Published: 29 March 2021

A week in the life of a civil engineering undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BEng or MEng civil engineering student at Surrey.

How you'll learn

Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:

* Group work

* Laboratory-based practicals

* Lectures

* Online learning

* Seminars

* Tutorials

Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading.

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The best part of my course are the lecturers who teach us. An educational institution is only as good as the academics who enrich it, and I’ve always felt supported by the lecturers. Modules that initially seemed mundane sparked an interest when taught by academics who are specialists in their fields.”

Ramsha Saleem, Civil Engineering MEng

A typical week in your first year

In your first year, you'll receive approximately 19 contact hours each week.


11am-12pm – Materials and Statics – Lecture

1-2pm – Mathematics – Lecture

2-4pm – Fluid Mechanics and Pipe Hydraulics – Lecture

5-6pm – Mathematics – Lecture


9-11am – Civil Engineering Practice – CAD/Sketching/CP/GIS Workshop

1-2pm – Mathematics – Lecture


9-10am – Materials and Statics – Lecture

10am-12pm – Civil Engineering Practice – Research Skills Workshop (once every semester)

Please note, Wednesday afternoons are left free for sporting and other University society activities.


11am-1pm – Fluid Mechanics and Pipe Hydraulics – Lab Work (twice a semester)

2-3pm – Mathematics – Tutorial

3-4pm – Materials and Statics – Tutorial

4-5pm – Fluid Mechanics and Pipe Hydraulics – Tutorial


9-10am – Mathematics – Lecture

10-11am – Materials and Statics – Lecture

11am-1pm – Civil Engineering Practice – Lecture

Life outside of lectures

We’re a campus university so everything you need is within a five-minute walk, including the Students’ Union building, grocery shopping, wellbeing and support services, the launderette and the medical centre. Students also have access to more than 180 student clubs and societies, with interests ranging from mixed martial arts to mah jong, and poker to politics.

Nearby Surrey Sports Park is a £36m facility, offering state-of-the-art training facilities such as a climbing wall and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Guildford’s picturesque cobbled high street boasts a wide range of retail and catering outlets, plus an excellent range of pubs and a busy nightlife. The town is also only a 35-minute train journey to London.  

Find out more about undergraduate study in our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Disclaimer: The timetable and modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hybrid learning model is under continuous review. See the latest information on all changes.

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