Civil Engineering MEng (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)




How would you improve urban resilience to earthquakes? Could you design and implement a clean water solution in a humanitarian crises? Become a Master of Engineering by studying our enhanced Civil Engineering accredited degree course and develop all the practical and academic skills required to address these challenges.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


The MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering course prepares you for a design, technical or managerial role in civil engineering. Initially, this position is likely to be with either a multi-disciplinary consulting company, a civil engineering design practice, a large infrastructure organisation or a contracting organisation. After gaining some experience and completing professional qualifications graduates will be able to work as a self-employed consultant or start their own specialist consultancy practice.

Our civil engineering graduates work in a range of project and lead engineer roles in multi-national organisations including Skanska, Network Rail, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, SETRACO Nigeria, Environment Agency and Transport for London as well as in local authorities across the UK.

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Employers, consultants and clients in the construction industry value professional qualifications and so the MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering has been presented for accreditation by the Joint Board of Moderators who represent several organisations including the Institution of Civil Engineers, one of the main professional bodies representing civil engineering employers and civil engineers. An accredited MEng provides all the academic learning required to become a Chartered Engineer.

Accredited courses are designed to deliver the skills required by employers which means that successful students are highly desirable to civil engineering organisations.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Every building needs to be feasible, whether it is the cost, the workforce required, or the timescale set. Without reviewing this a project could quick fail. Here you will start with the feasibility stage of a built environment project including the development of initial design skills and construction experience. After an introduction to the project and the definition of the deliverable deadlines you will work in groups to produce a project plan for your work, organising it for the year ahead. This includes the production of a topographical survey of the project site and collection of relevant data though field and laboratory work. You’ll use this information to produce a site investigation report which will be the basis for the feasibility study. The second half of the project will focus on initial design, where you will be required to carry out investigations into the suitability of various materials for the construction of elements of the project, taking into account not only the mechanical properties of these materials but also sustainability and economic considerations. You will analyse and design a simple structure in this project, applying basic static and design principles to define the dimensions of the structural elements. You will also construct an element of the project which will develop your skills relating to the programming of the construction process, health and safety management and team work as well as first hand construction experience.
  • Develop the underpinning engineering skills needed to solve technical problems and communicate technical ideas and concepts. These skills are essential for the successful completion of your project and knowledge based modules. The module will be divided into two main areas; Mathematics and technical report writing. Mathematics will focus on the basic mathematical skills needed to understand the language of mathematics and to interpret engineering mathematical expressions. Algebraic skills will also be extensively developed to carry out mathematical analysis and solve engineering problems. The module will also introduce the mathematics of trigonometry and geometry and their application to solve practical engineering problems. Technical report writing is a fundamental communication skill for engineers and will be developed throughout the course. This part of the module aims to provide the tools to enable you to structure and present technical reports and also reference correctly. You will make use of appropriate IT skills to communicate technical ideas through the written word and by graphical means.
  • There are a wide range of jobs and roles within Civil Engineering, and here you will see how these all work together to bring a project through to fruition. You will learn about the role of the civil engineer in society and explore breadth of career opportunities that await you on graduation. You will look at the value of inclusive engineering and the people-centric nature of this profession. Engineers are often required to ensure that work is safe, minimising risks to people and the environment, to engage in negotiations and hold positions of responsibility. Each of these requires an understanding of ethics, making ethical skills integral to engineering practice. You will encounter ethics throughout your time at university and this module will introduce this to you, showing you the importance of this type of consideration. Civil engineering projects are often complex, therefore you must work effectively in inter-disciplinary design and construction team, you must also be an accomplished communicator in order to take full advantage of their technical skills and knowledge. This module will help you develop your written, aural and drawing communication skills as well as your ability to work as a team, key skills that an employer will want to see. You will also look at the history of civil engineering, learning from past failures and mistakes, particularly looking at the incorporation of sustainability and resilience into engineering design. Through this module you will get the opportunity to visit construction sites and to start to understand construction planning and processes. Visits from guest lecturers from industry will also be encouraged, as will visits by representatives from the professional bodies such as the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers.
  • Your introduction to some of the basic analytical concepts and processes involved in the design of structures, you will explore some of the fundamental concepts relating to analytical and design processes. From this you will develop analytical skills which will allow you to carry out basic structural calculations. You will also be introduced to basic 2D drafting techniques using industry standard software allowing you to effectively interpret technical drawing and give them the skills which can be applied to your specialist discipline area in later modules. Skills like these are highly sought after in the construction industry. You’ll learn about BIM (Building Information Modelling) and will gain an appreciation of the role of the designer in civil engineering and the design process, as well as learn to use spreadsheets and databases to manipulate analyse and present technical data. Many problems in civil engineering cannot be solved with analytical methods and acquiring computer programming assists engineers to solve these complex problems, for example flow in pipe networks, analysis of beams of varying cross-section and loading, seepage through an earthen dam, and routing of storm water runoff through a detention basin. You’ll cover the basics of the MATLAB programming language through computer workshops, learning through hands-on tutorials of common civil engineering problems using basic and applied programming skills such as: arrays and plotting; control statements; user defined functions; implementation of algorithms; working with statistical data; numerical derivatives and integration.

