Research course

Civil and Environmental Engineering - Research

University of Strathclyde · Department of Civil Engineering

Entry requirements

PhD: A first or upper second class Honours degree from a UK University or equivalent. Or other qualifications deemed by the Head of Department to be equivalent.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has a vibrant postgraduate research community, with currently around 70 research students. We offer research training in a diverse, international setting and all of our PhD students have the support of two supervisors to guide them through their research. Students have the opportunity to attend specialist classes and training courses from across the University, as well as the Department’s weekly research seminar series. In addition, all of our PhD students work towards The University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Researcher Development. This innovative PGCert ensures students receive credited training in complementary skills such as presentation, external engagement, writing and project-specific skills.

Research in the Department is organised under three broad themes:

Engineering Geosciences & Geomechanics (including research in):

  • Advanced monitoring of geotechnical and geological structures;
  • Response of geomaterials under extreme environmental conditions;
  • Investigation of hydro-mechanical-chemical-microbiological processes in soils and rocks;
  • Understanding deep flow systems for carbon sequestration, hydrocarbon exploitation & radioactive waste disposal;
  • Biomineralisation processes in porous media & fractured rock;
  • Influence of soil microstructure on macroscopic behaviour (e.g. collapsible soils).

Environment (including research in):

  • Environmental health;
  • Biotechnology (phytoplankton & algae);
  • Environmental forensics;
  • Contaminant fate, transport, and remediation;
  • Environmental impact assessment; Ecological engineering & pathogen detection;
  • Environmental impacts of orphan metal mines on sediment quality and Water Framework Directive targets.

Infrastructure (including research in):

  • Water distribution systems;
  • Urban drainage and wastewater systems;
  • Novel computational methods for optimal design and control of complex infrastructure systems;
  • Innovative materials for structural engineering;
  • Advanced micro to nano-scale techniques for monitoring the degradation and deformation of structural and geo materials;
  • Transport planning.

Research in the Department is very closely linked with industry. About 25% of our PhD students have a direct financial contribution form industry and we have several high profile Visiting Professors who supervise current PhD students. Our active Industrial Advisory Board also contribute to improving the overall student experience.

The Department supports a wide range of international research collaborations, including recent activity in: Malawi, Kenya, Swaziland, Thailand, Cuba, Brazil, United States and Canada. Some examples of national/international consortium projects led by the Department include:
  • DISTINCTIVE (Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage soluTIons for NuClear wasTe InVEntories), £442,324.00, EPSRC.
  • MAGIC (Monitoring systems to Assess Geotechnical Infrastructure subjected to Climatic hazards, an industry-academia partnership) - €1.85M, European Commission.
  • GEO-INSTALL Modelling Installation Effects in Geotechnical Engineering, €1.28M, European Commission (EC).
  • AMGISS (Advanced Modelling of Ground Improvement on Soft Soils), €0.35M, EC.
  • BAND-D, Biogeochemical Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Disposal, £1.9M, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
  • SAFE Barriers – a Systems Approach For Engineered Barriers, £1.3M, UK EPSRC.

Department specialisms

Civil Engineering; Structural Engineering; Geotextiles; Environmental Science/Engineering; Construction Management; Information Technology; Technology Transfer; Geotechnical Engineering; Water and Public Health; Environmental Health.

Information for international students

For candidates whose first language is not English, minimum standards of written and spoken English are a TOEFL score of 600 or an IELTS score of 6.5.

Fees and funding

We're currently looking for high-quality applicants for our fully-funded PhD projects. Find out more on our PhD scholarships page.

Have a look at our scholarship search to find any funded opportunities available.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Lisa Lyons
0141 548 2827