Civil Engineering study guide 2023/24

Civil Engineering at Bristol

The Department of Civil Engineering is and is a leading provider of civil engineering research and teaching in the UK. By studying in the Department, you will benefit from:

  • An international reputation for quality, with excellent teaching and research.
  • An education delivered by industrial practitioners as well as leading researchers, using real-world case-studies, in a friendly and supportive learning environment.
  • An understanding of sustainable development and how to design resilient infrastructures to address global challenges*
  • Undergraduate learning enhanced by access to world-class geotechnical, structural and water engineering facilities as well as an earthquake shaking table.
  • A recent Engineering Growth Project that invested £14 million to equip the Faculty of Engineering for the 21st century.

From 2023/24 onwards, Civil Engineering is part of a new school: the school of Civil, Aerospace, and Design Engineering.

* The Department has signed up to the IStructE and ICE Climate Emergency pledges ( and

Unit structure

Many Civil Engineering units are taught across the academic year (known as 'TB4' units), which means they start in September and end in May/June. There are some single-semester classes, but we encourage students interested in this subject to consider studying with us for the full academic year (September–June) so they have more unit choices available to them.

Unit levels

Civil Engineering offers units across all undergraduate levels of study – Year 1 (Level C/4), Year 2 (Level I/5), and Year 3 (Level H/6) – and selected postgraduate units (Level M/7). Level M/7 units are normally taken by students who have studied the subject for at least 3 years beforehand and are at an appropriate level of study to take postgraduate units.

Unit codes

Civil Engineering unit codes begin with 'CENG'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • CENG10000 = year 1 unit
  • CENG20000 = year 2 unit
  • CENG30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is expected to be updated by the end of April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

If you have been nominated to Bristol on the Study Abroad (Subject pathway), you are expected to take the majority of your credits in this department. You may select units from across the School of Civil, Aerospace, and Design Engineering should you be based with us for one semester and are encountering issues selecting units from just one department. Please see the Aerospace Engineering study guide for information on their units.

Research Project units

Civil Engineering offers 2 project units:

  • Undergraduate level: Research Project (TB4) - CENG30020
  • Postgraduate level: Masters Research Project (TB4) - CENGM0080

IMPORTANT: these units are only available if a supervisor is agreed before arrival. A potential supervisor must be contacted by the student before 1st September. It will not be offered after arrival if supervision is not preliminary agreed. Students can take a maximum of one research project.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the Department of Civil Engineering are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)

There is one Year 1 unit which runs in TB1 (September-January)

  • Engineering by Design (TB1) - CENG10012

Year 2 (level I/5)

All Year 2 classes run in TB4 (September-June), and are available to students studying with us for a full academic year.

  • Architecture with Building Services (TB4) - CENG20017
  • Geomechanics (TB4) - CENG20018
  • Methods of Structural Analysis (TB4) - CENG20019
  • Structural Materials and Design (TB4) - CENG20020
  • Water Engineering (TB4) - CENG20021

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Geotechnical Design (TB1) - CENG30016


  • Water Design (TB2) - CENG30024


  • Advanced Structural Analysis (TB4) - CENG30010
  • Civil Engineering Practice (TB4) - CENG30019
  • Research Project (TB4) - CENG30020. Please see the 'Research Project units' section of this guide for more information on this unit

Year 4 (level M/7)


  • Probability and Statistics for Seismology and Structural Reliability (TB1) - CENGM0078
  • Smart Cities and Infrastructure (TB1) - CENGM0081


  • Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development (TB2) - CENGM0071
  • Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (TB2) - CENGM0074


  • Advanced Structural Materials and Design (TB4) - CENGM0079
  • Infrastructure Systems Management (TB4) - CENGM0072
  • Masters Research Project (TB4) - CENGM0080. Please see the 'Research Project units' section of this guide for more information on this unit
  • Soil-Structure Interaction (TB4) - CENGM0076
  • Structural Earthquake Engineering (TB4) - CENGM0075
  • Water Resources Management in a Changing World (TB4) - CENGM0073

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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