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Flood and Coastal Engineering FdSc

Available in Clearing


Applications are now open for 2018/19 entry.

Please note on successful completion of this course you can progress to the one-year full-time or two-year part time Flood and Coastal Engineering BSc top up. 

The Environment Agency provides sponsorship for those progressing onto the BSc where the applicant has secured employment with the Environment Agency or a Risk Management Authority.

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

Our two-year foundation degree has been developed in partnership with the Environment Agency to address the increasing demand for flood engineering professionals.

This course offers a minimum of 20 sponsored places, covering university tuition fees and a training allowance whilst on placement for the duration of the two-year course. Non-sponsored places are also available.

The first and second year follow the same structure with the first six months spent at Brunel, and then the following six months at your selected workplace, which may be at an Environment Agency or Risk Management Authority office across England. You will be asked to indicate your preferred location and you will receive a training allowance of £1,000 per month (HMRC tax and NI exempt) while on each six-month placement.

Environment Agency sponsorship will be subject to interview. Alternative workplace training placements will be made for students who do not receive Environment Agency sponsorship. *Sponsorship arrangements may also be available but cannot be guaranteed.

The FdSc in Flood and Coastal Engineering has been designed following the guidance of the Joint Board of Moderators and is currently pending accreditation by both the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). The course is part of a programme suite that offers a full student pathway from grass roots to chartered engineering status.  Following successful completion of this course, you will have the academic qualification for Engineering Technician status. You can proceed to the Flood and Coastal Engineering BSc (Hons) course available as a two-year, part-time or one-year, full-time programme to gain the academic qualification for Incorporated Engineer, and then to an Engineering MSc course to gain the educational base to achieve Chartered Engineer status. 


There is currently a shortage of people with appropriate skills and experience to meet the challenge of delivering successful flood management. Flooding affects millions worldwide. It ruins homes, destroys livelihoods and threatens lives.

In order to develop its pipeline of capable flood engineers, the Environment Agency has commissioned Brunel University London and HR Wallingford to develop this exciting new course, to equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for a successful career in flood risk management. Whether you choose this course as your first degree or consider a career change, this degree presents excellent and exciting career opportunities.

It is an excellent choice for anybody interested in the environment and in engineering. You must have, or expect to have, an A-level or BTEC qualification in Mathematics in order to succeed in some elements of the course. 


Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

The ethos of Flood and Coastal Engineering at Brunel stems from the initial formation of the University as a technological institution in the mid-1960s. Although you may move on to project management and supervision roles, we feel it’s important that your knowledge is firmly based on an understanding of how things are done in the real world. By the time students graduate, they have an impressive portfolio of work experience, certificates, industry contacts and skills. Our programme’s components and partnership with HR Wallingford ensure that you will gain knowledge of a range of specialist engineering and flood risk topics, alongside guest lectures and experiences from the Environment Agency and other flood industry partners.

FdSc Year 1

  • Analytical Methods and Skills for Flood and Coastal Engineers 
  • Surveying, Drawing, GIS and CAD 
  • River and Coastal Engineering Science 
  • Engineering and Environmental Materials
  • Project Management, Health and Safety Risk Management 
  • Flood and Coastal Engineering Placement Year 1 (workplace training) 
  • Summer School 

FdSc Year 2

  • Structural and Geotechnical Design and Flood Defence Structures 
  • Environmental Hydraulics and Design 
  • River and Coastal Asset Management, Legal Matters and Governance 
  • Hydrological Modelling and Flood Estimation
  • Civil Contingencies, Flood Resilience and Local Flood Risk Design
  • Flood and Coastal Engineering Placement Year 2 (workplace training) 

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


At the end of each programme, the students successfully completing the FdSc will be invited to apply for relevant jobs at the Environment Agency and local authorities. As the sponsor of the programme, the Environment Agency aims to secure a large, continual intake of new graduates to become the flood engineers of the future.  Students that secure roles in the Environment Agency or local authorities will be progressed to the BSc (Hons) Flood and Coastal Engineering programme in part-time study, whilst working full-time in the Environment Agency. Students not securing roles can continue to complete their full degree in either full or part-time mode at Brunel.


