Introduction to the curriculum
The master Civil Engineering is a two year MSc programme. The first part of year one is fixed and identical for all students. This compulsory part consists of the faculty base module (12 EC) and the programme base module (9 EC). After this compulsory part, you will choose one of the six master tracks (15 EC), that offer you more specialised knowledge in a particular field.
The second year offers even more flexibility and freedom of choice than the first year, providing possibilities to study abroad, do an internship or a multi- or interdisciplinary project in the Netherlands or abroad, follow an in-depth module and a cross-over module to eventually make a well-informed choice for a research topic for the thesis.
Faculty Wide Module (MUDE)
The first year of the MSc Civil Engineering starts with the faculty wide module on Modelling, Uncertainty and Data analysis for Engineers (MUDE), that is compulsory for all Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Applied Earth Sciences master students.
This module comprises two interlinked parts. The Theory, Application and Coding part focuses on the fundamental concepts on (1) modelling and simulation; (2) uncertainty quantification and risk analysis; (3) monitoring, sensing and data science. This part also includes workshops on coding skills. In the Project part students work on examples and applications at the interface areas where the various topics overlap, creating opportunities for more integrated applications in the broad field of civil engineering and geosciences.
Parallel to this faculty wide module, the first semester includes a module specifically for all Civil Engineering students, focusing on advanced mechanics and interdisciplinary perspectives. It provides a solid basis for all six tracks of the programme, each of which offers a balanced combination of in-depth and broadly oriented knowledge and skills.
The MUDE and the Programme Base module are compulsory for all Civil Engineering students. Specialisation within this field is acquired by choosing one of the six tracks included in the programme:
In the Construction Materials track, you are trained to choose, develop, and manufacture construction materials for application in structural components and civil structures, with the goal of creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment. Examples are the 3d printing of concrete, recycling of concrete, or even to recycle parts of complete structures.
You learn how to understand and optimize the material behaviour through advanced experimental and computational techniques. Close attention is given to the interface properties between different materials in composite systems, that govern the fracture process, and new construction methods, that can yield new structural applications for materials. Finally, we provide you with valuable laboratory experience, with material testing both in nano and macro-scale.
In this track we focus on:
➨ The technical performance of materials under variable environmental conditions.
➨ The degradation mechanisms.
➨ The effect of ageing in durability and the sustainability aspects.
How do you limit the damage to existing buildings when you are drilling a tunnel under the City of Amsterdam? How will the construction of a dam and water reservoir affect the stability of the adjacent mountainside slopes? How can you construct a highway on saturated ground, while ensuring that it will not require a lot of maintenance due to subsidence shortly after completion? Within the track Geotechnical Engineering, you will learn how to meet such challenges.
This master track is all about developing engineering solutions for building on, in and with soil. As a student, you will focus on the challenges of the interaction of geotechnical structures with the natural and societal environment. You will learn to select and apply numerical models for simulating and predicting the response of geotechnical structures to mechanical and environmental loads. Structures like foundations, dikes, embankments, deep excavations and tunnels are some of the focus points of this educational line.
What if deltas were not protected against flooding? What if beaches no longer existed for recreation, and rivers and coastal seas lost their incredible value for nature? What if major ports like Shanghai and Rotterdam could not expand through land reclamation? Can we imagine a world without hydraulic engineering?
In the master track Hydraulic Engineering you will learn to develop engineering solutions for complex problems in water systems, like rivers, estuaries, coasts, seas and oceans. You learn how to model, design and analyse water systems that provide flood protection, navigation, ecology, freshwater supply, water quality and port operability to society. You are taught how to predict the impact of natural and anthropogenic changes on the water systems and how to account for the uncertainties that these changes create. You will gain knowledge about the physics of waves, flow and sediment transport processes and flood risk analysis and learn how to design and assess the interventions in water systems from the consequences’ standpoint. You will do so in the context of climate change, economic growth, rapid urbanisation and increasing environmental awareness.
➨ Assess the response of rivers, coasts, and estuaries to natural and anthropogenic change.
➨ Solve problems in these systems by effective engineering design.
➨ Perform (flood) risk analyses, deal with uncertainty and evaluate the reliability and safety of hydraulic structures.
➨ Use and develop state of the art technologies for laboratory experiments, field measurements and remotely-sensed data.
