International College

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 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

Civil and Structural Engineering rankings

World Top 50
for Civil and Structural Engineering
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


Top 4 in the UK
for research excellence
Research Excellence Framework 2014


100% employability
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016-17

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chemical and biological 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.

Sheffield student Siyue on her graduation day

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.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.