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BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering (with Foundation year)

Course summary

This extended course is perfect if you want a degree in Civil Engineering but you don’t have the standard entry requirements.
First we prepare you for your degree during an extra Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full BSc.

The course will give you a solid grounding in the design, construction and management of civil engineering work.

We have great links with industry and high levels of graduate employment. You’ll enjoy regular visits to iconic construction sites in London as well as professionally monitored field study courses and projects.

This makes our course ideal for students who, while not necessarily ‘maths geniuses’, nevertheless have good basic skills in that area and aspirations to develop a career in management or a range of technical fields.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more


Optional placement year available


Our Civil Engineering courses are ranked third in London (Guardian University Guide league table 2018).


Industry links

We have excellent connections with industry giants, and we’re accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

Field trips

We're one of only a few universities in the country who offer a programme of weekly construction site visits to major civil engineering and construction projects in London.


Mudassar Rasul

BEng Electrical & Electronic Engineering

I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UEL - starting with my Foundation Studies in Engineering year, and graduating with a First Class Honours BEng award.

While studying at UEL, I was impressed by the nurturing attitude of the staff, and the quality of the Foundation year. These helped me develop a thorough understanding of the core elements of engineering, and the confidence to approach any problem in a methodical way. I’ve also had an opportunity to build long-lasting friendships with fellow students and staff members alike.

Since leaving UEL, I’ve completed a project at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), a PhD at Harvard University, and now work as a consultant for Goldman Sachs.

What you'll learn

This course will prepare you for a range of technical and professional careers within civil engineering. We’ve developed it carefully through regular consultation with industry experts. 

At the core of your degree, throughout which you’ll combine academic and practical learning, is a thorough grounding in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings, roads, bridges, canals.

We’ll also give you a firm grounding in structural engineering – the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads.

Other areas you’ll study include geotechnical engineering, the behaviour and stability of materials such as soil and rock, and water engineering, which involves coastal engineering, treating and distributing water as well as managing waste water and sewage disposal.

What you'll study and when

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up-to-date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change.

  • Mental Wealth: Professional Life
  • Analytical Mathematics
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Physical Sciences
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Mental Wealth: Professional Life
  • Engineering Materials
  • Analytical Skills in Built Environment
  • The Built Environment
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Land and Construction Surveying

  • Mental Wealth: Professional Life
  • 3D Data Modelling and Analysis
  • Structures and Design
  • Ground Engineering
  • Engineering Surveying 
  • Advanced Sustainable Technology
  • Tendering, Estimating and Cost Control
This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.
  • Mental Wealth: Professional Life
  • Capstone Project
  • Advanced Construction Technology and Innovation
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transport Infrastructure Engineering
  • Project Management studies 

How you'll be assessed

We'll assess you through coursework, group and individual presentations, time-controlled assessments and exams. The balance between exams and coursework is approximately 30 per cent exams, 10 per cent presentations and 60 per cent coursework.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification

How you'll learn

You’ll study similar sub-disciplines of civil engineering to those covered in the BEng course, but with a different, more pragmatic approach. There’ll be a mixture of theoretical and practical work, with access to fully equipped civil engineering laboratories such as concrete and soil labs.

Collaborative or group projects are a key part of the course – as they are in the profession. In your final year, you’ll produce an individual piece of research. 

Our staff bring a huge amount of research expertise to bear on their teaching, so you can be sure that what you study reflects the most up-to-date thinking and practice. Alongside strong academic credentials, many have extensive industrial experience as practising civil engineers.

Each term, we’re visited by around 20 local industry professionals – known as the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) – to update us on changing recruitment requirements for graduates and to advise on coursework, projects and field trips etc. 

Current members of the IAB include Atkins, Thames Water, Watermans, Hardman Structural Engineers, Morrish & Partners, SRK Consulting and the London Borough of Newham.

Every year, our civil engineering and construction management students visit the Constructionarium at the National CITB Training Centre in Norfolk. There you’ll work as a team with a sponsoring contractor and design engineer, building scaled-down versions of famous bridges or buildings to gain hands on experience of what you have studied in the class.

Our Docklands campus is ideally placed for studying iconic projects in the capital, such as the Tate Modern Phase 2 Extension, the Canary Wharf Crossrail station and the reconfiguration of the Olympic Stadium.

Who will teach on this course

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Your future career

With a degree in civil engineering from UEL, you’ll be well placed to secure a stimulating and rewarding career.

The high quality of our teaching on the course is widely recognised, and the constant input from industry professionals ensures your studies will be highly relevant to employers once you graduate.

You might decide to specialise as a structural engineer, a hydraulic engineer, highway engineer or a geotechnical engineer. Your decision may be prompted by how your career develops in your first job and you start on the process known as Initial Professional Development, which takes between three and five years.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to land jobs at the Highways Agency, Network Rail, Thames Water, Hardman Structural Engineers, Morrish & Partners, SRK Consulting, Kier Group and in local authorities.

Others have chosen to work in other professional areas such as finance, education, marketing and housing.

Around 20 per cent of our students are from overseas, with many returning to work for local authorities or government departments.

If you decide to continue your studies, you’ll have the option of taking a one-year MSc course in Civil Engineering to pursue Chartered Engineer status.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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