Bachelor in Civil Engineering (SDP)

Course typeBachelor
Course sectorEngineering
Course duration1 year
Starting dateSeptember 2019
DegreeBa of Engineering
Tuition fee (EU/EEA students) € 2,083
Tuition fee (NON-EU students)(specification) € 7,800

This programme is a Short Degree programme, aimed at students who already hold a degree in a field related to Civil Engineering. The Dutch Civil Engineering sector is well-known throughout the world as a top-level profession.

The Netherlands is a small country, but many people in the world have heard about the tulips, the wooden shoes, and the windmills. Not many people know that a lot of these windmills played a very important role in water management back in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Even now, in the 21st century, societies all over the world are still facing all kind of problems related to water. Can we keep our feet dry and prevent our properties from flooding when the next typhoon or tornado comes? Can we make our rivers and lakes clear and clean again, so that fish species, like salmon can return? Can we reduce our use of scarce fresh water resources, so that future generation also can use them?

Our School of Business, Building & Technology is one of the most renowned Civil Engineering institutes in the Netherlands. It offers a one-year course to foreign students who have a minimum of three years of higher education in a related field of Civil Engineering.

The Short Degree Programme Civil Engineering consists of six taught modules and two dissertation modules.

1. Water Management (3 ECTS-credits)
In this module you develop your knowledge about waste water treatment. The focus is on dimensioning the design of a water treatment station.

2. Hydraulics (3 ECTS-credits)
In this module you develop your knowledge about probabilistic design of civil constructions, like a dyke. Themes in this module are optimal chance of failure, costs analysis and optimal dyke height. Different perspectives like area size, population and type of buildings present in the area are applied.

3. Structural Engineering (3 ECTS-credits)
In this module you will upgrade your knowledge, skills and understanding of civil engineering. You will also gain a balanced education in structural engineering theory, combined with  practical work and construction calculation skills using the state of the art computer aided design systems.

4. Transportation and road engineering (3 ECTS-credits)
In this module you develop your knowledge about transport and traffic engineering. The focus of this module is to design a road and its junctions, with consideration of its vertical and horizontal alignment within a certain context.

5. Communication
In this module you develop your communication skills. You will practice with both oral and written communication strategies, and develop the necessary skills to successfully complete the preliminary research and dissertation reports and presentations. Additionally you will receive extra guidance on how to use the English language in an academic setting.

6. Specialisation module (3 ECTS-credits)
In this module you choose one of two tracks to specialise in. The two tracks are “Water Management” and “Hydrology”. You will specialise further in your chosen track in the Dissertation modules.

7. Dissertation: Preliminary Research (15 ECTS-credits)
Before starting the dissertation project, you need to carry out a preliminary research. In this preliminary research you analyse your problem and its context in a specific geographical area. For this problem you will look into different alternative solutions, and make an argumented choice for a method to determine the definitive solution.

8. Dissertation (30 ECTS-credits)
Based on the findings from the preliminary research, you will make a design for the chosen solution to your civil engineering problem in its relevant context. At the end of the 4th quartile you will present your work in a presentation and a report. During the presentation you will also answer questions about the argument structure as used in the dissertation report.

First of all, our general entry requirements apply. Additionally, international students looking to enrol in the Short Degree Programme - Civil Engineering will need a steady knowledge base, matching that of students enrolled in the Dutch four year fulltime Civil Engineering course. This means that you will need to show sufficient knowledge and skills in the following Civil Engineering disciplines:

  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Hydraulica/Fluid Mechanics
  • Hydraulics
  • Water management
  • Soil mechanics
  • Transportation and road engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Digital drawing (CAD)
  • Digital calculations


During the enrolment process, you will be asked to make a Civil Engineering Assignment at home. The results from this assignment are taken into account in the application process. A digital interview can be part of the enrolment process as well. If this is the case, you will be informed during the enrolment process.

A Bachelor in Civil Engineering will be able to work in a team and can work as a technical designer, superintendent, constructor, consultant, project leader, calculator, in organizations like:

  • Government institutions
  • Engineering companies
  • Consultancies
  • Contractors
  • Research offices

Yifei and Wei came to Saxion in September 2016 as part of the Sino-Dutch programme in Civil Engineering. This is a collaboration programme between Saxion and the Nanchang Institute of Technology in Nanchang, China, and offers Chinese students the opportunity to obtain both a Chinese and Dutch Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering.

Why did you choose to study in the Sino-Dutch programme?

Yifei: ”This program provides me a chance to get two bachelor’s degrees on Civil Engineering field, which is helpful for my future career in China and other European countries.”

Wei: ”Another reason is because of the language: the Netherlands probably has the largest English penetration rate in Europe outside of the UK and the living costs are relatively acceptable.”

Did you stay in the Netherlands after finishing your programme? Why?

Yifei: ”Yes, because I am doing in the premaster program in University of Twente and would like to continue my academic career.”

Wei: ”I haven’t finished my premaster and master degree yet, but I plan to stay here for a couple of years for working. I want to apply what I learned from school to the real work. And by that, I can gain some work experiences for my future development.”

How did your studies help your career path?

Wei: ”In Saxion, what I learned is very practical, but what really helped me to improve is the graduation project. I learned a lot skills during that project, like how to start a project, how to make a design, how to present your work to other people. The graduation project is really a project that improves a student from all the aspects.

Yifei: “The civil engineering study in Saxion improved both of my academic and practical abilities. Apart from the lecture in classrooms, various excursion activities brought us the vivid insight of engineering mechanisms and strengthened the understanding of abstract concepts. For instance, once we saw how the filtering procedure works in the waste water treatment plant, the filtering theory may never be forgotten. Additionally, Saxion also contributed to my ability of analysing realistic problems. I still remember the first day I ask the teacher: “why are there not enough conditions given to answer this question directly?” His reply stuck in my mind: “You need to understand that not everything is given or provided perfectly in the reality, especially in the engineering field. The real situation is far more complicated and multi-faceted than an exam question. Therefore, going to the site and measuring necessary data, using assumption when the data is unavailable based on your engineering instinct and experience. That is what a real engineer does. Furthermore, you will be the expert in the future and you cannot ask your client ‘why this data is not available?’? In short, becoming a more independent learner and thinking like an effective engineer are the biggest harvests after this amazing one-year study in Saxion.”

What is your best memory during your time in the Netherlands?

Wei: ”The joyful time I spent with my supervisors when we are talking about the different projects and assignments. The teachers are nice people and took a lot care of me, they wanted to get to know me and loved to tell me their stories. They showed me the best personalities of Dutch people.”

Yifei: ”The day we completed the graduation project with a splendid score. We had pizza dinner with fellow Dutch students in Happy Italy Restaurant. During the meal, I stood in front of the whole group gave a toasting speech and I said: “We came from China, a completely different country from Netherlands. There were difficulties beyond imagination during this year. We could never have reached this level without generous help from all of you and the teachers. Nothing I can say but thank you, nothing I can do but thank you. I will always keep this unique experience in my mind. And that is what makes me different from others.” At that moment, every effort was paid back and my heart was touched by every each scene that happened before, we suffered from the difficulty of the courses as well as the loneliness of being far away from our families. But we also enjoyed the glory of graduating in another country, a satisfaction that we would never have obtained if we hadn’t stepped out of China.”

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