Civil Engineering with Sustainability BEng

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

The course in Civil Engineering with Sustainability aims to produce the next generation of leading Civil Engineers. Drawing on an impressive body of pure and applied research engineers and scientists, we will introduce you to mainstream civil engineering knowledge, ranging from geotechnical site assessment to assessing and designing structures and environmental engineering.

The next few decades promise to be amongst the most challenging ever for the Civil Engineering community. Increasing populations, progressive urbanisation and ongoing economic development, not to mention climate change and the persistent risk of extreme events, already present many threats to infrastructure.

As a result, civil engineers need to draw deeply on their knowledge, skills and ability to innovate, to provide essential and sustainable infrastructure, including roads, bridges, tunnels, flood protection, and water supply and treatment systems.

Alongside this, we will explore the role of the engineer in current and future projects, following the sustainable ‘cradle to grave’ approach called for by major institutions such as the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Our course has been designed very much as a ‘hands-on’ learning experience. You will learn fundamental theory, and then have the opportunity to test and apply much of that theory through design  in the laboratory, using advanced software, and during field work. Professional engineers working with major clients, consultancies and contractors contribute to the course delivery, bringing real world experience to the course.

See what our student say about this course.


This course aims to produce the next generation of civil engineers with a focus on sustainable infrastructure, fully equipped to play leading professional roles in industry and the wider local, national and global community.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 266633 (College Marketing Office)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Dr Mujib Rahman

Related Courses

Course Content

Typical Modules

Level 1
  • Construction and Sustainability
  • Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering and Surveying
  • Fundamentals of Structures
  • Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
  • Analytical Methods and Skills for Civil Engineers
  • Professional Skills
Level 2
  • Structural Design
  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Professional Skills

Work Placement (for thick-sandwich mode of study)

Level 3

  • Major Individual Project
  • Construction Contracts, Business and Sustainability
  • Steel and Concrete Design
  • Water Engineering
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development

Special Features

  • Staff teaching on the course carry out much of their research with collaborators outside the University, including major oil companies, manufacturers of construction materials, and government and development agencies. This means that links between the Civil Engineering staff and industry are very strong.

  • Students benefit from excellent laboratory facilities which are extensive, modern and well-equipped. We have recently made a major investment in our Joseph Bazalgette Laboratories, with new facilities for geotechnical engineering, structural analysis and testing of innovative civil engineering materials. In addition, industry-standard specialist software for engineering design is available to students 24 hours a day in dedicated computer clusters.

  • If you enter on the BEng route, you can transfer to the MEng programme at the end of Level 2 by obtaining a pre-set progression standard.

  • If you start on the full-time course, you can transfer to the sandwich course at any time before the end of Level 2.

  • Although we recruit a large number of highly qualified students to our undergraduate degrees each year, we don’t forget that you are an individual. From the beginning of your time here, you are allocated a personal tutor who can guide you through academic and pastoral issues. Student representatives can raise issues for you about modules, the course, or the University – either with academic staff directly, with the Course Director, or through our regular Student-Staff Committee.

  • The College offers a diversity of courses. Interacting with students from different specialisms and with different interests is an important part of the University experience. To help with this, we have introduced a multidisciplinary project for Level 1 students. This is a design-based competition between teams made up of students from a number of subjects.


This course has been designed in close consultation with industry and is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers.

BEng (Hons) Accredited CEng (Partial)

The BEng degree course is accredited as:

  1. fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng);
  2. partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). A programme of accredited Further Learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng.

See for further information and details of Further Learning programmes for CEng.

Facts and Figures

The Department of Civil Engineering has around 170 undergraduate students, 11 researchers and 9 academic teaching staff. Each year we take in about 70 new students.

Brunel’s College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with over 150 academics and a substantial and high quality pool of technical and administrative staff. As a result, we have excellent resources to support your time here as a student.

Teaching and Learning

Our Philosophy

The ethos of Civil Engineering at Brunel stems from the initial formation of the University as a technological institution in the mid-1960s.

Our philosophy is to underpin theoretical aspects of the subject with hands-on experience in applying civil engineering techniques. Although you may move on to project management and supervision roles, we feel it important that your knowledge is firmly based on an understanding of how things are done. To this end, industrial partners will provide guest lectures on specialist topics.

In addition to teaching, all civil engineering staff are active researchers. This keeps us at the cutting edge of developments and, we hope, allows us to pass on our enthusiasm for the subject.


