Are you interested in contributing to the construction of the largest lock project in the world? In determining how high and how strong dikes should be to ensure flooding does not take place? Or would you like to make sure that people and animals can continue to live safely near coasts and rivers despite climate change? If your answer is ‘yes’ to the questions above, the Civil Engineering programme at HZ may be the right choice for you!

It is expected that by 2050 80% of the world's population will live in delta areas. In these areas, where rivers meet the sea, there are increasing challenges due to climate change. With your expertise as a civil engineer, you will tackle problems such as coastal safety and urban flooding and contribute to safety in deltas around the world. During your study, you learn everything about the design and building of large constructions and managing huge international projects. Examples include the Panama locks in the Panama Canal; the Channel tunnel that connects the United Kingdom with France; and the magnificent Palm Islands in Dubai, a design that could have been yours if you were already a civil engineer!

Doing Civil Engineering at HZ means you are studying in the middle of a delta area: when walking out of the university of applied sciences, you will encounter your field of work all around you. Did you know that the Dutch Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier is one of the seven modern wonders of the world and that this construction can be found at 30 minutes from HZ?

Employers are lining up for you as a graduate, because at HZ you are not only trained theoretically, but also practically. Right from the start of your study, you will be applying the theory of your future work field in the actual practice. During the lectures you will work on (international) assignments from the professional field, you do two internships with organisations in the Netherlands or abroad and you choose a minor: a half-year programme whereby you further specialise yourself in a company of your choice. In this way, you already gain ample work experience during your studies, and you will be optimally prepared for your career.

The best Civil Engineering programme in the Netherlands

This programme is, besides a top-rated programme, the best Civil Engineering programme in the Netherlands, according to the Keuzegids 2024.

Talk to an advisor

Do you have any questions about Civil Engineering or practical matters? A student advisor might come in handy!

Contact them here

Educational structure

You acquaint yourself with the different aspects of the civil engineering field. You act both in the role of researcher and of designer, and analyse an existing civil engineering infrastructure, such as a bridge or a quay. You learn how civil engineering constructions are built, how they work, and how they can continue to function in the next thirty years. You also learn the impact of hydraulics and hydrology on the built environment.

In the second part of the first year, you acquaint yourself with the concept of sustainability and circularity in civil engineering. How you can continue to live, work and recreate despite climate change? You act in the role of an advisor, and you advise clients on how cities and constructions can be designed sustainably and used with as little energy as possible, thus making them less strain on the environment.

In the first half of the year, you will study inland infrastructures and systems. Think about roads, ports, and airports. How can they be designed to maximum efficiency? How can they be sustainable and fit for future challenges in the built environment? To tackle these challenges you will need knowledge of structural engineering, geotechnics, water management, environmental engineering, and more. You will act as a researcher, designer, and advisor and you will develop an innovative design for a new infrastructure.

In the second half of the second year, you get to work on constructions that protect the coast from flooding. You learn how to investigate whether a dike will be strong enough to protect the land behind it, and how to design new dikes that are both long-lasting and environmentally friendly. You also work with dredging techniques: constructing islands near a coastline. You discover how to mine and move sand while keeping nature in mind, and how to manage this process from a project manager's perspective.

In the third year of the programme, you carry out an internship, in the Netherlands or abroad. During your internship, you acquaint yourself with working as a civil engineer in a company or organization, and you act professionally according to your role and responsibilities.

Furthermore, you complete a six-month minor. Through this minor, you enhance the depth or breadth of your knowledge and skills. You can carry out your minor at one of the water-related research groups at HZ, at another HZ study programme, or at another university, in the Netherlands or abroad. Here you can find all minors that HZ has to offer.

In the first semester, you focus on the management of existing structures and infrastructures and you act as an advisor for hydraulics and underground structures. In the same semester, through a project, you develop solutions for coastal challenges by working in cooperation with students from architecture and water management.

During the final semester of your study, you carry out a graduation assignment with a Dutch or foreign company of your choice.

In the Netherlands, the standard of higher education is maintained through an accreditation system that ensures legal regulation and quality assurance. All programmes at HZ University of Applied Sciences are examined and approved by the accreditor, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that they meet the quality requirements for accredited higher education set by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, ensuring that you are always choosing a programme of high standard.

