International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

What is civil engineering?

Civil engineering is the planning, construction and maintenance of public infrastructure. It is responsible for creating, protecting and improving the structures and systems we use every day. Civil engineers work with all aspects of the built environment, including roads, canals, buildings and railways. They solve global challenges such as flood prevention, traffic congestion and pollution control.

Civil engineering is one of the oldest types of engineering. Specialist areas include structural, environmental and geotechnical engineering. Civil engineering courses provide core skills in areas that include mathematics, design, hydraulics and mechanics. Once you have gained a civil engineering degree, you could specialise in a related area such as structural engineering.

Why study Civil Engineering?

A Civil Engineering degree can lead to an exciting career and a fulfilling future. Some of the benefits include:

Change the world

Civil engineers can have a positive and lasting impact on people and the environment. They deal with global issues such as climate change, drought and urbanisation. They prevent flooding, strengthen buildings and control pollution. When you graduate, you could save lives and change the world.

Diverse and rewarding

As a civil engineer, you’ll be involved in every stage of a project, from planning and construction to maintenance. Your work could include diverse areas such as risk management, construction and human development. You’ll also be equipped with transferrable skills that you can use in many other professions.

In demand

Graduates with civil engineering degrees from leading universities like Sheffield are in demand. By 2020, UK civil engineering jobs are estimated to increase by 20% due to the needs of our growing population, ageing infrastructure and declining resourcing.

Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield’s award-winning Department of Civil and Structural Engineering is one of the best in the UK. Learning takes place in the £81m Diamond building, which has cutting-edge facilities and equipment.

The Department’s expert staff have extensive industry experience and are leading researchers in their fields. They work with top consultants to deliver up-to-date programmes that meet industry needs. Teaching is based on the latest world-leading research and has a focus on sustainable solutions.

During your Civil Engineering degree, you’ll develop employability skills that make you stand out. The summer placement scheme helps you to gain work experience, and the Year in Industry programme leads to paid work with a civil engineering company. On graduation, 100% of students go into graduate-level jobs or further education (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016-17).

Civil Engineering degree options at the University of Sheffield

Explore some of the subjects you can study, the themes and topics you will learn about, and the career options available after you graduate.

A three-year BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree at the University of Sheffield provides you with a range of skills and knowledge. You’ll learn how to find sustainable solutions and tackle problems from a global perspective. Years one and two focus on key engineering disciplines, such as water, structures and environmental issues. In your third year, you'll develop advanced skills and complete individual and group projects.

You could also choose a four-year degree that leads to an advanced understanding of civil engineering, or a specialism in a particular field.

Related degrees:

Degree preparation at the International College

The International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering is an excellent way to prepare for a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield. The Physics and Physical Engineering pathway includes specialist subject modules that are tailored to your degree. You’ll also develop your English language skills and study skills through interactive classes.

When you complete your International Foundation Year, you’ll begin as an undergraduate student and will graduate with a masters degree.

Civil engineering career prospects

When you graduate from Sheffield, you’ll have engineering expertise and transferable skills that can be applied to a variety of civil engineering careers and related professions.

Civil engineering careers:

  • Consulting civil engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Water engineer
  • Building control surveyor
  • CAD technician

Related careers:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Building services engineer
  • Engineering geologist
  • Geotechnical engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Urban designer

1st in the UK

for engineering research income and investment (HESA 2019)

100% employability rate

(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016-17)

Your pathway to studying a Civil Engineering degree

Find out more about the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering.

Entry Requirements

See the entry requirements and fees for studying Civil Engineering at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield IC student graduating


Born in China.

Made in Sheffield.

“The University of Sheffield International College is a really good place to study. I was lucky enough to meet a number of very qualified and super nice teachers who provided huge help and support with my progression to a civil engineering degree.

Siyue studied the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering