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    Key information

    Delivery type
    Graduate Apprenticeship
    4 years
    BEng (Hons)


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    The graduate apprenticeship programme covers the Civil Engineering modules of structures, geotechnics, water engineering and transportation engineering, and provides students with the key skills and knowledge required to become professionally recognised civil engineers, capable of playing key leadership roles in your organisation.

    The graduate apprenticeship programme is open to new or existing employees in Scotland of all ages and consists of 20% academic learning and 80% work-based learning.

    The purpose of this programme is to produce graduates with the required skills, knowledge and attributes to fulfil the role of Civil Engineer with key skills of project management and the important attributes and behaviours to make them responsible and reflective problem-solvers, critical-thinkers and managers.

    Graduates' skillset

    The graduate apprenticeship in Civil Engineering degree is designed to produce graduates with:

    • the ability to work in a safe and sustainable way, according to environmental requirements;
    • the ability to select appropriate techniques, procedures and technology and use relevant theoretical knowledge and understanding of key concepts and materials;
    • scientific and mathematical knowledge and understanding;
    • skills in the use of appropriate technologies and digital platforms used in civil engineering;
    • skills in the collection and critical analysis of data, combined with appropriate critical-thinking and problem-solving ability;
    • skills to design and evaluate civil engineering solutions and to communicate them in an appropriate way;
    • the ability to plan and manage projects, including managing and monitoring risk, operating and evaluating performance and managing and allocating tasks and resources;

    Key areas of the programme

    The subject programme is based on our long established BEng (Hons) and MEng Civil Engineering programmes, both accredited by JBM. The primary focus of the Civil Engineering graduate apprenticeship programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.

    Civil engineering practice

    • Manage and apply safe systems of work
    • Contribute to sustainable development and apply environmental requirements when undertaking civil engineering
    • Select appropriate techniques, procedures and technologies to undertake engineering tasks
    • Use relevant theoretical knowledge and understanding of key concepts and materials used in civil engineering
    • Apply scientific and mathematical knowledge and understanding to civil engineering tasks
    • Demonstrate the competent application of digital platforms appropriate to civil engineering
    • Collect and critically analyse evidence/data in the application and implementation of civil engineering

    Civil engineering design, analysis, specification and maintenance

    • Define and deconstruct civil engineering problems, including constraints and limitations
    • Use critical-thinking, problem-solving skills and technical knowledge to develop solutions
    • Develop appropriate design solutions and evaluate their effectiveness
    • Communicate engineering solutions to technical and non-technical audiences

    Project management

    • Plan for successful implementation of civil engineering projects
    • Implement risk management
    • Operate within contracts and evaluate performance
    • Manage and allocate tasks and resources to project plan and budget
    • Contribute to continual improvement and effective organisational performance

    Professional practice

    • Comply with professional standards for civil engineering
    • Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner
    • Maintain current awareness of sustainability and environmental legislation, innovation and best practice
    • Apply knowledge of the commercial, economic and global context in which civil engineering is undertaken
    • Critically reflect on performance to identify areas for improvement
    • Broaden and expand sound theoretical understanding and knowledge of current and emerging professional engineering practice and techniques

    Interpersonal skills

    • Communicate orally, graphically and in writing in English with others at all levels
    • Present and discuss proposals
    • Demonstrate personal and social skills
    • Lead others and work productively as a member of a team
    • Each of the four key content areas is combined to deliver a holistic learning experience.

    Course content

    Year 1

    Semester one

    • Mechanics A

    Semester two

    • Mechanics B

    All semesters

    • Introductory Maths for Civil Engineering
    • Construction Modelling
    • Building Services Technology
    • Surveying and Monitoring in the Built and Natural Environment
    • Construction Technology 1
    • eConstruction

    Year 2

    Semester one

    • Analysis of Determinate Structures
    • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 1

    Semester two

    • Civil Engineering Materials
    • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 2

    All semesters

    • Hydraulics and Hydrology A
    • Design Studies
    • Construction Technology 2
    • Geology and Soil Properties

    Year 3

    Semester one

    • Indeterminate Structures
    • Design of Steel Elements

    Semester two

    • Design of Concrete Elements
    • Geotechnics A - Introduction to Soil Mechanics

    All semesters

    • Transport Design, Infrastructure and Society
    • Environmental Engineering 
    • Procurement and Contracts
    • Innovation in Construction Practice

    Year 4

    Semester one

    • Geotechnics B - Geotechnical Applications
    • Structural Element Design

    Semester two

    • Foundation engineering

    All semesters

    • Urban Drainage and Water Supply
    • Highway Engineering
    • Dissertation 1 (Civil Engineering Programme)
    • Dissertation 1 (Civil Engineering Programme)
    • Civil Engineering Design Project

    Entry requirements

    Year 1

    • SQA Highers at AAAB or ABBBB (Mathematics desirable but not essential)
    • A-Levels at ABC or BBB​
    • Scottish Baccalaureate Pass​
    • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points​
    • Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering in conjunction with SQA Highers at AAB (Mathematics desirable but not essential)​
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 6 or Minimum 126 UCAS points

    Year 2

    • SQA Advanced Highers at BB including Mathematics and Highers at AAAB​
    • A-Levels at ABB including Mathematics​
    • SQA HNC Civil Engineering (or a relevant Modern/Technical Apprenticeship) with A in the graded unit​
    • SQA HND Civil Engineering (or a relevant Modern/Technical Apprenticeship) with B in the graded unit​
    • Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction​
    • Int. Baccalaureate 35 points​
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 7
    Ian G Smith
    "Our Graduate Apprenticeship Civil Engineering programme develops civil engineers, capable of playing key leadership roles in your organisation"
    Ian G Smith

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    With highly respected and experienced professionals, we develop global leaders in the engineering industry. Heriot-Watt has been ranked 1st for Civil Engineering in Scotland in the National Student Survey for five of the last six years.

    Ranking (Civil Engineering, The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024)

    We are ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 15 in the UK for Civil Engineering by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    Ranking (Civil Engineering, Complete University Guide 2023)

    We are ranked 3rd in Scotland and 18th in the UK for Civil Engineering by The Complete University Guide 2023.

    Graduate apprenticeship success stories

    Read our graduate apprenticeship partners' success stories who are already seeing the benefits.

    Civil Engineering Society

    The Heriot-Watt University Civil Engineering Society is a student group that arranges social events, technical talks, nights out, attendance at careers fairs as well as the Civil Engineering Graduate Ball.

    Clubs and activities

    At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    We are accredited by the following organisations

    At Heriot-Watt University we develop degrees that are relevant for the world of work. We work with Professional bodies and Institutes to gain appropriate Accreditations and Professional Memberships for your industry. Find out below how this degree aligns to industry.

    Register your interest in Graduate Apprenticeships

    Places are in high demand, and offered on a first come, first served basis to qualified employees – so please register your interest right away.

    If you are an employer, please complete the contact form to our GA team and we will contact you to discuss a detailed plan for your company.

    If you are already working, ask your manager to get in touch with us by completing this web form.

    If you are looking for an employer who could employ you and put you forward for the GA programme, you can find vacancies with current partner companies.

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