BSc(Hons) (two year part-time top-up)

River and Coastal Engineering

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Two years, part-time
About 16 days intensive residential study each year, plus exams, with distance learning in between.
Programme leader:
Trevor Goodhew BSc MBA C.Eng MICE
Key fact:
Boost your career prospects and earn while you learn on this top-up course for our Foundation Degree. Developed in partnership with the Environment Agency it is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).


Why Study BSc(Hons) River and Coastal Engineering?

Flooding is a natural phenomenon affecting millions worldwide. It ruins homes, destroys farmland and threatens lives. Policy focuses on risk reduction through flood warning and defence systems. With research showing that floods will become more frequent, there is a shortage of professionals who can manage the associated risks.

Why study our course?

Developed in partnership with the Environment Agency as a top-up for our Foundation Degree, this course is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). Learning through a combination of intense residential and distance learning, you will enhance your knowledge of structural design and geotechnics, and how to mitigate risk through environmental assessment and strategic management. This is while developing your skills in hydraulic modelling, flood estimation and engineering design.

Real world experience

Throughout the course, you will apply learning in real-world scenarios and in your workplace. There is also the opportunity to attend field trips and site visits so you can broaden your industry knowledge.

Where it can take you

On graduation, you will fulfil the educational requirements to become an Incorporated Engineer. Full accreditation can be achieved with additional experience and training. Sector careers are varied with opportunities available in local authorities, the Environment Agency, contracting and consulting.

Accreditations and partnerships:



Year 1

  • Mathematics and Engineering Principles
  • Surveying, GIS, Drawing and CAD
  • River and Coastal Science for Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering Field Study
  • Engineering and Environmental Materials

Year 2

  • Structural Design and Soil Mechanics
  • Project Management, Health and Safety Risk Management
  • Environmental Hydraulics and Design
  • Hydrological Modelling and Flood Estimation

You can choose from one of the following:

  • Coastal Management Design Project
  • Natural River Channel Design Project

Year 3

  • Design Project 3
  • Flood Risk Science and Management
  • Structural Analysis and Geotechnics
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Flood Risk Management, Sustainability and Governance

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course is taught through a blend of learning activities which include; lectures, field visits, laboratory classes and workplace applications. All students are encouraged to learn and study independently.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

There are two important elements to the course:

  • online learning
  • residential blocks of study time (about 16 days per academic year, plus attendance for exams/assessment).

It will be hard work, you will be doing your workplace job, attending block weeks at UWE and completing assignments via distance learning using Blackboard (UWE's Virtual Learning Environment).

One of the most important aspects of the course is self study, and you will need to devote some of your own time to this. Distance and e- learning materials will be supplied by UWE, with tutor support as required.

You will also attend about 16 days per year of residential study at UWE in Bristol, plus examinations and assessment. These days will entail intensive periods of study, recapping on work that has already been completed, exploring new material and taking part in laboratory and fieldwork. It's also a chance for you to get extra support if you need it.


Students are assessed through laboratory experimental practicals and reports, group work, field exercises and presentations, essays, oral presentations and examinations under controlled conditions.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This degree is accredited by:

  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers
  • The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
  • Institute of Highway Engineers
  • The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

This degree is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).

Please see the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) website for further information.

Study facilities

Study is via distance learning, intensive residentials, and work-based learning. During residentials you will use our well-equipped facilities, including our physical geography laboratories. You will:

  • Research and submit assignments using UWE Bristol's online portal with industry journals, software, resources and virtual learning portal.
  • Run hydrological models and map flood risk using GIS.
  • Analyse structure and geotechnics using computational modelling.
  • Design structures using industry standard CAD.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn new ideas

Hear about cutting edge research from UWE Bristol's Centre for Floods Communities and Resilience. The Centre arranges industry-focused conferences and looks at the diverse and broad range of interdisciplinary issues involved in developing resilient communities.

Showcase your work

Our students regularly showcase work at UWE Bristol's Enviornment and Technology Degree Show.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will fulfil the educational requirements to become an Incorporated Engineer. Full accreditation can be achieved with additional experience and training.

Careers are varied with opportunities available working in local authorities, the Environment Agency, contracting or consulting jobs.

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Prospects - Careers in Environmental Management

Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)


Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing. For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.

The honours degree is 360 credits in total. Part-time students generally study between 60 (15 credits x 4) and 90 (15 credits x 6) each year and will pay annually for credits taken in that year. As a part-time UK or EU student you may be entitled to a fees loan from the Government.

Find more information on our part time UK students funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 300
  • Specific subjects: FdSc River and Coastal Engineering

Entry requirements

Successful completion of the FdSc River and Coastal Engineering

Students with disabilities

We welcome applications from people with disabilities and we encourage applicants to disclose any disabilities or support needs in their application form, so that we can offer information, advice and support.

There is a Disability Service at UWE Bristol and a Disability Support Co-ordinator in the Department.

The following list outlines some of the types of activities that the course normally involves. We are committed to supporting students with disabilities, and wherever possible, we will make reasonable adjustments to these activities to enable students with disabilities to successfully complete the course:

  • Use a computer
  • Read and produce drawings, plans and maps
  • Visually inspect buildings and locations, including physical movement around and through buildings and locations
  • Visually inspect construction sites, including physical movement around and through construction sites
  • Measure distances and sizes of buildings, materials or sites
  • Team working and negotiation
  • Laboratory work involving observations and physical manipulation
  • Take part in discussions and presentations

How to apply

After the closing date at the end of June, the Environment Agency will consider funding for all applicants.

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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