Study overview Bachelor Civil Engineering

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Its mix of disciplines makes this bachelor's programme at the University of Twente a challenging programme that prepares you to become an all-round civil engineer.

As in any Civil Engineering programme, you, of course, learn things like how to calculate constructions. But here you also learn to map out the consequences of a project like that for people, companies or nature in the area. You get familiar with innovative construction or water management techniques, while also learning to identify circular and resilient solutions. You spend three years immersing yourself in mathematics, physics, mechanics, fluid dynamics and design subjects, but also in process management, communications and aspects such as environmental effects and management. 

As a civil engineer from Twente, it is highly likely that your career not just revolves around construction and technology, but that you have a more interdisciplinary role, for example, as a project leader, as a manager or in Research & Development. 

Modules Civil Engineering

During this three-year Bachelor's in Civil Engineering, you will follow twelve modules: four modules per year. Each module covers a theme and brings together all the main aspects of your studies: theory and practice, research and solution design, self-study and teamwork.

Overview modules

  • Year 1EC
    • Module 1 | Intro to civil engineering15

      The first module in the programme is an introduction to the basics of civil engineering. You immediately set to work with subjects such as structural mechanics, construction materials and mathematics.

      By the end of this module you will have:
      - More insight into the complexity and diversity of the various civil engineering disciplines;
      - Knowledge to compare the properties of building materials and to analyse the results of concrete samples;
      - Understanding of design methods and requirements, and knowledge about the role of safety, usability and sustainability.

      You will apply all this in a team project in which you further develop your project management and teamwork skills.

    • Module 2 | Water management15

      This module is about the physical and policy-related aspects of water management. You will learn more about natural water systems, the changes that take place in them and the effects of human intervention. As well as the mathematical and technical aspects, you will explore societal aspects and the many conflicting interests that come into play with water management.

      After this module you can:
      - Simulate and describe the behaviour of water systems, currents and water quality with mathematical models;
      - Set up, implement and analyse a simulation model in the field of water management, on which you base recommendations;
      - Analyse meteorological and climate data;
      - Perform a problem analysis of a water management problem based on different scenarios. 

      This module’s team project is about developing a proposal for managing a dam in the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, taking into account the many interests at stake.

    • Module 3 | Traffic & Transport15

      During this module, you will delve into the basic theory of traffic engineering. Which developments play a role in traffic and transport management? From which perspectives and interests can you approach it?

      You will become competent in:
      - Implementing and evaluating the macroscopic traffic model;
      - Analysing, interpreting and evaluating traffic flow, observations and model results;
      - Advising a municipality on the best solution for a specific traffic problem with a focus on reducing COemissions.

      In your team project, you and your fellow students will work on designing, developing and presenting your proposal.

    • Module 4 | Designing construction15

      This module covers just about everything related to designing buildings. This includes managing, organizing and financing a project, the principles of system engineering and circularity.

      During this module:
      - You will learn how the principles of circularity can be applied to the whole cycle of buildings and infrastructure (from the first initiative to demolition);
      - You will develop essential knowledge of the supporting structures of buildings, for example, strength calculations, stiffness, stability and distribution of forces.

      In the team project, you will work on designing a parking garage near the UT. You will analyse the construction system and calculate and evaluate the indicators for aspects such as foundations, ventilation and retaining walls.

  • Year 2EC
    • Module 5 | Safety & Risks in deltas15

      The second year starts with a module on safety and risks in flood areas. What are relevant mechanisms, techniques and strategies?

      After this module you will have:
      - Gained valuable knowledge at the conceptual, technical and policy level of the opportunities and effects of extreme events;
      - Knowledge about flood safety, drought problems and extreme events related to water processes;
      - The skills needed to design and implement mathematical simulation models that are linked to infrastructure and flood risks;
      - Learned how to determine future risks by combining statistics, fluid mechanics and soil mechanics.

      With your project group, you will analyse the water security of a dyked area in the Netherlands.

    • Module 6 | Sustainable civil engineering15

      This module handles the technical, ecological, economic and social aspects of civil engineering.

      In this module you learn how to:
      - Evaluate the environmental impact and life cycle of building materials and decide which solutions contribute most to a sustainable infrastructure;
      - Integrate sustainability into a single solution that integrates efficient use of raw materials, environmental impact and energy flows;
      - Evaluate different sustainability scenarios and apply qualitative multi-criteria analysis methods.

