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Civil Engineering

The world needs competent and trained Civil Engineering professionals to address the increasing challenges in urban and rural facilities and infrastructure.

Civil engineers design and construct the fundamental requirements of society, in key areas such as earthquake proofing, energy recovery, water/waste management, power generation, road networks, transport management, agriculture and forestry development.

As a Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Waikato you will have the practical and theoretical skills to help create, improve and protect our built and natural environments.  You will be ready to meet the strong demand for your skills both in New Zealand and around the world.

You will gain the knowledge and expertise required to work as a professional civil engineer including skills in the following areas:

  • Construction Engineering
  • Structural Analysis
  • Geotechnics and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Water Engineering
  • Mathematics, Computing and Modelling
  • Project Management
  • Structural Design
  • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Design
  • Transport Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering.

An important part of the Civil Engineering programme at the University of Waikato is supported work placements into relevant industries. This gives you the opportunity for paid work experience while exploring the field of Civil Engineering you could choose for your career, ie structural, water resources, transport, geotechnical or construction engineering.

You'll work on major research design projects, creating products with commercial applications, which are then showcased at our annual Oji Fibre Solutions Engineering Design Show.  Importantly, there is also a focus on developing well-honed communication skills that are such a vital part of the profession.


Students can work in specialised laboratories including the Large Scale Lab complex that features a suite of workshops and laboratories dedicated to engineering teaching and research, such as 3D printing, a mechanical workshop and computer labs with engineering design software.

Build a successful career

Civil engineers work in many fields, including structures and infrastructures, dams, bridges, gas and water supply systems, sewerage systems, transportation systems and roads and construction sector. These crucial facilities provide people with a reliable, safe, sustainable and modern environment to live in.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.

Study Civil Engineering in these qualifications

Civil Engineering as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

  • Civil Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Transport Engineer
  • Water Engineer
  • Construction Engineer and Manager

Study in Tauranga

From 2019, years 1 and 4 of the BE(Hons) in Civil Engineering will be available to students in Tauranga. You'll still need to complete years 2 and 3 in Hamilton.

Year 1

Students must take the following papers: ENGEN103, ENGEN110, ENGEN112, ENGEN170, ENGEN180, ENGEN183 and ENGEN184.

Plus 15 points of electives from: Any 100 level CHEMY paper or EARTH102 or ENGEN111.

Year 2

Students must take the following papers: ENGCV212, ENGCV223 , ENGCV231, ENGCV241, ENGCV251, ENGCV280, ENGEN201, ENGEN270 and ENGEN271.

Year 3

Students must take the following papers: ENGEV342, ENGCV380, ENGEN301, ENGCV323, ENGCV331, ENGCV312, ENGCV351, ENGEV341 and ENGEN371.

Year 4

Students must take the following papers: ENGCV580, ENGEN570 and ENGEN581.

Plus 45 points of electives from: ENGCV512, ENGCV513, ENGCV531, ENGEN585, ENGEV541, ENGEV542 and ENGME540

