Master's degree in Civil Engineering

Study Programme Course LM-23

The Master’s degree in Civil Engineering at Niccolò Cusano University allows students to acquire a complete preparation in the physical-mathematical field, necessary for civil engineering applications. The degree is available online and, through additional services, on campus.

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Master’s degree in Engineering - programme overview
The Master's degree in Civil Engineering carries out a training course, following a solid physics-mathematical base preparation completed in the Master's degree. The course provides an in-depth study of crucial mathematical tools for civil engineering applications. Students will also acquire knowledge and professional skills in all the disciplines characterising Civil Engineering, and in particular in:

  1. the design, execution, management and control of civil works of construction, infrastructures, hydraulic works, geotechnical works;
  2. surveying in local and urban areas;
  3. evaluation and planning for safeguarding against seismic risk;
  4. the design of sustainable structures through the use of materials with reduced environmental impact, the energy efficiency of the building envelope, the application of qualitative and quantitative assessment techniques of the sustainability of a work during its life cycle.

The course in Civil Engineering gives ample space to autonomous activities that students can carry out. These activities consist of exercises, laboratories on drafting design documents or on in-depth analysis on specific topics. The assignments aim to develop students’ ability to operate in the field of design, realisation, management and control of highly complex projects.

Online degree
The online Master's degree in Engineering is designed for those who are unable to attend a traditional education programme due to distance or professional commitments. Through the Unicusano online degree, classes will mold with your schedule. Lectures and assignments can be watched and completed at whatever time is most convenient to the students and exams can be taken at the nearest local exam centre. Thanks to the quality of our teaching and the broad number of authorised exams centres spread across Italy, Unicusano is today the best choice for those students willing to earn an online degree in Engineering.

Job profiles
MA Graduates in Civil Engineering can be in charge of designing structures of high complexity. The tasks range from the design of structures to the definition of their details. In particular, the future engineer :

  • brings the real structure back to models according to calculation schemes to determine the stresses;
  • carries out load analysis according to current regulations and evaluates the stresses;
  • designs and verifies the structural elements;
  • takes care of the full graphic drawings of the construction details and draws up the calculation reports;
  • chooses the most suitable materials and technology for the specific structural application;
  • uses sophisticated calculation software to conduct linear, non-linear and dynamic analysis of the structures;
  • plans building consolidations, also with the use of innovative materials;
  • verifies the safety of existing structures in relation to static, dynamic and seismic loads according to technical standard requirements;
  • elaborates and realises adequate geotechnical models for the examination of the soil response and its interaction with the structures;
  • deals autonomously with problems related to the design of the main support works;
  • develops, in collaboration with other technicians of the sector, new products and building construction systems, aware of the required performances;
  • designs the different types of transport networks in relation to the characteristics of the demand, the transport offer, their interaction and the technological aspects related to the design;
  • designs and manages water supply networks for water resources.

Acquired competences:
Specific knowledge, skills and specialised skills in the field of structural mechanics are required to perform the functions of the Master's degree in Civil Engineering. In particular, the engineer:

  • knows the principles and applications of Building Science in specific areas such as, regular or prestressed concrete structures, steel structures, masonry structures, wood/wooden structures, etc.;
  • knows building material available performances and their usage rules;
  • has a clear and comprehensive view of the technical standards ruling the design and verification of structures;
  • has interdisciplinary skills involving geotechnics, in relation to the interaction between the soil and the foundation systems;
  • possesses the theoretical tools to understand the potential and the limits of commercial calculation tools, in order to use them consciously;
  • has a specific competence in the field of the design of structures in seismic areas;
  • knows the functional requirements of the structural elements and is able to develop new construction systems. Engineers know the methodologies for the simulation of individual and collective road transport systems, railways, nautical and air transport systems;
  • Can optimise the performance of transport networks, respecting budget constraints;
  • knows how to manage and maintain water networks, respecting the performance requirements.

Self-learning and continuous updating skills, adequate transversal communicative, organisational, management and planning skills are required to be used within the organisational and work modalities adopted and with the main interlocutors (colleagues, other professionals and public and / or private clients).

