School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering

Do you want to protect coastal communities from the threat of flooding? Are you interested in how engineers think about the sustainability of our coastlines and the consequences of climate change? Would you like to design large structures that withstand the strength of storms and the sea? Our Coastal Engineers graduate with the skills and knowledge of a Civil Engineer combined with specialist skills for designing and creating infrastructure that functions in the coastal environment.

This professionally accredited course allows you the flexibility to change to other Civil Engineering programmes. We offer a mentoring scheme that puts you in touch with our professional network of alumni. You can also enhance your professional competence by choosing to take a year in industry. You will receive support and inspiration from enthusiastic academic staff from the day you arrive through to your joining our exciting profession as a graduate Plymouth Engineer.

The Plymouth Engineer Scholarship: Civil and coastal engineering degrees

Up to £1,000. Students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and/or one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science subject or in A level Geography. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2019. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

On a stunning November morning at Lyme Regis in Dorset, the Cobb is illuminated by the sun's early rays. A man made construction has protected the small harbour here since at least 1313.

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Key features

  • In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking we are eighth out of 50, and the highest ranked UK university, for Marine/Ocean Engineering.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with an accredited degree. Our BEng (Hons) is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation on behalf of the Engineering Council, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). You'll qualify for membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Institution of Structural Engineers.
  • Benefit from our £19 million Marine Building, where you’ll find facilities for teaching water and coastal engineering. You’ll be taught modules in coastal engineering and water management, preparing you to specialise in design or flood risk management.
  • Lay strong foundations for a successful career using our extensive industry links to secure a paid, one-year work placement. Gain the confidence, real-world know-how and vital industry experience employers are looking for.
  • Learn a host of design skills from problem solving to sustainable development, as well as enhancing the critical thinking that plays a key role in the work of a civil engineer.
  • Work with the latest industry-standard software, in our high specification laboratories. You’ll develop a strong understanding of fundamental principles, while honing your skills at the same time.
  • Learn from professionally qualified experts with relevant experience from the civil engineering industry, and researchers with national and international reputations. 
  • Increase your employability by taking an extra-curricular Health and Safety Executive (HSE), recognised diving qualification (subject to availability).
  • Progress onto MEng (Hons) Civil and Coastal Engineering at the end of the second year, subject to achieving the required level of academic performance on the BEng (Hons).
  • Develop your professional skills including communication, self-management, team working and leadership so you’re ready to hit the ground running in your future career.
  • Learn in a progressive environment, the University of Plymouth is a recipient of the Athena Bronze award, in recognition of advancing the careers of women scientists and engineers.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • During your first year, you will be introduced to key areas that form the basis of knowledge for a professional engineer. You will study the mathematics of engineering and get to grips with AutoCAD, developing your IT and design skills. We will introduce you to geotechnics and the properties of engineering materials, as well as technical themes like hydraulics, structural analysis and surveying. You will gain transferable skills through a module on professional studies.
    Core modules
    • BPIE114 Stage 1 Civils Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • CIVL103 Civil Engineering Practice

      This module introduces and develops students¿ understanding of the skillset, competencies and professional responsibilities required of civil engineering practice. It includes site visits, practical exercises, and talks from practising professional engineers reflecting on their experience in industry. The module also includes `hands on¿ training in Computer Aided Design (CAD).

    • CIVL104 Introduction to Hydraulics and Geotechnics

      This module introduces two important technical subjects in Civil Engineering: Hydraulics and Geotechnics. Hydraulics considers fundamental concepts of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. Geotechnics considers the ground in the context of Civil Engineering. The module includes field trips to local sites of Geological interest.

    • MATH187 Engineering Mathematics

      The module provides students with a number of fundamental mathematical skills and techniques which are essential for the analysis of engineering problems.

    • MATS123 Materials for Civil Engineering and Construction

      This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the origins and properties of materials commonly used by the civil engineering industry. Students will be engaged in the practical testing of materials in order to judge their relative strengths and weaknesses. Health and safety matters associated with each of the materials will also be highlighted.

    • STAD117 Structural Analysis and Design I

      This Module equips student with basic and essential structural analysis and design skills that are key requirements for Civil and Structural Engineering disciplines. This module also introduces students to practical applications of these concepts using hand calculations, laboratory and computer software tools to enhance their deeper understanding.

    • SURV100 Civil Engineering Surveying

      This module covers basic land, site and building surveying methods that are commonly used in the construction industry. It includes principles such as survey control networks and setting out, and the associated calculations. Students will undertake practical use of instruments such as an automatic level and `total station'. There is also an introduction to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and highway alignments.

