Top 5 reasons international students choose Civil Engineering in Dundee

Published on 24 January 2022

We asked Mayifan Li, a MSc Civil Engineering student from Nanjing, China how studying abroad has broadened his horizons and set him up for a successful career in industry.

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  1. You could study at one of the top universities for Civil Engineering research

Civil Engineering at Dundee was ranked 1st in Scotland and in the top 10 in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). We have some of the best equipped laboratories in the UK which offer a suite of techniques for cement, concrete, and other geological and industrial materials.

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A student working with a wooden pole that has a blue metal structure on top as part of the windmill project
“My project relates to concrete technology and builds on the excellent research at the University. I knew Dundee was really strong in concrete technology, so it has been incredible learning from experts in this field.”

Mayifan Li

  1. You will be exposed to a new study environment and academics who have a different perspective

Ensuring our students gain industry relevant skills is the focus for all our courses. You may feel nervous about the differences between studying in the UK and China, but a new way of studying brings lots of opportunities. In Dundee, we will give you a solid understanding of how to think for yourself and apply your Civil Engineering knowledge and skills to solve real world problems.

A student with a white lab coat on looking at an object with a teacher in a civil engineering laboratory
“I found the studying very different. In China, we are almost hand fed information, there’s very little room for critical thinking. At Dundee, there’s a lot of self-study and self -directed exploration of topics. It’s been very challenging, but I have grown so much in the time I’ve been here.”

Mayifan Li

  1. Improve your language skills and “internationalise” your CV

Doing a Masters abroad is a fantastic way to improve your English, especially if the degree is linked to industry settings. During your MSc Civil Engineering, you’ll undertake a research project linked to current industry needs.

Our students are highly employable, in fact, we are number 1 in Scotland for the proportion of graduates entering high skilled employment (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020).

Two students working at a table together
“I think the main reason I decided to study abroad was to widen my career options after graduation. I think employers are looking for graduates who have an international outlook and by having the study experience overseas, I have increased my job prospects.”

Mayifan Li

  1. Discover a new country and cultures

Students from all over the world come to study Civil Engineering at Dundee. Our class sizes are small, which means students form strong bonds and can help and support each other. There are a range of societies you can join, including our Dundee Chinese Students and Scholars Association (DCSSA) if you are looking to meet other students from China.

Students walking a dog in a park surrounded with autumn leaves
“There is a community feeling around campus, and I have made many friends from around the world and from different disciplines. Everyone is so welcoming and always say hello.”

Mayifan Li

  1. Study in the city of discovery

Dundee is a vibrant and multicultural city with a real buzz about it. As it's the UK's only UNESCO City of Design, it's a city with a variety of creative and cultural spaces, exhibitions, restaurants, and cafés, not to mention a mix of old and new architecture, castles, and ancient roman sites nearby.

View over the river tay at Dundee city and the Law
“Dundee is a quiet city on the waterfront. I’m really interested in architecture and there is so much to explore in Dundee, from the campus building to castles and roman sites not too far away from the city. The first time a saw the views I was speechless, the sunsets are spectacular.”

Mayifan Li


Press Office, University of Dundee

Story category Student experience