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Civil, structural, and environmental engineering

  • Course Type: Undergraduate
  • CAO Course Code: TR032
  • No. of Places: 175
  • Min Entry Points for 2014: 455* points
  • Duration: 5 Year(s) Full Time
  • Award: B.A.I., M.A.I. Optional: B.A.I. only
  • Specific Entry Requirements: See requirements
  • Course Options:

    Students who wish to study Civil, structural and environmental engineering apply to the Engineering degree (TR032). The first two years are common to all Engineering students and at the end of the second-year students select Civil, structural and environmental engineering as their specialist area.

    See TR032: Engineering (common entry programme) for details of the Freshman (first two) years.

  • How to apply: See how to apply

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

What is Civil, structural and environmental engineering?

Civil, structural and environmental engineering is a very diverse and broad discipline. It offers graduates the chance to work in many different areas, including designing transport systems, looking after the environment, designing foundations for homes and buildings and designing many kinds of structures. Therefore, civil engineers are involved in every aspect of our lives. The skills needed to be a good civil engineer are a mathematical mind, a logical approach and good problem-solving abilities. In addition to these skills a civil engineer needs to be imaginative and inquisitive.

Environmental engineering

Environmental engineers design the systems that provide us with water for all purposes, manage our waste and deal with pollution In air, land or water. Environmental engineers also design ways of producing power from renewable resources and ensure that development happens in a sustainable way.

Structural engineering

Structural engineering is a branch of engineering that might involve designing a tower, a building, a bridge, a stadium or a mooring system for an offshore structure. Structural engineers have to ensure that a building is safe for the area that it is built in and for the purpose for which it is intended. It must also be economical and have a minimum impact on the environment.


The planning and monitoring of our various transport systems, from cycling to high-speed railways, all come under the brief of the transport engineer. Not only does traffic have to be controlled; understanding the decisions that travellers make enables the engineer to influence users to make better choices for the environment and for each other.

What will you study?

Junior Sophister (third year) modules include:

  • Structures: the design and construction of all types of structures.
  • Surveying: the science of taking measurements to determine or establish the relative position of points above, on, or beneath the surface of the earth.
  • Geotechnics: the study of the properties and behaviour of the soil.
  • Transportation: the study of the design and maintenance of sustainable transport systems.
  • Materials: the study of the properties and behaviour of the materials used in civil engineering.
  • Hydraulics: the study of water movement through the ground and flow in rivers, channels and pipes.
  • Geology: the study of the rocks and their use in engineering.
  • Highway engineering: the design of road infrastructure.
  • Computer-aided design: the use of computers to create designs.
  • Group design project: in the past, students have designed a stadium, a cathedral and an opera house.

A significant amount of teaching takes place in the laboratory, and the course involves a lot of project work. Students undertake site visits to civil engineering works and areas of geological interest nationally and there is also a one-week technical visit to an international location. Recent trips have included visits to Paris and Barcelona.

In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year you will take nine core civil engineering modules:

  • Management for engineers
  • Environmental engineering 1: water quality characteristics, natural processes, process design concepts, wastewater treatment, air pollution.
  • Hydraulics: flow of water in circular and non-circular conduits, pipe network analysis, pump characteristics.
  • Geotechnical engineering 1: soil strength and its determination, slope stability, bearing capacity, earth pressures and retaining walls.
  • Structures 1: reinforced concrete design, structural steel: introduction to plastic theory, limit state design, rigid, semi-rigid and simple design.
  • Transportation engineering: transportation engineering, modelling and systems.
  • Materials: origin, decay, preservation of stone, mortar and block; clay and cementitious brick.
  • Hydrogeology and engineering geology: groundwater flow; hydrogeological investigations; rock mechanics, including slope and tunnel stability
  • Advanced theory and design of structures: reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete, nonlinear analysis of structures and design of tall buildings.

The Senior Sophister (fourth) year project will be a small group project working on a major infrastructure design with some individual design element to it. There is also the opportunity to undertake a joint project with an industry partner for a semester.

The optional fifth year will allow students to study toward the Master’s degree qualification with a more advanced level of treatment of the topics listed above. There may also be the opportunity to undertake a placement in industry or with a research group or to participate in the Unitech or Cluster programmes in your penultimate year.

Fifth year modules include;

  • Research methods (compulsory).
  • Renewable energy 1 - World energy resources and trends, renewable energy overview, energy conservation, energy from biomass, geothermal and solar energy.
  • Environmental monitoring and assessment - source-pathway-target concepts; legal, political and sociological aspects; ecology; physical, chemical and biological concepts, risk analysis: EIA/EIS.
  • Environmental processes and technology - sustainable water and sanitation, air quality and pollution, dispersion, diffusion and fire engineering.
  • Geotechnical engineering - basic geotechnical principles and processes, ground investigation, laboratory and field testing, design correlations, compaction technology, piling and compaction.
  • Transportation engineering - an introduction to transportation engineering.
  • Transport modelling - different approaches to modelling transportation networks.
  • Advanced structural analysis - programming the finite element method, finite difference method and time-stepping dynamic analysis, plus introduction to variational calculus.
  • Advanced concrete technology - practical use of concrete; properties; new materials, GRP and fibres, processes.
  • Unified theory of structures - mathematical theory of optimisation, structural analysis, structural optimisation.
  • Renewable energy 2 - wind energy (resources, micrositing, turbine design, aerodynamics, controls, wind turbine economics, lifecycle cost, grid integration and transmission)/wave energy/tidal energy/hydroelectric.
  • Modelling of civil engineering systems - analysis of large-scale-real-world civil and environmental engineering systems with special emphasis on quantitative tools.
  • Water quality and hydrological modelling - aquifer testing, groundwater flow modelling, surface hydrological modelling, wastewater treatment, river and lake quantity models.
  • Waste and environmental management - solid waste, landfill hydrology, thermal treatment: incineration, pyrolysis, gasification. Contaminated land and groundwater: investigation and remediation; risk analysis.
  • Highway engineering - road materials, geometric design, highway pavement design, highway economics.
  • Applied transportation analysis - a course on the background and concepts of intelligent transport systems and its applications at national and international level.
  • Wind and earthquake engineering - a course in linear and non-linear dynamics with a particular emphasis on earthquakes (Eurocode 8).
  • Soil structure interaction - allowable movements for buildings, beams on elastic foundations, earth pressures, pile groups, tunnelling, soil reinforcement.
  • Concrete durability and sustainability – materials, durability, sustainability, case studies.

The fifth year project will be an individual research project.

Study abroad

In their fourth year, students get the chance to study in Europe as part of the Erasmus, Cluster or Unitech programmes.

Career opportunities

In addition to working in the traditional areas of engineering such as construction, design and transport management, civil engineers are often employed in the banking industry, in law firms and in business areas. The numerical and problem-solving skills and expertise that civil engineers have are broad based and make them very attractive employees to many different industries.

Further information

Tel: + 353 1 896 1457



Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateHC3 Mathematics
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C Mathematics