Year two, core modules

  • Designed to develop your ability to analyse built environment challenges though the application of engineering concepts, theories and mathematics, in this module you will also broaden your perspective of built environment projects by including the environmental and financial aspects. You will apply your knowledge of the three main strands of civil engineering, structures, geotechnics, and hydraulics to critically analyse a proposed project and determine the suitability of the design and to propose alternatives which will improve it technically, economically and environmentally. You will need to consider the environmental impact of the project and apply the relevant analysis and legislation to produce an environmental impact report. You will apply the principles of construction management to the project to develop a sequence for a construction project and produce a programme using industry standard project planning software and to also consider the financial implications and resources management necessary for this project.
  • Ruskin Modules are designed to prepare our students for a complex, challenging and changing future. These interdisciplinary modules provide the opportunity to further broaden your perspectives, develop your intellectual flexibility and creativity. You will work with others from different disciplines to enable you to reflect critically on the limitations of a single discipline to solve wider societal concerns. You will be supported to create meaningful connections across disciplines to apply new knowledge to tackle complex problems and key challenges. Ruskin Modules are designed to grow your confidence, seek and maximise opportunities to realise your potential to give you a distinctive edge and enhance your success in the workplace.
  • Develop your knowledge of the more theoretical aspects of Hydraulics and Geotechnics and gain the theoretical foundation to carry out the analysis and design in your future modules, helping you to make sense of specialist software output. Hydraulics: Introducing you to the principles of hydraulics, this will demonstrate how these principles are used for the design of hydraulic structures and their components. You will also be introduced the principles of hydraulics in pipe systems and open channels’ design and operation. You will have laboratory sessions to give you the opportunity to explore the practical aspects of hydraulics principles. Geotechnics: Here you will study the theoretical principals that geotechnical design is based on. This includes the theory behind settlement predictions and the determination of shear strength parameters for drained and undrained scenarios to be used in the design of foundations and other geotechnical structures. Lateral earth pressure theory will also be covered and its relevance in the design of retaining walls, braced excavations and deep foundations.
  • Building on your previous module you will continue to learn key skills in engineering with emphasis on the application of mathematics to express and solve engineering problems but now including more complex mathematical concepts. You will be introduced to calculus, the mathematics of change, and will develop an appreciation of the overwhelming influence that these concepts have had on engineering analysis and design and particularly their application to specialist software. Learn to apply differentiation and integration technics to solve simple engineering problems such as optimisation and volume calculations, analyse engineering concepts through the solution of complex equations and differential equations using analytical and numerical techniques. You will also explore coding as a tool and technique to develop your problem solving skills and develop solutions to complex mathematical problems with application to engineering.
  • Deepen your understanding of both structural mechanics and structural analysis techniques. In this module you will cover static equilibrium, the resistance of structures to external loads, behaviour of structures under the influence of external loads, internal stresses, internal stress distributions and superposition. You will be introduced to structural deformations and deflections, determinate and indeterminate structures and influence lines. Hand calculation analysis for beams, pin jointed frames and unit load methods will be covered and you will also be introduced to the use of software for structural analysis with an emphasis on the use of hand calculations to support and validate the results obtained using structural analysis packages. You will be expected to show that you can generate structural analysis calculations that are clear and suitable for checking by an independent engineer.

