ChemE or CivilE


I’m from Chch and I’m tossing between ChemE and CivilE, could I please get more information on the course structure, resources and workload?


An engineering degree at UoA takes 4 years, and the first year of your degree is known as Part I. It’s a general year where you don’t yet choose your specialisation (Chemical or Civil) and instead try out a range of different things. You do 7 core papers + a general education paper (which is a non-engineering paper that broadens your thinking). The cores are a mathematical modelling paper, engineering mechanics, engineering biology and chemistry, materials science, software and computation, electrical engineering and engineering design. After this general first year you apply to your specialisation, and you get to rank them in order of preference.

During the year you will be exposed to what civil and chemical are both like, as well as having the opportunity to hear from graduates of each discipline to help you make your choice. There are full course descriptions on the UoA website for each degree.


In terms of workload, I have heard civil is a bit harder because you have to take 5 courses in some semesters instead of the usual 4, but otherwise they are probably quite comparable.