Civil Engineers are entrusted to achieve a sustainable world and raise the global quality of life. They tackle challenges of the 21st century such as climate change and inequality, creating earthquake-resilient communities, and ensuring clean water for future generations.
Civil engineers are:
- planners, designers, constructors, and operators of the built environment — the spaces where people live, and the infrastructure we depend on like buildings, bridges, transportation, drinking water and wastewater systems
- kaitiaki (stewards of our natural environment)
- innovators and integrators of ideas, people, and technology
- managers of risk and uncertainty
Civil engineers work in interdisciplinary teams and with communities, including mana whenua, to come up with cutting-edge and creative approaches to solve the complex and large-scale challenges we face.
Minors in Structural Engineering and Water and Environmental Systems Engineering
With the Structural Engineering minor, you will learn state-of-the-art approaches, and gain the expertise to work in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world in challenging and exciting large-scale structural engineering projects such as bridges, buildings, skyscrapers, dams, and towers.
A minor in Water and Environmental Systems Engineering focuses on solving the greatest challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand and the world: climate change, natural hazards, river and water quality, food production, population health, etc. Environmental systems engineers integrate our understanding of engineering, communities, and the environment in a way that is ethical and effective.
- 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).
- World-class, high-tech laboratories on campus.
- Mentorship opportunities.
- Ability to build and compete in fun and engaging programmes, such as the bridge competition within your second year.
- Close community of students and professors.
- The Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering is fully accredited by Engineering New Zealand.
UC offers Civil Engineering as a discipline within the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.
Students may also choose to complete a minor alongside their discipline in either Structural Engineering or Water and Environmental Systems Engineering.
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours 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.
Once you have completed the first year and successfully applied for entry into Civil Engineering, you will study that discipline within the next three 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.
- 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 second year's programme.
- 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
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.
Civil engineers have extensive career opportunities, with a strong demand for graduates in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.
Most new graduates are employed by consultants (who design and manage), contractors (who build and maintain), or central, regional, and local government (who develop policy and manage the infrastructure of countries, cities, and communities). These jobs often involve flexible work, challenging problems, and attractive salaries, along with many international opportunities in a diverse range of fields.
Many civil engineers become experts in specialised fields to tackle the demand for climate-resilient infrastructure and support a future global population of 9 billion people. Expert areas include structural, water, geotechnical, transportation, fire, and environmental engineering; and construction management.
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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