Work placement (optional placement year)

Year three, core modules

  • This interdisciplinary module takes advantage of the broad range of construction industry skills available in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment. It is designed to give you an opportunity to apply skills and knowledge previously gained throughout your course and to develop your ability to both manage and carry out the design of a small civil engineering project. You will generate a range of engineering solutions, making a considered assessment of each option and to recommend a design proposal. The design scenario for this module will challenge you to integrate your civil engineering design skills into an interdisciplinary design process. While delivering a range of meaningful engineering solutions to the project, your designs will need to consider and balance a broad range of design aspirations such as: maximising site opportunities; delivering a resilient/loose fit design; the three pillars of sustainability; taking advantage of Design For Manufacture and Assembly considerations. You will be expected to demonstrate that you are drawing on and making effective use of your knowledge and understanding from a broad range of civil engineering subject areas including team work communication, engineering analysis, design, construction materials, construction techniques and construction management.
  • Enhance your understanding of static and dynamic behaviour of structures in general with particular focus on braced and moment frames. You will be expected to demonstrate your understanding of the links between applied loads, load paths, structural behaviour and efficient use of construction materials. This module will help you to make informed decisions regarding: appropriate structural forms; appropriate structural analysis methods; choice of structural material. In lectures you will cover the principles of static and dynamic structural analysis of frame structures as well as the codified design of frame structures. You will be required to demonstrate that you can clearly communicate your decision making process and the outcome of your structural analysis and design, through a well presented design calculation report. In your calculation report, you will be expected to make effective use of: technical terminology; descriptive text; appropriate drawings and/or sketches.
  • An efficient, safe and effective highway network is essential to develop and sustain communities and their economies. Society is demanding increasing standards of safety from their road networks and there is also increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions from road transport and effective design and construction can help to reduce emissions and noise. Highway construction and maintenance can be disruptive to communities and well planned and executed construction process can minimise the impact of this disruption. This module is designed to enable you to appreciate problems and techniques associated with highway design, construction and maintenance and to formulate technical solutions. You will become conversant with highway geometrical design including Horizontal Layout design, Vertical Layout Design, Design of Cross Sections, Earth Work calculations and construction cost benefit analysis. Furthermore, the fundamentals of traffic analysis, traffic flow and queuing theory will be discusses during this module. This modules focuses on providing the depth of coverage necessary to solve highway related problems likely to been countered in practice.
  • Further your knowledge of construction materials, and construction techniques, that are prevalent in the UK construction industry. Build on the knowledge of construction materials that has previously been delivered during the Level 5 project module and Material Technology, extending this knowledge to cover typical methods of construction. The aim of the module is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand and evaluate the key physical properties of the main construction materials and to understand how these properties relate to both methods of manufacture and typical construction details. The module will introduce the concepts of Design for Manufacture & Assembly and Modern Methods of Construction as well as selected construction details and techniques such as movement joints and structural connections. Additional critical aspects will also be covered, including durability, fire resistance, quality control, specification and recycling/re-use of construction materials.
  • Responding to the concern of many about the effect that the built environment is having on the natural environment, this module has been designed to give you an insight into the scientific basis of the environmental performance and construction of buildings and their services. The main focus is on the introduction of modelling tools that can be used to simulate a building's performance and its effect on the environment. Understanding the principles by which a building interacts with the external environment through its fabric, is therefore key in understanding building performance. Considerable emphasis is placed on the use of environmental criteria to assess a building's thermal, visual and aural performance. You will explore a number of scientific methods with a small amount of practical experiment-based work. A number of technical solutions will be explored for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning a building and the passive design features of a building will be explored. This module identifies and evaluates different low-carbon energy strategies available, to be incorporated whilst designing low-carbon buildings and also the different standards and benchmarks for low-carbon buildings, highlighting strategies and approaches that could be deployed in heating and cooling of buildings.

