Master in Civil Engineering in UK: Study Guide for International Students

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK is a 1.5 to 2-years course as structural engineering, environmental engineering, road/highway engineering, and transportation engineering. The annual tuition fees of a Masters in Civil Engineering in UK universities ranges from £22,750 to £36,950 per annum approximately. For Indian students, this cost reaches up to 22 LPA to 36 LPA. The average starting salary of a Civil Engineering graduate in the UK is £110,000 per year ~1Cr/year INR

    Over 40 engineering colleges in UK offer civil or construction engineering programs. 23 of these colleges made it to the QS World University ranking for Civil & Structural Engineering 2020. In most of these universities, students are offered a professional placement. So you can be assured that your university will make in all the efforts it can to get you hands-on training. Education in UK is not restricted to classrooms but includes the exploration of ideas and implementation of methodologies.  

    Why Study Masters in Civil Engineering in UK

    If you are thinking of pursuing your masters in civil engineering in your home country, like India because it will be a lot cheaper. Here are some factors to consider when to strengthen your inclination for studying in UK

    • UK's 19% workforce is employed by the engineering industry.
    • Over 4000 direct jobs and 5100 indirect jobs are projected to be created within 2017-2023.
    • The construction industry has been invested with funds equivalent to 500 million GBP. 
    • 57% of Civil Engineering students after graduating are employed in the reputed industries of the UK. 
    • The employment rate of civil engineers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
    • More than 16% of students often undertake further study or research. Given below is an image depicting career paths chosen by civil engineering graduates in the UK 
    Career paths chosen by civil engineering graduates in UK
    • Industrial Mentoring and internship schemes are available in universities of the UK to connect with potential employers.

    Apart from offering you a great career graph, British education allows each student to pursue individual research The liberty to explore new ideas and incorporate your creativity is encouraging. 

    Top Universities for Masters in Civil Engineering in UK

    The top universities, according to QS global ranking 2020, to study Masters in Civil Engineering in UK are given in the table below. The table also discusses the program offered and the annual tuition fees for pursuing the degree at the top-ranking higher education institutions in the UK:

    QS Global Ranking 2020 University Program Annual Tuition Fees (GBP)
    3 University of Cambridge Construction Engineering 30,810
    5 Imperial College of London Civil and Environmental Engineering 31,750
    =15 University of Oxford Civil and Offshore Engineering 26,405
    =42 The University of Manchester Civil Engineering 24,000
    45 University of Leeds Civil Engineering with Project Management 24,000
    =47 University of Sheffield Civil Engineering and Management 23,750
    =47 University College London (UCL) Civil Engineering 28,530
    51-100 Cardiff University Civil and Environmental Engineering 26,555
    51-100 University of Nottingham Civil Engineering 29,861
    51-100 University of Bristol Civil Engineering 28,795

    With Civil Engineering Colleges in UK you will get to learn about planning, designing, and overseeing construction projects. You will enhance your skill of managing budgets, expenses, and more. Learning opportunities with Uks every day improving infrastructure are immense. Studying in UK will ensure with a modern-day fairytale providing outstanding facilities through its highly acclaimed universities. 

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK: Admissions

    Students wanting to pursue Civil Engineering as a career can apply through email, downloading the application forms from the individual university websites or via UCAS application portal. They can also receive applications from university representatives.

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK: Eligibility

    For pursuing masters in civil engineering in UK you must fulfill the following requirements:\

    • Bachelor's degree in relevant field
      • GPA 3.0~ 60-70%. The grade equivalent of the same is B. 
    • GRE or GMAT test scores
    • Interview (not mandatory in all universities)
    • Proof of English proficiency

    Minimum GPA, GRE and English language proficiency scores required for admission in some of the popular universities of UK offering masters in civil engineering are given below: 

    University GPA Required GRE Score Required TOEFL IELTS
    University of Cambridge 3.7
    ~8.5 CGPA
    Accepted 110 7.5
    Imperial College of London 3.5
    ~7 to 7.9 CGPA
    159 in Quantitative Reasoning; 145 in Verbal Reasoning 100 7.0
    University of Oxford 3.7
    ~8.5 CGPA
    160 in Quantitative & Verbal Reasoning 110 7.5
    The University of Manchester 3.4
    ~7.4 to 7.9 CGPA
    Accepted 90 6.5-7
    University of Leeds 2.5
    ~5.0 TO 6.0 CGPA
    Recommended 92 6.5
    University of Sheffield 3.0
    ~7.0 to 7.4 CFPA
    Recommended 80 6.5
    UCL 3.3
    ~7.4 to 7.9 CGPA
    161 92 6.5
    Cardiff University 3.0
    ~7.0 to 7.4 CFPA
    Recommended 90 6.5
    University of Nottingham 3.0
    ~7.0 to 7.4 CFPA
    Recommended 62 6.0
    University of Bristol 3.4
    ~7.4 to 7.9 CGPA
    Recommended 92 6.5

    Documents Required

    To pursue masters in civil engineering in UK, you need to send in your application along with the following documents:

    • Details and Grades of the previous subjects (Maths, Physics, and one more Subject) of School.
    • Official Transcript of College or University.
    • A Statement of Purpose.
    • A Letter of Recommendation.
    • Attested Copies of the Following – 10th Standard, 12th Standard Mark sheet, Bachelor's Degree if Applying for Postgraduate Course.