Relevant roles for flood engineering graduates, include:

  • Building detailed flood models to describe flood risk
  • Providing advice about waves, estuarine, coastal, river and surface water flood risk
  • Delivering a 24/7 incident response service
  • Providing advice and guidance to communities at risk, flood risk management authorities and developers
  • Developing flood protection schemes
  • Maintaining and enhancing rivers and flood risk assets
  • Raising awareness of flood risk and the steps people can take to protect themselves
  • Building strong partnerships with other risk management authorities, key national stakeholders and communities at risk
  • Business planning, managing projects and leading and inspiring teams, plus much more

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

Entry criteria 2018/19

  • GCE A-Level BCC, including Grade B in Maths or Physics (excluding General Studies).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in Engineering, including Distinction in Further Maths or Further Mechanical Principles.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in related subject with an A-Level grade B in Maths or Physics.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidary Diploma D in related subject with A-Levels at grade BC, to include grade B in Maths or Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points, with Higher Level 5 in Maths or Physics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass an Engineering Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 and Merit or higher in all units.

Five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 and above are also required,  to include Maths  and English Language.

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 review and change each academic year.

International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

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

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

Students are introduced to subject material, including key concepts, information and approaches, through a mixture of standard lectures and seminars, laboratory practicals, field work, self-study and individual research reports.

All students will be allocated a personal tutor from the Brunel University London academic staff, in accordance with the Tutoring@Brunel Policy framework. Students will meet their tutor at set times through the academic year to discuss progress. The tutor also provides a first line of pastoral support. Further support is provided by the departmental and divisional senior tutors. Where students run into more difficult academic problems, the course director and departmental director of teaching and learning are available for advice.  

Assessment and feedback

Assessment will allow students to demonstrate their abilities in a range of styles relevant to professional engineers:

  • Assignments and essays – demonstrate depth and breadth of knowledge and written communication skills
  • Technical analytical reports; lab reports – ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of evidence, including in the field and laboratory
  • Design reports – ability to use imagination, creativity, innovation and judgement to address a specification
  • Individual project – ability to plan, execute and communicate an advanced piece of research
  • Individual report – based on contribution as a team member to a collaborative challenge
  • Personal development log – develop ability to reflect on learning and planning development goals
  • Project proposal – ability to identify a research/design focus and produce a realistic plan for its execution
  • Presentations and posters – ability to summarise and communicate orally and visually
  • Closed book examinations – ability to quickly formulate arguments and solve problems; testing knowledge, understanding and problem solving in the main subject areas in flood and coastal engineering
  • Work-based learning performance portfolio – risk assessment report, professional development record, reflective report, technical report, oral presentation

Special features

  • Around 20 fully funded places, including full tuition fee payment and two guaranteed six-month work based training placements in April of year one and year two including a work based training allowance of £1,000 per month whilst on placement.
  • Guaranteed placements for all students accepted onto the course.
  • An induction programme that engages with the issues of flood risk, through presentations, construction site visits and to the HR Wallingford campus.
  • A Professional Programme, which will provide you with a range of experiences that will support your professional development and complement your academic and placement learning experiences, including presentations by professionals in the field, visits to conferences such as Flood Expo, incident management exercise and visits to civil engineering schemes and Environment Agency sites. 
  • A one-week Summer School at the HR Wallingford campus in year one, which will support both individual and team-related working with real engineering scenarios, as well as a chance to experience leading edge engineering technologies developed on that site.
  • Brunel University London’s strong emphasis on employability and preparing graduates to be “ready for work” harmonises with FdSc course’s guaranteed career profile in the Environment Agency and other flood risk management authorities, environmental and community NGOs, and commercial construction businesses. 
  • Strong links with industry (Environment Agency and HR Wallingford) working in close collaboration with Brunel University London hosting the course delivery.
  • The overall programme offers a full student pathway from grass roots to chartered engineering status (FdSc - Engineering Technician; BSc - Incorporated Engineer; MSc - Chartered Engineer) and sits alongside Brunel’s well-established, fully accredited Civil Engineering degree programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • World-class facilities at HR Wallingford complement the civil engineering technical facility at Brunel University London, where the Joseph Bazalgette Laboratories have enjoyed considerable investment in new equipment, makes the course a market leader on facility provision.


The FdSc in Flood and Coastal Engineering is currently pending accreditation by both the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), as a basis for developing a career as a professional engineer.

Facts and figures

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.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2018/19 entry

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

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time

International students: £18,000 full-time

Additional course related costs

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