Civil engineering is concerned with the techniques and procedures by which dams and reservoirs, water supply and sewage disposal systems, power stations, ports, offshore works, transport systems, bridges, tall buildings and other structures are planned, designed, built, surveyed, tested, operated, maintained and decommissioned. The course includes a broad range of activities including field courses, individual projects, design work and laboratory work.
This course will:
- introduce the principles and context of civil engineering in a range of subject areas to enable students to specialise
- develop students' understanding and critical judgement
- improve students' abilities in communication and other transferable skills
BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering is accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Institute of Highway Engineers 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.
For domestic students the course structure follows the Chinese higher education system and is based on a four-year program with the possibility of spending two years at The University of Nottingham's UK campus.
For international students the course structure follows the UK higher education system and is based on a three-year program with the possibility of spending two years at The University of Nottingham's UK campus.
Year 1 (Preliminary year)
In the preliminary year, the focus is on a special programme and English for academic purposes. Designed by staff at the University’s Centre for English Language Education, this programme prepares students for their degree courses. Common modules of study across all degrees include:
- Written and oral communication and study skills
- Sciences such as physics and chemistry maths for engineering and computer science
- Engineering communication and IT skills. This module will have a hands-on approach to ensure competency in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Additionally, the module involves the use of software (for example MATLAB) to help solve engineering and mathematical problems, related concepts and methods studied during the year while introducing programming, technical material in drawing, schematic and graphical format.
- Students work in small groups to develop their academic English language skills.
This year is not compulsory for students with appropriate qualifications for year two entry.
Year 2 (Qualifying year)
Engineering Mathematics 1
This module introduces the algebra of complex numbers to provide a key mathematical tool for analysis of linear mathematical and engineering problems. The complexity of solving general systems of equations is introduced and they are studied using matrix techniques. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.
Engineering Mathematics 2
You’ll be introduced to techniques for solving selected first-order and second-order differential equations relevant to the analysis of generic engineering problems. The module also provides mathematical tools in terms of advanced differential calculus and vectors for modelling of generic engineering situations given in terms of multi-dimensional models. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.
Industry and Profession
This module introduces you to the construction industry and the civil engineering profession and how they operate. This includes focusing on matters of procurement, ethics, safety and sustainability. You’ll investigate the roles and responsibilities of civil engineers in the various common areas of employment through one two-hour lecture per week.
This module introduces you to a range of important considerations, particularly economic, safety and environmental matters, when planning the construction of infrastructure projects. You’ll outline key types of plant and equipment for construction work and be introduced to techniques for assessing the productivity of plant and gain an awareness of caring for the environment in the broadest sense. You’ll have a one two-hour lecture per week.
Sustainable Transport Planning
This module considers recent transport policy history and its effects and introduces various measures that encourage travel behavioural change. You will spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Giving you an introduction to the core areas of geotechnics, this module covers topics such as: origin and types of soil, soil as a three-phase material, soil description and classification, compaction, water in soils, basic mechanics, and stresses in soils and ground investigation. In an average week you’ll spend four hours of lectures and practicals per week.
This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of hydrostatics and enables you to apply these principles to model problems relevant to civil engineering. You’ll spend around four hours in lectures each week when studying for this module.
Structural and Engineering Mechanics
This module introduces and develops the concepts of static mechanics and will help you to apply them to the analysis of statically determinate structures. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week when studying this module.
This module introduces topics basic to communication of design in the field of civil engineering. You’ll spend eight hours in seminars, three hours in practicals and one hour of lectures per week when studying this module.
Engineering Surveying 1
This module provides you with an introduction to engineering surveying, covering introduction to coordinates, fundamentals of measurement errors, and survey practice and cartography, among others. You’ll have a three hour lecture each week as well as attend a residential field course lasting six days during the spring semester.
Structural Mechanics and Vibration
Through three hours of lectures each week, this module covers the following topics: analysis of stresses and strains, virtual work method, stain energy method and analysis of arches and cables, among others.
Civil Engineering Materials
This module will introduce engineering materials and their basic properties, as well as principles in material selection and sustainability. You’ll develop a basic understanding of the behaviour of metals, in particular steel, through a weekly one-hour lecture and three-hour practical.
Conceptual design project:
This project concludes the communication module and involves groups of students working on the conceptual design of a stadium, station, airport or other structure.
Surveying field course:
Students work on group exercises in surveying, mapping and setting out. This is a six day residential course during the spring semester.
Year 3 (Part I)
Engineering Surveying 2
You’ll be introduced to more advanced aspects and techniques of Engineering Surveying. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week when studying this module.
Differential Equations and Calculus for Engineers
This module will provide you with the techniques for solving selected classes of ordinary differential equations relevant to the analysis of engineering topics. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops each week when studying this module.
Probabilistic and Statistical Techniques for Engineers
This module introduces the mathematic skill needed for use of probabilistically based models of uncertain engineering problems and to use statistical methods to interpret the solutions. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops each week when studying this module.
The module considers particular types of transport-related construction. This module will provide students with an insight into the processes involved with the design, construction and maintenance of various forms of transport infrastructure. You will spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
This module aims to develop further understanding of fundamental behaviour of soils and you will learn how to perform geotechnical analyses. You’ll spend five hours in lectures and two hours in practicals per week.
