Undergraduate study

Internationally recognised teaching

Civil and Natural Resources Engineering is the highest-ranked Engineering department at the University of Canterbury. It is ranked in the top 100 in the world according to QS World University Rankings.   

Students typically have job offers before they graduate and a BE(Hons) in Civil or Natural Resources opens doors to career opportunities around the globe.

Degree pathway

All Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degrees start with the Intermediate Year followed by three years of study called the Professional Years.

Our degrees covers a broad range of disciplines that cover the vital aspects of modern life from the provision of safe drinking water, the development of efficient transportation systems to creating infrastructure with the ability to withstand powerful forces from earthquakes, wind and waves. The diverse range of subjects offered by our degrees provides the freedom to shape and define careers.

Our two programmes, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Civil and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Natural Resources share a common core which provides training across six diverse disciplines:

  • Structural Engineering
  • Water Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Environmental and Ecological Engineering
  • Engineering Management

In the final years of the degree the two degrees diverge to provide distinct strengths. Our students have the flexibility to construct their study plans to draw on the common strengths or alternatively the unique characteristics of the two degrees, with 75-90 per cent overlap possible between the two programmes.

See the overview for the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree and then the programme structure for each discipline below. We also produce an annual  with course advice.

The College of Engineering offers a Diploma in Humanitarian Engineering that runs in parallel with the three professional years with the BE(Hons).

First Professional Year courses

ENCN 201 Communication Skills Portfolio 1 is a programme requirement.

Students are required to attend the First Professional Camp. Field and plotting work at the camp form part of the examination for ENCN 261 Transport and Surveying. In 2017 there are two occurrences, April 9-14 or April 23-28. Students must attend one. Check your handbook or with the administrator for details. The cost is included in your fees.

Second Professional Year

The second professional year of study includes mathematics, fluid mechanics, design and management with a strong focus on structures and geomechanics.

ENCN 301 Communication Skills Portfolio 2 is required for all students. Students must enrol and pass ENCN 301 prior to taking ENCN 493 and ENCN 470 in Third Professional Year.

The courses listed below are compulsory. Please check the handbook or calendar for all details including any approval requirements or pre- and co-requisite courses. If you have questions or problems please contact the 2nd Pro Co-ordinator, Jennifer Haskell.

Third Professional Year

This year offers much more flexibility and includes both compulsory and elective courses. There are two compulsory courses, ENCN 493 Project (whole year) and ENCN 470 Professional Engineering Development (Semester 2).

In addition to ENCN 493 and ENCN 470, students take a total of five courses listed below. With approval of the department, students can substitute one listed course with another course at 400-level in a different department or with a 600-level course.

First Professional Year courses

ENCN 201 Communication Skills Portfolio 1 is a programme requirement.  

Students are required to attend the First Professional Camp. Field and plotting work at the vamp form part of the examination for ENCN 261 Transport and Surveying.

Second Professional Year

The second professional year of study still retains some commonality between the two degree programmes. Common areas include mathematics, fluid mechanics, design, environmental engineering and infrastructure management.

ENCN 301 Communication Skills Portfolio 2 is required for all students. Students must enrol and pass ENCN 301 prior to taking ENCN 493 and ENCN 470 in third year.

Third Professional Year

This year offers much more flexibility and includes both compulsory and elective courses. There are two compulsory courses, ENCN 493 Project (whole year) and ENCN 470 Professional Engineering Development (Semester 2).

In addition to ENCN 493 and ENCN 470, students take a total of five courses from the list below. With approval of the department, students can substitute one listed course with another course at 400-level in a different department or with a 600-level course.

If you'd like to add a humanitarian focus to your degree and learn some practical humanitarian engineering skills then you can add a Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering to your Bachelor of Engineering and get an extra qualification without adding any extra time to your degree. 

There is a strong focus on practical work experience and 800 hours of practical work is a degree requirement. See the College of Engineering website for more information about our practical work approach and links with industry. Contact our practical work coordinator for enquiries.

For all enquiries please contact the undergraduate administrator.