Skip to main content

UCC Undergraduate courses

Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

Course Fact File
Duration4 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBE (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesStudent Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2022: 510

Course Outline

Civil, Structural and Environmental engineers design, construct and operate a wide range of environmental infrastructure, vital to the needs of a modern economy. All the infrastructure around us, including roads, bridges, hospitals, universities, airports water, wastewater and energy facilities is the product of civil, structural and environmental engineering. Civil, Structural and Environmental engineering is the application of science to planning, design, and construction for the benefit of society while minimising environmental impact. Engineers are curious about how the world works. They enjoy solving problems and are creative and inventive people.

The BE (Hons) and ME Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering degree is particularly rewarding as engineers have excellent job prospects, both within engineering and in other careers such as management consultancy, software development and biomedical technology.

As part of your fundamental engineering training, you will use mathematics and science to solve practical problems, acquire excellent IT skills, develop creativity through design projects and learn to communicate effectively as individuals and in teams.

The courses include lectures on engineering principles, laboratory classes, fieldwork, design projects and opportunities to study abroad. Our graduates have strong transferable skills including communication, teamwork, management, and leadership.

The first year of the BE is a broad education in engineering fundamentals. At the end of the first year you can choose to enter Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.  Your chosen area of specialization in second year will also offer routes to further branches of engineering at Masters level.  At the end of a successful 3rd year, students enter 4th year, which is a pathway to either the 5th Year Integrated ME for eligible students or exiting with a BE (Hons). The ME pathway finishes with a Professional Work Placement that takes place during the 2nd semester and the summer break (8 months).

Programme Content

Year 1 Modules: Refer to CK600

Year 2 Modules: Design Studio I; Engineering Mechanics with Transform Methods; Numerical Methods and Programming; Solid and Structural Mechanics I & II; Fluids; Surveying – Theory & Practice; BIM1: Modelling and Visualisation; Heat Transfer; Mathematics for Engineering; Applied Probability and Statistics.

Year 3 Modules: Design Studio II & III; Solid & Structural Mechanics; Mechanics of Soils I & II; Construction Project Management; Hydraulics; Geology for Engineers; Environmental Engineering - Wet; Energy in Buildings; Materials and Sustainability; Sustainable Energy.

Year 4 Modules

  • BE Pathway

Core: Design Studio IV (Reinforced Concrete); BE Project in Civil and Environmental Engineering; Architecture and Planning; Structural Analysis; Geotechnical Engineering; Water and Wastewater Treatment; Environmental Hydrodynamics.

And Either Environmental Hydraulics; Design Studio VI (Environmental) Or Energy Systems in Buildings; Design Studio VII (Building Energy).

Electives: Traffic and Highways; BE Work Placement; Bridge Engineering; Entrepreneurial Business Start-ups; Energy Systems in Buildings; Environmental Hydraulics.

  • ME Pathway

The first part of Year 4 consists of six core technical modules, to develop your technical skills and allow access to the more advanced Masters modules in Year 5. From January to August you will have a work placement in Industry or Research Institute to further develop your skills in a practical environment. Professional lectures are held in the first semester to help support the skills needed to work effectively at an advanced level within a corporate environment.

Core: Design Studio IV (Reinforced Concrete); Architecture and Planning; Structural Analysis; Geotechnical Engineering; Water and Wastewater Treatment; Environmental Hydrodynamics; Traffic and Highways.

Year 5 ME Modules

Entry to master’s degree programmes, subject to entry requirements.

Core: ME Dissertation; ME Interdisciplinary Design Project; Civil Engineering Systems Analysis; Architecture and Planning; Entrepreneurial Business Start-ups

Electives: At most one from: Environmental Hydraulics Bridge Engineering; And no more than three from: Finite Element Analysis; Transportation and Energy; Elasticity; Harbour & Coastal Eng.; Energy Systems in Buildings; Biomass Energy.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture/lab/practical

Classes consist of lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals, totalling 20-26 contact hours per week during 24 weeks of the year, divided into two semesters.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment.

Yearly course grades are based on a balanced combination of continuous assessment and written examinations, organised at an individual module level. The final degree grade is based on a weighted combination of the marks from Year 3 and Year 4.

Why Choose This Course

There's a lot of opportunities in third year and we can opt to do the year abroad.

Joe Shinkwin, BE, Civil & Environmental Engineering

We are a large consulting engineering practice. We employ UCC Civil Engineering graduates because they are flexible, and ready to go!

Paul Collins, Director, Malacy, Walsh & Partners

Our BE Civil Engineering degree is internationally recognised. Our graduates have developed successful and satisfying careers within the civil and environmental engineering industry and beyond.

As part of your fundamental engineering education, you will develop your mathematical and problem-solving abilities. On completion of the degree course, you will have acquired excellent IT skills and learned to communicate effectively as an individual and in a team in a working environment where there is a strong emphasis on solving problems.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The five year integrated ME programme includes an eight-month salaried work placement in industry based in Ireland or abroad (the four year BE programme has a corresponding three-month optional work placement). During this placement, you will gain excellent hands-on experience as a chemical/process engineer, as well as making valuable industry contacts. Opportunities also exist for academically strong students to spend a period in an institution abroad, receiving full credits for the work done there towards your degree.

Skills and Careers Information

Many graduates progress directly to the engineering profession, taking up positions with consulting engineers in design offices, or contracting engineers who execute construction. Alternatively, graduates work as engineers in the public sector, e.g. in county or city councils, the EPA, CIE and ESB.

Given that career opportunities for engineers are many and varied, some graduates use the valuable acquired skills to embark on careers outside of engineering, in areas including software design and development, management consulting, accountancy and industrial management. Some migrate to other engineering disciplines such as biomedical engineering or petroleum engineering.

Postgraduate degrees, including MEngSc and PhD, can be pursued. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is associated with several research units, centres and institutes including:

  • Environmental Research Institute (ERI)
  • Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre (HMRC)
  • Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG)
  • Beaufort Laboratory for Marine Renewable Energy & Offshore Engineering
  • Cleaner Production Promotion Unit (CPPU)
  • Research Unit for Structures and Optimisation (RUSO)
  • Informatics Research Unit for Sustainable Engineering (IRUSE)
  • Centre for Hydrology Micrometeorology and Climate Change (HydroMet)

The course is fully accredited by Engineers Ireland.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements:

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H4 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

The following are considered Lab Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry (Joint) and Agricultural Science. Technology can be substituted for a Lab Science subject.  

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:




Lab Science or Technology





*If the H4 is in Applied Mathematics, a H6 in Mathematics is also required.

Students presenting with a 2016 (or previous) Leaving Certificate must present with a HC2 in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics;  if the HC2 is in Applied Mathematics, a HD3 in Mathematics is also required.

Mature students: Applicants should apply directly through the CAO, include a statement of interest and may be called for interview.  A H4 in Leaving Certificate Maths or Applied Maths (HC2 if presenting a pre-2017 Leaving Certificate) is required. There are approximately 2 places available for mature students.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact