Programme overview

Explore civil engineering concepts, contract administration and construction practice. You'll gain a solid understanding of water engineering, structural engineering and road infrastructure, and perfect your civil and structural drafting skills.

There is great demand for technically trained engineers worldwide, in particular those with a specialisation, so the diploma allows you to focus on one of three areas:

  • Structures - the building of dams, bridges, high-rise buildings, viaducts and wharves.
  • Fluids - flood protection, harbour development, erosion control, water reticulation, stormwater and waste management.
  • Transportation - the design, construction and maintenance of roads, rail, sea and airport developments.


  • Unitec is the largest provider of civil engineering training in New Zealand at Diploma level.
  • Supported by the civil engineering industry, including the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).
  • A step towards IPENZ membership: once you've gained a suitable period of work experience as a qualified civil engineer at Diploma level, you'll be eligible for Associate Membership (AIPENZ).
  • Can serve as a pathway into graduate engineering qualifications.
  • Focus on real-world learning: observe the day-to-day activities of engineering sites, and take part in lab work, land surveying, and workshops.
  • Undertake a project where you tackle an engineering problem.
  • Visiting industry experts who will give you a real feel for the career opportunities available in civil engineering.
  • Cross-credits towards the Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) or Bachelor of Engineering (Civil).

Prepare for success

Well-prepared students have the best chance of success in their studies, so we've put together a free online guide so you can refresh and sharpen some of the skills you'll use on this programme.

    Admission requirements

    For this programme, you will need the following:

    1. NCEA Level 2 including:

    • A total of 48 NCEA credits at Level 2 in four different subjects.
    • Your 48 credits must also include at least 12 credits in Mathematics (preferably with achievement standards in algebra, calculus or trigonometry) and a minimum of 8 credits in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).

    2. If English is your second language, you are required to have one or more of the following:

    • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
    • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
    • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

    Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

    • An equivalent qualification; or
    • Equivalent credits from appropriate trades training and/or demonstrated skills and experience; or
    • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

    For more information download the programme regulations:

    Programme Regulations

    Courses and timetables

    For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

    Engineering Fundamentals (ENGGDE4101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce the basic fundamentals of a range of engineering disciplines.
    Engineering Mathematics 1 (ENGGDE4102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop mathematical skills, concepts and understandings in order to perform calculations and solve problems within engineering contexts.
    Technical Literacy (ENGGDE4103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop technical research skills along with oral, written, graphical and interpersonal communication skills.
    Materials (Civil) (ENGGDE4201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce the fundamentals of geological and geomorphological processes and the properties and application of a range of civil engineering materials.
    Land Surveying 1 (ENGGDE4202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To understand and apply the theoretical and practical concepts of Land Surveying
    Structures 1 (ENGGDE5201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To analyse structural elements and simple structures, and to design simple beams.
    Civil and Structural Drawing (ENGGDE5202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop skills required to produce civil-engineering and structural drawings.
    Hydraulics (Civil) (ENGGDE5203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce the principles of fluid mechanics and apply them in civil engineering hydraulic applications.
    Highway Engineering 1 (ENGGDE5204) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce the fundamentals of road materials, road construction practices and road maintenance techniques, as well as the principles of drainage design.
    Geotechnical Engineering 1 (ENGGDE5207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce the fundamentals of soil composition, the engineering properties of soils, and site investigation procedures.
    Engineering Management (ENGGDE6101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop the knowledge and skills required to administer and manage projects effectively in a specific discipline of engineering
    Engineering Project (ENGGDE6102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To apply knowledge and problem-solving skills to plan and complete an engineering project relevant to the discipline strand studied (civil, mechanical or electrical) to accepted practice and standards from a given specification.
    Engineering Surveying (ENGGDE5205) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop further knowledge and understanding of surveying with specific reference to engineering applications.
    Structures 2 (ENGGDE5206) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop further knowledge of structural analysis and structural design.
    Geotechnical Engineering 2 (ENGGDE6201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop further knowledge of the principles and practice of geotechnical engineering.
    Highway Engineering 2 (ENGGDE6202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop analytical and evaluation skills for use in structural analysis and design.
    Traffic Engineering (ENGGDE6203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce traffic engineering concepts and fundamentals.
    Structures 3 (ENGGDE6204) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To evaluate the requirements of, and design water-, wastewater- and storm water reticulation systems.
    Water and Wastewater Systems (ENGGDE6205) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To evaluate the requirements of, and design water-, wastewater- and storm water reticulation systems.
    Water and Waste Management (ENGGDE6206) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop knowledge and understanding of drinking water quality control parameters and treatment methods, and of current and emerging treatment technologies for liquid and solid wastes.
    Land Surveying 2 (ENGGDE6207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop further land surveying knowledge and skills.
    Geotechnical Engineering B (ENGGMG6045) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply the principles & practice of foundation engineering in professional contexts.
    Civil Engineering Construction Practices (ENGGMG6106) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop an understanding of the practical aspects of sound civil engineering practice.