  • Year 2
  • Explore the core disciplines of civil engineering, from structural analysis and design to hydraulic engineering and construction, through lectures, practical activities, site visits and field trips. We will also introduce you to coastal engineering and the basics of wave and tidal theory.
    Core modules
    • BPIE214 Stage 2 Civils Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • CIVL200 Civil Engineering Design and Construction

      This module traces the stages of a civil engineering scheme through design and construction. Design stages are covered through work on an integrating project including multiple Civil Engineering elements. Construction stages are covered through treatment of health and safety and construction practice. The continuity between the design and construction stages is emphasised in terms of the requirements of the CDM regulations.

    • GEEN213 Geotechnical Engineering

      This module initially builds on basic Soil Mechanics concepts introduced in the first year via a range of common lab tests. The concepts of groundwater flow and consolidation will be considered, with associated calculations. Methods of analysis for estimation of stability and deformation when the ground is loaded will be introduced, with the accompanying concepts of material or load factors.

    • HYFM232 Hydraulic Coastal Engineering

      This module develops hydraulic engineering concepts introduced in the first year, and introduces hydrodynamic concepts required for coastal engineering. Hydraulic engineering material includes predicting flow in pipes and open channels. Coastal engineering topics include study of waves and tides, and their application to coastal engineering. Learning is supported by laboratory work and a site visit.

    • MATH238 Engineering Analysis

      This module builds upon the stage one engineering mathematics module, by introducing students to more advanced mathematical ideas, statistical techniques and numerical methods. The methods and techniques studied are used to solve relevant civil engineering applications, with some emphasis on interpreting the results obtained. Industrially recognised software packages are also used where appropriate.

    • MGMT222 Construction Management

      The aim of this module is to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of commercial aspects of construction management and project planning. In addition the module aims to build practical skills in the use of project planning software and the practical use of codes of conduct that guide appropriate personal behaviour in professional engineering practice.

    • STAD215 Structural Analysis and Design II

      This module extends the theoretical base established by the Stage 1 Structural Analysis and Structural Design modules. It is intended to combine the basic principles of analysis with design to develop an integrated approach to solving problems in Structural Engineering. The module is supported by the use of computer software and laboratory work.

  • Optional placement year
  • Between years two and three you’ll have the opportunity to spend a year in paid professional employment. We’ll support you in finding a suitable placement and visit you twice during the course of this year. As well as providing an invaluable real world experience, a year in industry can often lead to job offers from the placement company. Some placement companies have even chosen to sponsor students for their final year of study.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE340 Civil Engineering Related Placement (Generic)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study. Help to prepare the student for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you will refine your theoretical, practical and design skills. You will learn about wave and coastal structure design, and the reliability and risks involved. Your studies will culminate in an industry-focused group design project. You will spend much of the year completing a research-based individual project – that focuses on laboratory experiments, computer-aided modelling, or field work linked to our staff’s research and professional interests.
    Core modules
    • COUE318 Coastal Engineering Analysis and Design

      Building on the basic elements of Coastal Engineering, this module provides the fundamental understanding of coastal processes (wave mechanics, nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport) and coastal structures (design parameters, layout, cross section) required for a coastal engineering project. Emphasis is given to the interactions between coastal structures and processes. Basis for COUE319 design module.

    • COUE319 Coastal Engineering Design Project

      This module comprises of a major group design project focussed on a coastal engineering scheme. It provides experience in the design of a realistic, simulated coastal engineering project. The project is designed as a group project, to mimic a professional practice team.

    • GEEN313 Geotechnical Engineering 2

      Different theories and design methodologies are introduced succinctly at the beginning of each topic, followed by design practice with detailed worked examples and case studies. The emphasis is on introducing students to the latest analysis tools used in practice, and on making them relate to the outcome of different worked examples.

    • HYFM321 Hydraulic Engineering 2

      This module builds upon a fundamental understanding of basic hydraulic theory, to develop knowledge, understanding and ability to use theoretical principles to analyse steady and unsteady hydraulic systems comprising pipes, open channels, hydraulic machines. The module also introduces theory underpinning the use physical hydraulic modelling.

    • PRCE310 Individual Project

      The individual project enables the student to research an approved topic related to civil or coastal engineering. It comprises a critical review of background literature and current knowledge that allows the student to identify a focus for their inquiry. Guided by an academic supervisor, the ensuing investigation comprises theoretical development, experimental and / or computational work, and a final analysis.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BEng Civil And Coastal Engineering Programme Specification September 2019 1040

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Engineering and Navigation Excellence Scheme.

A Level: A typical offer will be 112 points with a minimum of 2 A Levels, to include a C in A level Maths plus studying second Science/Technology subject: Applied ICT, Applied Science, Applied Science (DA), Biology, Chemistry, Computing/Computer Science, DT (Product Design Resistant Materials), DT (Systems and Control Tech) DT Product Design (Textiles Tech), Electronics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Further Maths/Use of, Statistics, Music Technology, Physics, Technology and Design. Excluding General Studies.

