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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2-3 years

UK fee

£875 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,700 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

Combine in-depth knowledge and practical skills with strategic management abilities to prepare for a rewarding career anywhere in the world

Explore your full potential within the fields of civil engineering and construction management with this forward-thinking MSc programme.

A broad and dynamic study programme

You will study modules of keen interest to professionals working in both civil engineering and construction.  These include flood risk engineering management, sustainable development, and environmental performance management.

We also develop your transferable skills in scholarly writing, research, critical thinking, independent learning, communication and problem solving.  Such skills will mean you are ideally placed to engage with continuing professional development and further advanced study in the disciplines of civil engineering and construction management.

The combination of core and optional modules enables you to tailor your MSc studies to address topics which are important in successfully achieving and maintaining sustainable built environments – anything ranging from significant property developments to infrastructure projects including highways and railways.

Raise your professional profile

Our on-campus MSc is accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, and the Institute of Highway Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the Further Learning requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

If you want to achieve Chartered Engineer status, you must hold a CEng- accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full registration requirements. See for further information.

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

You will study modules such as:

Research Methods: Application and Evaluation (core module)

This module will advise, guide and develop you in the various elements that constitute the skills required for identifying and applying appropriate research methods and developing an overall research plan. Your learning will include how to identify, evaluate and apply different research philosophies, research approaches, research strategies, research methods, and methods of data collection and analysis.

Flood Risk Engineering Management (core module)

Approaches to limiting disruption and damage from flooding have changed significantly in recent times. Worldwide, there has been a significant move from a strategy of flood defence to one of flood risk management. This includes the use of flood defences, while recognising that managed flooding is essential to a sustainable flood strategy. You will learn how to critically analyse flood risk assessments and suggest appropriate structural and non-structural methods to reduce the impact of flooding.

Environmental Risk and Responsibility (core module)

You will evaluate how professional actions, decisions and leadership of others interact with the society in which you are working, and how this affects environmental risk and the sustainable future of the planet. Starting with a global view of how environmental stresses are generated by developing technologies, the module takes a systemic approach to how responsibility for sustainability challenges does not always lie with the decision maker. This module will be delivered online for students joining the course in January.

Construction Contracts and Dispute Resolution (optional module)

Law is a commercial tool in achieving economic objectives and it is essential to understand how the law shapes even the structure of the industry and how it facilitates resolution and avoidance of disputes. The sector’s in-built competitiveness and predisposition to contractual claims presents students on this module with the opportunity to examine Contract Law and Construction Law.

Geomatic Monitoring and Asset Engineering (optional module)

Engineering professionals need to ensure that infrastructure assets are regularly monitored so that embankments remain stable and that reactive measurements can be made to assess structural elements after incidents such as bridge strikes. This module will consider the modes of failure of structures and ancillary elements including embankments. Modelling of these will be done in 3D to allow detailed analysis, and you will undertake data capture using both remote and traditional topographical methods.

You will study modules such as:

CPD and Strategic Management

During this module you will develop your managerial skills in preparation for work in a global industry environment. You will study strategic concepts and learn how to transfer them into your own industry or specialism using a structured approach. You will focus on managing the global future by analysis rather than by instinct, and will become adept at forecasting and financial analysis, while considering business ethics.

Project Planning, Value Engineering and Risk Management

The aim of this module is to equip students with an understanding of the philosophies and techniques involved in construction project planning, risk management, value engineering and financial management. There are significant risks involved in undertaking construction projects, whether they are financial or operational, and one of the roles of the civil or construction manager is to succeed in removing, reducing or mitigating such risk.

The nature and size of construction and civil engineering projects vary widely, as do the risks involved, and it is through effective project planning that decisions may be made and actions taken to enable successful project completion.

You will also choose one module, such as:

Negotiated Module

This module is usually studied by part-time students who are in employment as it allows participants to take their practical, work-based experience and develop it within an academic context.

Transport and Infrastructure Engineering and Sustainable Design

You will develop a detailed understanding of the management and design of transport infrastructure in the 21st century, using design standards and working with the environment to deliver cost-effective, safe and sustainable projects. You will review design practice across a spectrum of transport and infrastructure disciplines, including highways, permanent way and service provision.

Sustainable Construction Methods and Materials

You will critically evaluate the principles, methodologies and techniques that are involved in the selection and specification of sustainable construction methods and materials. Considering both the energy in use and the embodied energy of materials, one of the important remits of sustainable construction is to reduce the use of fossil-fuel based energy consumption.

You will study one module such as:

Independent Scholarship

This module will provide you with an opportunity to use and enhance the knowledge and intellectual skills you have gained during the course through an extensive investigation of a proposed postgraduate study topic related to the course material.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on black and white portrait of a young student looking to the sky for inspiration with bokeh lights

Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

Assignments are aligned to real life projects and scenarios, with site visits designed to complement the curriculum content.

You will be assessed mainly through coursework assignments. Exams also occur in one core and two optional modules.

Who will teach you

Derek Spalton
Programme leader

Derek has been lecturing for over 20 years undertaking Design and Supervision of Highway and Drainage Projects in the UK. He has been at the University for 15 years and is the Academic Lead for the Civil Engineering laboratories

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You will require:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)


£875 per 20 credits*

£875 per 20 credits*


£14,700 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


The MSc is your stepping stone into professional roles across a broad spectrum of civil engineering and construction management disciplines.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.