Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

MEng Civil Engineering

UCAS code: H203

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing MEng Civil Engineering

Civil engineers design, build and operate the physical infrastructure that we often take for granted; from bridges and buildings to water treatment and waste management systems.

Civil engineering involves:

  • creatively applying your physics and mathematics knowledge to deliver unique solutions to complex problems
  • selecting and using the appropriate engineering and computational tools to ensure safe and sustainable solutions

This programme will train you to be a civil engineer for the future, giving you the knowledge and skills you need to shape and sustain our ever-changing world.

You will have the opportunity to specialise in many technical streams including:

  • structural engineering
  • environmental engineering
  • construction management
  • geotechnical engineering
  • fire safety engineering

We put a strong emphasis on engineering design throughout this degree programme.

Why Edinburgh?

As a member of Edinburgh's supportive and close-knit civil engineering community, you will benefit from a curriculum where the teaching, learning, and design projects, have been shaped by our industrial partners and our world leading staff.

You will also have opportunities to interact with recent graduates who are now working in industry.


This programme fully meets the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. It is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), on behalf of the Engineering Council, comprising the:

  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Institute of Highway Engineers
  • Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Curriculum renewal

We are undertaking an ongoing curriculum renewal, which may result in changes to this degree programme.

The renewal is being carried out with:

  • industrial partners
  • accreditation bodies
  • our students

This renewal makes sure we equip you for an exciting career in the ever-changing world of engineering.

Year 1

Engineers are creative problem-solvers. They are skilled at working in interdisciplinary teams to deal with society's ever more complex challenges.

Introductory courses

In Year 1, you will take introductory courses and develop skills that you will later rely on as a professional engineer, including:

  • confidence
  • critical thinking
  • teamwork
  • problem-solving skills
Engineering Principles

In this course, you will experience a wide range of challenges and develop essential engineering skills. Plus, you will understand the subject's breadth, as well as the role of your chosen discipline.

Engineering Design

In this course, you will work as part of a team on an interdisciplinary engineering task. You will get involved in design and use your engineering judgement to test your solution.

Additional courses

You will also study mathematical topics that have particular relevance to engineers.

You will choose courses from across the University to complement your engineering studies, with options available in the sciences, arts and humanities.

Year 2

In Year 2, you will specialise in core civil engineering topics.

Your compulsory courses will usually include:

  • structural engineering
  • geotechnical engineering
  • tools for engineering design
  • environmental engineering and sustainability

These courses prepare you for further specialisation at honours level.

They cover technical concepts and, where possible, give you the opportunity to apply these in a practical situation.

You will study programming to develop your skills in computer control, simulation, and data analysis; essentials in any engineer's toolkit. As well as:

  • engineering mathematics
  • essential professional skills for engineers
  • two further electives from within the School of Engineering, including courses such as fire science and engineering.

Second year entry

Our course structure is designed in such a way that we permit Year 2 direct entry for students. Direct entry students perform just as well as those progressing from Year 1.

The entry requirements for Year 2 entry are higher to ensure that students have the necessary knowledge to start at this level.

Year 3

You will focus entirely on the study of core materials in civil engineering, such as construction management, structural engineering, and sustainability and design plus two courses of your choice in relevant specialisms.

This is when you can begin to focus on your particular interests.

Progression routes

At the end of Year 3, you will have the option to complete one more year for a BEng degree, or a further two years for an MEng degree.

The latter is subject to you achieving an average of 55% or higher in Year 3.

Year 4

You will take a mix of compulsory and optional advanced courses to deepen your fundamental knowledge of civil engineering and any of technical specialisation streams.

You will undertake substantial design projects including geotechnical engineering and interdisciplinary engineering.

Year 5

You will pursue further advanced courses from an extensive list of options. These are aligned to various technical specialisation streams, such as:

  • structural engineering
  • environmental engineering
  • construction management
  • geotechnical engineering
  • fire safety engineering

You will undertake a substantial structural engineering design project, supported by experienced industrialists.

