Taught course

Civil Engineering

Durham University · School of Engineering

Entry requirements

To be admitted to the MSc programme in Civil Engineering, you need the equivalent of a UK Honours degree to at least an upper second class standard (2:1). This should normally be in an appropriate Engineering or Engineering-related subject including modules in Geotechnics, Mechanics and Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists. Although in some instances we can consider industrial or other relevant experience if you have a different first degree.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Civil Engineering offers you an opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience to create a professional and rewarding career within a diverse range of sectors including construction, business, management and finance and, at the same time, help to make positive changes in the world.

We aim to take on key global challenges such as the sustainability and resilience that support the infrastructure of economies and the societies within them. So, if you thrive on a mix of activity and have inventive and practical skills to create appropriate solutions, then this Civil Engineering MSc is ideal.

The modules will introduce you to key civil engineering topics including structures and structural design, hydrology and water resources, advanced geotechnical engineering and highways engineering while the design element will teach you how to apply the appropriate design standards and numerical analysis tools to carry out structural design.

You will be able to take advantage of the huge expertise that exists in the Department and learn through a combination of high-quality taught modules, a significant design element and a major individual project that will challenge you but also showcase your skills and abilities.

The research and development project is your opportunity to demonstrate your engineering aptitude and ability to innovate as you will be working independently on a complex topic and showing how to produce solutions to engineering challenges.

Civil engineering can be a rewarding career characterised by a high standard of professionalism and the ability to make a lasting difference in society. The course will give you the opportunity to create that future.

Course structure

Core modules:

Research and Development Project offers you both a stimulating challenge and an opportunity to develop your civil engineering knowledge. With the support of a staff supervisor, you will identify and apply the specific methods needed to investigate your chosen subject. You will then create a report of your findings which will include any background data, analysis and your recommendations.

Civil Design Project is an intensive activity that aims to enhance your understanding of the design process and the support contributed by theoretical work. You will learn some of the principles of structural steelwork and reinforced concrete design, and develop computer-aided design and numerical analysis skills used in Civil Design work.

Hydrology and Water Resources 4 offers an overview of the characteristics of hydrological systems and will enable you to use mathematical and fluid mechanics principles to solve a range of hydrological challenges.

Planning and Contract Law 4 is a key area within the civil engineering sector and this module will build an advanced knowledge and understanding of topics ranging from contract and tort law to planning techniques and construction site management.

Structural Design 4 gives you advanced-level knowledge and understanding of structural design using materials such as composite steel-concrete, timber, masonry and low energy and sustainable building materials.

Structures 4 focuses on engineering in earthquake zones and gives you a high level of knowledge and understanding around the fundamentals of the dynamics of structures required for such seismic areas. You will also become familiar with analysis and assessment methods relating to structural design.

Advanced Geotechnical Engineering 4 is a highly relevant study of the design and analysis for structures that serve as embankments, concrete dams and the foundations for offshore installations.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Internet of Everything 4
  • Optimisation 4
  • Environmental Engineering 4

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details