On successfully completing the module, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of fluid dynamics. You’ll be able to solve simple pipe flow problems and demonstrate awareness of open channel flows and boundary layers and drag. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and two hours in practicals each week when studying this module.
Construction Project Management 1
The module provides students with a preliminary background in the field of civil engineering construction project management. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Non-Linear Analysis of Structures
This module aims to develop an understanding of the instability of structural systems and plastic methods of analysis and design. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week when studying this module.
This module aims to introduce torsion and statically indeterminate structures and the flexibility and stiffness methods of solving them. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in computing sessions each week when studying this module.
Water in the Environment
On successfully completing the module, students will have developed a broad knowledge of the occurrence and management of water in the natural and urban environments. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Steel design project:
Students are introduced to the civil engineering design process by a year-long project that follows the design of a civil engineering project from initial concepts through to detailed design. Students work individually and in groups to produce a design portfolio that includes outline solutions, project appraisal, loading calculations and engineering drawings. The project provides students with opportunities to facilitate their written and oral presentation skills.
Year 4 (Part II)
Concrete and Concrete Structures
Structural design is extended into the use of concrete and more advanced techniques of analysis are introduced by this module. You’ll spend three hours in lectures, two hours in practicals and four hours in workshops each week when studying this module.
This module extends principles into the areas of steady state and transient groundwater flow and seepage. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and four hours in practicals each week when studying this module.
This module aims to introduce students to the simple mathematics models used to analyse unsteady flows in pipes, and some basic empirical models for describing the process of sediment transport. You’ll spend four hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Construction Project Management 2
This module examines the following areas for the management of construction projects: construction productivity and project planning, estimating and tendering for construction, introduction to practical planning, project reporting techniques and control of construction projects. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week when studying this module.
Mathematics for Engineering Management
The module examines and classifies various (non-statistical) management and operational research problems and their formulation and techniques for solution. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops each week when studying this module.
Advanced Mathematical Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers
This module covers advanced analytic mathematical techniques used to provide exact or approximate solutions to common classes of ordinary differential equations typical in Engineering. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops per week when studying this module.
This module will provide students with a basic understanding of the properties of granular, bituminous and cement bound materials and their application to the structural design, evaluation and maintenance of road pavements. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops per week when studying this module.
This module will build on the basic understanding of the behaviour and design of steel structures by considering elements and connections in more detail, by recognising the importance of fabrication and erection on economics, and by explaining the basis for new design codes. You’ll spend three hours lectures each week when studying this module.
Foundations and Earthworks
This module aims to develop your understanding of the theoretical and application aspects of airborne photogrammetry and airborne and mobile laser scanning. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Mapping for Engineering Surveying and GIS
The module describes the theoretical and practical aspects of photogrammetry and geometrical remote sensing. Subjects covered include: single and multi image/photograph geometry, digital imagery and processing, and data capture techniques and products, among others. You’ll have three one-hour lectures per week.
Mapping for Engineering Surveying and GIS Practical
Students work individually and in small groups on projects involving the planning and the carrying out of observational and computational aspects of surveying for engineering and/or deformation applications. Individuals and groups are also responsible for management and organisation of their projects. You’ll spend around one hour in lectures each week when studying this module.
This module will introduce the components of railway track structures, conventional and otherwise. It will include analysis of forces on a railway track and consequent deflections, stresses etc, alignment design principles, and an overview of the railway as a total system including operational issues, signalling and control. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
This module aims to develop an understanding of soil-contaminant interactions. You will study the mechanisms of contaminant transport and be introduced to the available technologies utilised for contaminant containment. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Computerised Mathematical Methods in Engineering
The methodology and associated numerical techniques are introduced to enable a selection of mathematical operations to be evaluated with the use of computer-based software algorithms to problems that cannot be solved analytically. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and workshops each week when studying this module.
This module is designed to deliver an understanding of sustainability principles and how civil engineering and the wider construction industry can contribute to sustainable development. You’ll spend three hours in lectures each week when studying this module.
Experiments in Fluid Mechanics
In small groups, the student will carry out a series of four experiments exploring a wide range of fluid mechanical applications. These experiments will be set in context by a theoretical background session. You’ll spend around eight hours in lectures and workshops each week and group study sessions.
Applied Construction Project Management
This is an interactive online module taught simultaneously in UK, Malaysia and China campus. The module uses computer simulation of a construction project as a learning tool for students and gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the field of civil engineering construction management to simulated project.
Individual investigative project:
Students choose a project in their preferred discipline and plan a detailed investigation. Typically projects involve lab work, field investigations or computer modelling, and require data collection and analysis. Once the investigation is complete, a detailed report is prepared.
Careers and further study
Of the 14 students who graduated from our BEng Civil Engineering course in 2014, 12 continued onto postgraduate studies (including one PhD admission) at world top 100 universities according to the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings. The civil engineering industry continues to be one of the strongest industrial sectors and the majority of our graduates continue with careers in the industries. MSc Engineering Surveying and Geodesy offers a variety of career opportunities such as engineering surveying in private and government sectors and 100% of our MSc graduates are employed after graduation.