Masters degrees in Structural Engineering equip postgraduates with the skills to design and construct a range of structures, such as buildings and bridges, and predict their performance over time.
Taught MSc degrees are typical for the field, though research-based MRes and MPhil programmes may also be available at some institutions. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant Engineering subject.
Courses in this field equip you with skills to devise, construct and maintain a range of physical forms, from houses to office blocks, bridges to offshore floating systems. The training provided in this field enables you to predict, through reliable design, the stability and reliability of structures during extreme events (such as natural disasters).
You will receive well-rounded training in all aspects on construction, from deep foundations and earth-retaining structures, to soil science and mechanics, concrete and steel engineering and engineering mechanics. You may specialise your studies in a range of areas, including masonry construction, bridge engineering, geotechnical structures and earthquake engineering.
Careers are varied, and may include roles such project management, financing and asset management, health and safety management, quality assurance monitoring, or even law.
Structural engineers help to make, shape and maintain the built environment, from buildings and bridges to water supply systems, power plans and flood defences. They are professionals who enjoy innovation, challenges, opportunities, responsibility and excitement in a varied and very satisfying career. As a profession, structural engineering provides a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference to peoples' lives and their environment.
This programme will equip you with the advanced knowledge and skills to succeed in this challenging industry. You’ll build your knowledge of a range of core topics such as concrete and steel design, structural analysis, design optimisation and how structures are designed and managed in earthquake zones. You’ll also develop your research skills and focus on a specific topic when you complete your own research project.
Taught by leading academics and practitioners, you’ll prepare to face some of the major challenges of the 21st century.
This programme has close links with local and regional industry as well as the Yorkshire branch of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) – and you’ll benefit from the expertise of our Institute for Resilient Infrastructure and the active research groups across the Faculty of Engineering.
You’ll also benefit from using our specialist facilities, such as bench-top testing facilities to look at the fundamental behaviour of material soils and testing rigs for full-scale structures. We have all the specialist software you’ll need for your programme, and you’ll have access to a dedicated study suite for Masters students.
This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators 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.
This course is also accredited by EUR-ACE, the European quality label for engineering degree programmes at Bachelor and Master level.
You’ll study a set of core modules that give you a firm foundation in the key elements of structural engineering. You’ll develop and expand your understanding of structural analysis and foundation engineering, and explore design issues related to key building materials like concrete, steel and composites. From there you’ll explore design optimisation and examine real-life examples.
We place a strong emphasis on applying your knowledge to real-world problems. Over the 2 semesters, you’ll work on your own design project, where you’ll develop, evaluate and recommend concept design solutions to a structural engineering problem and even put together an outline construction programme for the project.
During Semester 1 and 2 but particularly over the summer months, you’ll also develop and apply your research skills to a real-world problem when you complete an independent research project.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Structural Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The dissertation project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects by MSc Structural Engineering students have included:
A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.
This programme greatly enhances your ability to obtain status as a Chartered Structural Engineer. As a result, you may expect to find employment in the major structural engineering consulting practices, while opportunities also exist with multidisciplinary consulting organisations.
Graduates have gone on to succeed in a range of careers around the world for organisations sucj as Arup, Delf Consulting Engineers (India), G2 Structural Ltd, JN Bentley Ltd, KA Tech Tips Ltd, SkyCon Design & Construction Co. Ltd and Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services among others.
If you are taking the course on a part-time basis, you will return to your existing jobs with enhanced potential for progression.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Our Structural Engineering postgraduate programme is delivered by the Faculty’s own staff, together with practising engineers from consultancies and local authorities.
For practising engineers engaged in the planning, design and construction of structural engineering works, this programme provides an opportunity to update their knowledge of current design practice and to become familiar with developments in codes and methods of analysis.
You will be able to choose from a rich and varied selection of specialist structural engineering subjects. The programme is offered in the standard full-time mode, in addition to part-time and distance learning options.
Graduates from the programme are highly employable and may progress to relevant specialist PhD or EngD research programmes in the field.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time or distance learning over two to five academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation project.
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.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Structural Engineering Group Modules
Bridge Engineering Group Modules
Geotechnical Engineering Group Modules
Construction Management Group Modules
Infrastructure Engineering Group Modules
Water and Environmental Engineering Group Modules
Apart from the usual full-time mode, there are also part-time options. The majority of Bridge, Geotechnical and Structural Engineering modules can be studied by distance learning through the use of an interactive web-based e-learning platform (SurreyLearn).
This programme can be studied via distance learning, which allows a high level of flexibility and enables you to study alongside other commitments you may have. Get further information about the details of our distance learning programme.
As part of your learning experience, you will have at your disposal a wide range of relevant software, including ANSYS, ABAQUS, DIANA, SAP 2000, Integer SuperSTRESS, LUSAS, CRISP, MATLAB, PertMaster DRACULA and VISSIM.
The programme aims to provide graduates with:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
The University of South Wales Civil & Structural Engineering MSc is a taught postgraduate course offering full-time and part-time pathways.
