South West - education

Aerial view of the South West coast

If you’re thinking about a career in civil engineering, or you’re interested in finding out more about civil engineering, ICE is here to help. We provide advice and guidance if you’re wondering what subjects to study at school, college or university. 

We also provide resources and support for teachers and ambassadors looking to promote civil engineering.

ICE South West helps support the work of ICE by working closely with STEMNET (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Network) and local ambassadors. Regional staff and members attend careers fairs across the South West and work with local schools and colleges to help young people find out about civil engineering and inspire the next generation of civil engineers.

Looking for inspiring resources to use in school?

We have a range of multimedia resources for teachers, careers advisers, parents, and volunteer ICE ambassadors.

So if you want an activity for a class or club – something hands-on, that's tried and tested – you'll find it here. We also have PowerPoint presentations, videos, careers information and useful links to lots more.

Browse through and download the schools resources you need

ICE also works with Tomorrow's Engineers, which provides clear information on careers in engineering. The Tomorrow's Engineers careers materials:

  • Are mainly aimed 11 to 14-year-olds
  • Show what young people can achieve by studying maths and physics
  • Tell you about the huge range of careers available in engineering
  • Explain the different ways to get an engineering career

Find out more about Tomorrow's Engineers

In your region

Our South West branch has a wide range of resources and would be delighted to help schools and ambassadors organise activities for careers events. For further information, please contact Charlotte Pascoe on 01752 766239.

Bridges to Schools

Pupils from across Wales have participated in Bridges to Schools

ICE South West aims to run the Bridge to Schools activity within the region once a year.

Using our model cable-stayed bridges, children experience bridge building at first-hand, while wearing hard hats, high-vis vests, gloves and goggles. After the bridges have been built, each child gets the chance to walk across and test their engineering skills.

To find out more about Bridges to Schools, please contact Charlotte Pascoe

Interested in helping?

If you think you could help inspire the next generation of engineers, then we want to hear from you!

We're always on the look out for new Ambassadors to visit schools and help enthuse children across the region.

If you're interested we want to hear from you.

Find out more and register your interest

Dawlish rail repairs

More than 300 engineers worked around the clock throughout February, March and early April 2014 to restore the railway line at Dawlish following its collapse on 4 February.

The engineers, including ICE members, worked day and night to repair the track at Dawlish (see image of work taking place) and get it up and running before Easter - two weeks ahead of schedule.

The team rebuilt and fortified the breach, installed over 13 miles of new cables and a new temporary signalling system, replaced over 700m of track and ballast, rebuilt half of Dawlish station with a new platform and canopy, and removed 25,000 tonnes of collapsed cliff in Teignmouth. They even had to build a temporary sea wall from 18 welded shipping containers to protect homes and engineers as they worked.

Take a look at the time-lapse film of the line repairs.

In recognition of their efforts, in October 2014 the team of engineers was awarded ICE's Brunel Medal, which recognises individuals or teams who have shown excellence in civil engineering. The work at Dawlish is a shining example of civil engineers doing what they do best, providing a vital role for society and helping people go about their daily lives.

Dawlish railway repairs
Dawlish railway repairs

What is civil engineering?

If you want to know more about civil engineering, then you're in the right place. Our What is civil engineering section contains a wealth of information, including:

  • Examples of inspiring civil engineering achievements
  • Interviews - find out what inspired civil engineers to choose their career
  • Profiles of some of the most famous civil engineers to have lived

Find out more about civil engineering

Near you

To help promote civil engineering achievements close to you and across the UK, we're running a campaign called This is Civil Engineering. We're highlighting projects across the UK that are helping to improve lives and our environment.

Find out more about This is Civil Engineering

What do you need to do to become a civil engineer?

If you're interested in a university or college course in civil engineering, it's important to make sure that the course you choose is 'accredited'. This means that it meets the Engineering Council's quality and curriculum standards.

Having accredited academic qualifications will make it easier for you to become professionally qualified as a chartered engineer (CEng), incorporated engineer (IEng), or engineering technician (EngTech). Use our course search to find accredited courses throughout the UK.

Please see the list below for accredited centres offering engineering degree courses in the region.


  • The University of Bath
  • The University of Bristol
  • Exeter University
  • The University of Plymouth
  • University of the West of England
  • Bournemouth University

Already studying?

If you're already studying a civil engineering course, then you could be eligible for our FREE student membership.

Becoming a member of ICE offers you a wealth of benefits, from access to free resources like our Ask Brunel service (get an answer to any civil engineering question!), to a free subscription to New Civil Engineer (NCE) magazine.

Join ICE today

Find out more and become a student member for FREE

Careers in civil engineering

If you're thinking about your career options, we're here to help. Our careers section contains a wealth of information on what you need to do to become a civil engineer. You can find out more about the qualifications you'll need, how your career could advance and how we can help you to become a professionally qualified civil engineer

Explore our Careers and professional development section

Looking to develop yourself further?

We provide a range of Professional Development courses to help you develop further.