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Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
19 September 2023
Application deadline: NON-EEA: before 1 April; EEA: before 1 September

About this program

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

If you want to shape a sustainable world, in planning, designing or constructing the built environment, and change the lives of millions of people for the better, our master in Civil Engineering at VUB is a great start! We offer a broad scientific basis in building material technology, modelling, design and construction of loadbearing structures, geotechnics and project construction management, and incorporate the latest evolutions in emerging fields like digitalisation and sustainability.

Our key objective? To give you an in-depth understanding of the main aspects of analysis and design of all kinds of structures and a solid knowledge of material technology. Several systems are considered: conventionally reinforced or pre-stressed concrete structures, steel structures, as well as structures composed of novel materials like fibre-reinforced composites. An important issue is the optimisation of structures and the material selection, with due consideration of their environmental impact, sustainability and life-cycle cost. Our education is based on cutting-edge research that focuses on the design and analysis of innovative lightweight structures, computational modelling methods, structural health monitoring and environmental geotechnology.

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Admission requirements

  • Academic requirements:

You can enrol directly for this study plan if you have obtained a bachelor's degree in engineering or engineering technology in Flanders. Otherwise your admission decision will depend on the evaluation of a complete application file by our curriculum council.

    • I have or will soon have a bachelor's degree in engineering sciences of at least three years, or consisting of at least 180 ECTS credits or equivalent (such as 130 US credits or semester contact hours)
    • I have an overall degree above average, which in the US grading means level B+ or a GPA of minimum 3.33 out of 4. For conversion to the US grading system check out this page.
    • I have obtained a minimum of 20 ECTS credits or equivalent in mathematics courses, and 15 ECTS or equivalent in other fundamental science courses such as chemistry, physics and mechanics.
    • I have obtained a score above average for the mathematics courses, which means a score of minimum 3.2 out of 4, 15 out of 20 or equivalent B+ level.

  • Language requirements:

Proof of English proficiency is compulsory and can be documented by the following certificates (provided by the institution):

  1. having successfully completed secondary or higher education with English as the sole language of instruction;
  2. having successfully completed Belgian secondary education;
  3. A language test: TOEFL IBT (min. 79), IELTS (min. 6.5), ITACE (min. B2) or Cambridge English (min. scale score 170) are accepted.

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Program content

Compulsory Common Courses

  • Design of Concrete Structures
  • Experimental Techniques for Testing, Non Destructive Techniques and Structural Health Monitoring
  • Design of Steel Structures
  • Multidisciplinary Project in Civil Engineering
  • Prestressed Concrete
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Non-linear Modeling of Materials and Structures
  • Structural Analysis and Finite Elements
  • Dynamics of Structures
  • Surface water hydrology

Project MA Civil Engineering

  • Team Leader Project
  • Development Cooperation Project
  • Research Methods in Civil Engineering

Options MA Civil Engineering

Option Structures

  • Form-finding and Structural Optimisation
  • Advanced Computational Structural Mechanics
  • Robustness of structures and reliability of materials
  • Structural design

Option Construction and Geomaterials

  • Innovation in Construction Materials
  • Geology and engineering geology
  • Mechanics of Geomaterials
  • Rock mechanics and underground constructions

Option Water Resources

  • Groundwater modelling
  • Surface water modelling
  • Urban hydrology and hydraulics

Elective Courses MA Civil Engineering

Electives: Structures

  • Timber and masonry structures - Renovation techniques and construction pathologies
  • Steel Bridge Construction
  • Parametric Design of Transformable Structures

Electives: Construction and Geomaterials

  • Mechanics of Composite Materials

Electives: Water Resources

  • Social, Political, Institutional, Economical and Environmental Aspects of Water Engineering
  • Industrial Techniques for Water Management
  • System Approach to Water Management
  • Land-Climate Dynamics

Electives: Building Physics and Architecture

  • Design Project Competition
  • Energy Performance of Buildings
  • Room Acoustics

Electives: Management, Economics and Law

  • Human Resources Management
  • Business Aspects of Innovation in Materials
  • Architectural Engineering and Construction Project Management
  • Introduction to Business
  • Introduction to Business

Electives: Miscellanea

  • Infrastructure and mobility

Electives: Internships

  • Internship (60 days)
  • Internship (40 days)

Electives: Courses from other options (Structures,Construction,Water Resources)

  • Form-finding and Structural Optimisation
  • Structural design
  • Rock mechanics and underground constructions
  • Advanced Computational Structural Mechanics
  • Robustness of structures and reliability of materials
  • Innovation in Construction Materials
  • Geology and engineering geology
  • Mechanics of Geomaterials
  • Groundwater modelling
  • Surface water modelling
  • Urban hydrology and hydraulics

Master Thesis

  • Master Thesis Civil Engineering


EEA students: 835 Euro per year.

Non-EEA students: 2,782 Euro per year.

Continuing studies

After graduation students can continue their academic careers as a PhD researchers.

Career paths

A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

First step in the job market

The diversity within the civil engineering fields creates a wide choice of careers.

Civil graduates work at all levels of the economy. Some work in small consulting firms, including those specializing in structural, environmental, municipal and geotechnical
engineering, and some work in larger firms which encompass several branches of civil

Others work for the government or have started their own businesses. Graduates in civil engineering can work all over the world, either as consultants with their own companies, as employees of large international companies, or as volunteers in developing countries.

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About this institute

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

VUB is a public and modern university located in Brussels, the heart of Europe. Ranked as one of the world’s top universities, it offers a full range of bachelor’s and master’s programmes taught in English. The University counts over 21,500...

Read more about this school

Why study at Vrije Universiteit Brussel

When moving about in Brussels, you hear a lot of different languages. That’s no coincidence, because the city is a melting pot of cultures. With 35% of the population of foreign origin, you can expect a rich cultural environment. Brussels is home to the EU Institutions and several affiliates, NATO HQ, diplomatic representation offices, headquarters for many international companies, NGOs, trade associations, one of the world’s largest press corps, as well as a whole host of international and European schools.

It goes without saying that Brussels offers unique career opportunities. As the home to more than 2,000 international organisations and companies, it offers a wide range of internship possibilities and future career options. Flagship areas include ICT and communication, life tech, finance and law consulting, communications and media agencies, and creative industries.

VUB Education Delivers Strong Individuals, Critical Minds & World Citizens

Interactive and personal

Being a medium-sized university has its advantages. First of all, it allows frequent personal contact between students, professors and teaching assistants. This is part of a real direct contact culture that is well embedded within the university. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to interact with each other through group assignments within the curriculum and through the various extracurricular activities.

Choice and flexibility

VUB offers a full range of programmes taught in English where the key concept is flexibility. A system of majors and minors enables students to plan and personalise their curriculum in a way that best meets their interests.

Guidance and service

It is important to VUB to help students familiarise themselves with university life and to provide good guidance. Educational counsellors and study advisers provide students with personalised study guidance on a range of topics. The International Relations office provides students with information on university life and facilitates their integration by organising cultural, social and sports activities with student associations. They also provide information on administrative aspects regarding living in Belgium.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels

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