Civil Engineering


Civil Engineers build and shape the world. It’s everything you see around us – from the roads and railways, to the schools, offices, hospitals and water supply.

Civil engineering covers a huge range of jobs, like: civil engineer, civil engineering technician, quantity surveyor, town planner, structural engineer, construction manager and land surveyor.

The industry’s workforce is ageing and there is a demand for new, young engineers to fill the skills gap.

If you’re a practical thinker and a problem-solver with a knack for science and maths, this could be the career for you.

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering, which is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher (SCQF level 6).

This includes:

  • A National Certificate (NC) in Civil Engineering at SCQF level 6
  • A minimum of one core SVQ unit from Site Technical Support or Built Environment Design at SCQF level 6
  • Registration with the Institution of Civil Engineering/professional institution
  • Work placement experience

As part of your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll achieve parts of the Civil Engineering Modern Apprenticeship in either contracting or consultancy.

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

As part of your National Certificate, your mandatory topics will include:

  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • Civil Engineering Project
  • Computer Aided Drafting: An Introduction
  • Construction Site Surveying: An Introduction
  • Health and Safety in the Construction Industry
  • Mechanics for Construction: An Introduction
  • Construction Engineering Mathematics

Your SVQ will be assessed as part of your work placement. You’ll achieve one of the following:

  • Develop and maintain working relationships and personal development in construction
  • Maintain professional relationships and practice in built environmental design

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop core skills valued by employers, particularly:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Time management

These transferable skills are necessary and highly desirable for working in a range of other related jobs.

SCQF qualification levels explained

Where could it take me?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next.

  • A Modern Apprenticeship: On completing your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have already achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering. You could then progress onto a Technical or Professional Apprenticeship.

  • Further Education: Continue your studies at college, with an HNC or HND in an engineering related subject. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

  • University: Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as equivalent to SQA Highers by all Scottish universities. You’ll already have quality experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd.

  • Straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in civil engineering or construction.

SCQF qualification levels explained

Find out if this subject is available at your school