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MSc Civil Engineering and Construction Management

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    Key information

    Mode of delivery
    Start date
    September, January


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    Contact us


    Modern civil engineering professionals often require an extensive understanding of construction management due to the strategic benefits it can bring to both individuals and project teams.

    As the industry becomes more competitive, organisations and their clients are increasingly demanding the combined time, cost and quality assurances that good project management practice provides. Furthermore, the industry now recognises that there is a need for engineers to gain specialist technical knowledge which compliments their academic and professional background.

    The course uses experience from our internationally recognised Construction Project Management course and combines it with our high-profile Civil Engineering postgraduate course to provide a broad and valuable education. As a result, our recent graduates have been employed by a range of both national and international employers.

    Degree duration

    Online Learning: The fastest this MSc can be completed is in 2½ years. The maximum completion timeframe is 8 years. On average, most students complete a MSc in 3-4 years.

    Our students and graduates

    Our students are recruited mainly from the civil engineering profession and are typically looking to broaden their knowledge base, extend their technical expertise or gain further learning to meet the needs of the professional institutions. Applicants from other backgrounds planning to develop a career in civil engineering and construction management will also be considered. Graduates of this course are much sought after by employers, working in areas such as transport, water and wastewater engineering and the energy sector.

    Delivery of online Degrees

    Our up-to-date and progressive course materials are made available online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE links you with our expert academics and course materials through videos, webinars, articles, journals, assessments and discussion boards. Tutors will provide you, by phone, Skype or email, with academic support similar to that received by our on-campus students.

    To find out more about time requirements, support and exams, view our How online learning works pages to find out more.

    Industry links

    This course is supported by the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from major multi-national employers AECOM, Arup, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Halcrow, Jacobs and WSP Group. This committee convenes regularly and advises on the course content and structure, ensuring quality, up-to-date content and relevance to industry needs.

    Course content

    Year 1

    The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Civil Engineering and Construction Management, led by Dr. Benny Suryanto, consists of up to eight optional construction management courses (CM) or civil engineering (CE) courses from a list of specialist options as detailed below. MSc students also complete a research dissertation.

    Degree structure

    • Sustainability for Construction Professionals
    • Plastics Analysis of Structures
    • Advanced Design Of Reinforced Concrete Structures
    • Advanced Design Of Steel And Steel-Concrete Composite Structures
    • Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources
    • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
    • Finite Element Method Linear Analysis
    • Finite Element Method Nonlinear Analysis
    • Foundation Engineering
    • River Flow and Flood Modelling
    • Structural Materials
    • Safety, Risk and Reliability
    • Urban Drainage and Water Supply
    • Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings
    • Water and Wastewater Treatment
    • Construction Financial Management
    • Project Management: Theory and Practice
    • Project Management: Strategic Issues
    • Value and Risk Management
    • Research Dissertation (Civil Engineering)

    Detailed degree guide

    Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

    Students should demonstrate an ability to:

    1. Acquire advanced knowledge of modern civil engineering practiceincluding project management and construction management skills
    2. Acquire expert knowledge in their chosen field of specialisation within Civil Engineering
    3. Develop the applied mathematical skills required by professional engineers
    4. Gain a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the concepts, principles and theories of specialist technical issues to meet to their professional aspirations
    5. Transfer problem-solving skills to a variety of contexts and multidisciplinary scenarios
    6. Apply engineering technical and management skills to solve practical Civil Engineering and Construction Management problems

    Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

    Students should be able to:

    1. Develop their abilities to research unfamiliar technical issues
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of technical advances in the field of Civil Engineering
    3. Undertake personal management of complex project-based activities
    4. Transfer technical knowledge to application in new and diverse situations and in the analysis of novel problems
    5. Provide professional leadership when required by technical responsibility
    6. Apply numerical and analytical problem-solving skills and engineering knowledge in a variety of Civil Engineering related contexts