In Level 1 contact between students and academic staff is relatively high at around 17 hours per week, to assist you in adjusting from school/college to university life. As the course progresses the number of contact hours is steadily reduced as you undertake more project-based work.

How will I be taught?

Lectures – These provide a broad overview of the main concepts and ideas you need to understand and give you a framework on which to expand your knowledge by private study.

Laboratories – Practicals are generally two or three-hour sessions in which you can practice your observational and analytical skills, and develop a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts.

Design Studios – In a studio you will work on group projects with guidance from members of staff. In this situation you can develop your management and leadership skills and ensure that all members of the group deliver their best. You may be required to produce a design or develop a solution to an engineering problem. These sessions allow you to develop your intellectual ability and practice your teamwork skills.

One-to-one – On registration for the course, you will be given a personal tutor who will be available to provide academic and pastoral support during your time at university. You will also get one-to-one academic supervision on Level 3 project work.


You will undertake assignments, project work, essays, reports on laboratory practicals, oral presentations and short tests. A residential field course also takes place in Level 1. There are written examinations in May of each year. In Level 3, all students undertake a major individual project. This is worth a third of the overall marks for the year.

The final degree classification is calculated from a combination of Level 2 and Level 3 grades. Level 1 does not count towards your final degree, but you must pass the year in order to progress.


The four-year thick-sandwich degree programme enables you to gain high-quality, relevant professional experience which is sought by employers.  This puts graduates from the course in a strong position when entering the job market.  Students have the opportunity to change from the full-time mode of study to the thick-sandwich course up to the end of Level 2.


Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

Civil Engineering is a relatively new degree course. The number of students graduating is very small so survey findings should be treated with some caution as one or two graduates in any one category may disproportionately affect the total numbers.


In 2012/13, six months after graduating:

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

This is a relatively new course, its first intake of students having arrived in 2007. We anticipate that our students will help fill the increasing demand for high-quality civil engineering graduates. Contractors and consultant working on large infrastructure projects such as flood and coastal defence schemes, transport, water treatment and low-carbon energy generation, such as off-shore wind farms, are likely environments for many of our graduates to begin their careers.

Some may progress to take posts of responsibility with national and local government agencies or major firms of consulting engineers. Others may specialise in fields such as construction, sustainability, innovative materials, foundation engineering, tunnelling, geotechnical exploration or building services engineering, both within the UK and overseas.

Recent graduates and sandwich students have secured positions at

  • Atkins
  • BAA
  • Mace
  • Coca-Cola
  • Clancy Docwra
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Waterflow


You can choose to study either a full-time course or the prestigious sandwich course. Sandwich students undertake high-quality, paid work placements within prominent companies and organisations. The placement in industry is taken between Levels 2 and 3 for at least 44 weeks. This time can count towards becoming an Incorporated or Chartered Engineer.

Brunel’s award-winning Placement and Careers Service will support you to get the best placement to suit your aspirations. They can help you with advice to compose the best possible applications, and coach you with mock interviews – often with the support of industry visitors.

The organisations that employ the students on placement are checked to ensure they can provide suitable training experiences. Quite often, Brunel graduates within firms mentor current students. The placement is assessed, and students must pass it to graduate with the words 'with Professional Development' in their degree title. Each student is allocated both a mentor within the company and an Industrial Tutor from Brunel, who is on hand to help ensure that the placement yields the best possible experience for the student’s personal professional development.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/16 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £16,500 full-time

2014 Institution of Civil Engineers QUEST Undergraduate Scholarship

Students starting an accredited civil engineering degree at Brunel University in September 2014, will be able to apply for the scholarship from April 2014. Application deadline is 5 June 2014. All information can be found at 

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

  • GCE A-level ABB, including Grade B in Maths and one subject from the following list: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Environment Studies or Design and Technology (General Studies not accepted)
  • Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma in Engineering Grade A, plus the Specialist Unit in Maths for Engineers along with 1 AS-level (excluding General Studies) at Grade C for Additional and Specialist Learning. For the Progression Diploma in Public Services: Grade B, plus the Specialist Unit in Maths for Engineers along with 1 A-level in a Science subject at Grade C for Additional and Specialist Learning 
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD, to include Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles or equivalent
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level Maths at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade AA in Maths and one subject from the above list.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 31 points, including 6 in Higher Level Maths and 5 in a Higher Level subject from the above list 
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Engineering course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All Maths and Science units must be Distinctions at level 3.
  • Foundations of Engineering courses For Brunel Foundations of Engineering progression requirements, see the course page.

GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to change.

EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas) 
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 04 March 2015