hydraulics lab

Key facts

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

1st in the UK (Engineering) – based on the proportion of world-leading research

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

1st in the UK

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the largest and most highly rated civil engineering department in the UK.

Our research involves lab, field and computer-based work in the core areas of environmental and water resources engineering, fluid mechanics, geotechnics, structures, systems and transport.

We aim to develop the understanding, tools and people needed to create and maintain sustainable natural and built environments, working on most of the major challenges facing the world today, including resilience of communities to natural and man-made extreme events, sustainable urbanisation, providing water for all, climate change mitigation/adaptation, diminishing natural resources, renewable energy, low carbon economy and extending the life of our infrastructure.

Our postgraduate studies programme has an excellent reputation both within the UK and internationally.

Our staff are leading scholars, and have close links with engineering practice through consulting work and research on industry-related problems. This combination gives the MSc courses a vocational flavour which enhances their academic strength and provides a very good basis for PhD research in related fields.

The Department also houses the Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation, created to enhance the capacity of the construction industry using the application of systems engineering in the built environment.

All MSc courses within the Department are accredited by the relevant professional institutions.


The Department’s laboratories provide state-of-the-art facilities and are amongst the most up-to-date and best equipped in Europe. All five have been fully rebuilt and refurbished within the past seven years:

  • Our Structural Engineering lab has recently re-opened after a £10 million refit, and is now one of the best in the world, able to undertake a wide range of experimental work.
  • The Geotechnics lab is equipped with sophisticated purpose-designed equipment for soil testing and analysis.
  • The Applied Hydrodynamics lab has wind-wave generators, flumes and tanks.
  • Our two Environmental Engineering labs can undertake high level pollution/chemical analysis.
  • Our recently-established Intelligent Infrastructure and Transport lab is fully equipped with monitoring, sensing and electronic prototyping equipment that can support lab- and field-based studies on transport operations and civil infrastructure.

In addition, the Department has outstanding computing and library facilities. These complement the facilities provided by the College and provide a very supportive environment for postgraduate study.

Study opportunities

The Department offers a number of study options to help you take your knowledge to the next level.

If you are interested in Doctoral study, it’s important to gain support for your application from your potential supervisor before making a formal application to the College.

Courses and research

Master's courses

MSc courses

Environmental Engineering courses
Fluid Mechanics course
Hydrology courses
Infrastructure course
Soil Mechanics courses
Structural Engineering courses
Transport courses

Research programmes

Our research has an excellent reputation in Britain and internationally. Many staff hold research grants funded by industry, Research Councils and the EU, and most have close links with engineering practice through consulting work and research on industrially-related problems. Many also participate in the formulation of codes of practice and in providing technical advice to companies, governments and government agencies worldwide.

Our internationally-recognised research groups work in the following fields:

  • Structural engineering
  • Structural materials
  • Structural mechanics
  • Soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering
  • Engineering geology
  • Engineering seismology
  • Environmental engineering
  • Waste and resource management
  • Urban water and energy systems
  • Hydrology and water resources
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Coastal and offshore engineering
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Transport planning, management and operations
  • Intelligent transport systems
  • Integrated urban systems engineering
  • Geomatics

For further information about these degrees, please see the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering website.