Cars and trains travelling on Sydney Harbour Bridge

Why study civil engineering at Sydney

Bring your ideas to life

Develop the essential systems that improve lives in Australia and overseas, or create infrastructure that wows people for years to come with a degree in civil engineering.

Civil engineering is a broad profession combining functional solutions with creativity and innovation to improve society.

The creation of Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa, Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium and Sydney’s iconic Opera House are all feats of civil engineering. 

On a functional level, the homes we live in, the roads we travel on and the bridges we cross are all designed and planned by civil engineers. 

If you consider yourself an innovator with an appetite for problem-solving, studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) could be the degree for you.

A varied career with impact

Civil engineers are responsible for the design, planning and testing of buildings, towers, transport infrastructure, gas and water systems, sewerage schemes, irrigation systems, new mines and many more facilities.

They work in the construction, agriculture, coastal and marine, transport or public health sectors in an established company, governmental organisation or a not for profit. 

Our Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) degree is accredited by Engineers Australia, and our graduates are recognised internationally through the Washington Accord of the International Engineering Alliance, meaning your skills will be recognised wherever you go.

Combine your creativity with technical skills and knowledge

At Sydney, our civil engineering students develop a creative approach to design and problem solving combined with specialised skills and knowledge, so you’ll graduate ready to start your career. 

More than just steel structures and construction, you’ll have the opportunity to cover topics such as environmental engineering, coastal engineering, and traffic engineering, ensuring you’re equipped to deliver cutting-edge designs.

You’ll also hone your professional skills in management, finance and problem solving, and attend a surveying camp in your second year to gain experience in a practical, team-based environment. 

An embedded honours thesis in your fourth year will enable you to design a research project in an area that interests you.

Combining your Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) with a second degree in arts, commerce, science, health science, medical science, laws or project management can further broaden your skillset. Combined degrees range from 5 to 6.5 years, and have the same annual workload of a single degree.

Gain experience in our state-of-the-art facilities

The University of Sydney is home to a range of facilities that allow you to gain hands-on learning experience using the latest equipment and instrumentation, including:

  • our Immersive Learning Laboratory, where virtual reality technology lets you receive in-the-field experience and interact with new and diverse environments without leaving campus
  • our Fluids Laboratory, an advanced facility for studying hydraulic stability which features a number of specialised water flumes and our 30 metre wave flume
  • our Sydney Centre in Geomechanics and Mining Materials (SciGEM), home to the Geotechanical Research Laboratory, Particles and Grains Laboratory, Geo-environmental Laboratory and Dynamix, so you can explore the latest in  in geomechanics and geotechnical engineering.

You’ll gain practical skills and experience on campus before putting them into practice through one of our industry placement and internship programs.

Choose a specialisation and follow your passion

When you study a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) with us, you can choose from seven specialisations and major in the area that sparks your interest. 

With specialisations including Integrated Building Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, and Transport, you can tailor your degree to your passions. 

We’re also the first university in Australia to offer a Humanitarian Engineering specialisation focused on international aid and development. 

Learn from experienced practitioners and industry partners about how to work in rural areas, developing countries and communities in disaster recovery.

Not sure what you want to specialise in yet? That’s okay – opportunities to specialise start in your third year, or you can choose your electives from our broad range of civil engineering topics.

Follow in the footsteps of the best

When you study civil engineering with us, you’re following in the footsteps of engineers who have gone on to design some of our state’s most valued infrastructure. 

Dr John Bradfield, designer and engineer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, got his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Sydney in 1889 and earned the University’s first doctorate of science in engineering in 1924.

Turning to one of Sydney’s other major bridges, it was civil engineering alumnus Ken Wheeler who led the design team behind the iconic Anzac bridge, completed in 1995. 

Wheeler, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) in 1976, has also led the bridge design of prominent projects such as the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne, the main spans for the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane, and the ASEAN Bridge in Sarawak, Malaysia.

10 November 2021

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