Career opportunities
MA Graduates in Civil Engineering can be employed as:

  • employees of public bodies and administrations, as specialised technicians at the Technical Offices of Local Authorities (Municipalities, Provinces, Region, Consortiums for the management of water networks) or National (Ministry of Infrastructures, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Cultural Heritage , ANAS SpA, Soc. Autostrade, Ferrovie dello Stato, etc.); in particular, they deal with the management and control of civil construction and infrastructure works. They can work as specialised technician in institutions responsible for the reduction and control of risks related to civil works (Civil Defense, Fire Brigade, etc.);
  • employees in construction companies or companies that produce materials or building components. At the construction companies it plays a technical role, where it follows the final design of the buildings, the management of construction sites for public and private buildings with particular reference to structural problems. At companies manufacturing construction materials, building components or structural consolidation systems deals with product development, production control and quality;
  • freelancers: only after passing the State Examination in accordance with current legislation. The engineers can then enroll in Section A of the professional register and practice as engineer. They will therefore have the qualification necessary to sign projects of civil works, even of high complexity, both on their own and in collaboration with other professionals. They will also be able to follow the construction of civil construction works, infrastructures, geotechnical works, carrying out the role of construction manager.

The Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering prepares students to the following careers (ISTAT DATA):

  1. Construction and environmental engineers - (2.2.1.6.1);
  2. Researchers and technicians graduated in civil engineering and architecture sciences - (2.6.2.3.1).

Entry requirements
To be admitted to the Master's degree in Civil Engineering LM-23 you must hold a first level degree (BA) in  L-7 Civil and Environmental Engineering class or another foreign qualification recognised as eligible by the degree programme board, provided they hold of the following curricular requirements:

  • at least 24 credits in the SSD MAT / 03, MAT / 05, MAT06;
  • at least 9 credits in the FIS / 01 SSD;
  • at least 6 credits in the ICAR / 01 SSD;
  • at least 6 credits in the ICD / 06 SSD;
  • at least 9 credits in the ICAR / 07 SSD;
  • at least 15 credits in the ICAR / 08 and ICAR / 09 SSDs;
  • at least 6 credits in the ICAR / 10 SSD;
  • at least 6 credits in the ICAR / 17 SSD.

To access the degree course in Engineering fluent oral and written English language is required. Prospective students wishing to attend the Master's degree in English will have to take a test and achieve a minimum B2 level in English.
Any curricular requirements expected from graduates of other degree classes (i.e. the amount of CFU/ECTs), as well as the methods of mandatory assessment of the adequacy of personal preparation, are indicated in the Academic Didactic Regulations of the study programme in Civil Engineering. The curricular requirements must be possessed before the assessment of the adequacy of the personal preparation.

Educational aims and course plan outline
The Master's degree program in Civil Engineering aims to offer the students an advanced professional training in the field of planning, realisation and management of Civil Engineering works. The courses cover the sectors of modern Civil Engineering, from Geotechnics to Structure and Transport Infrastructures, with reference to issues pertaining to both the new work projects and to the rehabilitation and recovery of existing buildings.
The course is aimed at graduates with a solid background in the basic sciences of physics and mathematics and a wide-ranging basic knowledge in the field of Civil Engineering (applied sciences, continuous mechanics and design elements). The training provided will train professionals:

  1. in the design, execution, management and control of civil construction works, infrastructures, hydraulic works, geotechnical works;
  2. in land surveying;
  3. in the evaluation and planning of civil works to safeguard from seismic risk;
  4. in the design of sustainable structures through the use of materials with reduced environmental impact, the energy efficiency of the building envelope, the application of qualitative and quantitative assessment techniques of the sustainability of a work during the entire life cycle of the same .

In particular, the training objective of course in Engineering is to train Civil Engineers specialised in structural design through the specific study of the principles and applications of Science, Construction Technique and Geotechnics, with particular attention to the design of structures in the seismic zone and the soil-structure interaction. Furthermore Civil Engineers will be able to design different types of transport networks and works for the supply and distribution of drinking water resources.

Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and comprehension skills
The MA Graduate in Civil Engineering will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the design and dimensioning aspects of civil structures, as well as the  necessary procedures to estimate the related project variables.
Civil Engineer Graduates will have an advanced knowledge on the principles, methods and tools for modeling and calculating structures made with different materials, technologies and structural types. They know in detail the characteristics of materials and applies this knowledge to choose the most suitable for the specific structural application, environmental recovery and sustainable intervention. It is able to design new structures or consolidation operations on existing structures.
The assessment of knowledge takes place through written and / or oral examinations and through the tracking of the activities carried out by the student in virtual classrooms and in self-assessment tests.

Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension skills
The Master's degree course in Civil Engineering has been structured so as to encourage students to actively participate in their training, enhancing both individual and group learning work. Graduates will be able to use the knowledge acquired to analyse problems and critical issues and prefigure complex design solutions. They will also have adequate understanding  skills, ability to re-elaborate information and knowledge of the operative techniques, necessary for the elaboration of the project solutions in the specific field.
The assessment process will take into account the quality of work and the results produced.

Making judgements
Once graduated in Civil Engineering, the engineer is able to:

  • identify, formulate and solve very difficult problems linked to the design of structures and infrastructures, to the execution, management and control of civil construction works, hydraulic works, infrastructures, transport systems, geotechnical works and surveys, technical installations and security;
  • evaluate alternative hypotheses, also through the use of complex models and experiments, critically interpreting the results obtained and drawing appropriate conclusions.

The teaching approach favors, especially through the exercise activities within the virtual classes and the drafting of projects, in a context of both individual and group work, the comparison between options and the proposal of solutions. In the evaluation of the most opportune choices, strictly technical aspects along with economic, social and environmental impact will be taken into account.
The level of autonomy and the maturity of judgment reached will be verified:

  • in the revision and discussion of the project drawings;
  • during the course of the lessons and exercises - in particular in the more professionalising lessons, through the proposition of typical problems;
  • in the preparation of the thesis, through periodical meetings with the teacher and the final discussion in front of the commission.

Communication skills
The engineer is able to:

  1. communicate effectively, in written and oral form, in Italian as well as in English, at a high level;
  2. to independently draft technical reports on projects and to interpret reports written by other technicians;
  3. to successfully integrate into a group of technicians aimed at planning and executing a civil work, also as the manager or coordinator of the project;
  4. collect, filter and interpret data and formulate an independent judgment on their technical relevance.

Furthermore, they can effectively convey such data, as well as information, ideas, problems and solutions, to specialists and non-specialists. The communication skills listed above are achieved through participation in training activities organised in the specific areas and further training activities that include participation in the virtual class activities and preparation of the final exam.
The teaching methods used include participation in classroom exercises, guided personal study and group projects. The verification of the achievement of learning outcomes is mainly done through the carrying out of written or oral examinations and the execution of projects.

Learning skills
Graduates in Civil Engineering are able to:

  • update on methodologies, techniques and tools in the field of Civil Engineering, aimed at the design of structures and infrastructures, the execution, management and control of civil works of construction, hydraulic works, infrastructures, transport systems, geotechnical works;
  • consult and interpret the main technical journals and national, European and international regulations in the sector in order to update and continuously improve their skills, as currently requested in the professional world;
  • undertake, with a high degree of autonomy, higher level studies (PhD or 2nd level University Masters).

These skills can be acquired through training activities organised in all the disciplinary areas in particular those that are carried out semi-autonomously. The specific teaching methodologies used include exercises within the virtual classes and the drafting of both architectural and structural projects. The assessment of the acquisition of these learning abilities is the topic of the exam tests taken during the course.

Final exam
The final exam for the Master's degree in Civil Engineering consists of drafting a theoretical, project and/or experimental thesis, under the guidance of one or more supervisor. The dissertation must provide an analysis of the themes and the possibility of transferring the results obtained in the design, planning and management of Civil Engineering works and systems. The preparation of the degree thesis is an important opportunity to acquire techniques, analysis tools and operational skills.
The final test allows to test both the knowledge on the chosen topic and the student's communication and critical analysis skills for the interpretation of the results. In carrying out the final elaboration, the student is asked to apply advanced methodologies to research or technological innovation, obtaining full competences on the chosen topic, as well as autonomy and maturity of judgment.