Skip to content

Structural Engineering with Materials MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: One year full-time, between two and five years part-time or as CPD
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Designed for professionals aspiring to technical leadership positions within structural engineering design practice, this course focuses on applying engineering principles, advanced materials behaviour and technical themes within structural engineering.

You'll develop an advanced approach to research methods so you can apply your knowledge and understanding of the continually changing issues related to structural engineering and materials. Through explorations of the environmental, technical and sustainability aspects of civil engineering and building construction, you'll gain awareness, understanding of, and competence in, the design, management and construction of structures.

Who is this course designed for?

This course is suitable for professionals working in construction-related industries, who aspire to senior technical or management positions. Additionally, it's suitable for BSc (Hons) and BEng (Hons) undergraduate students in related subject areas looking to progress to study a technical postgraduate programme. The skills and knowledge gained on this course opens up opportunities for application to senior technical and middle/senior management positions.

  • This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) and recognised 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. See the JBM website for further information.
  • Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who have established links to industry and significant experience of working in practice. Most staff teaching on the course are members of one or more professional institutions relating to civil engineering, and participate in industrial activities, consultancy and research, ensuring our course content allies with current industry practice.
  • Advance your technical abilities in our industry-standard facilities in our Maudslay building, right in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre, supported by our team of expert technicians.
  • Our study routes support part-time learners, who wish to balance employment with further study. Significant academic support and guidance is in place to help students returning to study after extended periods in employment.

Course accreditation:

  • Engineering Council logo
  • Institution of Civil Engineers logo
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers logo
  • Institute of Highway Engineers logo
  • Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation logo

The course is accredited, under license from the Engineering Council, by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), which represents the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT). The course is due for reaccreditation by the JBM during the 2021/22 academic year to cover intakes from 2022 onwards.

Part of our postgraduate civil engineering suite

We have a suite of postgraduate civil and structural engineering courses. Take a look at our course comparison table to help find the right course for you.

What you’ll study

Our MSc Structural Engineering with Materials course concentrates on the civil engineering, structural and management aspects of construction, as well as environmental problems affecting construction projects. You’ll gain awareness, an understanding of, and competence in, the design, management, construction and renovation of structures.

Course structure
The course is formed of nine taught modules, totalling 180 credit points. The modules’ credit points are weighted based on the total time you can expect to spend studying the module content, both in terms of contact hours and non-contact hours. You will study six common modules with our MSc Structural Engineering with Management course (including the research project/dissertation).

Full-time students will study the modules over the course of one year. Part-time students will study four modules in year one, and five modules (including the research project/dissertation) in year two.

Module title Credit points
Advanced Structural Engineering 15
Contemporary Themes in Structural Engineering 15
Advanced Strength of Materials 15
Finite Element Analysis 15
Advanced Structural Analysis 15
Advanced Construction Materials 15
Analysis and Design of Surface Structures 15
Condition Assessment and Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure 15
Research Project / Dissertation 60

Advanced Structural Engineering

15 credit points

  • This module provides an understanding of the fundamental principles of structural elements design, according to Eurocodes. It covers advanced aspects of structural engineering design of box beams for long-span bridges, steel-concrete composite beams, and structural elements for bridges and buildings.
  • The module intends to provide best practice requirements for the fire-resistance design of structures. A review of case studies where movements (dimensional variations) caused severe cracking or failure will be investigated.
  • The module aim is to provide a background in the design of structures and an understanding on advanced topics in the subject with the use of new concepts, construction techniques and materials.
  • The module will be delivered via lectures and seminars, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

Contemporary Themes in Structural Engineering

15 credit points

This module evaluates some contemporary themes in structural engineering, including railway track systems, earthquake engineering, structural forms and structural optimisation.

The module aims to:

  • Provide advanced understanding of highly specialised areas within structural engineering, such as track systems and structural forms.
  • Optimise the design of structures using seismic analysis.
  • Develop the skills to select and use relevant computer programmes for solving problems related to specialised topics in structural engineering.
  • Develop the skills to apply various design codes and an ability to establish and evaluate them critically.

This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and computer labs, and assessed via coursework, including a report and oral presentation.

Advanced Structural Analysis

15 credit points

This module gives an introduction to the more specialised topics within structural analysis and the design field, including the stiffness method, plastic analysis, plate analysis and dynamic analysis of structures.