    UK Student VISA

    The UK is the second most popular destination worldwide for international students. The visa acceptance rate in the UK is 85%. The international students who intend to study a full-time degree course studies in the UK, there are Tier 4 visas. These are of two types: General Student visa and Child Student Visa. UK Student Visa (Tier 4) is provided to foreign students who are 16 years or older and want to study in the UK. The requirements for a student to get a visa are: 

    • Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies (CAS).
    • Completed the online application form.
    • Evidence of funding to pay for course tuition fees and monthly living costs ie. £1075.61 per month
    • Pay a Health Surcharge of £300 each year.
    • Details of passport.
    • A recent photograph.
    • Interview.

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK: Cost of Study

    The cost of studying abroad can be broadly categorized as Pre-arrival Cost, Tuition Fees, and Cost of Living. Given below are the details of these expenses which can help an international student plan ahead.

    Pre-arrival Cost

    All the expenses incurred while applying for a university in the UK are included in the pre-arrival cost. These include fees of visa application, exams required to study in UK, and application fees. 

    Type of Expense Cost (in GBP)
    Application Fees 50 - 120
    Visa Application Fees 348
    IELTS Registration Fee 150
    TOEFL Registration Fee 140
    GMAT application fees 194
    GRE application fees 159

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Civil Engineering in UK

    The tuition fees for studying civil engineering at engineering colleges in UK are around 24,000 GBP to 31,000 GBP. The cost is highest at Imperial College of London and lowest at the University of Manchester and University of Leeds. For an Indian student, this amount ranges between 22 to 36 INR Lakhs/year.

    If you plan on pursuing your masters in civil engineering in India, the average annual fees is around 3.5 lakhs. Though this cost is relatively very low as compared to the cost involved in studying in UK, the returns or the salary packages at which engineers are hired are poor too. With the best of firms, you can make around 5-7 LPA. However, when in UK you will be able to make at least 20-30 LPA. To tackle the expenses involved you can look for plenty of scholarship options for pursuing masters in UK.

    (Conversion Rate for Sept 2020) 

    Cost of Living in UK

    The cost of living in UK is varying greatly depending on your lifestyle, spending habits and budget. For students who are planning to study masters in civil engineering in UK international students must be aware of the following costs 

    Items Monthly Costs
    Rent £ 450
    Food £ 200
    Gas and Electricity £ 60
    Internet £ 40
    Laundry £ 25
    Clothing £ 75
    Bus Fare £ 45
    Movie Ticket £ 9
    Dinner at a Restaurant £ 15
    Total £ 989

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK with Scholarships

    There are many scholarships provided for international students in the UK who are willing to pursue a master's degree in civil engineering. Some of the popular one’s are detailed below

    Commonwealth Scholarships for International students 

    • The scholarship provides airfare to and from the United Kingdom, tuition and examination fees, personal maintaining allowance, thesis grant initial arrival allowance.
    • Commonwealth Scholarship is awarded to a student who wants to pursue a Masters or PhD.
    • These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

    Gates Cambridge Scholarships

    • Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge. It also provides additional, discretionary funding.
    • A student pursuing a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.
    • This scholarship is available to students of any country outside the UK.

    Rhodes Scholarships at University of Oxford

    • The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world.
    • These are postgraduate awards that support exceptional international students from selected countries at the University of Oxford. 
    • It covers all university fees, personal stipend, health insurance, and airfare to and from the student’s home country.

    University of Sussex Chancellor’s International Scholarships

    • Chancellor’s International Scholarships is awarded on the basis of academic performance and the potential of international students. 
    • Available students who want to pursue full-time postgraduate degrees at the University of Sussex.
    • The award is 50% off international student tuition fees and is offered for one year.

    The International Ambassador Scholarship

    • The International Ambassador Scholarship recognizes and provides financial support for students who wish to pursue a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate program at the University of West London. 
    • The scholars will act as international ambassadors for the University of West London. Up to 50 scholarships worth up to £5,000 are available.

    Bristol ThinkBig International Scholarship

    • The University of the West of England, Bristol offers more than £100,000 worth of scholarships for international students each year.
    • Bristol ThinkBig International Scholarship covers the full tuition fees for one academic year. 

