Explore this course:

    Applications for 2024 entry are now open. Apply now or register your interest to hear about postgraduate study and events at the University of Sheffield.

    2024 start September 

    Civil Engineering

    Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

    This course offers a broad-based knowledge in civil engineering covering geotechnical, structural and water engineering, giving you the skills to become an effective civil engineer.
    Civil engineering student

    Course description

    This course offers a broad-based knowledge in civil engineering covering geotechnical, structural and water engineering, placing an equal emphasis on both analysis and design. You'll dissect these three areas and their interconnections, giving you the skills to become an effective civil engineer. 

    The core modules give you a grounding in engineering analysis and design. In the second semester, you can follow your interests and choose from a list of specialist modules.

    Our department is research-led, meaning you’ll be taught about the latest ideas and concepts within the field, while the advanced research project provides you with an opportunity to explore a current issue in civil engineering in much greater detail.

    You'll be equipped to work on strategies to remedy problems such as making our construction practices more sustainable and efficient, ensuring a safe and clean water supply for future generations, or tackling coastal flooding and groundwater pollution.


    This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the academic requirement for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

    To hold accredited qualifications for CEng registration, candidates must also hold a Bachelor (Hons) degree that has been accredited as partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). See the JBM website for further information.

    Candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited Bachelor degree accredited for IEng only or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Research and Professional Skills

    This module fosters best practice in engineering-related research/professional skills and delivers a range of training activities to meet the needs of professional engineers dealing with research and technological development.

    15 credits
    Advanced Engineering Research Study

    This module represents a major element of the Masters programme, with the aim of enabling you to learn skills in scientific investigation and in running and presenting a project. You are required to submit a comprehensive (bound) report describing the individual work that you have done during the summer semester.

    60 credits

    Optional modules:

    Computational Structural Analysis

    This module will cover the theoretical and practical aspects of using numerical analysis methods, with emphasis on the Finite Element Method (FEM). The module starts with the fundamentals of the FEM to then cover practical applications to structural problems and interpretation of results. Additionally, it provides an overview of recent developments in computational structural analysis.

    15 credits
    Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering

    This module is designed to provide you with a systematic knowledge and understanding of structural dynamics and its applications in Civil Engineering. On successful completion of this module, you will be able to perform calculation and analyse vibration response of single-degree-of-freedom and multi-degree-of-freedom systems and apply simple structural dynamics theory to solve practical problems in earthquake engineering.

    15 credits
    Engineering within Planetary Capacity

    It is projected that by 2050 the human population will be 10 billion, with over 75% concentrated in urban and megacity areas. It is essential that engineering solutions are developed to create and maintain an urban built environment that can meet rapidly changing societal needs, whilst being within the carrying capacity of the planet. This module will equip you with the skills to develop and analyse built environment engineering solutions to ensure they operate within planetary boundaries.

    15 credits
    Civil Engineering Project Management

    This module will introduce you to core management topics and skills relevant to the complex environment of the modern construction industry. Key topics addressed include: construction project management, making a business case, understanding value, risk and quality, managing resources and contracts, legal responsibilities and procurement.

    15 credits
    Engineering Hydrology and Hydrogeology

    This module is intended to provide an introduction to Hydrology and Hydrogeology for MSc Water Engineering and MSc Civil Engineering students, to equip you with basic quantitative skills for conducting mass balance calculations as well as hydrological and hydrogeological investigations. The module content comprises the prediction of rainfalls, quantitative and qualitative analysis of water movement over the surface and through the subsurface, the estimation of flood flows, the study of hydrologic and hydrogeological processes along with the range of space and time scales at which they occur, an overview of hydrological and hydrogeological measurement techniques, and an overview of current issues in the field, such as climate change.

    15 credits
    Innovations in Construction Materials and Technologies

    This research-led module will familiarise students with some of the innovative materials and technologies used in the construction industry for the design and execution of new structures and the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure. The module will deal with: the use of innovative solutions for reinforcing and strengthening concrete structures (e.g. Fibre Reinforced Polymers - FRP, Textile Reinforced Mortars - TRM); the development of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and its structural applications; the development of low-carbon sustainable concretes, including geopolymer concrete, and their applications; recent material and product developments (e.g. self-healing concrete), state-of-the-art additive construction techniques (e.g. concrete 3D printing). Existing design guidelines and state-of-the-art research in the field will be reviewed and discussed, and complemented by practical tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions.

    15 credits
    Advanced Geotechnics

    This module is designed to (i) deepen your understanding of the fundamentals of soil behaviour, (ii) develop your understanding of the use of limit analysis in geotechnical engineering and (iii) describe the concepts behind geotechnical limit state design and how safety idealisations are used to deal with the complexities of soil behaviour in a sustainable manner. Through lectures, tutorial sheets, and software exercises, you will develop your knowledge of geotechnical design with reference to Eurocode 7. You will also develop your ability to use a range of state-of-the-art engineering design concepts and tools, all aimed at promoting sustainability and efficiency in engineering practice.

