Study Civil Engineering in Malaysia

Everything you need to know about studying Civil Engineering in Malaysia
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civil engineering degree abroad

Engineering is a branch of science, maths and technology concerned with the design, building and use of engines, machines and structures. Engineers figure out how things work and find practical ways for scientific discoveries. 

Civil Engineering is one of the engineering disciplines other than mechanical, electrical, chemical and more. 

The Pyramid of Giza, Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge and Taj Mahal standing tall and strong as monuments are interesting hallmarks of human civilisation and urbanisation.

Civil engineering is a profession that has helped in building and transcending knowledge as to how to build and create an environment both safe and convenient to live.  As technology evolves, civil engineers are highly on demand for merging infrastructures. 

Why study in Malaysia? 

1. No language barriers
Studying in Malaysia gives an opportunity to study locally in your own country. This makes language not a hustle like studying overseas. English is the second official language after Bahasa Malaysia and almost everyone in the nation can speak English fluently, making it easier for international students to converse. 

2. Affordable cost of living
Cost of living in Malaysia is a lot more affordable than studying abroad like in the USA, UK and Australia. As studying in certain parts of Malaysia makes it easier for students to travel from home. 

3. The destination for higher education
Malaysia has become one of the famous destinations for higher education welcoming international students from all around the globe. Many foreign universities, especially from UK, Australia and Ireland, are having branches here. 

4. Job opportunities after graduation 
Many students would want to work in Malaysia after graduating. Working abroad could open many doors to international students.

Options like post-graduates work permit allow graduates to stay back after graduation and work to get Malaysian work experience. The experience gained could increase your chances of receiving a job offer from employers of all around the world. 

Keep reading as we will be guiding you with more important guides on a few topics.

  1. What is civil engineering about?
  2. What are the major fields in Civil Engineering? 
  3. What are the important skills I need in this field?
  4. What are the entry requirements and qualifications?
  5. How long will I be studying in this programme?
  6. How much are the average tuition fees?
  7. What are the job opportunities?
  8. Universities in Malaysia offering Civil Engineering programmes.

What is Civil Engineering about?

what is civil engineering

Engineering, fundamentally is a relation between science, maths and technology. It involves the use of physics, mathematics, architecture, machine system etc to create or innovate something. 

By applying scientific, economic and mathematical knowledge, engineers work to design, build, maintain and improve all sorts of things, including structures, machines, electronic devices, systems and processes. 

Civil engineering, a major branch of engineering, deals with construction, design, operation and maintenance of all built environments. This includes major infrastructure like highways, bridges, tunnels, water systems, dams, railroads and airports. 

Oftentimes, civil engineers and architects work together on some projects. 

What are the subjects covered in Civil Engineering? 

In Civil Engineering, there are a number of major subjects that students can further into. Below are the main subjects according to the branches of engineering and the list of subjects you can expect to learn:



Civil Engineering

  • Material science and engineering
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Design of Hydraulic Structures
  • Urban Engineering
  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • Structural Mechanics 
  • Surveying
  • Geotechnics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Hydraulics
  • Highway / Traffic Engineering

What are the career prospects for Civil Engineering?

civil engineer career

Civil engineering is the biggest and oldest branch of engineering and further branches into sub-specialisations. It’s up to your interest on which major you prefer to take. If you’re wondering what are the career opportunities in civil engineering, here are some of the career options you can consider to venture in:

  • Consulting Engineer: Work on engineering plans and designs
  • Construction Engineer: Supervise construction projects 
  • Geotechnical Engineer: Study the behaviour of soil and rocks to ensure the safety and stability of buildings
  • Structural Engineer: Design structures to ensure buildings can withstand environmental conditions over time
  • Site Engineer: Main Technical Advisor on Construction sites
  • Urban Planning Engineer: Involved in planning the plan and structure of the site
  • Structural Design Technologist: Involved in designing the structure of the site

What are the skills and qualifications needed in this field?

civil engineering skills

Furthering into this field one needs a number of skills to qualify. The field of Civil Engineering requires specific skills that you might have already possess. 

1. Leadership 
You’re a leader in nature. You love working on ideas purposefully and love leading a team. You’re confident and keen to details. 

2. Critical Thinking
Civil Engineering takes a lot of research and development, hence a critical mind is apt for this field. You need to analyse and evaluate your findings and solve complex problems.

3. Organised and self-orientated
You’re someone who has self-values and discipline. Your teammates can trust you and hand over challenging tasks as research requires strategic thinking and planning skills to accomplish tasks.

4. Environmental Concerns
Civil Engineers are practical and creative in nature. They are also problem solvers and work according to the rules and regulations. However, civil engineers are also expected to have a fondness towards the environment to preserve the environment and safety. 

How long will I study in this programme?

The study duration could vary from one institute to another. However, as a general estimate, we have compiled a general estimate of the duration according to the study levels and qualifications.

