Apprentices help improve lives

By Kathryn Kirk

Take a second to think of the things we take for granted each day: clean water, safe buildings, roads & cycleways, devices charged at the flick of a switch. All these are made possible by the work of civil engineers.

Civil engineers make our lives liveable through their ingenious creations, helping to address the impact of climate change and improving lives for generations to come. Aspiring apprentices now have the chance to play their part with through this new civil engineering apprenticeship. 

From September 2023, Queen’s University Belfast is offering a Level 6 HLA in Civil Engineering. The University’s Director of Civil Engineering, Dr Danny McPolin, and HLA Programme Director, Dr Sree Nanukuttan, explain why this an exciting addition to the Faculty’s offering and good news for both employers and prospective apprentices. 

Dr Danny McPolin: 

“We are delighted to be launching the new Level 6 HLA in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University. We believe it will enrich our current offering and give students the opportunity to blend their academic learning with on–the–job experience. 

In creating this pathway at Queen’s, we’ve listened carefully to employers and worked in close collaboration with them to devise an HLA which meets their needs, is rich in terms of content and offers students that great mix of earning and learning. 

The uniqueness of this course is in its delivery. The new Level 6 HLA will be delivered in blocks, that is, a block teaching involving a mix of in–person and remote teaching.

Apprentices have the benefit of working and learning in tandem, getting paid, enjoying employment while also being able to enjoy the vibrant student life offered at Queen’s, with all its excellent clubs and societies.”


Dr Sree Nanukuttan added: 

“The School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s is a great place to be, with a strong ethos of student support. Apprentices can learn and experience all aspects of engineering, including the structures lab as well as the wave tank. They get to see at first–hand how civil engineering is integral to society and how they can be part of – quite literally! – shaping the world.  

Students can look forward to a course that covers all the key elements of civil engineering – from surveying to hydraulics to design – and much more! In total, the HLA covers 17 modules over a duration of six years. 

I’d encourage any prospective students to take a look at the course content. We’ve webinars planned for both employers and well as aspiring apprentices, their parents/carers and careers advisors. We’d be delighted if you could join us for those.”

Dr Danny McPolin and Dr Sree Nanukuttan are taking part in webinars providing more information on the HLA. 

We have online webinars designed to give you more information. Click on the image below to register. 


For employers: Click here to register (Tuesday 23rd May, 4pm) 

For prospective students/parents/carers and careers advisors: Click here to register (Tuesday 23rd May, 5pm.)

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