Why study civil engineering


Civil engineering is a useful and interesting degree subject that leads to a range of career paths and the opportunity to positively change the world and society. If you’re considering studying civil engineering, read on for our top reasons why it could be the best decision you’ll ever make.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a field of research that focuses on the built environment, including most of modern civilisation. From bridges, buildings and roads to dams, airports and homes, civil engineers deal with the design, development, maintenance and construction of society’s physical environment. The discipline is broken into multiple sub-fields of study, and civil engineers work in both public and private sectors.

Reasons to study a civil engineering degree

Practical Experience

A degree in civil engineering tends to involve hands-on learning, allowing you to gain real-world, practical engineering experience. Many civil engineering degrees offer you the chance of an industry placement during the course. You’ll pick up a great deal of professional experience and build your business networks.

Postgraduate Opportunities

Once you’ve graduated with your civil engineering degree, you could choose to further hone your skills and specialise in a specific field such as environmental engineering, earthquake engineering, or maritime civil engineering, via a Master’s degree. A postgraduate qualification can allow you to build your networks and deepen your engineering knowledge, leading to increased earnings and the opportunity to enter your career at a higher level.


Civil engineering graduates are highly sought after in many industries. You’ll develop an array of skills while studying for your degree and, depending on your chosen field, you’re likely to find many employment opportunities upon graduation. Civil engineers are involved in many sectors and industries, so you can choose job openings based on your areas of interest. You might, for example, choose to go into quantity surveying, nuclear engineering, or even consultation roles.

Civil engineering is everywhere

Civil engineers improve and protect the environment in which we live – civil engineering is everywhere. As a civil engineer, you’ll plan, design and supervise the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and building structures. We are surrounded by civil engineering in our day-to-day lives and your work will improve society for everyone.

Variety of modules

Civil engineering offers a variety of modules to fit all areas of interest. Some of the most popular include surveying, soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, hydraulic engineering, geology, treatment processes for water and wastewater, and construction materials and practice.

Job satisfaction

As a civil engineer, you’ll be directly involved in the infrastructure that maintains and powers our communities. Many engineering professionals find this deeply rewarding. Some engineers are experts in creating environmentally friendly and sustainable construction. This type of work benefits the environment, both within specific communities and for the world as a whole.

Other engineers may specialise in security and safety. This is a critical part of civil engineering, and in this field, you’ll have the opportunity to engineer structures and buildings to keep the population safe and minimise risk of harm and injury. These are just two examples of rewarding, satisfying fields of civil engineering – there are many, many more. Civil engineers in all sectors also have constant opportunities to interact with others – you’ll have to communicate and collaborate with local businesses and leaders to establish and enhance community projects. Working with others on large projects provides, in itself, a rewarding career.

Transferable skills

Your civil engineering degree will equip you with many skills that will transfer to any kind of profession involving community and development.

Project management is a key skill of civil engineers. Understanding how to run projects effectively, including communication with all contributors to the project, requires balancing a variety of pressures and demands. Project management skills are relevant to many different roles, so even if you choose to deviate from engineering upon graduation, you’ll be in a good position to enter a different profession. Other transferable skills gained on a civil engineering degree include:

  • time management
  • planning
  • communication
  • collaboration
  • information technology

Study civil engineering abroad in Ireland

For students looking to study civil engineering abroad, Ireland is a great choice. The country is ranked in the top 10 for education (IMB World Competitiveness Ranking 2019) and offers students one of the world’s best education systems. Ireland is a friendly, safe country with a rich and historical culture. It also provides a perfect base from which to explore the rest of Europe.

Progress to undergraduate study at University College Dublin with the International Foundation Year in Engineering and Sciences. This programme is perfect for international students wanting to study an innovative undergraduate degree at UCD. You will spend time with other students from around the world and follow subject specific modules, as well as improving your study and English language skills. You’ll also be fully supported by dedicated staff as you settle into your new life in Ireland.

Why study civil engineering at UCD?

As one of the world’s top-ranked universities, University College Dublin is a popular choice for international students who wish to study civil engineering in Ireland.

  • When you complete your International Foundation year and progress to UCD, you can take advantage of the world-class facilities in both the UCD College of Science and College of Engineering & Architecture.

  • Each of the schools that make up the College of Engineering & Architecture are accredited by credible organizations, so you can be sure of the quality of your engineering degree.

  • You will be offered a range of internship opportunities, as well as industry placements for certain disciplines.