    15 credits
    Engineering Hydraulics

    This module aims to provide a solid base for the analysis of water flows in closed and open ducts. The module provides basic physical insights of the dynamics of laminar and turbulent flows in pipes and open channels. It will also give you a detailed overview of the governing equations and assumptions involved in their application at different scales of analysis. You will gain understanding and competence in the analysis of flows in different contexts and the practical application of these to solve common water engineering problems.

    15 credits
    Managing Design and Construction

    This module will apply core skills taught in previous modules to real life scenarios related to the management of construction. The scenarios will include aspects of: construction project management, making a business case, understanding value, risk and quality, managing resources and contracts, legal responsibilities and procurement.

    15 credits
    Geotechnical Infrastructure

    The module will focus on the analysis and sustainable design of large scale geotechnical infrastructure and systems, such as embankment dams, levees and tunnels. Aspects of uncertainty and risk, particularly in the context of a changing climate, will be developed related to ultimate and serviceability limit states, using a range of historical case histories within the published literature. A forensic investigative analysis will be conducted on a case study of geotechnical failure, benefiting from data from the literature and numerical modelling. This will be complemented by a consideration of soil acting as both a continuum and as a particulate system, and by an examination of the role of physical modelling, analytical models, constitutive models, and the geological model.

    15 credits
    Advanced Concrete Design for Net-Zero

    This module is designed for individuals with a background in reinforced concrete structure design, offering an in-depth exploration of advanced topics in the field. Focusing on emerging concepts, construction techniques, and innovative materials, the course places particular emphasis on materials conducive to achieving Net Zero Carbon and examines their implications in the design process. The module not only revisits fundamental principles of reinforced concrete design but also delves into key aspects such as short and long-term deflections, creep, shrinkage, ductility, section analysis, prestressing, shear, and cracking. This module equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of modern reinforced concrete design.

    15 credits
    Sustainable Steel and Hybrid Structures

    This module will provide students with up-to-date knowledge of steel and hybrid construction and prepare them with skills for designing steel, steel-concrete hybrid and steel-timber hybrid structures.  The module will help the students to develop a fundamental understanding of the underlying principles of the behaviour of these structures, as well as sustainability and modern constructions methods, such as design for disassembly and adaptability.

    15 credits
    Regenerative Design Project

    This module involves working in groups to address a complex, real-world engineering problem. The module will involve receiving, interrogating, and developing a project brief, then drawing on myriad sources to develop options. Students will conduct stakeholder engagement and systems thinking to develop options which meet ecological, ethical, social and technical needs. In doing so will develop holistic concept / scheme stage designs, using engineering calculations to rapidly validate design options, and to inform decision making. Students will then communicate their proposals and reflect on their learning.

    15 credits
    Design and Management of Sewer Systems

    This module will provide students with a high level of knowledge and understanding as to how sewer and stormwater drainage systems operate in the UK. Teaching will focus on acquiring knowledge about current and emerging regulatory, management and design practices. Students will be required to understand the environmental and sustainbility issues associated with this type of infrastructure system. Students will apply industry standard design approaches in a case study, considering hydraulic and pollution concepts to evaluate and modify the performance of the case study network to meet current regulatory requirements, anticipated future pressures whilst considering the long term sustainability of the system. Students will be expected to demonstrate their level of knowledge and understanding via application in the case study sewer network.

    15 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    We use a variety of teaching methods to support your learning, including tutorials, lectures, group project work, virtual learning environments and individual research. Some modules may feature input from our industrial partners, laboratory work or site visits.


    Your assessments will include formal examinations, coursework and research projects. Regular feedback is also provided, so that you can understand your own development throughout the course.


    Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

    Civil engineering is at the forefront of improving the way we live. Whether it's designing the infrastructure that keeps our day-to-day lives running smoothly - from buildings and bridges to clean water supplies - or working to meet the ever-changing needs of our society in the areas of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change, you'll be helping to create and protect the world we live in.

    Our courses will make you the kind of engineer the world needs right now; forward-thinking, interdisciplinary, environmentally conscious, and capable of the kind of complex thinking our rapidly changing society needs. Wherever you choose to start your career, you'll be in demand.

    We're eighth in the UK for civil engineering, according to the Times Good University Guide 2022, and the Complete University Guide 2022. Our research is internationally recognised, and we work closely with industry and government to ensure that our research has real world impact.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree (BEng, MEng, BSc) in civil or structural engineering or another appropriate engineering or science subject.

    You will need a strong background and high previous performance (equivalent to 2:1) in at least one structural engineering-related module, at least one geotechnical engineering-related module and at least one water engineering-related module.

    We'll consider your application if you have appropriate professional qualifications and work experience, but you'll need a strong background in the areas covered on the course.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 5711

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.