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Undergraduate study
Civil Engineering (Top-up)

Civil Engineering (Top-up) BEng Tech (Hons)

This top-up degree is ideal if you are qualified to QCF Level 5 in a civil engineering-related subject and you wish to enhance your career prospects. Eligible qualifications include higher national diplomas (HNDs) and foundation degrees.


Course overview

The course deepens your knowledge of subject areas previously studied as part of your HND, foundation degree or equivalent, to help improve your career prospects. You gain a rounded knowledge and understanding of design of concrete structures, water engineering, construction management and contracts.

The design and project modules allow you to solve complex multi-disciplinary civil engineering design and implementation problems.

The course also helps you to further develop transferrable and team-working skills, which are highly valued by employers.

This top-up degree may be used as a stepping stone to master’s degree-level study.

We are ranked 6th for student satisfaction for civil engineering in the Complete University Guide 2023. (58 institutions were ranked,

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Course details

You study the core topics of water engineering, structures and management. These topics, combined with your individual project, help you develop a range of skills relevant to your profession.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Construction Management and Contracts

Students will gain an understanding of construction management techniques relevant to the construction industry with regards to estimating, cost and time control, quality issues and health & safety. This module will also provide the students with a working knowledge of procurement arrangements and cost analysis as used in the construction industry.

The nature of contract law will be explored allowing the students to develop a knowledge and understanding of the common types of contract used in the construction industry. Guest speakers from industry are invited to help ensure current good practice is included in the delivery of the module.

Formal lectures will be supported by student seminars/project work and online quizzes as appropriate in order to provide formative feedback.

Design of Concrete Structures

This module develops your knowledge of engineering properties of concrete, analysis and design concepts and procedures used in structural design. You gain the analysis and design knowledge required to design common structural elements and building frames using reinforced concrete to the appropriate national and European structural design standards. You use case study examples to gain the skills and understanding to develop effective and economic designs. We emphasise manual analysis techniques to determine the values required for subsequent design procedures. Your designs of the structural elements will fully comply with the appropriate current standards. The module is assessed by a combination of an in-course assessment and exam.

Group Design

This module provides you with the opportunity to work in a team to solve a complex multi-disciplinary engineering design and implementation problem related to your chosen BEng Tech pathway. It gives you an understanding of your knowledge and limitations, and the importance of bringing in and working with people with a different knowledge base and skill set. Working in a team enables problems to be successfully resolved which would not have been possible within a single individual. This module develops a consolidated set of employability skills in project management, presentation of work, research and commercial awareness to support complex problem solving in a technical context and enhance the awareness of professional issues such as health, safety, environment and ethics in the workplace.

A problem-based learning approach is adopted and, where appropriate, supporting lectures and seminars are delivered to include technical knowledge or skills development.

Project (BEng Tech)

This module advances the development of your independent learning skills by allowing you to investigate an area of engineering for an extended period. You are given training in writing technical reports for knowledgeable readers and you produce a report or dissertation of the work covered. You also give an oral presentation, a poster presentation or both. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project. You develop key skills in research, knowledge application and creation through keynote lectures where appropriate and self-managed independent study. You are supported through regular tutorial sessions and project supervision meetings.

Water Engineering

The module considers elements of flood risk management, water resources management and natural and man-made infrastructure. It introduces natural watercourses and concepts of their response to rainfall events, including flooding and consideration of flood protection/mitigation methods. The module develops the concepts involved in the design and operation of elements of water supply and wastewater systems, from the estimation of water demand and the evaluation and use of water resources, to the collection and transport of foul and storm water and their eventual discharge to natural watercourses.

The module will also consider climate change and mitigation in relation to water.

Module content is delivered via lectures, seminars and practical sessions.

This is a 20-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The programme comprises 120 credits accumulated from classroom-based modules, laboratory-based modules, a Group Design Project and an Individual Engineering Project.

You learn through lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, projects and examinations. Self-directed learning time is used to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for examinations.

The Group Design module involves a one-week block delivery period (Monday – Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm). This is an intensive problem-solving session designed to enhance team-working and provide you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment as well as group work and verbal or poster presentations.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Edexcel/BTEC Higher National Diploma, or equivalent, in a discipline closely related to civil engineering.

International students must also provide evidence of English language skills equivalent to IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component. International students should also read the information on our international pages.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Typical roles include construction project management, building or civil engineering for contractors or consultants, architectural practices, local authorities or government agencies.

If you successfully complete this degree with at least 2.2 honours you can apply for one of several MSc programmes for further study including, for example, MSc Project Management.

Please note, this top-up degree would not be eligible for progression to our accredited postgraduate MSc Civil and Structural Engineering degree. If you're intending to study this postgraduate course then you must first complete our accredited BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree and obtain at least a 2.1 honours degree. A 2.2 classification can also be considered if suitable working experience can be evidenced


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 1 year
  • UCAS code: H203 Tech/CE
  • Start date: September and January
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Successful completion of a Higher National Diploma, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject. Conditions on units studied may apply.

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: Normally one day a week during term time, plus one week per semester for group project work.
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


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