Civil engineering in UK
British universities offer a wide range of degree and higher diploma courses in Civil Engineering and related areas, such as Construction Management and Structural Engineering.
Most B.Eng. and M.Eng. courses are accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators, representing the relevant professional engineering institutions (Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers).
Successful completion of these accredited courses gives exemption from the academic examinations leading to Chartered Engineer status. Construction Management courses are frequently accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building. Similarly, a higher diploma (HND) will lead to Incorporated Engineer status, or may be accepted for progression to a degree course, often with exemption from at least one year of study.
The U.K. professional bodies are recognised around the World and accredited U.K. degrees are accepted for entry to the engineering professions in most countries. A U.K. degree therefore provides a global passport to a rewarding professional career in civil engineering.
The demand for qualified civil engineers and construction managers is very strong, and in many parts of the world, the salaries offered to young construction professionals are amongst the highest of any graduate group. They may be involved in a very wide range of projects, ranging from highways, railways, bridges and tunnels, through to the responsibility for the structure and foundations of major buildings, dams, water supply, irrigation and public health schemes, and many more too numerous to list. Because of its role in the design, construction and operation of the major infrastructure systems on which society depends, the industry provides an exciting, challenging, satisfying and fulfilling career.
The range of courses offered in U.K. is very broad. Some universities offer courses in engineering science, which may involve general study of all areas of engineering for the first two years, followed by specialisation in later years. Others offer courses that are specific to civil engineering throughout. These normally entail three years of study for a B.Eng. and four years for an M.Eng. Some universities also offer "sandwich courses" which incorporate a year of structured and supervised professional training in the industry in addition to the academic study.
The range, style and emphasis of course provision in different universities varies widely, from those with a strong emphasis on basic theory through to courses with more emphasis on engineering and construction management practice. Potential students should therefore find out as much as possible about the style of each course so that they apply for those which suit their interests and career aspirations.
Some Universities, offer a range of interlinked courses at HND and degree level. These cover civil engineering, structural design and construction management, whilst others may focus on only one degree course. A co-ordinated programme of courses allows students to progress from HND to degree level study and to change the emphasis of their study should they wish to do so.
I am a strong advocate of the sandwich course and the University of Teeside, for example, provides good support for students to find them salaried sandwich training placements in U.K. and overseas and monitor their professional development during the placement. The benefits of such placements include increased commitment to final year studies, resulting in improved degree classifications, and enhanced employment prospects at the end of the course. In these days of tight student budgets, the income earned during the year also helps to ease the financial pressures during final year.
Thus the U.K. has a great deal to offer potential students in civil engineering and other construction related areas. Any university will be happy to provide detailed information on its particular course provision in the area and course tutors will be willing to explain the particular features of their courses to potential applicants.