    Masters in Civil Engineering in UK: Jobs

    The main task of civil engineers is planning, designing, estimating, supervising construction, managing construction, execution, and maintenance of structures like buildings, roads, bridges, dams, etc. The masters of civil engineering graduates can choose one of the following paths: Consultancy, Contracting, Management Consultancy, or Further Education

    The British civil engineering sector faces a skill shortage. Around 20% of civil engineers are predicted to retire in the next 12 years. The year 2017-2022 is considered to be the Golden era for UK infrastructure expected to have a booming rise in the number of job opportunities and improvement of work conditions along with salaries. Pursuing masters in civil engineering in the UK during this time can give a student the needed push to their career. Given below is a graph comparing the salaries offered to civil engineering graduates in UK

    Salaries of civil engineers in UK

    The salary of a civil engineer in 2019 was 3% higher than those of 2018. The trend suggests a slow yet continuous increase in pay in 2021 and future years. Civil Engineers working in government sectors in the United Kingdom earn 4% more than a civil engineer working in the private sector. A student with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering earns about £91,600 annually but a student with a masters in civil engineering in UK earns 39% more than a bachelor’s degree student, which is £127,000 annually.

    Job Roles Average Monthly Salary (GBP)
    Consulting Civil Engineer 39,918
    Civil Engineering Contractor 52,500
    Civil Engineering Management Consultancy 50,000
    PhD in Civil Engineering 34,152
    Building Control Surveyor 40,000
    Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technicians 35,000
    Design Engineer 40,000
    Estimator 35,000
    Nuclear Engineer 65,000
    Site Engineer 35,000
    Structural Engineer 40,000
    Water Engineer 32,000

    Planning your Civil Engineering degree from other popular study abroad destinations, like USA, Germany, Australia? Here is how it is different from UK

    Germany Australia UK USA
    Length of Programs 2-years 1.5 to 3 years 1.5-2 years 9 months- 2 years
    Tuition Fees (annual) Up to 2,770GBP Up to 34,000 GBP/year up to 36,000 GBP/year Up to 57,000 GBP
    Required Exams German Language Proficiency
    English Language Proficiency
    GRE (not mandatory)
    English Language Proficiency English Language Proficiency
    GRE (not mandatory)
    English Language Proficiency
    GRE (mandatory)
    Cost of Living 10,000 GBP 11,900 GBP/year 986 GBP/month 1944 GBP/month
    Payscale (av starting salary) 69,000 GBP 42,000 GBP/year 60,000 GBP/year 46,000 GBP/year

    Master’s studies include specialized study in a field of research or an area of professional practice. Earning a master’s degree demonstrates a higher level of mastery of the subject. Earning a master’s degree can take a year to three or four years to complete. Before a student graduates, they must write a thesis, about their course and the specialized research area. Masters in civil engineering in UK have to do with designing, constructing, and maintaining manmade structures such as dams, canals, and roads. 


    Ques. What is the cost of living for a student in the United Kingdom?

    Ans. The cost of living in the United Kingdom varies depending on the lifestyle, location, and university to which you are enrolled. The rent in the city is £650 while outside the city is £550 per month.

    Ques. What are the top universities for studying a masters in civil engineering in UK?

    Ans. University of Cambridge, Imperial College of London, University of Oxford, University of Manchester and University of Leeds are some of the popular universities for studying masters in civil engineering in UK?

    Ques. How much do masters in civil engineering students earn in the UK?

    Ans. A bachelor’s degree student of Civil Engineering earns about £ 91,600 per year but a Master’s degree student of Civil Engineering earns 39% more than a bachelor’s degree student, which is £ 127,000 per year.

    Ques. How to get into masters in civil engineering in the UK?

    Ans. For pursuing masters in civil engineering in UK, international students need to have a GPA of 3.0 or more (60-70%). GRE scores may be required along with the applications. IELTS (6.5) and TOEFL (80) scores are also required. 

    Ques. Is civil engineering in demand in the UK?

    Ans. The demand for civil, structure, and construction engineers in on the rise. The sector is projected to experience around 20% retirements within upcoming 10-12 years with a very low number of enterants. This is expected to create a huge a gap. Hence, the demand for civil engineers in UK is expected to rise for upcoming 10 years. 

    Ques. Which is the best country for studying masters in civil engineering in the UK?

    Ans. Some of the popular countries for pursuing masters in civil engineering are USA, New Zealand, UK, Australia, Germany, and Singapore. 

    Ques. Are scholarships available to study masters in civil engineering in UK?

    Ans. Yes, international students can apply for various scholarships offered by the government or the institute. The awards offered can waive up to full tuition fees.