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Civil engineering

Design, plan and test infrastructure that improves the way we live

Civil engineers manage the design and construction of crucial modern infrastructure such as buildings and transport networks, and systems for managing water, irrigation, sewage and floodwaters.

What is civil engineering?

The homes we live in, the roads we travel on and the bridges we cross are all designed and planned by civil engineers. The creation of Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa, Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium and Sydney’s iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge are all feats of civil engineering.

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

Civil engineering careers

  • Design efficient buildings using the latest technologies, work on water purification and sanitation in developing countries, help people travel safely and quickly, or plan the next amusement park.
  • Apply technical skills, including mathematics and physics, to identify and solve engineering problems, such as accurately determining how much weight can be safely distributed throughout a bridge.
  • Help farming communities in developing nations by planning, implementing and maintaining important infrastructure, such as irrigation systems for crop harvesting.
  • Become an aid worker, construction manager, humanitarian architect, sustainability specialist, town planner, geotechnical consultant or senior structural engineer, among many other careers,
  • Work in the construction, mining, agriculture, coastal and marine, transport or public health sectors.
  • Work in an established company, governmental organisation or a not for profit, with opportunities to travel overseas.
  • Graduate salaries start at $65-74K per annum (Glassdoor).

Why study civil engineering with us?

There are many reasons to choose our Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) as your first preference.

  • Our degree equips you with the technical knowledge and professional skills in management, finance and problem solving to create infrastructure that improves lives throughout the world.
  • Experience using our cutting-edge facilities, 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. You will also use our wind tunnel during your degree, which prepares engineers to manage air pollution, heat-islands and other environmental issues.
  • Our Fluids Laboratory is an advanced facility for studying hydraulic stability to help protect infrastructure from rogue waves and mitigate the effects of climate change and develop renewable wave and wind energy.  
  • We are home to the MTS 20 Meganewton, a high-capacity materials testing machine, the largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, which enables the testing of innovative materials for infrastructure. This facility is vital in supporting experimental research to develop standards for solutions in construction and infrastructure. 
  • The Sydney Centre in Geomechanics and Mining Materials, home to the Geotechanical Research Laboratory, Particles and Grains Laboratory, Geo-environmental Laboratory and Dynamix, so you can explore the latest in geomechanics and geotechnical engineering.
  • Our Humanitarian Engineering specialisation is the first of its kind in Australia, offering you the opportunity to go on overseas fieldwork trips, and learn from experienced industry partners about how to make a difference in disadvantaged communities.
  • Our engineering degrees are designed to ensure our graduates are best positioned to engineer for the digital age, and are embedded with enhanced foundation studies in data and computation.
  • As part of your degree you will undertake the award-winning Professional Engagement Program enabling you to change your approach to learning through self-reflection, and undertake a six-week internship to gain valuable firsthand experience.
  • Specialise in Computer Systems, Engineering Data Science, Environmental Fluids, Geotechnical Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Integrated Building Engineering, Project Management, Structures, or Transport.
  • Broaden your career prospects by combining your Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) with a second degree in arts, commerce, science, health science, medical science, laws or project management.  Combined degrees range from 5 to 6.5 years in length, with the same annual workload as a single degree student.
  • This degree is accredited by Engineers Australia. Our graduates are also recognised internationally through the Washington Accord of the International Engineering Alliance.
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Win Myint Kwaw

Win Myint Kwaw
Engineering Honours (Civil)
“Sydney is in the middle of an exciting growth period and I anticipate a large demand for civil engineers within the transport and infrastructure sectors to help with this transformation.”
Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil)

Brian O’Callaghan

Brian O’Callaghan
Engineering Honours (Civil)/Commerce
“Studying at the University of Sydney has provided me the opportunity to work on projects that make a real difference in the world. Being involved with Engineers Without Borders has allowed me to apply what I’ve learnt in lecture halls to helping people living in less-developed communities in countries like Laos, Nepal and India.”
Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Civil) and Bachelor of Commerce