Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Civil Engineering with Foundation Year



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Civil engineers create, improve and protect the environment and facilitate our day-to-day life. Gain the skills to successfully plan, manage and implement major civil engineering projects, and open up exciting career opportunities, with a Civil Engineering degree.

This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build a strong foundation of knowledge in key engineering and mathematic principles, alongside essential higher education study skills. This an ideal route if you want to study the full honours degree, but don't meet the direct entry requirements, or are returning to education.

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree. 

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying civil engineering, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Develop competence in essential areas of engineering and mathematics
  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the full civil engineering undergraduate degree
  • Gain essential analytical and problem solving skills so you can study engineering
  • Shape practical and I.T skills, as you strengthen communication and study skills

options available

This is for you if...


You enjoyed studying mathematics or physics, and like using technology to find solutions


You are looking for a change of direction into engineering, or you want to formalise your current experience


You want to open up opportunities to become a civil engineer

Course details

All about the course

Civil engineering student surveying

Foundation year

With a focus on your progression, the introductory foundation year is designed to provide a broad introduction to engineering and build your understanding of engineering situations and solving problems.

Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree.

BEng (Hons) degree

For a further three years of study - or four if you choose to include an industry placement, you will study a suite of modules designed to embed theoretical knowledge, build career-focused skills and help you become a world-class engineer.

In year one, you will build a strong foundation of knowledge in civil engineering, exploring various topics, as you progress into year two, you’ll expand your subject knowledge and assess the role of the civil engineer in industry. By year three, you’ll study further advanced modules and commence your research project.

Learn more about the current course modules below.

Learning experience

Located at the heart of the property and construction market, Salford is a great place to study civil engineering. We take advantage of our amazing location at the heart of Greater Manchester to visit nearby world-famous civil engineering projects, such as the first ever canal and passenger railway line which means we have strong industry links. 

Collaboration is core to our values, so we strive to embed this throughout your studies so that you gain practical context to your studies. You will experience group projects that will build your confidence and capabilities in team working, problem-solving and communication - all desirable skills for real-world engineering careers.

Led by our award-winning civil engineering team, our courses are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to create the future infrastructure, buildings and facilities that improve our quality of life. You’ll also have access to a stimulating range of external guest lectures, placements and experience Constructionarium – an unmissable, week-long practical field course that brings your classroom learning to life.

Read more student Marukh's study experience at the university.

Civil engineering student at Constructionarium

Industry placement

On the full BEng course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Foundation year

Information Technology and Study Skills

Information technologies and the use of software is increasingly being used in engineering design. In this module you will be introduced to some of the elements of information technologies and advanced manufacturing technologies which will be meanwhile provide you with the necessary skills to use in learning and research including academic reading, writing reports and presentations.

Mechanical Systems

You’ll be introduced to the basic concept of mechanics. You’ll learn about the principle of stress and strain, solve problems in statistics and build knowledge for problems associated with simple beams. 

Engineering Methodology 1 and 2

Studied in both trimester one and trimester two, these modules will provide an introduction to mathematics and its application to engineering. Module content is designed to help you understand and apply mathematics in engineering. Topics include algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus.

Energy and Power

Module content will introduce the concepts of power and energy within the context of engineering systems and conservation. You’ll learn the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and the technologies which can generate energy and power for domestic and commercial consumption.

Experimental Methods

Module content will provide you with an understanding of the basic units used in engineering and their practical significance.  You’ll learn to apply engineering analysis to design experiments and develop skills in producing technical reports.  You’ll also build a range of engineering measurement and computational analysis skills.

Year one - BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering Mathematics 1

An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in engineering. This module will review and expand on the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on their applications to engineering.

Civil Engineering Materials and Geology

Civil engineering employs the use of a wide range of materials, in this module you will develop your understanding of those materials and study their fundamental behaviour. Subjects include construction materials, geology, soil mechanics and laboratory testing.

Structures E3

You will further develop your ability to analyse statically indeterminate structures and design complex structures. Subjects include moment distribution with sway, plastic section properties, Hillerborg strip methods, and design of timber structures including glulam timber members.

Civil Engineering Communication

As a successful civil engineer it is important to have a wide range of well developed communications skills allowing you to communicate effectively not only with other engineers but also clients, contractors and labourers. This module will develop your drawing, written reports and presentation skills.

Civil Engineering Surveying

You will develop your understanding and ability to undertake a range of civil engineering surveying tasks, such as setting out, land surveying and quantity surveying. The main subject areas are land surveying techniques, setting out techniques, modern surveying techniques and quantity surveying. You will cover subjects and learn techniques such as setting up a level, theodolite and total station, construction lasers, GPS, EDM, co-ordinates, bearings and contract pricing.

Civil Engineering Construction

There are a broad spectrum of elements involved with civil engineering construction. This module will develop your understanding of those elements from effective engineering construction techniques to contract law. Subjects include site safety, sustainability, resource efficiency, consulting engineers and contractors, client's requirement and financial planning and control.

Year two - BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering Mathematics 2

This module will build on the engineering mathematics module in year one and develop more advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis, to enable you to tackle more advanced engineering problems. Subjects covered include partial differentiation, determinants and matrices, vector analysis, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable.

Soil Mechanics E2

All structures are dependent on the ground they're built on, in this module you will be introduced to the principles of soil mechanics including the general behaviour of different soil types under loading and unloading conditions and how this behaviour may be predicted. Subjects include geotechnical investigation, soil strength and transient groundwater flow.

