MSc Structural Engineering


Program Description

This postgraduate programme allows you to develop a detailed theoretical understanding of structural engineering, and how to apply that understanding to practical design situations. These include the response of structures to extreme loading, such as winds and earthquakes.

The course integrates theory, application and design. Theory will be introduced alongside its application using in advanced software and computer modelling, in structural engineering and in BIM, so that you can see how it relates to real-world problems.

Structural design is a core element of the course, providing you with the opportunity to extend your knowledge of steel and concrete structures. Tall buildings and bridges provide further opportunities for you to integrate advanced analysis with design in a practical context.

Key facts

  • The programme 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 department has extensive facilities, including a strong floor for structural testing, hydraulics lab, large centrifuge for geotechnical research and teaching and atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel.
    • The department has extensive links with industrial sponsors and other organisations, locally, nationally and internationally.

Course details

This course is studied full-time over 12 months. It can provide you with the technical knowledge you need to develop a wide range of analytical, decision making and critical thinking skills, needed for their application to structural engineering problems.

Once you have successfully completed this course you will be able to conceive, model, design and analyse a wide range of innovative structures and apply advanced concepts in structural engineering.

Learning outcomes include:

  • a comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of structural engineering and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights in the field
  • the ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies
  • an awareness of the commercial and social contexts in which engineers operate, and knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, their limitations, and how these may be applied in the context of structural engineering
  • an awareness of relevant regulatory requirements governing engineering activities in the context of structural engineering
  • understanding of and ability to make general evaluations of risk issues in the context of the particular specialisation, including health and safety, environmental and commercial risk
  • advanced knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components


Sixty credits of taught modules are studied in each of the autumn and spring semesters. A research project worth sixty credits is then completed in the summer period.

Module availability on non-compulsory modules is subject to timetabling and pre-requisite restrictions.

Core modules ( Total credits: 180)

  • Civil Engineering Research Project (summer): 60 credits
  • Dynamics and Wind Engineering (autumn): 20 credits
  • Advanced Structural Analysis (autumn): 20 credits
  • Bridge Engineering (spring): 20 credits
  • Earthquake Engineering (spring): 20 credits
  • Tall Building Group Design Project (spring): 20 credits
  • Advanced Structural Design (autumn): 20 credits

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


The blend of academic study and development of practical and professional skills that the course provides is an ideal preparation for the future challenges of working in a multidisciplinary environment. Graduates of this course will be highly sorted after and will be suitable to enter into a professional career related to the field of structural and civil engineering.

The University of Nottingham has been recognised as delivering a Gold standard in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which aims to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 100% of postgraduates in the department who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

If you take up postgraduate study with us you will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops.

*The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements: 2.1 (Upper 2nd class honours degree or international equivalent)

IELTS: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

TheFaculty of Engineering at Nottinghamis known for its world-class research, inspirational teaching, and diverse academic community.

TheFaculty of Engineering at Nottinghamis known for its world-class research, inspirational teaching, and diverse academic community. Read less
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