy problems encountered. A knowledge base and understanding of the role, nature and application of traffic engineering is developed.
This module seeks 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.
This module develops an understanding of the principles of structural analysis and stress/strain analysis. Deformation analysis and the analysis of statically indeterminate structures by flexibility, stiffness and plastic methods are included. Two and three dimensional stress and strain transformations and interactions are examined and elastic failure theories introduced. Axial buckling is investigated and torsional buckling introduced.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of fluid mechanics to prepare students to participate in the design of hydraulic and public engineering projects. Experience is also given in experimental work and report writing.
This module considers durability, deformation characteristics, design and quality control of structural materials; philosophy and concepts of key design codes of practice; design methodology and procedures for reinforced concrete, structural steel, timber and brickwork elements, use of proprietary design and detailing computer packages for reinforced concrete and structural steel.
This module seeks to introduce the student to the interface between environmental matters and construction practices and to develop an awareness of the role of the professional engineer in the assessment of the environmental impact of construction projects.
Examining health and safety from a global and an ethics reasoning perspective, this module addresses the various international protocols, demonstrating how they impact upon local regulation and professional practice. In the process students develop an understanding of the concept that designs must be such that they can be built, used, maintained and eventually demolished in a safe and healthy manner and through problem-based learning put the concept into practice.
This level 5 mathematics module is for engineering students on Built Environment programmes. It covers a variety of mathematical methods appropriate for the solution of problems in civil, building services and energy engineering. Emphasis is placed on modelling in engineering contexts using numerical methods, linear algebra, differential equations and statistics as problem solving tools, rather than on a rigorous exposition of their theoretical basis.
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.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of hydraulics, river and water engineering to prepare students to participate in the design of hydraulic, river, hydrological and water engineering projects. Experience is also given in the development of computer methods in and report writing.
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 of process and people in design and construction. The module draws together the processes of tendering for construction and decision making within construction/design operations, in the context of relevant contractual arrangements and the people/organisations concerned. The management simulation provides an opportunity for teams to choose suitable strategies for improved performance relating to sustainable development. Practical applications and case studies are employed to bring reality to the classroom.
The module builds upon previous knowledge of water, highway and infrastructure engineering to prepare students to participate in the design of a broad range of civil engineering projects. The module is firmly grounded in the principles and application of sustainable development and requires each student to apply innovation and creativity in a systems approach.
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 seeks to prepare students for the structural design of a whole project and to introduce them to the stages involved with producing a structural design. Design is presented as following a rational methodology. The module stresses the benefits of the use of sketches in structural analysis and design and further investigates applications of equilibrium, compatibility, and material response relationships.
The module provides opportunity for intensive student directed study of a specialised aspect of civil engineering. It also develops competence in self management as well as written and oral communication skills.
This module is optional
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.
This module is optional
This module sets out the procedures and techniques required for the design, implementation and management of transport systems. The student will assimilate knowledge of the policies, regulations and environmental aspects of transportation.
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.
In this section
The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include Mathematics and one subject from 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).
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.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:
BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Construction, Civil Engineering or Engineering with overall award profile DDD.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Civil Engineering or Engineering with overall award profile DDM.
Specific modules are required and depending on the BTEC subject the required modules within the BTEC qualifications are:
QCF in Consruction or Civil Engineering – Distinction in Mathematics in Construction and the Built Environment or Further Mathematics in Construction and the Built Environment and a Distinction in Structural Mechanics or Public Health Engineering
QCF in Engineering - Mathematics for Engineering Technicians or Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians and a Distinction in Mechanical Technology orMechanical Principles.
RQF in Civil Engineering – Distinction in Further Mathematics for Construction and a Distinction in Principles and Applications of Structural Mechanics orPublic Health Engineering
RQF in Engineering - Further Engineering Mathematics anda Distinction inStatic Mechanical Principles or Principles and Applications of Fluid Mechanics.
A levels with
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
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 required subject(s).
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.
120 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. Higher Level subjects must include grade H3 Mathematics and one other Higher Level subject at grade H3 from Physics, Chemistry, Physics/Chemistry, Biology, 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).
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include grade B in Maths and one other subject from Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Geography, Construction,Technology and Technical drawing/graphics.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include Maths and one other subject from Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Geography, Construction,Technology and Technical drawing/graphics.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level) to include minimum grade 5 in HL Maths and another HL science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.
Engineering, Science or Technology Access subject with an overall mark of 65% and, 65% in Level 2 NICATS Maths or GCSE Maths grade B, C* or 5 or another Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University for year 1 entry.
GCSE Mathematics Grade B, C* 5 (or equivalent)
If A Level Physics is not being offered then Double Award Science at grades BB, C*C*, 55 or GCSE Physics or Chemistry grade B, C*, 5 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 Civil Engineering is overall Distinction to include 90 level 4 credits at Distinction for year one entry.
HND requirement in Civil Engineering is overall Merit to include 60 L5 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 55%, and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules, and 55% in the 20 credit Maths module. Applicants will normally be considered for year 2 entry to the linked Honours degree.
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
Applicants who have successfully completed studies equivalent in content and level to the Year 1 modules are considered for direct entry into Year 2.
At the end of Year 2, students who have achieved an average of 60% across Year 2 modules can progress on to the MEng programme.
In this section
Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
On graduation you will be well equipped to embark on a career in any branch of the civil engineering profession or, subject to performance, to undertake postgraduate studies or research in related areas.
This industrial placement year is an integral part of your course. You spend this period in the design office of a consulting engineering practice, or in a government department specialising in public works, or on-site with a contractor.
The period of industrial training gives you an insight into current working practices, sets the context for your final year studies and places you in a very advantageous position when seeking full-time employment on graduation. Satisfactory completion leads to the subsidiary award of the Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or Diploma in Professional Practice (International) upon graduation, should you study abroad.
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 and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered 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 and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by 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 and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered 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 and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Applications for full time undergraduate courses are made through UCAS.
In this section
Concrete Society (NI Region) Prize - 3rd year students - Achievement (selection by interview) Top 3 in the following subjects go forward for interview: CIV104, CIV319, and CIV307. Panel comprising representatives of the Board of Examiners and the Society - £200.
Construction Employers' Federation Ltd. Prizes (2 awards) - 3rd year students - Best performance during industrial placement assessed from written submissions and oral examination - Board of Examiners - (Awarded in August) - 1st £100, 2nd £50.
Institution of Civil Engineers’ Prize - Final Year Students - Overall performance in final and penultimate years of course. Based on Classification mark - Board of Examiners - £100 plus Certificate.
Institution of Structural Engineers NI Prize- Final-year students - Best performance in Structural subjects - Based on top marks in CIV524 and a structural project - Board of Examiners - £100.
Lagan Holdings - Second-year students excluding direct entrants - Most improved student performance. Greatest increase in average mark from first year to second year - Board of Examiners - £250.
May Rae Memorial Prize - All final year students - Best presentation of final-year project in Civil Engineering - Top 2 Roads Related Project Marks - Board of Examiners - Trophy + gift (£50).
The Northern Ireland Geotechnical Society - Final Year students - Best result in Soil Mechanics 4 module CIV523 - Board of Examiners - £50.
The Quigg Golden Prize - Final Year students - Best result in Construction Management A module CIV513 - Board of Examiners.
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.