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Study Civil Engineering in Malaysia

Everything you need to know about studying Civil Engineering in Malaysia.

Engineer holding a building plan.

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 engineering, and more. 

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

Why study in Malaysia? 

1. No language barriers
Studying in Malaysia gives you an opportunity to study in your own country. English is the second official language in Malaysia. As a local, you don't have to learn a new language because you're already fluent in English!

2. Affordable cost of living
The cost of living in Malaysia is much more affordable than studying abroad in the USA, UK and Australia. Whether you're a local or international student, you can save a lot on rent, daily necessities, food, and transport when you study in Malaysia.

3. Top destination for higher education
Malaysia has become a famous destination for higher education, welcoming international students from all around the globe. Many foreign universities, especially from UK, Australia and Ireland, have their branches here. 

4. Plenty of job opportunities 
Working abroad could open many doors to international students.

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

Keep reading as we guide you with more important topics mentioned below:

  • What is civil engineering about?
  • What are the major fields in Civil Engineering? 
  • What are the important skills I need in this field?
  • What are the entry requirements and qualifications?
  • How long will I be studying in this programme?
  • How much are the average tuition fees?
  • What are the job opportunities?
  • Universities in Malaysia offering Civil Engineering programmes

What is civil engineering about?

Graduates of civil engineering working on site.

Engineering is fundamentally a relation between science, maths and technology. It involves the use of physics, mathematics, architecture, machine systems and more 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 is a major branch of engineering that deals with the 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 closely together on the same projects. 

What are the subjects covered in civil engineering? 

Below are the list of subjects you can expect to learn in the course:

  • 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 in civil engineering?

Civil engineer careers.

Civil engineering is the biggest and oldest branch of engineering that can be split into sub-specialisations.Here are some 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 engineer working on his laptop.

Getting into this field requires a specific set of skills that you might 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.

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, they are also expected to have a fondness towards the environment to preserve its conditions. 

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.

Foundation/A-Levels: 1 year

Diploma: 2 - 2.5 years

Bachelor's Degree: 3 - 4 years

Master's Degree: 1 - 2 years

PhD: 3 - 4 years

What are the entry requirements and qualifications?

To successfully be admitted 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 degree 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 5.5
  • Kaplan iBT 61
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) 53
  • MUET Band 3 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 :

Foundation / A-Levels: RM 12,000 – RM 30,000

Bachelor's Degree: RM 50,000 – RM 190,000

Masters Degree: RM 75,000 – RM 125,000

PhD: RM 75,000 – RM 125,000

How much does a civil engineer make?

There are a number of job possibilities for a civil engineering major. The right job will depend on your personal skills, preferences and personality.

Here are the career choices available along with their estimated salaries:


Estimated Monthly Income

Project Engineer

RM 4,000

Hydraulic Design Technician 

RM 6,000

Geotechnical Engineer

RM 5,000

Maintenance Engineer

RM 4,000

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 as well as universities ranked in the QS Global World Ranking 2022 for civil and structural (engineering) course.

1. University Malaya (UM) 

The University of Malaya, the first university of the country, is situated in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur. The public university is currently ranked 65th with 5 QS stars in the QS Global World Ranking 2022. 

2. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is not only a recipient of SETARA’s 6 Star: Outstanding award, but is also classified as one of Malaysia’s mature universities. The public university is currently ranked 191st in the QS Global World Ranking 2022.

3. University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) 

University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) attracts local and international students by offering a vast number of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is currently ranked 144th in the QS Global World Ranking 2022. 

4. University Putra Malaysia (UPM) 

University Putra Malaysia (UPM) or 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 143rd in the QS Global World Ranking 2022.

5. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is the first in Malaysia to be selected by the Malaysian government to participate in the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX), a fast-track programme that helps tertiary institutions achieve world-class status.

6. 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. 

7. 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.

Monash highly encourages conducting education and research in hopes of creating more research prospects and close-knitted community relationships.

8. 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 its establisment, the university has grown in terms of its Teaching and Learning as well as Research activity.

9. Curtin University, Malaysia Campus

Curtin University is ranked 194th in the QS Global World Ranking 2022. 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.  

10. 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 in Gombak where all art and engineering courses are based.

The university currently offers Bachelor of Engineering (Civil).


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