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Supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, this MSc in Civil Engineering Structures (Nuclear Power Plants) is the only accredited course in the UK in this critical area.

Who is it for?

This course is for students interested in the structural aspects of nuclear power plants and the broader field of nuclear energy.


In this programme, you will study how to design, evaluate, and analyse structural systems, with a special focus on Nuclear Power Plants. You will learn all the principles used for the design of buildings, bridges, special structures and in particular nuclear containment structures.

The emphasis on nuclear structures is a response to the skill shortage reported by employers working in this sector. The UK has recently committed to a long-term nuclear new-build programme that is forecast to generate more than 40,000 jobs, yet no specialised training is available in this area. The programme will therefore provide you with a degree that distinguishes you in the market.

The programme is offered on a one-year full-time or two-year part time basis to allow you maximum flexibility.


This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. the JBM website for further information.

Academic facilities

There is a large dedicated lab on site equipped with facilities to investigate different structures and construction materials from concrete to timber. You also have access to other workshops where you can liaise with mechanical or electrical engineers to develop innovative scale models. There is access to specialist soil labs and large-scale equipment including wind tunnels.

We have an extensive library housing all the references, journals and codes of practice that you will need during your studies.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by staff from the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering with some contribution from industrial experts. Teaching is mainly in the form of lectures, but case studies and IT sessions and seminars are also used where appropriate. Modules are shared between two ten-week teaching terms running October-December and January-March. Although work for the MSc dissertation commences during the second term, most of the research work is carried out during the summer months.

The duration of full-time study is 12 months. A part-time route is also available, where students spend two years completing this programme, in which students attend lectures for up to two days each week

Assessment of theoretical modules is based on a combination of examinations and coursework. Examinations are shared between the January and April/May examination periods. Design-oriented modules are normally assessed by coursework only, where students work both in groups and individually on challenging projects that are varied each year. For the MSc dissertation, students are required to attend a viva following submission of the final report.

In order to pass your programme, you should complete successfully or be exempted from the relevant modules and assessments and will therefore acquire the required number of credits.

The pass mark for each module is 50%. You need to attain a 50% mark for all assessment components.


There are seven core modules to be taken, plus one elective module, in addition to the dissertation. The number and credits required to gain an award are identified below.

For the following modules: EPM717, EPM711, EPM712, EPM707, EPM720, EPM718, coursework assignments will require you to apply the theory you have learned to specialised problems relating to the field of nuclear power plants.  You are required to answer these problems to satisfy the coursework assessment for these modules.

If we have insufficient number of students interested in an elective module, this may not be offered. In rare cases, one or two elective modules may not run due to low interest or unanticipated changes in timetabling, including scheduling clashes, room and staff availability. If an elective module will not run, we will advise you at the beginning of every academic term or as soon as possible, and help you choose an alternative module.

Core modules

  • EPM920: Introduction to Nuclear Energy (10 credits)
  • EPM717: Advanced Analysis and Stability of Structures (20 credits)
  • EPM704: Dynamics of Structures (15 credits)
  • EPM711: Design of Concrete Structures (15 credits)
  • EPM712: Design of Steel and Composite Structures (15 credits)
  • EPM921: Design of Nuclear Structures and Foundations (15 credits)
  • EPM707: Finite Element Methods (15 credits)
  • EPM949: Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules

  • EPM720: Earthquake Analysis of Structures (15 credits)
  • EPM718: Analysis of Steel and Concrete Structures for Blast and Fire Exposure (15 credits)

Career prospects

This programme is for students interested in the structural aspects of nuclear power plants. Your career will take you to the broader field of nuclear energy. The types of roles we would expect our graduates to achieve are: an on-site engineer or as a design office engineer, building designing or constructing new plants or evaluating and maintaining existing plants or decommissioning plants at the end of their life cycle. You could also go to the research arena conducting innovative research in the area of nuclear science at research labs or in academia.

Read more information on the Careers support available at City.

Visit the Civil Engineering Structures (Nuclear Power Plants) - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!




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