Civil Engineering with a Foundation Year - BEng (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: H20F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 years), Sandwich (5 years)
  • Location: City Centre

Want to become a Civil Engineer? Study our Civil Engineering degree course with a foundation year. This course, designed to meet the requirements of relevant professional bodies, will give you the best start to your career in civil engineering.

Much of your learning activity will be hands-on, with access to our strong industry links. You’ll also be provided with the latest CAD software, meaning you’ll be well equipped to make an impact in an important industry.

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BEng (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four) in your studies. The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of the degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all modules of the Foundation Certificate.

What's covered in the course?

Civil engineers build power stations, bridges and motorways; our course will prepare you to work on these projects. You will focus on hydraulics, examining how water flows and drives turbines, and your studies will be enhanced through site visits, field trips and guest lectures.

On this course you will develop the key transferable skills that modern employers require, such as problem solving, project planning, presentation and communication. Our strong links to industry enable you to apply your learning to problem-based scenarios, ensuring your intellectual and practical competencies are fully developed.

You’ll experience a unique simulated workplace and work towards a successful career as a chartered civil engineer.

The team was impressed with BSc vocational education available … and it was noted that these programmes are well respected and serving industry needs. Joint Board of Moderators

Why Choose Us?

  • The course will develop your understanding of many construction professions within the field of civil engineering.
  • The course will help you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the many construction professions within the field of civil engineering.
  • You have the option to enhance your skills and gain valuable work experience with a placement at one of our key industry link companies.
  • Our graduates work for companies such as Balfour Beatty, Cancer Care, in roles such as construction managers or design engineers.
  • The course meets the specific requirements of professional bodies, enabling you to progress in your career as a civil engineer.

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

80 UCAS tariff points from A Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subject are covered. Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:

Typical Offers (UK students)
UK Qualification Requirements
GCE A Level/ AS Level 80 UCAS tariff points (BB) from A Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.

Can include AS Levels and/or tariff point qualifications.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 technical credits at Merit or Distinction. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade C or higher or the equivalent at application point.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D or combined with other level 3 qualifications.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Computing/Engineering preferred. Pass, Merit, Merit.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications. Must include A Levels, BTEC QCF and/or OCR Cambridge Technical to a total of 80 points minimum.
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum H3/D1 taken from three subjects).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects.

Higher levels to include Mathematics at Higher levels.

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CDD.

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects

Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Must include A Levels, BTEC QCF and/or OCR Cambridge Technical to a total of 80 points minimum.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BEng (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Sorry but we are unable to display the Sandwich fee information for this course at this time. Please check back later.

Award: BEng (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

Specialist costs

£60

Students often choose to buy a laptop or tablet for use on campus (approx. £800), however there are PCs on campus and students can also borrow laptops. Students may need a smart phone or wireless device to participate in interactive class quizzes, etc. A list of all personal protection equipment (PPE) for labs and a basic toolkit, is provided by the School. Laboratory and workshop consumables are provided. All reports, etc. for assessment are submitted as electronic files except some of the Level 6 and 7 Project Reports for which printing and binding costs (up to 50 pages) will be borne by the students.

Placement costs

Students may have to contribute to the cost of optional social trips organised by Student Societies. The costs of compulsory industrial visits (if any) are paid by the School or by sponsorship secured from the Professional bodies (PSRBs). Students are expected to cover the costs of attending placement interviews and any additional travel/accommodation costs incurred to take up optional short term or sandwich placements.

Other costs

Costs for student-led projects will be paid by the School subject to approved business cases submitted by the students under the supervision of academic staff. Artefacts built for projects normally remain the property of the Department, but students may be offered the opportunity to purchase them for the cost of the materials used.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Mathematics for Engineers 1
20 credits

Mathematics plays a key role in establishing and grounding the professional skills of an engineer. Communicating the ideas of engineering is made both easier and harder by the use of mathematical language.

This module aims to help you become proficient at developing engineering models and arguments, and following them through to their logical conclusions, since application of these arguments has to include their interpretation both to and from the mathematical language.

Mathematics for Engineers 2
20 credits

Mathematics plays a key role in establishing and grounding the professional skills of an engineer. Communicating the ideas of engineering is made both easier and harder by the use of mathematical language.

