female civil engineering student at building site

Mode of Study



5 years part-time

Start date

September 2023




Show that you've got what it takes to run large-scale building projects, from roads to skyscrapers. You'll study the theories and methods of planning, design and management that a Civil Engineering career demands, getting to grips with the development and maintenance of infrasctructure in Portsmouth, the city of famed civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

This is a degree apprenticeship course, so you’ll spend 1 day of your working week on your studies, with the other 4 in your current job. You’ll follow an accredited programme of study that lets you put your learn to work immediately, developing your career as you contribute to the success of your company. And your fees are covered by your employer, or the Government, so you won’t face any tuition costs. 

Course highlights

  • Plan, design and model solutions to practical problems that you face in your own role, on an industry-accredited programme
  • Ready yourself to sit the assessment for Incorporated Engineer status, a professional qualification that will power your future civil engineering career
  • Carry out materials and structures testing, fluid flow modelling and soil investigation with our environmental laboratory equipment
  • Enjoy industry insights through construction site visits and visiting specialists – recent guest speakers have included practitioners from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Atkins, Stantec, Portsmouth Water, Mott MacDonald, Portsmouth City Council, Colas and WSP
  • Have access to the University's student support services and community including the Library, study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students’ Union
  • Build a network of professional peers from related disciplines during your time at university, sharing your ideas and knowledge
  • Study alongside your job, with support from a personal University tutor and a workplace mentor

You'll typically go to university 1 day a week for around 30 weeks every year to attend lectures, seminars and workshops. On the weeks you don't go to University, you'll still spend 20% of your time studying or training away from your normal working environment. 

Apprenticeships logo

Accredited by:

This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council as:

  1. fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).
  2. partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

A programme of accredited Further Learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng. See the JBM website for further information and details of Further Learning programmes for CEng.

I'm an employer interested in this degree apprenticeship for my staff

There's more information for you about degree apprenticeships in general on our information for employers page, or you can contact us directly. 

If you have an employee, or employees, in mind, that's great; if you are creating a new opening, we can help you shape and promote the role.

Entry requirements

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship) degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112–128 points, to include:
    • an A level in a numerical subject
    • a T-level (Merit) in Construction: Design, Surveying And Planning
    • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
    • or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass – please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch.
  • If you do not have an acceptable qualification you may be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.
Selection process
  • All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.

  • All applicants are required to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

You and your employer

When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:

  • You need to be 18 or over
  • You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency: 
    • you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
    • you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
    • you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
  • You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
  • Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
  • Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed

If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.

Your Facilities

Watch Facilities - Hydraulics Lab on YouTube.

The Hydraulics Laboratory

This lab has a 7-metre long tilting channel for investigating open channel flow, a wave generator and mobile hydraulics benches – all the equipment you need to research and test your understanding of infrastructure.

Find out more

Welcome to the hydraulics lab.

This is a powerful piece of apparatus that can show you what happens really when flow, like in a river, passes over a weir. You can get the sense of typical flow patterns.

If we've got a given flow rate, what happens when an obstacle is placed in the flow and also what happens downstream of it. So we get a different sort of flow regime on one side compared to the other and you'll see this as it fills up, that we get a flow rate of something like 20,

The flow builds up on one side, passes over the weir and then reaches the other side like this. So it's the same flow rate, but you can see it's kind of smooth, and then it degenerates into a much rougher profile on the other side.

We call this subcritical and supercritical flow. Subcritical flow is just typically what we might find in a water treatment works during distribution of water around different parts of the works. The other side, this supercritical flow, we have to be quite careful because it can cause damage to the environment. It can cause what we call scour or erosion.

Weirs are really very important in civil engineering because what we're trying to do is to obtain a relationship between flow rate and water level. Pretty obviously really, the higher the water level is, the faster the flow rate.

There are some very precise mathematical equations that can relate that flow rate to the water level here.

Watch Facilities - Soil and Ground on YouTube.

Soil and ground facilities

The Geotechnics lab hosts fully automated testing equipment and kit for characterising fine and coarse grained soils.

Find out more

If you are thinking about the soil and the soil mechanic, the load of the house needs to transfer into the ground. So the structural element, which helps you to transfer the load of the structure into the ground, is a foundation.

We are going to teach you how you should design the foundation and everything, so you should know about the soil parameters.

In the first year of your study, I'm going to talk about the different types of soil, the soil classification, and also how we are going to take a sample from the site and doing some sieve analysis, classify the soil as a coarse material and defined soil. So this is the basic stuff that you need to know about the soil mechanics.