Study Levels


Foundation/A levels

1 year


2 years

Undergraduate Degree

3-4 years

Master’s Degree

2-3 years


1-2 years 

What are the entry requirements and qualifications?

To successfully get admission into the Civil Engineering programme, students must meet the minimum academic and entry-level English language requirements.

However, requirements could vary according to institutions. We advise you to refer to the institutions directly for more details.

Diploma in Civil Engineering:

  • SPM with a minimum of 5 passes in Science subjects (physics, maths, mathematics)   

Bachelor’s level in Civil Engineering:

  • Foundations / A levels in Science (physics, maths, mathematics)   
  • Pass 4 relevant subjects in STPM, including English
  • Admission into Year 2 upon completing a Diploma in an Engineering discipline

Master’s degree in Civil Engineering:

  • Completed any relevant Degree or any equivalent International Degree with minimum  CGPA 2.0

Doctorate (PhD):

  • Completed a relevant Masters Degree from recognised Institutes or any equal International Institute.

English language requirements (minimum):

  • TOEFL score 55
  • IELTS score of 5
  • Kaplan iBT 61
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) 53
  • MUET Band 4 and above

How much are the average tuition fees?

The average tuition fees for Engineering can vary from one institute to another according to different levels and qualifications. Here are the average estimated tuition fees below :


Estimated Fees

Foundation/ A levels

RM15,000 – RM 30,000

Bachelor’s Degree

RM65,000 – RM190,000

Masters Degree 

RM 75,000 – RM125,000


RM 75,000 – RM125,000

How much does an engineer make?

There are a number of job possibilities for an Engineering major. The right job will be dependent on your personal skills, preferences and personality.

Here are the career choices available for an Engineering graduate:


Estimated monthly income

Project Engineer

RM 6,000

Hydraulic Design Technician 

RM 8,000

Geotechnical Engineer

RM 5,000

Maintenance Engineer

RM 6,000

Consulting Engineer

RM 5,000

Best Civil Engineering Universities in Malaysia

For those who are interested to pursue Civil Engineering, below are some of the notable institutions in Malaysia that offer the course and are also ranked the best in the QS Global World Ranking 2020.

1. University Malaya (UM) 

The University of Malaya, the first university of the country, is situated in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. The public university is currently ranked 70th place in the QS Global World Ranking 2020 and the only Malaysian university ranked in the 100 top universities in the world. 

2. University Putra Malaysia (UPM) 

University Putra Malaysia (UPM) formerly known as Universiti Pertanian Malaysia was founded in 1971 through the merger of Faculty of Agriculture, University Malaya and Agriculture College in Serdang. Currently ranked 159th place in the QS Global World Ranking 2020.

3. University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) 

University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), a public university of choice and the only National University in Malaysia, attracts local and international students by offering a vast number of programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Currently ranked 160th place in the QS Global World Ranking 2020. 

4. Curtin University, Malaysia Campus

Curtin University is ranked 230th in the QS Global World Ranking 2020. With campuses in Western Australia (Perth and  Kalgoorlie), Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius, as well as a network of university partners around the world, Curtin is an international university with a rapidly expanding global footprint.  

5. International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is one of the public universities in Malaysia that integrates Islamic principles into their educational approach. Its main campus is located at Gombak where all art and engineering courses are based.

The university offers Civil Engineering syllabi, which include extensive practical training through theoretical and laboratory courses.

6. SEGi University & Colleges

SEGi University & Colleges has received thousands of students of all backgrounds and today, has produced alumni who are now professional leaders in their respective fields.

Course programmes at SEGi are designed to cater to the needs of both the industry and students. Civil Engineering at SEGi is offered in all stages of development of the physically and naturally built infrastructure in our modern world.

7. Universiti Teknologi Petronas

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) was established in 1997 and has grown to be one of the most prominent private universities in Malaysia.

UTP offers a wide range of industry-relevant engineering, science and technology programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and aims to produce well-rounded graduates with excellent leadership qualities and communication abilities. 

8. Monash University

Established in 1958, Monash University is a widespread global university located in Melbourne with eight of its campuses paved across the world, including Malaysia and South Africa, with an additional centre in Prato, Italy.

At Monash University, it highly encourages the operation of conducting education and research in hopes of creating more research prospects and close-knitted community relationships.

9. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman UTAR)

Guided by its vision to be a global university of educational excellence, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is highly reputed as one of the fastest-growing private higher education institutions in the country with phenomenal growth in all aspects of its development since its inception.

The University currently offers more than 110 academic programmes from Foundation Studies to Bachelor's, Master’s, and PhD degrees in various courses.

10. Nottingham University Malaysia

The University of Nottingham is a thriving institution offering an outstanding student experience, world-changing research and a global reputation for excellence. Since being established, the University of Nottingham Malaysia, UNM, has grown both in terms of its Teaching and Learning and its Research activity.

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