    Approaches to Teaching and Learning

    This Civil Engineering and Construction Management postgraduate programme provides students with a higher degree in Civil Engineering and Construction Management. The programme is based on a mix of Construction Management and Civil Engineering course options designed to provide the student flexibility in gaining in depth knowledge of a relatively broad range of topics within Civil Engineering and Construction Management. Students must complete 2 Construction Management courses and at least five technical courses related to structural, water and geotechnical engineering themes. In addition to this, the students must complete a technical research project (dissertation). All students on this programme are either studying on-campus or by distance learning. At masters level, these students are expected to take a large degree of responsibility for their own studies. On Campus students are provided with lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminar activities wherein personal knowledge and team working activities can be undertaken. Distance learning students rely on the provision of practical study guides, detailed course texts (or a required text book) and/or comprehensive lecture notes, tutorial examples and fully worked solutions through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Communication with academic staff, dedicated IDL tutors and other students is either provided through the VLE in the form of email, discussion groups, or other tools (e.g. blogs, wikis). Students are also encouraged to participate in discussion with other students and more experienced work colleagues. Courses will usually include objectives, theory, applications in the real world, worked examples and exercises that usually form part of the formative assessment and feedback for the individual courses. Some courses also have a coursework component to address a deeper level of understanding of more complex and lengthy problems or where practical software applications are required.

    Approaches to teaching and learning are continually reviewed and developed with the aim of matching them to the abilities and experiences of students, with regard also for the subject area. Industry feedback on course content is also used in the updating and improvement of all courses. Specific details about teaching and learning methods are provided in the appropriate course descriptors.

    Assessment Policies

    The programme uses a range of assessment types.

    Coursework is used to develop problem solving skills, to demonstrate mastery of techniques taught as part of the course that would be too lengthy to undertake as exam questions or where software applications are required. Coursework also helps develop professional report writing skills with emphasis on correct report structure, writing style, resume, and referencing. All courses have some form of formative assessment that provide self, peer or staff feedback as required.

    Examinations make up the majority of summative assessment as these are the best way to be certain of testing the capabilities of the individual student against the course aims

    Each student progressing to the MSc dissertation will be required to demonstrate good research skills and a deeper level of critical thinking and analysis than can be assessed by exam

    An academic supervisor will be assigned to each student throughout the duration of their project.

    Approaches to assessment are continually reviewed. Specific details about methods of assessment are provided in the appropriate course descriptors.

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status Per course [footnote 1] Dissertation/Project [footnote 1]
    UK / EU / Overseas GBP1480 GBP1910
    1. The tuition fees listed are for courses starting between September 2023 and August 2024. Fees normally increase annually. Find out more about our tuition fees.

    Additional fee information

    Financial support

    Tuition fee loans are available to Scottish distance learning students on some taught postgraduate courses. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Each year, hundreds of students enhance their educational experience through a variety of Heriot-Watt and externally funded scholarships, including opportunities funded by the University's generous alumni community, based all over the world.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    For MSc level entry applicants must have:

    • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area.
    • Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

    For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

    • Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.
    • Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation.
    • Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

    There is no entry at PG Certificate level except through exceptional agreement with approved learning partners.

    Non-graduating study at masters level:

    • Entry is based on CV or on formal academic qualifications or graduate (or incorporated) membership of a relevant professional institution.

    January or September entry

    Distance learning students can choose to start their studies in January or September. The January intake is not available to students studying on-campus.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    We are committed to providing study opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For more information on RPL, please contact the Online Admissions Team ( ahead of application. We can only consider requests for RPL at the time of application to a course of study.

    English language requirements

    If English is not the applicant's first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

    Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree course. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

    We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Flexibility and affordability

    Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Online events

    We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

    Lifelong connections

    Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

    Study options Edinburgh - Civil Engineering and Construction Management

    Our MSc in Civil Engineering and Construction Management is also available to study at our Edinburgh campus.

    Study options Dubai - Civil Engineering and Construction Management

    Our MSc in Civil Engineering and Construction Management is also available to study at our Dubai campus.

    We are accredited by the following organisations

    At Heriot-Watt University we develop degrees that are relevant for the world of work. We work with Professional bodies and Institutes to gain appropriate Accreditations and Professional Memberships for your industry. Find out below how this degree aligns to industry.

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