This module aims to help you become proficient at further developing engineering models and arguments, and following them through to their logical conclusions, since application of these arguments has to include their interpretation both to and from the mathematical language.

Practical Skills 1
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the practical and professional skills to enable you to progress to the next module in the practical theme, Practical Skills II, and then on to the first year of an engineering degree. The theoretical aspects of physical science and maths are delivered in another theme of the foundation year. The Practical Skills modules sit alongside these and concentrate on the practical aspects to support your learning.

Practical Skills 2
20 credits

This module aims to provide the practical and professional skills to enable you to progress to the first year of an engineering degree. As the theoretical aspects of physical science and maths are delivered in another theme of the foundation year, the Practical Skills modules concentrate on the practical aspects.

The subject material will be delivered in three coherent streams one of which contains predominantly mechanical and electrical laboratory exercises, a second PC-based stream will include use of software to support project planning, communication and analysis and the third, a project space where you will have the opportunity to integrate learning from across all elements of the semester.

Engineering Science 1
20 credits

The module aims to provide you with the knowledge and problem solving skills in physical science to enable you to progress to the next module in the science theme, Foundation Science II, and then on to the first year of an engineering degree.

As the practical aspects of physical science are delivered in another theme of the foundation year, the Foundation Science modules concentrate on the theoretical aspects. The subject material will be delivered in two coherent streams, one of which contains predominantly mechanical science and the other predominantly electrical science.

Engineering Science 2
20 credits

The module aims to provide you with the knowledge and problem solving skills in physical science to enable you to progress to the first year of an engineering degree. The science theme contains the material normally encountered in an A level physics course which is relevant to entry to an engineering degree. As the practical aspects of physical science are delivered in another theme of the foundation year, the Foundation Science modules concentrate on the theoretical aspects.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Engineering Principles 1
20 credits

The module aims to provide the underpinning knowledge and problem solving skills in engineering science to enable you to progress to the next module in the theme, Engineering Principles II, and then on to the second year of a range of engineering degrees.

As the practical aspects of engineering science are delivered in another theme of the common first year, the Engineering Principles modules concentrate on the theoretical aspects. The subject material will be delivered in two coherent streams one of which contains predominantly mechanical science and the other contains predominantly electrical science.

Engineering Principles 2
20 credits

The module aims to provide the underpinning knowledge and problem solving skills in engineering science to enable you to progress to the second year of a wide range of engineering degrees.

As the practical aspects of engineering science are delivered in another theme of the common first year, the Engineering Principles modules concentrate on the theoretical aspects. The subject material will be delivered in two coherent streams one of which contains predominantly mechanical science and the other contains predominantly electrical science.

Mathematical Modelling 1
20 credits

Mathematics plays a key role in establishing and grounding the skills of an engineer, and the ability to communicate the ideas of engineering that are expected of an engineering graduates.

The primary aim of this module is to provide the fundamental mathematical knowledge and techniques needed in order to enable you to use and apply such mathematical techniques for the evaluation, analysis, modelling and solution of realistic engineering problems. Application of these data sets has to include their interpretation both to and from the mathematical language. In addition, this module will introduce students to mathematical modelling software package. This will be used to plot, annotate basic signals and write simple programs to compute mathematical problems.

This module will develop your ability to both work on and communicate engineering realities to a wider audience, at a professional standard.

Mathematical Modelling 2
20 credits

This module will focus on introducing and building on well-established techniques for mathematically modelling dynamic systems (systems of interest for engineering) for contextualised engineering applications. The module will include an introduction to sophisticated signal analysis technique, Fourier series which is used to transform time-domain signals into their frequency spectra. The module is structured to include a mixture of lectures, tutorials and PC-based laboratories. The lectures will formally introduce material, in tutorials students will work through questions with tutor. The PC laboratories will involve using mathematical modelling software packages to implement mathematical operations.

Engineering Practice
20 credits

The module aims to provide the practical and professional skills to enable you to progress to the next module in the practical theme, Practical Skills II, and then on to the second year of an engineering degree. As the theoretical aspects of physical science and maths are delivered in other themes of the first year, the Practical Skills modules concentrate on the practical aspects.

