MSc Civil Engineering

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If you have undergraduate qualifications in civil engineering, a Masters in Civil Engineering will enhance your existing knowledge, either through specialisation in a given field or by a deeper examination of a range of topics previously studied at undergraduate level. Postgraduate civil engineering qualifications will also improve your career prospects, particularly because courses tend to incorporate practical elements designed to reflect real life projects and the kind of work a civil engineer could be expected to perform upon graduation. A civil engineering postgraduate course demonstrates to potential employers that you have the kind of skills and expertise they are looking for.

What is Involved in Postgraduate Civil Engineering Programs?

A full time MSc Civil Engineering typically lasts a year, although part time study is also an option over the course of two or three years or, in some cases, up to five years. Postgraduate civil engineering courses generally combine a mixture of theoretical and practical work, being lecture based with supporting coursework, often incorporating group assignments so that students gain experience of projects similar to the kind of work they might undertake after graduation. Different courses place different emphases on the practical and theoretical elements, but a good MSc is designed to increase your knowledge base, probing deep into the fundamentals of engineering, whilst giving practical experience that will be applicable in the workplace.

Naturally, the modules on offer vary from course to course and some institutions offer courses that incorporate other disciplines, such as business management. Having completed a masters degree, you will have a strong understanding of structural design and analysis, which form the heart of the course. The practical components of the course also provide a stark reminder of the difference between theory and reality. Having the opportunity to put your ideas into practice teaches invaluable lessons about what you need to take into consideration that you may not have thought about otherwise.

Broadly speaking, if you decide to study civil engineering at masters level, the course is likely to cover in one form or another, the four main areas within civil engineering: Transport, Structural, Water and Geotechnical Engineering. Each of these fields can be expanded upon in great depth, frequently with an environmental focus, for example developing solutions to new problems as a result of climate change, such as water management issues as a result of droughts and/or flooding or the need to develop eco-friendly fuel technologies.

One of the benefits of studying a Masters in Civil Engineering is that if you know what area you would like to specialise in, it is possible to find a course focusing on your particular field of interest, but there are many postgraduate programs which allow you to cover a broad range of subjects so that you can keep your options open. Which type of course is most appropriate is entirely down to individual need, so do your research first to determine which course is the best fit for your requirements.

Funding Your MSc Civil Engineering

As with any postgraduate course, there are various funding options available for postgraduate civil engineering courses and you may also be able to source sponsorship through your employer. International students may benefit from subject specific scholarships aimed particularly at attracting international students to the UK.

What Qualifications Are Required for Postgraduate Civil Engineering Programs?

Anyone with an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree can apply to study an MSc Civil Engineering. Usually at least a 2:1 from either a British or recognised overseas university is required for acceptance onto postgraduate civil engineering courses, but professional experience may also be taken into consideration.

Civil Engineering Salaries

Civil engineering salaries for graduates range between £18,000-£28,000, depending on the size and profile of the employer, with the average starting salary being approximately £22,000. A postgraduate qualification will improve your remuneration prospects – indeed, postgraduate civil engineering salaries can be among the highest for postgraduates – but not only that, postgraduate civil engineering programs are likely to increase the variety of positions open to you, bringing with them the prospect of more challenging and exciting roles. An MSc Civil Engineering can also help towards useful accreditation, such as Chartered Engineer; and the average salary of a Chartered Engineer is around £63,000.

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