Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Geology
Master of Engineering
Master of Engineering in Fire Engineering
Master of Engineering in Management
Master of Engineering Studies
Master of Engineering in Transportation
Doctor of Philosophy


Engineering is a challenging and exciting field that uses physical science and mathematics to solve complex problems. Engineers must enjoy design work, thinking creatively and analytically, working as part of a team, and communicating their ideas to others. If you are interested in developing new, innovative technology to improve the quality of our lives and provide solutions to meet the needs of our modern world, then Engineering is for you.

Engineers understand the underlying mechanisms of how things work, ensuring that almost everything that underpins our society functions effectively, safely and efficiently. They are responsible for designing, analysing and improving basic infrastructure, water resource management, telecommunications systems, and the generation and distribution of electricity. Engineers improve the operation of processing plants and factories, and they design new medical technology, computer systems and electronics.

Why study Engineering at UC?

As a UC Engineering student you will have access to some of the best engineering staff and resources in New Zealand and the world.

  • UC is ranked 19th in the world in Civil and Structural Engineering, ahead of the likes of Oxford and Cornell (QS world university rankings by subject 2014).
  • UC’s Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Process Engineering are the top departments for research in the country (Tertiary Education Commission 2013 PBRF Assessment).
  • We have specially-designed computer laboratories and software as well as a specialist Engineering and Physical Sciences library.
  • There are dedicated Engineering teaching and research laboratories in every discipline, with first-rate equipment, testing facilities and expert technicians available to support your hands-on learning. UC has world-class engineering facilities including a futuristic augmented reality lab, the only high-voltage lab in New Zealand, the UC Quake Centre, a structures lab, a fluids lab and a wind tunnel.
  • Each Intermediate Year student will have a personal Academic Advisor.
  • There are numerous scholarships available to Engineering students throughout your four years of study, many of which are industry-funded and include summer employment opportunities.

Our programmes are accredited by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), and students qualify for graduate membership of IPENZ upon completion of their degree. An Engineering degree from UC is also internationally recognised, allowing graduates from our programmes access to overseas career opportunities upon gaining their qualification.

Recommended preparation

Entry into the Intermediate Year is not limited, it is open to any student with the relevant background.

The best preparation for studying Engineering at UC is to take Year 13 calculus, physics and chemistry. You should aim to achieve a minimum of:

  • 18 credits in NCEA Level 3 mathematics with calculus
  • 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 physics
  • 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 chemistry
  • or equivalent in IB or Cambridge

Note that the chemistry component is not required for some engineering disciplines. However, a basic knowledge of chemistry is expected of all Intermediate Year students.


100-level courses

The first year of the BE(Hons), the Engineering Intermediate Year, consists of five compulsory courses essential for all Engineering disciplines (see below) plus four further courses specific to the Engineering discipline(s) you are considering studying in the professional years (years 2–4).

Required Intermediate Year courses

Other required Intermediate Year courses

The particular combination of courses required depends on the Engineering discipline you intend to study in the following three professional years. If you are undecided on which discipline you wish to pursue it is possible to keep your options open for more than one discipline (and is encouraged given the popularity of some professional programmes)

Entry into the professional years of the Engineering programme is limited, however most students who pass their Intermediate Year courses gain entry to their first or second choice. If you are not successful in gaining a place or if you decide not to continue with Engineering, you can normally credit passes to the Bachelor of Science or other UC degrees.

It is worth checking the website or contacting a Student Advisor to make sure you cover your bases from the outset. For further information about the Engineering Intermediate Year, including an outline of the required courses for each discipline and course updates, please see the College of Engineering.

200-level and beyond

Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year you can apply for entry into the First Professional Year of one of the nine Engineering disciplines:

Some limits on entry into the professional years of each discipline apply, with selection based on your grade point average achieved during the Engineering Intermediate Year.

The professional years will focus your learning on knowledge and skills that are relevant to your chosen Engineering discipline through a combination of lectures, laboratory work and field classes. In the second and third professional years you will have the option of choosing courses which concentrate on a particular field (or fields) within your chosen Engineering discipline.

Practical work

Before graduating with the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours you must complete 100 days of practical work in the engineering industry. This is normally carried out during the summer breaks of the professional years.

You are also required to carry out a workshop training course during the First Professional Year to prepare you in the use of hand tools, welding and lathes. You must also hold a University-approved first aid certificate while enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.

Career opportunities

Throughout their degree, students take part in practical work experience, on campus events, careers fairs and industry talks, giving them multiple opportunities to make industry contacts.

Engineering students have the opportunity to participate in events such as the annual bridge building competition and projects such as designing and building a racing car or simulating lightning strikes – all of which increase professional capability and encourage leadership, teamwork and innovation.

Our graduates find work on projects of social, economic and environmental significance to society. Many UC engineers progress into management or consultancy.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

More information

College of Engineering
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2608

Carl shrimpton

Carl Shrimpton

'I wanted to study at the best engineering school, so Canterbury was an obvious choice for me...'

Erin savage

Erin Savage

'My master’s research is interesting because it is very hands-on and practical...'