Year four, core modules

  • Urban design has been rising on political agendas and plays an essential part within the cultural shift from a passive towards a proactive 'spatial' planning system seeking successful and high quality 'place-making'. Explore the urban design process together with the complex, diverse range of resources and activities a designer must co-ordinate and influence to achieve a successful project and shaping of places. You will explore the legal, public policy and financial contexts of urban design and how it is embedded in the planning system, including master-planning, regeneration objectives, and project procurement - with European and global dimensions, drawing on multi-disciplinary foundations. Embedded in a framework provided by lectures seminars and a visit to a UK exemplar regeneration project, the learning and teaching process will initially draw upon a range of case studies, from regional and other UK locations, overseas best practice, as well as input from specialists in practice and local government. Students will examine the assessment of places and project development in terms of urban quality and economic viability.
  • Construction of the built environment has a major impact on the environment, which is reflected in a growing body of legislation, policies and initiatives to reduce or manage this impact. Sustainable development and the effective management of environmental impacts are at the top of the political agenda for action at global and local levels. The need to understand the demands of the environment and sustainability is now an essential part of the construction manager's work. Integrating these influences and demands into the design and management of construction work is vital for the environmental, economic and social welfare of society. Enhance your understanding of the history and current position with regards to the environment and sustainability, exploring the interaction between society, construction and the environment. You will establish the historical context of sustainable development and discuss future developments and develop a systematic understanding of environmental issues and concepts of sustainable development in relation to the construction industry along with a broad understanding of the pressures facing companies to address environmental and sustainable development issues. You will be challenged to transfer the broad ideas and principles of sustainability and environmental management and to implement these at a site level in the management of the construction projects.
  • Gain the knowledge and competencies to manage a civil engineering organisation in a highly volatile economic environment. You will develop an understanding of how civil engineering organisations are managed financially in line with a set of broad business objectives and also to examine organisations in the context of both the external competitive environment and economic environment. You will examine alternative corporate strategies and examine how decisions about strategy will influence management processes and internal procedures, the relationship between corporate strategy and tender strategies, and also financial performance through the use of standard financial statements. This will enable you to acquire the skills necessary to assess the financial stability of both contracting and subcontracting organisations.
  • Designed to integrate the conceptual learning of risk, resilience, vulnerability and adaptive capacity with the technical know-how and engineering solutions, this module will prepare you to deal with such subject matters in your future industrial practice. It provides an understanding of the concept of risk, resilience, vulnerability and robustness as highlighted in existing and ongoing research on performance of infrastructural systems in advent of future climate changes. The insights into these concepts will enable you to work out and select best suited solution for operation and design of infrastructure systems in practice, while faced with future climate change and urbanisation induced threats such as flooding, cold snap, heat wave etc. You will discuss the concepts of resilience and vulnerability in relation to overall community resilience while addressing its implementation to wider built environment. The area of transport, water supply and waste water infrastructure will be focussed on for vulnerability analysis, risk identification and quantification and resiliency improvement in light of future climate change scenario (flooding, increased rainfall, sea level rise, over heating etc).


There is a holistic approach to assessment that ensures the learning outcomes have been met. Assessment methods vary, depending on the nature of the module and the type of skill being evaluated. The details of the type, extent and duration of the assessments are provided in the Module Guide for each module. The range of assessment methods may be summarised as follows:

  • Group work and presentations
  • Design exercises and examples
  • Coursework
  • Timed assignments
  • Production of drawings
  • Projects
  • Practical and laboratory work
  • Unseen examinations
  • Dissertation/major project

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


International students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


Additional costs 

Safety footwear (steel toe and midsole) - £40

Additional costs for Constructionarium

You will be asked to make a contribution of £250 towards the cost of food and accommodation. You will also be asked to provide your own safety shoes or boots and warm outdoor clothing. Other personal protective equipment will be provided.

Entry requirements

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Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Civil Engineering BSc (Hons)

Part-time undergraduate (4 years part-time)



Civil and Structural Engineering MEng (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (4 years)



Civil Engineering BEng (Hons)

Full-time, full-time with placement undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)



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UK students starting in 2023

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