So when you are starting your second year of your study, you have a chance to do more experimental tests, doing some probability tests. You are going to do some odometer tests or the direct share to figure out what is the soil behaviour when you are checking the bearing capacity of the foundation, or what is this soil behaviour when you are loading or unloading.

When you are starting your third year of your study, you have a better idea about the soil mechanic, so you are going to do more traxial tests using the GDS test. And also we are going to teach you some numerical modelling because when you are graduating, you should have a nice CV.

As part of your final year, you have a chance to do some research work which will help you to become independent in the research. If you're thinking about the great material that we have, which is improving the tension of the soil, we can see that the soil particle is moving between the descript and this information is very important for the manufacture to find out what is the best shape of the descript or what is the best shape of this apparatus.

So this is a type of research that you are able and you have a chance to do, as a final project.

I hope I see all of you here in the future.

Environmental Technology Laboratory

This lab hosts all the facilities you need to conduct simple water tests for biochemical oxygen demand to suspended solids, nutrient analysis, pH and conductivity.

A laboratory worker handling test tubes
Learn more

Environmental Technology Field Station

Conduct tests and analyse samples currently in the ecosystem in a fully-operational waterworks in nearby Petersfield complete with microbiology and environmental chemistry labs.

Aerial view of the environmental technology field station
Explore Station

Concrete Laboratory

Design, mix and test different concrete mixes, and observe and record all stages of the concrete production process via a built in camera system and live stream in this lab.

Explore the lab

Careers and opportunities

Careers and opportunities

All civil engineering roles are listed in the UK Government's Skills Shortage List, which means the skills you develop on this course are actively sought after by employers in fields such as:

  • civil and structural engineering
  • civil engineering contracting
  • construction engineering

When you successfully complete this apprenticeship, and pass your End Point Assessment, you will be eligible to apply for Incorporated Engineer status (IEng). This professional qualification demonstrates your skills and professionalism in the engineering sector.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Futureproof your career

I previously found it hard to balance college work during the day and part-time retail work in the evenings, so the degree apprenticeship is a perfect way to earn whilst I learn. My responsibilities at work have given me experience that I can apply in the learning environment as well as confidence which helps with assessments such as presentations.

Tom Colbeck, Degree Apprentice

What you'll study on this BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. In each year, you need to study modules worth 60–80 credits.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Construction Management and Practice – 20 credits
  • Engineering Analysis – 20 credits
  • Professional Development 1 – 20 credits
  • Soils and Materials 1 – 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Introduction to Project Management Principles – 20 credits
  • Understanding Structures – Analysis and Design – 20 credits
  • Water and Environmental Engineering – 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Behaviour of Structures – 20 credits
  • Numerical Skills and Economics – 20 credits
  • Professional Development 2 – 20 credits
  • Soils and Materials 2 – 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Design of Structural Elements – 20 credits
  • Professional Development 3 – 20 credits
  • Individual Project – 40 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Integrated Civil Engineering Design Project – 40 credits
  • Soils and Materials 3 – 20 credits

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Discover Civil Engineering and Surveying


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • computer-based tutorials
  • workshops
  • laboratory and practical sessions

You'll keep regular contact with your mentor, especially during your work-based learning project in the final year.

How you'll be assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • closed and open book exams
  • problem-based coursework and professional style reports
  • computer-based portfolios
  • group presentations
  • dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

On this degree apprenticeship, you'll work 4 days and study 1 day for around 30 weeks each year.

In periods when you don't go to university, such as university holidays, you'll still expect to spend one day (or 20% of your time) away from your normal working environment, so you can focus on your degree apprenticeship study consistently.

Some assessments may take place in evenings or at weekends.

Supporting your learning

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll get a workplace mentor who's there to support you during your apprenticeship. They'll understand your workplace responsibilities and help you to balance your workload in your workplace and in your studies

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2023 start)

The payment of the course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £27,000 paid over 5 years.

Please see our degree apprenticeships page for further information.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.


If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

We will provide you with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. You will need to buy your own safety boots costing approximately £35.



I'm applying with my current employer

If you're already in full-time work, and your employer is interested in you studying this course, get them to contact us and we'll work out how to work together. 

If your employer isn't interested yet, you might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

Employer contact form  Information for employers



I'm looking for a job with a Degree Apprenticeship role

If you're not in full-time employment, or your current employer is not interested in degree apprenticeships, you'll need to find a role that does offer a degree apprenticeship. You can search the gov.uk list of open degree apprenticeship vacancies, or contact us with your details and we'll let you know when degree apprenticeship vacancies come up.

When you apply for a role that includes one of our degree apprenticeships, you'll follow the company's standard recruitment process for the job, while we assess your academic suitability for the course.

Search degree apprenticeship roles (gov.uk)  Contact us


Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.