Structures E2

The module builds on your structural analysis knowledge from year 1 and develops it to consider simple statically determinate structures. On the design side Reinforced concrete structures are considered in detail. The design of slabs, beams, columns and foundations are looked at. Overall stability of RC structures is also described.

Design and Construction Management

Project planning and execution are a vital part of the role of a civil engineer. In this module you practice these skills, culminating in a residential field course which will see you working in a team to construct structures from bridges to oil rigs.

Highway design and analysis

Our highways are crucial to our lives, whether that be economic or recreational. In this module you will learn the principles which underlie current UK practice in highway design and construction and analysis, including the application of statistical techniques to transport engineering problems.

Fluid Mechanics E2

You will develop an understanding of civil engineering hydraulics concentrating on flow in pipelines. The subjects covered include fluid properties, hydrostatics, fluid dynamics, flow in pipes, Reynolds experiments, pipe systems and networks, and water distribution systems.

Year three - BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering E3

You will learn to develop approaches to the design and analysis of soil slopes and foundations. The subjects include stability of embankments, stability of earth dams, stability of shallow foundations on fine and coarse grained soils, design based on in situ tests and stability of deep foundations in fine and coarse grained soils.

Water Resources E3

You will develop your understanding of sediment transport, wave theory, pressure transients in closed systems and hydrological science. The subjects covered include surface water hydrology, open channel flow, steady non-uniform flow, hydraulic structures, water waves, and hydraulic models.

Structures E3

You will further develop your ability to analyse statically indeterminate structures and design complex structures. Subjects include moment distribution with sway, plastic section properties, Hillerborg strip methods, and design of timber structures including glulam timber members.

Case Studies in Environmental Engineering

You will develop the ability to identify and deal with environmental issues relating to civil engineering, through a series of case studies. The subjects include environmental risks associated with ground engineering and water resources, transport and the environment, landscape, heritage, and biodiversity impacts, and engineering solutions.

Finite Element Analysis with Seismic Engineering

This module will introduce stiffness and finite element analysis as applied to civil engineering structures, and the fundamentals of seismic analysis and the effects of earthquake activity on the design of ground slopes, earth dams, foundations and structures.

Individual Project

One of the most important parts of your preparation for your future career, whether in industry or research, is the undertaking of an individual project. Projects are based on particular civil engineering themes of industrial relevance.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • lab activities


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab exercises
  • Examinations
  • Reports
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

What does a civil engineer do? 

Civil engineers are focused on the design, construction, and maintenance of physical structures, particularly public works such as roads and bridges. 

Are civil engineers well paid? 

Civil engineering can be a very financially rewarding field. A graduate civil engineer could expect a salary of around £30,000.  

Is civil engineering stressful? 

Civil engineering could be considered a challenging field due to the size and breadth of construction projects. However, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies and getting to work on exciting new projects. 

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a civil engineering student, you will be based in laboratories that keep teaching and learning apace with cutting-edge innovation and discovery.

In our Heavy Structures Laboratory you can load test almost any structure using our hydraulic actuators, strong floor, tensile and compression testing machines and climactic cabinet.

In our Hydraulics Laboratory, you can explore how water flows and behaves at different velocities. Our Water Quality Laboratory is linked to our plant growing (hydroponics) facility, where you can investigate the ability of different plants and filters to remove groundwater contaminants.

In the Geotechnics Laboratory, you can learn about soil types, their strengths, permeability and compressibility and how these things can affect the ground conditions under building foundations, dams and embankments.

You will also learn to use a range of surveying equipment and tools, such as digital total stations, levels and theodolites, which combined with digital drawing capability. will equip you with skills demanded by employers.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Two structural engineers in front of drainage canals and bridge


Once you progress to complete the full BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, and gain the knowledge and skills to successfully plan, manage and implement major civil engineering projects, you can open up some exciting career opportunities.

There is huge demand for civil engineers, both in the UK and worldwide. You may choose to focus your career in the built environment and construction industries, or you may prefer to work in transport, utilities or information technology sectors, or even the armed forces.

Typically, civil engineering graduates focus their career in structural design, or infrastructure consultancy. Today, you’ll find our alumni working at leading companies including WSP and Roger Bullivant. 

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about civil engineering. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni will also receive a generous fees discount. 

A taste of what you could become

a Civil engineer

a Building control surveyor

a Structural Engineer

a Construction Manager

a Sustainability Consultant

and more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile 

We are looking for applicants who want a career in civil engineering. Good interpersonal skills, attention to detail and a strong work ethic are desirable characteristics. You should have a good understanding of linking theory to real-world application.

International students

This course is not suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in starting your studies with a foundation year, please consider our International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about our Pre-Sessional English course, that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Mathematics at grade C/ 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points

A level

64 UCAS points to include grade C in Mathematics, or a numerate science (Physics, Chemistry Electronics, Design Technology, or Computer Science)

BTEC National Diploma

MPP for Engineering or science subjects, to include Merits in Mathematics modules

Access to HE

Pass with 64 UCAS points from a QAA-approved Engineering or Science programme

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points, to include grade D Higher level Mathematics or numerate science (Physics, Chemistry, or Design Technology)

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points to include Higher Level Mathematics and numerate science

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include Science, Engineering or Technology

International Baccalaureate

26 points including grade 4 Mathematics or Physics at Higher Level

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment to measure their suitability. Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID H201

Institution S03