What's Civil Engineering like?

Civil engineers build and shape the world. They work on everything from roads and railways to schools, hospitals and water supply.

Civil engineering covers a huge range of jobs, such as: 

  • civil engineer
  • civil engineering technician
  • quantity surveyor
  • town planner
  • structural engineer
  • construction manager
  • land surveyor

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

Are you 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. That's the same level of learning as an SQA Higher, which is SCQF Level 6.

This includes:

  • a National Certificate (NC) in Civil Engineering at SCQF Level 6
  • a minimum of 1 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

On your apprenticeship, you’ll do 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 meta-skills. Employers value these skills, which include:

  • communication
  • problem-solving
  • working with others
  • time management

You'll need these transferable skills for working in a range of other related jobs.

Where could it take me?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options, including:

  • Modern Apprenticeship: When you complete your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have already achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering. You could 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: All Scottish universities recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as equal to SQA Highers. You’ll already have 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.

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How will it work?

You'll do the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside your other school subjects. You'll work on projects with an employer and a learning provider, such as a college. It'll give you an industry-recognised qualification that's great for your CV.

Read our info on the Civil Engineering Foundation Apprenticeship to see how it all works!

How can I apply?

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

Use the search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then fill out the form that comes next, to let us know you're interested. We'll get back to you with more information.

Find out if this subject is available at your school