BTEC National Extended Diploma in Engineering: DDD to include all mathematics units with Distinction. Level 3 Engineering Principles (Mandatory Module), Level 3 Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems (Mandatory Module) and Level 3 Further Engineering Mathematics (Optional Module).
Or, where A or AS level mathematics has been achieved: DMM to include all mathematics units with Merit. (Core Maths not accepted).

New Diploma RQF: DDD, to include distinctions in level 3 engineering principles, calculus to solve engineering problems and further engineering mathematics.

Note the admissions tutor will consider DMM to include all mathematics units with merit, where a pass in A or AS level mathematics has been achieved.

12 unit QCF Diploma/RQF National – is considered alongside A/AS Level Maths

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate: 26-30 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Maths, plus a second relevant subject. (Standard Level Maths is NOT acceptable in lieu of Higher Level)
English accepted within: Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5
If overseas and not studying English within IB – MUST have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each element

Access to HE Diploma in Engineering: pass Access in Engineering to include 45 credits at level 3. All pure mathematics, engineering mathematics and physics credits must be passed at merit or above. Must include 21 credits (3 credits for each level 3 unit) of mathematics with a distinction.

Access to HE Diploma (other):
Pass other relevant Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits at merit or above. Must include 21 credits in level 3 mathematics with distinction and 15 credits in physics, with merit or above.

Other non-A level qualifications also considered, please enquire.

Students may also apply for the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering with Foundation Year. Successful completion of the foundation year enables progression to the first year of one of our civil engineering degrees.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Please note: We understand that many applicants remain anxious about meeting the exact terms of our standard conditional offers. We will look again at your application and revise our offer for those applicants who we continue to believe are a good match to our courses, once we have the certainty of your actual results in August. 

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

The Plymouth Engineer Scholarship: Civil and coastal engineering degrees

Up to £1,000. Students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and/or one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science subject or in A level Geography. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2019. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

University features in film celebrating Plymouth’s engineering prowess

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) presents Engineering Plymouth. A film celebrating how civil engineers have helped to shape Plymouth over the last 500 years. The film tells the story of Plymouth through its engineering milestones. From laying the foundations for a new town to the introduction of the Great Western Railway and the impressive Royal Albert Bridge. Through the Blitz bombs and on towards new horizons – robotics, artificial intelligence and the use of drone technology – we see how engineers are tackling problems and safeguarding the future for generations to come. 

Read the full article and watch the video

Facilities and resources

From dedicated computer laboratories to a wealth of electronic information, you’ll benefit from a range of facilities and resources that will help your learning and development.

Our facilities include our £19 million Marine Building and dedicated engineering laboratories equipped with industry standard software.

Find out more about our exceptional civil engineering facilities and resources

Think about your future

Careers

With 90 per cent of graduates employed in a professional or managerial role at six months, the connections we provide are meaningful and will have a direct impact on your employability.

We’ll give you the advice and support you need to get started in your career of choice.

Find out more about how we prepare you for a career in engineering

Our graduates

Read about the career paths of some of our recent graduates

Alumni profile: Katy Toms

Katy is now a Chartered Engineer at Aecom and Vice Junior Chair Woman of the Institute of Chartered Engineers (ICE). 

Watch our video to hear her talking about her studies at the University of Plymouth and how we helped to prepare her for her career in industry.

Connecting with industry

Connecting with the industry

As a course focused on employability, we’ve developed a number of relationships with the industry to help provide you with the connections and opportunities you’ll need to begin your career.

We work closely with industry experts, organisations and awards to enhance your employability.

Find out about our industry partners, awards and course accreditation.

Industry Profile - Paul Santer

Paul Santer, Regional Director of CECA South West, talks to us about why the University of Plymouth is a great institution for students to kick-start their career, in both the civil engineering, and coastal engineering, industries.

Industry profile - Jon Benton

Jon Benton, Regional Director for Dawnus Construction, talks us through his time as a Plymouth student, as well as employability prospects as a University of Plymouth engineering graduate.

Work placements

  • ? A placement year will give you the opportunity to experience working life, and can lead to a job offer upon graduation

Harriette Scowen - MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering graduate

I was encouraged to take the industrial placement year...Now here I am, four years later as a graduate with a First Class MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree.

After her industrial placement with AECOM, Harriette was offered sponsorship and a full-time graduate position after the completion of her studies.

Read Harriette's profile

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in computing and engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship at the University of Plymouth through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.

What’s the difference between MEng and BEng?

MEng (Hons):  Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. 

BEng (Hons): Accredited by the professional engineering institutions on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

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