Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering

Civil and Structural Engineering at Heriot-Watt is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world, top 18 in the UK and 2nd in Scotland (QS World Uni Rankings by Subject 2021).

We are 4th in the UK for employer reputation (QS World Uni Rankings by Subject 2021).

We are 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for Civil Engineering (Complete University Guide 2022).

We are 1st in Scotland and 6th in the UK for Civil Engineering (The Times / The Sunday Times Good Uni Guide 2021). 

We are ranked in the UK top 20 and 3rd in Scotland for overall satisfaction (National Student Survey 2021).

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. 


Through Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme there are International opportunities. 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.

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