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Course content

Programme Background

The MSc/Diploma in Structural and Foundation Engineering is designed for graduates and practising engineers who wish to improve their knowledge of structural and foundation engineering. The structure and content of the programme has been carefully designed following liaison with a wide range of employers in the sector.

The staff members who deliver the programme have wide ranging expertise in specialist subjects which include reinforced concrete technology, dynamic and impact testing of materials, offshore engineering, structural safety, soil-structure interaction and numerical modelling.

The research activities of the programme involve combinations of experimental, numerical and theoretical work. The School has excellent practical facilities for static, dynamic, and impact testing and it has access to advanced computer and networking facilities that include a state-of-the-art parallel processing computer.

Professional Recognition

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) or an accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

Programme Content

The curriculum covers the specialist technical and computational skills necessary for today’s construction industry and therefore offers excellent preparation for employment across an industry that includes consulting and contracting engineers, public authorities and local government. In addition, the programme also provides a suitable springboard for graduates seeking a career in a research lead environment.

Both MSc and Diploma students undertake the eight taught courses listed below. MSc students also complete a Masters dissertation.

Semester 1:
Indeterminate Structures
Stability and Dynamics
Ground Engineering
FEA & Stress Analysis A

Semester 2:
Safety, Risk and Reliability
Earthquake Engineering
Foundation Engineering
FEA & Stress Analysis B


MSc students are also required to submit a research dissertation, the research topic normally aligns with the research interests of the staff in the School but can be tailored to suit the interests of the student or student’s employer. Distance learning and part time students are encouraged to suggest project topics based on their own work experience.

At the discretion of the Programme Leader, MSc students may choose to nominate a research project which enables them to investigate a problem they have encountered in their workplace or elsewhere. The research project can be undertaken in conjunction with a suitable industrial partner on campus or in industry if the industrial partner has the facilities to provide adequate supervision.

Mode of Study

The programme may be studied on a part-time basis and will therefore appeal to practising engineers. It is also delivered via distance learning which enables students from all around the globe to study without the need to interrupt their career and travel to Scotland. Examinations may be organised in each student’s country of residence to avoid unnecessary travel costs.

Visit the MSc/Dip Structural and Foundation Engineering page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!





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