Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Structural Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2019

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In a nutshell

Structural engineers make a huge contribution to everyday life. From skyscrapers and megastructures to bridges and tunnels networks, they ensure they are fit for purpose, can withstand natural disasters and make the best use of resources. This specialised postgraduate course provides engineering graduates and experienced professionals with advanced knowledge of structures, ready to meet the challenges of the modern engineering practice.

Delivered through a programme of specialist modules, you'll blend theoretical knowledge with contemporary methodology and practice. You'll look at how advanced technology and computer-aided design is reshaping construction practice. You'll look at bridges and tall building engineering in detail, and explore how seismic analysis influences design.

The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineers, Institute of Highways) as fully satisfying the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). Learning is delivered by Salford's engineering team, winners of the Institution of Structural Engineers Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering Education (Won in 2012 and 2015, Commended 2018).

This course is suitable for honours graduates 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.

You will:
  • Develop the skills and knowledge so you're ready to meet the challenges of contemporary structural engineering
  • Follow a professionally-accredited programme leading to chartered status
  • Understand how technology is driving change in building design and construction practice
  • Explore specific issues related to tall buildings and bridge engineering
  • Learn from IStructE award-winning academics

students accepted

Course accreditations
Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) logo
Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) logo
Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) logo

This is for you if...


You're an engineering graduate looking to specialise in structural engineering


You're working in industry and want to gain further knowledge and skill training in structural engineering


You're fascinated by tall buildings, mega structures and infrastructure projects

Course details

All about the course

The programme is delivered over one year full-time or part-time over three years. It consists of four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project module. For full-time study, each module will require two days of contact per week, with an additional three days of self-study, which equates to a full week of study.

In trimester one, you will study Design with Computer Applications and Seismic Engineering and Practical Applications of Finite Element Analysis.In the second semester, you'll explore Tall Buildings, which develops further the techniques required to design building structures specifically, and Bridge Engineering which will address aspects of bridge analysis and design through assessed group work and individual examination.

In trimester three, you'll complete your dissertation, which is an opportunity to apply your knowledge in a research environment. Completed under the direction of an academic supervisor, the project may involve a range of high-level coordinated academic and practical work.

Trimester One

Introduction to Design with Computer Applications

This module will consolidate and enhance the students current knowledge of analysis techniques specifically for use in structural design. The module will develop your understanding of structural mechanics and its application to real structural engineering problems. On completion of the module you should have an ability to select structural form, as dictated by a client brief, an understanding of the behaviour of structural elements, their framing and function and be able to apply current codes of practice.

Coursework will require the use of computer programming to aid the design process. The final examination requires the solution of an open ended design problem, modelled on the Institution of Structural Engineers Part 3 chartered membership examination, (with a view to providing the students with an experience of the pathway to becoming a professional engineer).

Seismic Engineering and Practical Applications of Finite Element Analysis

This module introduces finite element analysis as a tool for representing and analysing complex structural applications within the construction industry. You will review the stiffness method as a tool for computer analysis and also review the fundamentals of finite element analysis. Practical modelling methodologies will be addressed including assembling, solving and interpreting finite element models for a variety of structural applications. The effects of Seismic actions of various constructions are addressed, looking at various analysis hand and compute techniques, culminating in seismic design to Eurocode 8.

Trimester Two

Bridge Engineering

This module will address aspects of bridge analysis and design through assessed group work and individual examination. An open ended approach is adopted with group design work progressing from concept to detailed design. Inspection and assessment of existing bridge structures is also addressed.

Tall Building Engineering

This module focuses on analysis and design aspects related to tall buildings.  Beginning with a historical perspective, you'll learn about structural form and advanced lateral stability systems related to tall buildings.  You'll also develop knowledge about how wind flow affects tall buildings.

The design element of the module explores components typically found in tall buildings, such as composite slabs, composite beams and composite columns as well as pre-stressed concrete.  Cladding systems and design of structural glass elements is also addressed. 



Trimester Three

MSc Dissertation

The Dissertation module provides you with the opportunity exercise what you have learned in a research (student driven) environment. This is carried out under the direction of an academic supervisor and may involve a range of high-level coordinated academic and practical work.

The JBM require that the three core threads of Design, Health and Safety, and Sustainability are addressed throughout the programme, and these feature in all of the aforementioned modules.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?








The majority of the teaching and learning will be delivered through lectures and tutorials. Engineers from the industry will contribute to the specialist areas of the syllabus as guest lecturers. Group laboratory work delivered in purpose-built facilities will relate theory to practical application. There is a strong emphasis in developing the skills for guided self-learning.

During your studies, you'll be encouraged to attend meetings professional institution meetings, where topics relevant to the course are discussed. Where possible, you'll have the opportunity to make pertinent site visits and receive guest lectures.


Taught modules are assessed using both coursework and examination. Typically, the split is coursework 40%, examination 50% and dissertation 10%.

The School of Science, Engineering and Environment

We want to transform quality of life and the wellbeing of future generations by nurturing professionals and researchers empowered to create an inclusive, sustainable future. From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shape the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.


As a leading centre for engineering study and research, Salford is equipped with advanced, specialist facilities for civil and structural engineering.

Our light structures laboratory is available to help you understand and assess structural behaviour using simple equipment. Our Heavy Structures laboratory is used by researchers and dissertation students to manufacture and test to destruction steel, concrete, timber, glass and masonry test specimens, specifically designed for your topic of research. Facilities here include a 2D shaker table and plain strain soil-structure interaction facility. Our strong floor can be used to test multiple arrangements of structure.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Structural Engineering graduates will be well equipped to meet the challenges of contemporary engineering. 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 typically choose to work as structural engineers in a design and consultancy practice.

Further study

Some of our graduates choose to progress to postgraduate and doctoral research in our Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC). The Centre aims to build on our world-class research and provide industry with guidance and expertise in 21st-century technology for business success and economic growth. Research at the Centre is supported by EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission funding, as well as direct investment from industry. 

Our engineering hub conducts leading research in structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics. Postgraduate research opportunities within these fields are available for structural engineering graduates.

A taste of what you could become

A structural engineer

A site engineer

A structures consultant

A technical project lead

And more...

Career Links

Salford has strong links with industry covering companies that span the engineering profession. These links have developed through collaborative research and development projects, or via the commercial testing of products/components. The knowledge gained through these engagements all feed into teaching and learning, and help to connect learning to real-world scenarios.


What you need to know

English Language Requirements

International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 6.0) is proof of this.

International Students - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin study. To comply with Home Office regulations, you must obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

Chartered Engineer Status

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.

Which qualifications do I need?

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an appropriate honours degree such as civil engineering or structural engineering.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students with alternative qualifications and/or significant relevant experience, subject to approval through a process of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). For further details, contact the School. Applicants should have an appropriate honours degree such as civil engineering or structural engineering.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £7,776per year
Full-time international 2019/20 £14,310per year
Part-time 2019/20 £1,296 per 30 credit module
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

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Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020