Civil Engineering explained

Why choose Civil Engineering?

These students explain why this is the perfect study programme for you!

Sarlote talks about her experiences at HZ

"I have the opportunity to study in many places in the world"

What our students say

Do you want to know how students experience the Civil Engineering programme? Read it in their own story.

Civil Engineering student Simeon
Simeon, Civil Engineering Student

The 3-year track gives me the possibility to start working earlier.

Read the full story from Simeon

Civil Engineering in 3 years

With your pre-university diploma (VWO) you can qualify for the three-year track of the Civil Engineering programme if you meet the admission requirements.

You follow the first and second years of your study program and then move directly to the subjects of the fourth year. You will not follow the third year of the regular study program so the minor and the third-year internship are not part of your studies.

Civil Engineering student Simeon
Simeon, Civil Engineering Student

International student Simeon completes Civil Engineering in 3 years

Picture of Ibrahim, Civil Engineering alumnus, holding his diploma
Ibrahim, Civil Engineering Alumnus

Civil Engineering: Ibrahim graduated in 3 years

With your HZ bachelor diploma you have direct access to the HZ Master programme. When you choose this programme you can obtain both your bachelor and Master's degree in 4,5 years.

To be able to start you need a pre-university diploma (VWO) or international equivalent.

Interested? You subscribe to the regular program in Studielink. Then you complete the 'Who am I?' assignment that will be reviewed by your study career coach. Your registration to the three-year track will be a topic for the first conversation with your study career coach.


Have you made your choice? Read all about our application procedure and apply.

Admission requirements

To quality for admission for the Civil Engineering programme, you need:

  • A diploma equivalent to the Dutch Secondary Education Diploma, which gives you access to higher education.
  • A good level of mathematics and physics
  • A good command of written and spoken English. Your level of English should be equivalent to and IELTS score of 6.0.

Read more about the admission requirements.

Alternative entrance exam

If you don’t have the appropriate secondary school diploma, and if you are at least 21 years old, you may be exempted from this requirement. HZ provides the possibility of taking an alternative entrance exam.

Course description

Read more detailed course information in our Academic and Examination Regulation.

Fees and finances

Next to the tuition fees and cost of living there are extra costs for your study programme (study materials and books). These costs are approximately €300,- for the full study programme. You will have excursions on regular basis. Read more about the fees and finances here.


The lessons are given at Het Groene Woud in Middelburg and you work on practicals and research in the adjacent Joint Research Center Zeeland (JRCZ). Some practicals will take place in Vlissingen.

Pre-arrival information and studying in The Netherlands

Visa, health insurance, accommodation and a Dutch bank account. You need to arrange quite some things when you decide to study abroad. Read all about it here. And what it's like to study in the Netherlands? And what is Middelburg like? Read all about Zeeland, the Netherlands and HZ.


Do you have any questions or do you need more information about the study programme? Please contact us:

Study in The Netherlands

Are you thinking of studying in Holland? An excellent choice! We tell you why in our brochure.

After graduation

Congratulations, you're now graduated! From now on you may use the title ‘Bachelor of Science’.

Did you participate in the Honours Programme? You will get an extra certificate with your bachelor's degree.

The civil engineering career field is very broad. The different types of jobs of a civil engineer can globally be divided into the main phases of a civil project: the (initial) feasibility phase, the design phase, the construction phase, and the operational and maintenance phase. You can become a researcher, designer, project engineer, surveyor, calculator, contractor, project manager, and more. Your work covers a very wide range of specialism, ranging from Coastal and Marine, Environmental, Water, and Public health to Roads, Rails, Geotechnical, and Structural fields.

With a bachelor's degree from the HZ you can continue studying towards your Master’s degree (Msc.) at HZ by choosing for our Master's programme River Delta Development. When you choose for this programme, you are able to get you Bachelor and Master's degree in 5,5 years.

If you decide to continue your education abroad, you can do so immediately after graduating from the HZ. If you choose to further your studies at a research university in the Netherlands, a pre-master is required for a Master in Civil Engineering.

Civil Engineering in practice

During projects and assignments you often work for real clients. In this way, your training fits in well with your later work. Curious about what kind of projects you will be doing? Check it out below!

Joint Research Center Zeeland: a unique research institute

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