Structural Engineering (MSc) Part-time

The creation of modern buildings is a complex operation requiring professional skills from many disciplines. This course offers advanced training in the analysis, design and construction of structures in a variety of materials.

This MSc offers you the knowledge and expertise for a career as a consulting structural engineer within this specialist professional area of civil engineering. It is designed to provide specialist postgraduate professional development across the areas of steel, concrete and timber design, structural dynamics, and structural mechanics. It will provide you with a sound scientific, technical and commercial understanding of structural engineering issues and practice, while training you in engineering research methods in order to develop a range of related transferable skills. It will cover the diverse nature of structural engineering through the integration of knowledge from mechanics, materials, structural analysis and structural design. You will gain new advanced level skills in engineering theory and practice related to the management of structural engineering challenges.

Distinctive features

This course has a number of distinctive features:

  • The employment record of graduates is excellent, with the majority of graduates joining engineering consultancies.
  • The MSc in Structural Engineering is accredited by the ICE, IStructE, IHT and IHIE as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for intakes 2014-2018 inclusive, for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree or an IEng accredited BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.
  • You will be learning in a research-led teaching institution taught by staff rated in the highest possible category by independent Government assessment.
  • It will give you the opportunity to work in facilities commensurate with a top-class research unit.
  • It provides the flexibility for you to continue working and study at the same time.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
QualificationMSc
ModePart-time
Other ways to study this course
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

An upper 2nd class honours degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering or a similar field from a good UK university or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have a good 2:2 or equivalent, or relevant industrial experience, we will give your application individual consideration.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to pass IELTS exams. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5. Please see our English language requirements for more information.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

The programme is presented as a part-time Master's level programme, and is taught over three years.

The programme is presented in two stages:

  • In Stage 1 you will follow taught modules to the value of 120 credits, with a limited amount of choice between option modules.
  • Stage 2 consists of a Dissertation module worth 60 credits.     

Summative assessment is undertaken at the end of each year.

Year one

Year two

Year three

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

A wide range of teaching styles will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. You will attend lectures and participate in examples classes. All students must complete 120 credits in Stage 1 in order to progress to the dissertation, for which they are allocated a supervisor from among the teaching staff. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest, although you are encouraged to put forward your own project ideas.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor to assist you with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. The personal tutor will see you early on in the programme, and then as required. For the dissertation stage, you will be allocated a supervisor in the relevant research area whom you should expect to meet with regularly.

In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, students with specific needs will be supported as required.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback. 

Feedback

You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations. 

How will I be assessed?

Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January or May. Examinations count for 60%–70% of assessment in Stage 1 of the programme, depending on the options chosen, the remainder being largely project work and pieces of coursework.

Award of an MSc requires successful completion of Stage 2, the Dissertation, with a mark of 50% or higher. Candidates achieving a 70% average may be awarded a Distinction. Candidates achieving a 60% average may be awarded a Merit. Candidates failing to qualify for an MSc may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma for 120 credits in Stage 1. Candidates failing to complete the 120 credits required for Stage 1 may still be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate for the achievement of at least 60 credits.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a student on this MSc programme you will practise and develop the following skills: 

         Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the multi-disciplinary nature of structural engineering and the need for the integration of knowledge from range of engineering disciplines in the management of structural engineering challenges.
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the principles of steel and timber behaviour and their application in design codes.
  • Critically compare the engineering and mathematical approach to elasticity.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of several cement-based composites and the use of fracture mechanics in concrete design.
  • Understand the causes and techniques for analysing structural motion and relate these to the design of buildings.
  • Understand the basis of the finite element finite difference methods and apply the methods to 2D structural problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge which is at the forefront of a range of disciplines selected from structural, geotechnical, environmental and highway engineering and the management of engineering.

        Intellectual skills

  • Use knowledge and scientific evidence-based, methods in the assessment and solution of structural engineering challenges, often on the basis of limited and possibly contradictory information.
  • Deal with complex structural engineering issues both systematically and creatively.
  • Show originality in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Critically review the background to a structural engineering problem and to formulate a programme of works to address the issue.
  • Systematically undertake a significant research project in structural engineering which includes originality in the application of knowledge and the exercise of critical engineering judgement.
  • Collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways, and identify means to gain new data where needed.
  • Conceive, plan, execute, and communicate the results of an extended in-depth piece of individual project work.
  • Sustain a critical argument, both in writing and through presentations.

         Practical skills

  • Use appropriate mathematical and experimental methods for the modelling and analysis of structural engineering problems.

        Transferable skills

  • Manipulate, present and report data in a variety of ways.
  • Manage resources and time.
  • Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written, and physical or practical means.

This course's graduate employment record is excellent, with the majority of graduates joining engineering consultancies.

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan. The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment for this course is required.