What can I do with my civil and coastal engineering degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a civil and coastal engineering degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Studying civil and coastal engineering at Plymouth equips you with a comprehensive range of technical skills and knowledge in addition to a thorough understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards.

With a solid grasp of science, mathematics, and technology, you will be able to design, create and build structures efficiently and safely while making the best use of available resources and techniques.

Through group projects, you'll gain practical experience of applying your engineering judgement and working successfully with others.

Key skills gained on a civil engineering degree include:

  • The use of advanced numerical methods and statistical techniques to solve relevant civil engineering applications.
  • Advanced application of ICT applications as well as the use of the latest industry-standard software including computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create digital models of technical systems.  
  • Communication, team-working, self-management and leadership skills as a result of working on real-world individual and group projects.
  • Creative problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills.

Career options

Civil engineers create, improve and protect the environment in which we live. They plan, design and oversee construction and maintenance of building structures and infrastructure, such as roads, railways, airports, bridges, harbours, dams, irrigation projects, power plants, and water and sewerage systems. They also design and build tall buildings and large structures that can withstand all weather conditions – you may want to take a look at these inspiring and iconic examples brought to you by the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Your degree will open the door to many graduate jobs and careers, but the following areas are among the most popular pathways for civil and coastal engineering graduates.

  • Consulting civil engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Water engineer.

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by Engineering graduates require or benefit from further study; the University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options that could be of interest to Engineering graduates:

  • MPhil/PhD Civil Engineering
  • MSc Coastal Engineering
  • MSc Advanced Engineering Design
  • MSc Marine Renewable Energy
  • MSc High Performance Buildings

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your particular situation.

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme;

It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni, find out your funding options here.

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access our 24/7 online resourcesWe offer support ranging from careers workshops and events to placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however, they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn’s alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience

Getting relevant work experience is strongly encouraged by all employers and this is especially true of Civil Engineering. Many employers in this sector offer structured work experience opportunities ranging from year-long placements to summer internships or taster experiences. Take a look at Gradcracker to get an insight into the different schemes offered by some of the major recruiters of Civil Engineers in the UK and beyond

Other work experience options include working part-time while you study or getting involved with the volunteering opportunities offered by the University of Plymouth Students’ Union in the community.