A third of your final year credits are allocated to your honours thesis. The thesis should be an original study of a challenging engineering problem.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2022/23)

Our facilities

In Year 1, the majority of your learning will take place at the King’s Buildings campus, depending on courses selected. The King’s Buildings campus is around 15 minutes from central Edinburgh by bus or bike.

You may also study at various University campus locations in the vibrant city of Edinburgh, depending on the option courses selected.

Access to facilities

You can access the University's:

  • libraries
  • study spaces (some study spaces are open 24 hours)
  • IT facilities
  • social spaces
  • leisure facilities
  • the brand-new shared learning, teaching and social hub, the Nucleus

Take a virtual tour of our school

You can take a closer look at the School of Engineering and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Virtual visit – School of Engineering

Study abroad

In Year 3, you will have exciting opportunities to study abroad through the University's international exchange programmes.

Many of our students spend their third year abroad in Europe or further afield gaining invaluable academic and life skills.

What are my choices for going abroad?

How will I learn?

The exciting nature of engineering means you will have a diverse learning experience throughout your degree.

Teaching can be through a mixture of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory sessions
  • projects
  • group work

In your final years, you will dedicate more time to private study. So you will need to be well-motivated and organised.

You will also receive individual supervision with final year thesis projects.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework and examinations.

For detailed information please check the Programme Structure - Degree Programme Table to see compulsory and option courses. You can find this information under 'What you will study'.

Refer to individual course details to see the types of assessment included.

Studying engineering at the University of Edinburgh prepares you for a career as a professional engineer in the UK or abroad.

All our courses meet the requirements of the UK's professional engineering bodies.

On graduating from this programme, you will have:

  • core thorough knowledge
  • analytical skills
  • practical skills
  • design skills
  • communication skills

This enables you to join a design, production or research team; or to move rapidly into management and leadership roles. Some of the companies our recent graduates have gone on to work in include:

  • Balfour Beatty
  • Deloitte
  • Halcrow
  • Network Rail
  • UBS

Many graduates join larger companies on training agreements, which provide accelerated progression to Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineers (usually achieved after three to six years appropriate experience and a professional review).

On the other hand, many of our graduates go on to work in other areas, including:

  • the civil service
  • education
  • the armed forces
  • the financial sector
  • law

Careers Service

We support you to recognise the wealth of possibilities ahead, during your time at the University and after graduation.

Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience and provides:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree and studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success.

Careers Service


We encourage you to undertake relevant work experience during your degree.

We advertise internship opportunities and arrange company presentations with the Careers Service.

We support you in developing graduate skills through our Edinburgh Award for Civil and Environmental Engineering Industrial Placements. After completion, this will be recognised on your academic transcript.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5 or AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB – BBB (Revised 10 August 2023 to change entry requirement from AAA – ABB.)
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL - 32 points with 555 at HL (Revised 10 August 2023 to change entry requirement from 37 points with 666 at HL – 32 points with 555 at HL.)

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: BBB (Revised 10 August 2023 to change entry requirement from ABB.)
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or Engineering Science at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: Physics or Engineering Science at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science/Computing, Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology) or Engineering at B. GCSEs: Physics or Science at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) and one of Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or Design Technology at 5. SL: Physics at 5 (if not at HL) and English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AA to include Mathematics and either Physics, Engineering Science, or Technological Studies.
  • A Levels: AAA in one set of exams to include Mathematics and either Physics, Engineering, or Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology), or AAB in one set of exams to include Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A and either Physics, Engineering, or Design & Technology (excluding Food Technology). (Revised 10 August 2023 to change entry requirement from A*AA / AAA.)
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL to include Mathematics: Analysis and approaches and Physics or Design Technology at 6. (Revised 10 August 2023 to change entry requirement from 38 points with 666 at HL.)
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MEng Civil Engineering

Additional costs

There is a surveying field trip in Year 2.

The cost is approximately £250, covering:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • materials
  • other subsistence


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering