Undergraduate study in Civil Engineering

Learn about your undergraduate study options for Civil Engineering.

What can you study in Civil Engineering?

A specialisation in Civil Engineering offers you a combined emphasis on buildings, infrastructure and development, and environmental management. Our courses are designed to offer you a well-rounded education that prioritises tangible applications for technical knowledge in mathematics and science.

In this specialisation, you will learn a range of skills, like how to design structures for loads they will experience doing their lifetime, and understand key infrastructure problems so you can design them to support modern cities. There’s also a substantial focus on environmental concerns, such as how to balance environmental issues during a construction project and the proper planning of stormwater and waste management facilities. We are also actively working to weave mātauranga Māori into our course content, projects, and student research to enrich our curriculum, and to solidify the relevance of our discipline within New Zealand and beyond.

The main areas of study are:

  • Structural Engineering: With a broad focus on improving structural systems as well as structural performance. For students who have an interest and career goals in this area, Structural Engineering can also be undertaken as a BE(Hons) specialisation.
  • Geotechnical Engineering: Here, you will learn how to characterise the engineering behaviour of soil and rocks, and the application of these to the design of foundations, slopes, retaining structures and other geotechnical systems.
  • Transportation Engineering: Transport is the socio-economic backbone of societies. We focus on the science of moving people and goods, and how to provide for this growing demand through road infrastructure. 
  • Water: You will gain a deep understanding of the principles driving fluid behaviour and how to apply them to solve real-life challenges, such as delivering a reliable source of water for human settlements or for hydro-electric power generation, protecting developments against flooding and climate change, and designing water supply and drainage services.
  • Construction Management: The construction industry is dynamic, complex and unpredictable. Studying Construction Management will help you learn the principles of effective project management in this challenging industry.
  • Environmental Engineering: You will learn about protecting humanity and the environment through engineering design, implementation, and management. The topics covered include water quality and treatment, air pollution control, solid waste management, community engagement, environmental impact assessment and life cycle analysis.

All our BE(Hons) specialisations are accredited by Engineering NZ, so your qualification will be recognised in many countries.


All students take a similar set of courses throughout their first year of a BE(Hons). Find out more about the compulsory degree components.

You can get in-depth information about our undergraduate courses in Civil Engineering with the Faculty of Engineering Course Viewer.

Help and advice

For general student enquiries, please contact the Student Hubs.

If you would like further academic information, you can contact an Undergraduate Course Adviser.