➨ Work closely with industry, research institutes and government.
Picture a world powered by renewable energy from wind turbines at sea. Imagine a high-speed shuttle connection between London and New York in a submerged tunnel, and new cities floating on the ocean, while important world heritage, such as the cities of Venice and Amsterdam, is protected against the ever-present danger of the surrounding water. Envisage the 21st century.
As a hydraulic and offshore structures engineer, you face some of the most complicated civil engineering challenges. You are indispensable in turning the energy transition into a success, whereas you develop the solutions for our society to adjust to the untenable consequences of climate change. During your master, you are trained to become an expert in designing solutions that require a thorough understanding of structural, hydraulic and soil mechanics. After your graduation, you are a high-level professional, skilled in performing in complex multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environments. You know how to deal with risks and uncertainties and how to find economically sound technological solutions in a context rendered by a wide variety of interests and ethical values.
➨ Create civil engineering solutions in hydro-dynamic environments.
➨ Ensure the structural reliability and sustainability of these solutions.
➨ Assess the solutions against the full life-cycle requirements.
➨ Define the gaps in existing knowledge and design models and experiments that contribute to advancing the field.
➨ Operate in close collaboration with the industry, research institutes, governments and NGOs.
Structures such as bridges, high-rises, tunnels and storm surge barriers clearly may not collapse or fall over. They may not deflect too much or vibrate annoyingly. Moreover, often they need to last for more than 100 years without much maintenance. In this track you will learn to calculate which deflections we can expect, whether a structure will buckle, whether its strength will be sufficient, et cetera.
Essential to this are physical models of structures, of materials and of loading. You will learn to formulate these models, to test them and to apply them. Simple models are used for hand calculations to quickly make decisions in meetings with owners, architects, contractors and local governments. Complicated models are used for computer simulations to accurately determine whether a structure will comply with the design specifications. Examples are the stresses that will occur in a concrete dam of an artificial lake or the damage that will occur in a high-rise due to a strong earthquake.
➨ You will learn about the mechanics, dynamics, design and construction of a broad range of civil engineering structures.
➨ The track is focused on providing technical knowledge and skills about how to design, construct, monitor, maintain and assess the health and remaining service life of engineering structures and infrastructural components.
➨ You learn to apply the acquired knowledge of structural mechanics in the context of sustainability by using innovative materials and systems, contributing to solutions regarding climate change, populations growth, ageing of infrastructure and resources depletion.
In densely populated countries such as the Netherlands, hundreds of kilometers of traffic gridlock, air pollution, traffic accidents and delayed public transport are all part of the daily fare. The track Traffic and Transport Engineering trains you to play a central role in resolving such problems.
In this track you will learn to develop innovative engineering solutions to resolve traffic and transport related societal challenges, such as traffic congestion, air pollution, aging infrastructure, traffic accidents and delayed public transport, while anticipating and considering emerging societal trends, such as urbanisation, sustainability, critical infrastructure networks, frequent changes in transport demand, automation and connectivity, advances in ICT and flexible transport systems and services. At the same time you will develop a strong engineering profile to ensure safe and effective transportation of people and goods. A characteristic of the topics on which traffic and transport engineers work, is that these are often in the news and are high on the political agenda.
➨ Planning, design, operation, assessment and management of roads, railways, transport systems and their related networks.
➨ Develop engineering solutions to transportation-related problems by associating human behaviour with traffic and transport management, network performance and road and rail infrastructure quality.
➨ TU Delft is world leading university in the area of Transportation Science and Technology and holds a 6th position in the Global Shanghai Ranking by academic subjects in 2021.
In the second year, the MSc Civil Engineering Programme gives you the flexibility to define your own study programme based on your interests.
In Q5 and Q6 you can choose Electives (15 ECTS) and Cross-over modules (10 ECTS) that have a strong focus on interdisciplinary work. You can also opt for a Joint Interdisciplinary Project, an internship, a multidisciplinary project. a project in collaboration with other faculties or field work in Q5.
You will start your preparation for the thesis graduation project in Q6, which counts for 5 ECTS. This preparation phase includes the setup proposal, the literature study, and the research plan. The research, design and analysis phase of the thesis work is covered in Q7 and Q8, with a total weight of 30 ECTS.