      Together with your project group, you will present for example a design for a self-sufficient business park and houses on that site. The design will centre on sustainability.

    • Module 7 | Area development15

      During module 7 you immerse yourself in analysing and evaluating the diverse aspects that come into play in urban planning. Which spatial and economic developments play a role? In the team project, you will develop a vision for a Twente region based on spatial analysis and a multidisciplinary approach. You and your team will make a 3D visualization of the urban development with the help of SketchUp, and draw up a policy assessment. Finally, you and your team will present your analyses, evaluation and vision in a clear, accessible report.

    • Module 8 | Simulation & Stochastic Modelling in Civil Engineering15

      The last module of the second year focuses on simulating and predicting traffic flow and transport processes. You will model and analyse complex problems with a large uncertainty factor, for example, road development, determining the delay at a traffic light, or the number of required operating rooms in a hospital.

      At the end of this module you will:
      - Understand the dynamic of traffic flow and the relationship between all the variables that influence it;
      - Know what the right tool is to tackle a problem, convert it into the appropriate conceptual model and then link the result with reality;
      - Be able to design, execute, analyse and interpret simulation experiments.

  • Year 3EC
    • Modules 9&10 | Electives30

      The first semester of the third year (30 ECs) consists of elective space, in which you can choose various options. We also encourage our students to spend this time abroad. Here are some options:

      In-depth elective modules: deepen you knowledge in areas such as Smart Cities or Flood Defences;

      Separate elective modules: broaden your knowledge with modules from other Bachelor’s, such as Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration or Applied Mathematics;

      Study abroad: an invaluable adventure and we definitely recommend it! You will learn to approach issues from a different culture and develop the flexibility to work in various teams and circumstances. These are all skills that come in handy later on.

      Is it your ambition to teach? Choose the minor Learn to Teach and get a second-degree teaching qualification. This allows you to work as a teacher at high-school level.

    • Module 11 | Preparation graduation15

      Module 11, Preparation BSc Thesis Civil Engineering, is a compulsory module designed to help you prepare for graduation. During this phase one of the things you do is choose the subject for your thesis.

    • module 12 | Bachelor's assignment15

      You will finish off the last half-year of the three-year Civil Engineering Bachelor's with your thesis project. During the assignment, you get to prove that you have sufficient knowledge and that you can systematically work and report. Our programme is unique in that we require you to carry out your Bachelor's thesis project at a civil engineering organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. This is a great way of discovering the important link between the knowledge and skills you have learned and their practical application. You will receive your Bachelor's diploma after completing this project. With this degree, you may use the title Bachelor of Science and you are qualified to enter one of our Master's. You can also choose to study elsewhere or go straight into the job market.

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First time at university

When you are a first-year student, you experience many new things. Here we start explaining at least a few of them.

  • You complete modules

    During your three-year bachelor's programme, you will take 12 modules (4 modules per year). Each module, you will address a theme that is hot in society, business or industry. This theme will bring together all the components of your study: theory and practice, research, designing solutions, self-study and teamwork.

    A fixed part of every module is the team project, in which you and your teammates apply the knowledge you have acquired to a current challenge and design a workable solution. This learning method is part of the Twente Education Model (TOM): an innovative approach to studying that you will only find at the University of Twente.

  • Study points - how do they work?

    Student workload at Dutch universities is expressed in EC, also named ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), which is widely used throughout the European Union. In the Netherlands, each credit represents 28 hours of work. You need to acquire 60 credits each year.

    You will receive credits for every study unit you pass. Your programme assigns fixed numbers of hours to each assignment, project report or exam. In the first year, you need to get at least 45 out of 60 points and pass at least four out of the seven technical courses to be able to continue to the second year.

  • Did you get 45 EC or more and meet the additional programme specific requirements? Then you can enter the second year

    Our goal is to get you to the right place as quickly as possible, which is why we apply the principle of a binding recommendation. All first-year students receive this at the end of the year. You will receive positive advice if you have achieved 45 or more of the 60 EC in the first year and when you have met the programme specific requirements. In Civil Engineering, in addition to 45 EC, you also need to have completed four of the seven technical courses in the first year to receive a positive advice. Negative advice is binding and means that you have to quit the course.

    Under certain circumstances, despite a too low score, we can still give you a positive recommendation, for example, if we have sufficient confidence that you are in the right place. Do personal circumstances such as illness or problems interfere with your study performance? Your study advisor will help you further.

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