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
CHEMY100Chemistry in Context19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This is an introductory paper for students with a limited background in chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on teaching chemical concepts through real-world examples relevant to different science and engineering disciplines.
CHEMY101Structure and Spectroscopy19A (Hamilton), 19A (Secondary School - Unistart) & 19C (Hamilton)
A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of analytical and inorganic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major.
CHEMY102Chemical Reactivity19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Secondary School - Unistart)
A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of physical and organic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major.
EARTH102Discovering Planet Earth19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the Earth's interior and its dynamic interaction with the crust, including: the major rocks and minerals; interpreting the rock record and geologic maps; the geological time scale and fossils; plate tectonics; volcanism; earthquakes.
ENGEN103Engineering Computing19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga) & 19T (Hamilton)
This paper introduces computer programming in languages such as C# and Python. It provides the basis for the programming skills required in more advanced papers within the School of Engineering.
ENGEN110Engineering Mechanics19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper covers aspects of engineering mechanics.
ENGEN111Electricity and Electronics19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Tauranga) & 19T (Hamilton)
Students are introduced to underlying concepts in electricity such as current, voltage and power, and apply these concepts in a laboratory by making circuits and measuring them with common laboratory instruments.
ENGEN112Materials Science and Engineering19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
Introduction to engineering materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors and biomaterials) and their atomic structure and mechanical properties. Includes; elastic and plastic deformation, fracture mechanisms, failure in service, iron-carbon phase diagram, redox reactions in corrosion, production of polymers, ce...
ENGEN170Engineering and Society19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
Introduction to the role of engineering in society in particular understanding of Treaty of Waitangi, history of science, engineering and technology, philosophy and ethics and public participation, participatory design, sustainability.
ENGEN180Foundations of Engineering19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
Introduction to the engineering design process and computer aided design, fundamental principles of engineering analysis, open ended problem solving, engineering economics and the skills of a successful engineer. Includes a design-build-test experience.
ENGEN183Linear Algebra and Statistics for Engineers19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
A study of introductory statistics and the fundamental techniques of algebra including Gaussian elimination, vector and matrix algebra, complex numbers, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, as well as basic statistical notions and tools, with engineering applications.
ENGEN184Calculus for Engineers19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19S (Hamilton) & 19S (Tauranga)
A study of the fundamental techniques of calculus, including differentiation and integration for functions of one real variable, with engineering applications.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGCV212Structural Engineering 119A (Hamilton)
Analysis of statically determinant structural systems under axial, bending and torsional loads, including beam deflections, buckling of struts, shear in joints, couplings, trusses and frames; plus introduction to design of simple structural elements.
ENGCV223Water Engineering 119B (Hamilton)
Basic principles of fluid statics and dynamics, including fluid viscosity, Bernoulli and mechanical energy equation, dimensional analysis, flow in pipes and channels and introduction to hydrology and fluvial processes.
ENGCV231Geotechnical Engineering 119A (Hamilton)
This paper covers basic concepts and principles governing the mechanical behaviour of soils, rocks and slopes, including the effective stress concept, shear strength of soils, and stability concepts. Field and laboratory work provide opportunity to learn practical skills and apply the knowledge gained.
ENGCV241Highways and Transportation19B (Hamilton)
Introduces the basic theories and design techniques used in highway and pavement engineering, and traffic engineering and transportation planning.
ENGCV251Construction 119A (Hamilton)
Engineering properties, performance and constraints of common construction materials including timber, steel, concrete polymers and composites. Materials selection and application to construction methods.
ENGCV280Civil Design Challenge 119B (Hamilton)
Civil design principles are applied to an open-ended design challenge. Design standards and calculations for simple civil structures are introduced, along with engineering drawings, and construction and testing of simple structures.
ENGEN201Engineering Mathematics 219B (Hamilton) & 19S (Hamilton)
Calculus of Several Variables and its Applications. Vector calculus (Green's, Gauss' and Stokes' theorems). Taylor's Theorem in n dimensions. Introduction to partial differential equations. Fourier series.
ENGEN270Engineering Professional Practice 119A (Hamilton)
Preparation for success in the engineering workplace including CV preparation, interview techniques, job seeking skills, online profile, workplace and engineering business cultures and norms, ethics, communication and management structures.
ENGEN271Engineering Work Placement 119C (Hamilton), 19S (Hamilton) & 19T (Hamilton)
First work placement involving 400 hours of work experience at an approved engineering organisation relevant to your studies. Typically undertaken during the summer semesters at the end of second year.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGCV312Structural Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
Analysis of statically indeterminate structures, application of moment-area method, computer analysis of structures, design of structures in steel, wood, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete.
ENGCV323Water Engineering 219A (Hamilton)
Application of fluid mechanics principles to water engineering applications such as design of pipe system networks, pump characteristics and selection, open channel flow, hydraulic jump, measurement, analysis and modelling of surface hydrological processes.
ENGCV331Geotechnical Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
Advanced course in geotechnical engineering including analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations, and retaining structures under a variety of conditions, includes a project based learning activity that reinforces threshold concepts and theory.
ENGCV351Construction 219A (Hamilton)
Construction processes and building technology including surveying, site preparation, earthworks, foundations, Building Information Modelling (BIM), risk assessment, site health and safety, construction project management, demolition and site remediation.
ENGCV380Civil Design Challenge 219B (Hamilton)
Engineering design principles applied to an advanced open-ended civil design challenge. Design standards, project finance, environmental consideration, health and safety and risk assessment.
ENGEN301Engineering Mathematics 319A (Hamilton)
Introduces numerical methods and statistical ideas relevant to Engineering.
ENGEN371Engineering Work Placement 219C (Hamilton)
Second work placement involving 400 hours of work experience at an approved engineering organisation relevant to your studies. Typically undertaken during the summer semesters at the end of third year.
ENGEN390Special Topics in Engineering 119A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN391Special Topics in Engineering 219A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEV341Environmental Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the design, operation and management of unit processes used in environmental engineering including air, water, wastewater, storm water, waste, soils and noise treatment and control systems.
ENGEV342Sustainable Engineering19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers sustainability in engineering design within the context of quality standards, emissions, carbon accounting and life cycle analysis.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGCV512Advanced Structural Design19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers advanced analysis and design of structures made from structural steel, reinforced concrete, reinforced masonry and timber, including connections, retaining walls and concrete floor slabs.
ENGCV513Earthquake Engineering and Design19B (Hamilton)
Design of civil structures to withstand natural hazards and seismic events, including materials selection, geology and geotechnical considerations, types of foundations and single and multi-level structures.
ENGCV531Advanced Geotechnical Engineering19B (Hamilton)
Principles of critical state soil mechanics and soil plasticity applied to soil-structure interactions under seismic loading and the practical aspects of geotechnical earthquake engineering.
ENGCV541Advanced Highways and Transportation19A (Hamilton)
Universal design and participatory planning of useful, safe and resilient land-based transport systems and infrastructure.
ENGCV580Civil Design Challenge 319Y (Hamilton)
Engineering design principles applied to a complex civil design challenge. Detailed considerations in the project to include using design standards, materials selection, life cycle costs, environmental impact, health and safety and risk assesssment.
ENGEN570Engineering Professional Practice 219Y (Hamilton)
Role engineers in industry, business and society, contract law and legal responsibility, Treaty of Waitangi considerations, intellectual property, teamwork and leadership skills, responsibilities of a professional, ethics with industrial case studies.
ENGEN581Honours Research Project19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
Final year honours research project carried out on a topic assigned and supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN583Special Topics in Engineering 319A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN584Special Topics in Engineering 419A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN585Special Topics in Engineering 519A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN586Special Topics in Engineering 619A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN587Directed Study 119A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
ENGEN588Directed Study 219A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
ENGME540Finite Element Analysis19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers kinematics, momentum and variational formulation of particles, dynamics of rigid body system, vibration of linear-lumped-parameters system and dynamics of continuous systems.

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering  Closed

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

Looking for more scholarships?

Visit our Scholarship Finder

Work placements are a major feature of the Civil Engineering programme and you will complete 800 hours of relevant work experience during your degree.

Our Cooperative Education Unit actively seeks and oversees your industrial work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and monitoring the quality of your work experience.  They are the leader in New Zealand for co-operative education programmes, with an average 250 students placed in industry every year.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take to your interviews.

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 or 0800 438 254