Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering

Civil and Structural Engineering at Heriot-Watt is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world (13th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland) in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Civil Engineering at Heriot-Watt University is ranked 8th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020 with 94% of respondents satisfied overall with their course.

View all Civil Engineering courses

Engineering is the art of the possible. Throughout the world, civil and structural engineers provide the infrastructure which underpins economic development and ensures a better quality of life. The challenge for the modern engineer is to achieve this whilst minimising the impact on the environment.

Civil and structural engineers require a broad understanding of scientific principles, knowledge of materials and the art of analysis and synthesis. They also require research, team working, leadership and business skills.

Studying Civil or Structural Engineering will provide access to a range of career opportunities including consultancy and contracting in areas such as the water industry, transportation and the energy sector. Our graduates are highly sought after by employers in the sector and are generally paid a higher average salary than the national rate.

All of our degrees are supported by an industry advisory panel involving representatives from major multi-national employers. The panel supports our degrees ensuring our curriculum delivers exactly what the industry needs and that our graduates are work ready.


Our programmes are accredited by four professional bodies on behalf of the Engineering Council: the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

Select each degree to find out more on the specifics of its accreditation.

Teaching and assessment

Learning methods include:

  • lectures and tutorials
  • guided study
  • group projects
  • design studio and laboratory work
  • computing
  • fieldwork and site visits.

Assessment methods include end-of-course examinations, continuous assessment and coursework assignments.

There is flexibility to transfer between Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering degrees in years 1, 2 and 3. Transfer between Civil Engineering Construction Management and Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering (and vice versa) may be possible but is currently not confirmed.


Through Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme there are International opportunities for students studying Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering programmes. You could study at our Dubai or Malaysia campus on an Inter-Campus Transfer and there are opportunities to apply to study at a partner institution abroad in Europe or North America as part of an Erasmus+ or Exchange

In year 2 all students have the opportunity to participate in Constructionarium, which provides hands-on construction working alongside professional engineers and tradesmen to construct scaled down versions of bridges, buildings, dams and civil engineering projects from all around the world.

Key information

Course enquiries