The subject material will be delivered in three coherent streams one of which contains predominantly mechanical and electrical laboratory exercises, a second PC-based stream will include use of software to support project planning, communication and analysis and the third, a project space where you have the opportunity to integrate learning from across all elements of the semester.

Integrated Engineering Project
20 credits

The module aims to provide the practical and professional skills to enable you to progress on to the second year of an engineering degree. As the theoretical aspects of physical science and maths are delivered in other themes of the first year, the Practical Skills modules concentrate on the practical aspects.

The subject material will be delivered in three coherent streams one of which contains predominantly mechanical and electrical laboratory exercises, a second PC-based stream will include use of software to support project planning, design, communication and analysis and the third, a project space where you have the opportunity to integrate learning from across all elements of the semester.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Structures I
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable students to use problem-based learning to understand the core principles of structural analysis as relating to buildings and other structures.

The module follows the Civil Engineering programme philosophy of developing the intellectual and practical competence of students in technical, economic and theoretical aspects of civil engineering. Similarly the learning and teaching philosophy incorporates learning through formal lectures including presentations, seminars, tutorials and problem based scenarios, backed up by visits to construction sites and exhibitions when appropriate. Learning is practice-based, knowledge applied, work related and includes project based activities.

Soil Mechanics
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable you to use problem-based learning to understand the geological materials and effects of soil mechanics on Civil Engineering and relate it to information about the geotechnical tests and reports. It includes opportunities to complete laboratory tests to define certain properties of soils.

The module follows the Civil Engineering programme philosophy of developing your intellectual and practical competence in technical, theoretical and environmental aspects of civil engineering. Similarly the learning and teaching philosophy incorporates learning through formal lectures including, seminars, tutorials, laboratory tests and problem based scenarios. Learning is practice-based, knowledge applied and work related including project based activities.

Numerical Analysis
20 credits

The module introduces the mathematical concepts such as transform calculus and matrix theory used to solve systems of first and second order differential equations underpinning the engineering disciplines undertaken within the Faculty.

This provides you with the capability of modelling systems using both the transfer function and statespace paradigms. In particular, you will be able to model linear systems in continuous and discrete time as well as by frequency response methods.

Teaching and assessment will comprise not only traditional lectures and tutorials but also provide training in industry standard software for problem solving within coursework assessment.

Civil Engineering Materials
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable students to use problem-based learning to understand the properties, behaviour, and uses of materials of Civil Engineering. The module follows the Civil Engineering programme philosophy of developing your intellectual and practical competence in technical, theoretical and environmental aspects of civil engineering.

The learning and teaching philosophy emphasises practical work. Laboratory activities consist a major part of the module, covering all common Civil Engineering materials. These are supplemented by seminars, group work activities, and problem-based scenarios. Students are encouraged to plan their own work schedules, manage their time and extend their presentational skills.

Civil Engineering Applications
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable you to use problem-based learning to understand the Technology of Civil Engineering and innovations now being applied. It investigates a civil engineering project from its inception to its construction and identifies the methods and techniques used in constructing a range of structures and infrastructure.

Integrated Digital Design for Complex Structures
20 credits

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides built environment professionals with the insight and tools to help plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. In this module, you will be encouraged to explore the potential of BIM in helping to understand the social, economic and environmental benefits associated with co-ordinated infrastructure and complex structure development.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Hydraulics and Drainage
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable learners to use problem-based learning to understand the theories and applications of hydraulics in civil engineering, including flow of fluids and theories relating to pumps, many demonstrated through laboratory experiments. Theories are then practically applied drainage system design.

Geotechnical Engineering
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable you to use problem-based learning to understand theories of geotechnics and their application to design and construction of civil engineering projects. It will enhance their knowledge and ability to work in teams and lead teams including the aptitude to work independently and understand the importance of being a reflective and innovative professional.

Structures II
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable students to use problem-based learning to understand the Structural Design process and relate it to information previously learned in Structures 1 and Civil Engineering Materials.

The module covers both analytical and numerical modelling of structures in order to provide the background for the students to produce the structural design of a small building. The effect of loading combinations is addressed utilising the approach specified in British Standards and European Norms. Aspects of analytical modelling are considered for structural design to the Eurocodes, utilising the UK National Annexes, for the common structural materials. Numerical aspects are covered via the Finite Element Method (FEM) and related software.