Students complete a sequence of optional and compulsory modules, plus a final dissertation, before graduating with the 180 credit Master of Science degree.
This degree is your opportunity to establish or consolidate your career as a civil or structural design engineer. The course is accredited for the Further Learning Programme (formerly ‘Matching Sections’) at Chartered Engineer (CEng) level by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT), and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
There is also an opportunity for working professionals to progress towards CEng status through a tailor-made route. This will help you accelerate to the remaining steps of CEng status by working with your employer in the process. This is a unique feature of a Masters course and significantly reduces the period required to achieve Chartered status.
To provide the latest specialist knowledge and technical competence, all design-related modules are taught in accordance with the new structural Eurocodes. As well as developing your analytical and problem-solving skills, tuition covers project planning and contract management. The course is also underpinned by research into areas such as the use of novel and sustainable environmentally-friendly materials, geotechnics and structural modelling.
You will study the following modules:
- Advanced Civil Engineering Materials
- Integrative Project Planning and Management
- Geo-environmental Engineering
- Advanced Structural Analysis and Structural Concrete Design
- Further Advanced Structural Analysis and Steel/Composite Design
Optional modules include:
- Seismic Analysis and Design to Eurocodes*
- Structural Timber and Masonry Design to Eurocodes*
- Further Finite Element Analysis*
- Non-Destructive Testing*
*10 credit module
The course is delivered in three major blocks that offer an intensive but flexible learning pattern, with two entry opportunities for applicants each year – February and September. You will learn through lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as guest lectures and seminars with prominent industry experts. You will complete a research project using our excellent laboratory facilities and a dissertation on a chosen topic of interest.
On completion of this course, you will be able to develop a career as a structural engineer, technical manager, or research and development manager. These roles can be with leading international consultancies, contractors, national and local consulting companies, as well as international research and government organisations.
Some modules are assessed through coursework, others by a combination of design projects and a formal examination. If you want to continue working in industry, you can apply to study individual modules as short courses on a day-release or block-delivery basis.
The University of South Wales has excellent facilities, and is committed to investment and refurbishment. We’ve just completed a £130m investment programme in new buildings and facilities, including significant investment in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science. The University has also announced a further investment of £28m ensure that you’re using equipment and software that is state-of-the-art and industry-standard, we continually evaluate our labs and teaching spaces and regularly re-fit and re-equip them. A recent refurbishment of a number of our Civil and Mechanical Engineering labs is part of this programme of continuous enhancement of our facilities.
The MSc Civil and Structural Engineering 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) undergraduate first degree*. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.
* It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.
Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.
The following postgraduate funding may be available to study the Civil & Structural Engineering MSc at The University of South Wales.
Full Time (UK / EU): £6,000
Full Time (international): £12,600
Part Time (UK /EU): £670 per 20 credit
This course is aimed at graduates with an honours degree or relevant professional experience who want to develop their understanding and skills as structural engineers.
The course meets 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 Eng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See http://www.jbm.org.uk for further information.
The course is delivered via a combination of lectures, tutorials, design projects, computing sessions and laboratory demonstrations.
You will be encouraged to attend meetings of the professional institutions, where relevant topics are being discussed.
Where possible, pertinent site visits and guest lectures will be organised.
Coursework 42%, Examination 47% and Dissertation 11%.
Graduates of this course will be well equipped to meet the challenges of the modern structural engineering industry. They may occupy pivotal appointments in prestigious building schemes and the prospect of a challenging career to provide and protect the infrastructure that underpins society.
Graduates might typically work as a structural engineer in a design office or for an engineering consultancy.
Many of our graduates will go on to further study in our Engineering 2050 Research Centre.
The Engineering Research Centre brings together a wealth of expertise and international reputation in three focussed subject areas. Research at the centre is well funded, with support from EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission, as well as excellent links with and direct funding from industry. Our research excellence means that we have not only the highest calibre academics but also the first class facilities to support the leading edge research projects for both post-graduate studies and post-doctoral research.
You will probably be part of our Civil Engineering Group in this Centre which carries out leading edge research in structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics.
Innovative design allows more interesting and functional architecture but challenges traditional concepts of fire safety. To respond to these demands takes specialist knowledge and advanced skills in engineering analysis.
This programme covers the fundamentals of fire science, including laboratory classes, fire safety engineering and relevant structural engineering topics, such as finite element methods.
You will gain knowledge of the critical issues in structural fire safety engineering, and an understanding of relevant fire and structural behaviours.
You will become familiar with performance-based approaches to design and have an awareness of the capabilities – and limitations – of relevant advanced modelling methods for structures and fire.
This programme is fully accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM)
Our Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Fire Safety Engineering hosts bespoke equipment to support groundbreaking research and teaching, with combined thermal and mechanical loading and use of the latest image analysis techniques.
This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.
Semester 1 courses
Semester 2 courses
Internationally, there is great demand for graduates in this field, with expertise in structural fire safety engineering particularly sought after as performance-based design expands. All of our previous graduates are in relevant employment, with the majority working in fire teams at engineering consultancies.