Study civil and structural engineering

Civil engineering is one of the oldest types of engineering. Specialist areas include structural, environmental and geotechnical engineering. 

Civil engineering is the planning and construction of public infrastructure

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.

Discover how civil and structural engineering impacts society

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. In 2016-17, 100% of students are in graduate-level jobs or further education within six months (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016-17).

Civil Engineering degree options at the University of Sheffield

Pre-Masters students can progress to the following degree:

Degree preparation at the International College

Prepare for your undergraduate or postgraduate degree with the University of Sheffield International College. Find out more about your pathway to studying civil engineering with the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering or Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering.

Civil and Structural Engineering rankings

World Top 50
for Civil and Structural Engineering
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

Top 10 in the UK

for Civil Engineering

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

100% employability

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016-17

Undergraduate pathways

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.

Postgraduate pathways

Prepare for a masters in Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield with the Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering. You'll study core modules to develop your academic knowledge and English language, as well as subject-specific modules like statistics for research and mathematics. After successfully completing your programme you'll be ready to start your chosen degree.

Entry requirements

International Foundation Year 

  • 2 semester programme: Academic IELTS for UKVI 5.0 with minimum 5.0 in writing (minimum of 4.0 in other skills)
  • 1.5 semester programme: Academic IELTS for UKVI 6.0 (minimum 5.0 in all skills)


  • 2 semester programme: Academic IELTS for UKVI 5.5 (minimum 5.5 in all skills)
  • 1.5 semester programme: Academic IELTS for UKVI 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in all skills)

Why study civil 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.

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

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.

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.

What can I do with a civil engineering degree?

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 include:

  • consulting civil engineer
  • contracting civil engineer
  • design engineer
  • nuclear engineer
  • site engineer
  • structural engineer
  • water engineer
  • building control surveyor
  • CAD technician.

Related careers include:

  • environmental consultant
  • building services engineer
  • engineering geologist
  • geotechnical engineer
  • patent attorney
  • quantity surveyor
  • urban designer.

Civil and structural engineering FAQs

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.

To study civil engineering at university you will need to meet certain entry requirements. Required grades vary across universities, some require AAA while others will only require CCC at A Level. Alternatively, if you’re an international student wanting to study civil engineering in the UK, you can study the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering which will prepare you for a civil engineering degree at the University of Sheffield.

As a civil engineer, you can expect to earn between £24,000 and £30,000 after graduating. With more experience, you will typically earn up to £40,000 – and as a senior civil engineer you could earn up to £50,000. As a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, you could go on to earn significantly more.

An undergraduate degree in civil engineering typically lasts three years but can also be combined with a masters degree or a year work placement to make it four years. You could also study a combination of the two to make your course five years.

Subject requirements vary depending on the university you are applying to but typically you will need Maths and Physics. Other subjects that are beneficial to students applying for an undergraduate civil engineering degree include Geography, Geology, Information Technology and Art and Design.

You will typically need a maths qualification if you want to study a degree in civil engineering. It is used throughout engineering to analyse materials and structures and understand the theory of engineering.

Key skills needed to be a civil engineer include:

  • Maths
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Project management

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.

Entry requirements

Find out the academic and English language entry requirements for your chosen programme at the International College.

Entry requirements


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