Advanced Analysis and Design Methods
20 credits

In accordance with the programme philosophy and aims, this module has been designed to enable students to use problem-based learning to understand the philosophy and application of a range of advanced methods employed in the analysis and design of Civil Engineering projects.

The module follows the Civil Engineering programme philosophy of developing the intellectual and practical competence of students in technical, economic, theoretical and environmental aspects of civil engineering. Similarly the learning and teaching philosophy incorporates learning through formal lectures, seminars, tutorials, and problem-based scenarios, backed up by guest speakers when appropriate.

Individual Honours Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.

Assessment is split into 50 per cent exams and 50 per cent coursework.

We will enhance your knowledge and understanding through formal lectures, presentations, seminars, tutorials, hands-on experience and problem-based scenarios. Guest speakers, as well as visits to construction sites, manufacturers and exhibitions, will give you valuable insight and experience of the industry.

You will be assessed through work-related learning and problem solving, in-class tasks, seminar work, peer assessment and learning sets, while summative assessment is provided in projects, presentations, time-controlled assignments and end examinations.

In your final year, you will conduct an individual project, where you will hone and enhance your organisational, research and time management skills.

Attendance requirements

There are 30 attendance weeks in each academic year.

A typical week on this course will include 20 hours per week of contact time over four days

International opportunities

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

We will develop the skills, understandings and personal attributes that will help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to securing employment.

We will ensure you are professional, work-ready and enterprising, with a global outlook and the ability to solve problems creatively.

This course has been mapped against the UKSpec subject benchmarks for engineering, and we will support you to work towards a range of competencies linked to these benchmarks. We will also support your readiness for work by offering placements, where you can gain vital work experience in a real-life business.

Birmingham City University also has the Graduate+ scheme, an extracurricular programme which has been designed to hone the subject-based skills you develop throughout the programme alongside broader employability skills. You’ll develop skills in CV writing, presentations, a portfolio and more.

Placements

The Faculty has committed to ensuring that all students who would like to take out a third year in industry will be provided with that opportunity. This is not compulsory, but certainly is recommended since this can have positive implications for your future employability and sometimes even provides sponsorship.

With the advantage of a construction site right on our doorstep as the University grows, students and graduates have benefited from placements and hands-on experience.

You will also benefit from the innovative Building Birmingham Scholarship programme. Launched by Birmingham City Council, it supports young people wishing to pursue a career in construction.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus. We offer a wide range of technology to help you with your studies.

We have an ongoing strategy to upgrade and further develop our well-equipped laboratories. These plans are supported by global technology providers such as PTC and Technosoft. These two companies alone have recently donated more than £11 million worth of computer aided design, product lifecycle management and knowledge-based engineering software.

In addition, more than £750,000 worth of capital investment has been made in upgrading our engine emissions test facilities, environmental laboratory and thermodynamics equipment.

Test Cell Facilities

The key features of our test cell include:

  • 340 kW fully transient dynamometer
  • Full exhaust gas analysis both pre and post after treatment system
  • Ammonia slip analyser, EGR CO2, THC and non-methane HC

Exhaust Analysis

The key features of our exhaust analysis facilities include:

  • Signal Group Analysers in 3 racks with heated sample systems
  • Sierra BG-3 particulate mini-tunnel
  • AVL 415S smoke meter

Environmental Lab

The environmental lab is part of the Centre for Low Carbon Research (CLCR) and is home of the bioenergy and bioprocessing research group at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

The suite is divided into three main areas a wet lab/pilot facility a fully equipped analytical suite and a microbiological lab. This newly refurbished facility offers state of the art analysis and testing of environmental samples as well as scientific evaluation of lab scale and pilot scale technologies and processes.

More about our facilities

Our staff

Our academics have worked alongside small, medium and large companies and bring to the table expertise from within the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, ICT, environmental and health sectors.

Antony Taft

Senior Lecturer

Antony is a Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham School of the Built Environment and Course Director for HNC Construction.

During over 33 years in the construction industry Antony has worked for Local Authorities, Developers, Civil Engineering Consultants ultimately as the Associate Director of a multi-national consultants and finally in the education sector. A period was spent in Nigeria working on social development projects.