Civil engineers design, construct, project manage, and commission a wide range of facilities and infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, towers, dams, roads and railways, pipe networks, and treatment plants. These facilities provide people with a reliable, safe, sustainable, and modern environment to live in.
Electric power depends on civil engineers for the design and construction of dams, canals, and transmission towers. Many towns and cities are protected against flooding or the effects of fire and earthquakes by infrastructure designed and constructed by civil engineers.
Civil engineers have responsibility for managing people, equipment, resources, time, and money. Communication skills are vital, as all professional engineers need to effectively disseminate complex information to people of diverse backgrounds by providing detailed engineering reports, presentations, and taking part in public hearings and inquiries.
This is a broad field, and students may take courses to focus on a more specific area of civil engineering during their professional years of study to suit their interests.
- UC is ranked 8th in the world for Civil Engineering (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2019), and in the top 100 universities in the world for Civil and Structural Engineering (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2020).
- The Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering is fully accredited by Engineering New Zealand.
- We have world-class engineering facilities including a new structural engineering lab.
- See the Engineering subject page for many other reasons why UC's College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha is a world-class destination for engineering studies.
UC offers Civil Engineering as a discipline within the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.
Intermediate Year (first year)
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Civil Engineering students, this is made up of:
Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:
- ENGR 100 Engineering Academic Skills (0 points, no fees)
- ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering
- EMTH 118 Engineering Mathematics 1A
- EMTH 119 Engineering Mathematics 1B
- PHYS 101 Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves, Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics
Plus courses specific to Civil Engineering:
- CHEM 111 Chemical Principles and Processes
- EMTH 171 Mathematical Modelling and Computation
- ENGR 102 Engineering Mechanics
In addition you must complete one other 100-level optional course. Check with the College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha Student Advisor for suggested options.
The Professional Years (2nd–4th years)
Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Civil Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.
Laboratory, tutorial, design, office, and field classes complement the theory presented in lectures and demonstrate its relevance to practical applications. As well as individual assignments, students also regularly work in teams on projects. Written and oral presentations are key components of many courses. Lecturers place a heavy emphasis on the importance of good communication skills.
First Professional Year
- ENCI 199 Health & Safety on the Worksite (0 points, no fees)
- ENGR 200 Engineering Work Experience (0 points, no fees)
- ENCN 201 Communication Skills Portfolio 1 (0 points, no fees)
- ENCN 213 Design Studio 1
- ENCN 221 Engineering Materials
- ENCN 231 Solid Mechanics
- ENCN 242 Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology
- ENCN 253 Soil Mechanics
- ENCN 261 Transport and Surveying
- ENCN 281 Environmental Engineering
- EMTH 210 Engineering Mathematics 2
An external field camp also forms part of the First Professional Year's programme.
Second Professional Year
- ENCN 301 Communication Skills Portfolio 2 (0 points, no fees)
- ENCI 335 Structural Analysis and Systems 1
- ENCI 336 Behaviour and Design of Structures 1
- ENCN 304 Deterministic Mathematical Methods
- ENCN 305 Programming, Statistics and Optimization
- ENCN 342 Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics
- ENCN 353 Geotechnical Engineering
- ENCN 371 Project and Infrastructure Management
- ENCN 375 Sustainable Engineering for a Changing Climate
Third Professional Year
Plus one of:
- ENCI 426 Structural Concrete
- ENCN 444 Water Infrastructure and Design
- ENCN 481 Environmental Engineering Design
Plus three courses chosen from:
- ENCI 423 Advanced Structural Analysis and Dynamics
- ENCI 425 Structural Steel
- ENCI 427 Timber Structures
- ENCI 429 Structural Systems
- ENCN 401 Engineering in Developing Communities
- ENCN 412 Traffic Engineering
- ENCN 415 Pavement Engineering
- ENCN 445 Environmental Fluid Mechanics
- ENCN 452 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
- ENCN 454 Introduction to Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
- ENGE 411 Engineering Construction Practice
- ENGE 412 Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
- ENGR 403 Fire Engineering
- ENNR 423 Sustainable Energy Systems
- Any approved 400-level Engineering course
Students with a GPA of 6 or more may take a 600-level course as one of their options, with approval.
There are excellent career opportunities for civil engineers, with a strong demand for graduates in Aotearoa and around the world in a diverse range of fields.
Most new graduates are employed by consultants (who design and manage), contractors (who build and maintain), or central, regional, and local government (who develop and manage the infrastructure of countries, cities, and communities).
Many civil engineers become experts in a specialised area of civil engineering such as structural, water, geotechnical, transportation, fire, or environmental fields.
Some UC civil engineering graduates go on to run their own companies, enter into partnerships, or become researchers for government agencies or business.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Civil Engineering.
See the Department's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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