Structural Engineering (MSc)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
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.
There is an open and engaging culture between our students and our research-active staff, who are actively involved in the design and delivery of this course.
Industry links and projects
This course includes industrial input through invited lecturers, and you will have the opportunity to complete a research-led project.
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.
A 2:2 honours degree in Civil, Structural or Architectural Engineering or a similar field from a UK university, or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have relevant industrial experience we will give your application individual consideration.
Entry to courses in Engineering will be subject to the University requirements for English language.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
The programme is presented as a one-year full-time Master's level programme, and is also available in part-time mode 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 stage (or each year if part-time).
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/24 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Steel Structures||ENT507||10 credits|
|Numerical Techniques in Structural Engineering||ENT515||10 credits|
|Professional Engineering Studies||ENT521||10 credits|
|FE Theory and Practice||ENT603||10 credits|
|Advanced Structural Mechanics||ENT700||10 credits|
|Engineering Case Study||ENT725||20 credits|
|Structural Engineering||ENT742||10 credits|
|Environmental Building Studies||ENT743||10 credits|
|Dissertation (Civil, Structural, Geoenvironmental, Water)||ENT509||60 credits|
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.
Learning and assessment
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 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.
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.
You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations.
What skills will I practise and develop?
As a student on this MSc programme, the skills that you will practise and develop are as follows:
Knowledge and understanding
- Understand the multi-disciplinary nature of structural engineering and the need for the integration of knowledge from a 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.
- 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.
- Use appropriate mathematical and experimental methods for the modelling and analysis of structural engineering problems.
- 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.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
No specific equipment is required for this course.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
This course's graduate employment record is excellent, with the majority of graduates joining engineering consultancies.
Other course options
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.