This module aims to:

  • Provide the necessary tools for carrying out more refined structural analysis.
  • Develop your ability to apply pertinent engineering concepts and mathematical knowledge for modelling structural systems.
  • Develop a better understanding of the behaviour and performance of more complex structural systems.
  • Develop skills to use structural analysis software for solving problems, and comparing the results with manual calculations.

This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars, computer labs and workshops, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

Finite Element Analysis

15 credit points

  • In this module, you will evaluate the Finite Element Method (FEM) for its application to obtain an approximate solution, for the analysis of complex structural problems. You will be introduced to the theory behind FEM, how to derive the governing differential equations, and how to apply the method in sample structural problems. You will be introduced to proprietary FEM software - a leading engineering analysis tool that uses a comprehensive element technology, extensive library of material models and advanced post-processing capability.
  • The aim of the module is to provide you with the intellectual tools necessary to use proprietary FEM software, enabling you to produce computer models of various complex structural problems in order to obtain approximate numerical solutions.
  • You will learn how to use the advanced post-processing capability of the software to produce reports. As part of the module, you will be required to produce solutions for two small projects, which will be assessed for your ability to apply, refine and develop computer models to solve structural problems, and  to generate reports supported with the appropriate graphs and data.
  • This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and computer labs, and assessed via coursework.

Analysis and Design of Surface Structures

15 credit points

This module will engage you with the advanced study of the principles, analysis and design aspects of surface structure systems, such as roads, airfields, ports, concrete hard standing and industrial ground floors.

The module aims to:

  • Critically appraise the fundamental scientific and engineering principles of surface structure engineering.
  • Appraise and contrast conflicting theories that underpin the application of design techniques.
  • Make judgements based on skills and knowledge, to apply various design codes and be able to evaluate them critically.
  • Evaluate alternative design strategies and be able to critically select appropriate design strategy in accordance with design requirements.

This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars, computer labs and workshops, and be assessed via coursework and an exam.

Research Project/Dissertation

60 credit points

  • The aim of this module is to manage and produce an extended piece of work, which draws upon extensive and deep knowledge of primary and secondary source material, to investigate a complex problem.
  • You will define an appropriate project scope and review a selection of published works, pertinent to your investigation. Using a methodology that you have proposed, you will collect primary data, and secondary date, analysing the results and interpreting numerical outputs, to derive meaning from the data and draw appropriate conclusions. The output will be a substantial dissertation based upon your investigation, which will presented in writing.
  • The chosen topic should aim to integrate your learn, show well-developed research skills, show your ability to analyse and evaluate, and bring your own perspective to an unfamiliar and complex problem.
  • This module will be primarily self-directed, supported by a series of lectures and seminars relating to research methods, and one-to-one tutorials with your project/dissertation supervisor.

Advanced Strength of Materials

15 credit points

This module examines main concepts, theories and principles for explaining the mechanical behaviour of materials under various states of stress and strain conditions.

The module aims to:

  • Provide in-depth understanding of the major principles used in evaluating the response of construction materials to stresses and deformation.
  • Develop advanced knowledge relating to the constitutive laws governing the behaviour of the material subject to elastic and plastic deformation, due to various types of loading.
  • Develop the ability to interpret how and why materials fail, based on technical argument of the theories of material failure.
  • Develop the skills to interrelate the theoretical and experimental results.

This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars, computer labs and experimental labs, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

Advanced Construction Materials

15 credit points

  • The aim of this module is to evaluate knowledge about the behaviour and performance of more specialised construction materials, including composites, as applied to structures built from diverse materials.
  • You will learn about the characteristics and durability of various advanced construction materials, ranging from fibre-reinforced concrete, to reinforced plastics and advanced paving materials. You will be able to assess how, by using various advanced construction materials in a range of structures, you can affect strength/weight ratio, durability and safety of structures. You will learn how fibre-reinforced materials can be used for the rehabilitation of civil engineering structures.
  • In a set of two experimental labs, you will be able to assess the behaviour and performance of samples of advanced materials, and report on how the application of these materials will affect design, durability and safety of structures.
  • This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and an experimental lab, and assessed via coursework and an exam.

Condition Assessment and Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructures

15 credit points

This module focuses on condition assessment and the monitoring of civil infrastructure. You’ll be introduced to current methods of structural condition assessment, advances and developments in sensing technologies, technical aspects of structural health monitoring and structural identification.

This module delivers:

  • The motivation for, and integration of, conditional assessment and structural health monitoring in civil infrastructure.
  • In-depth theoretical fundamentals, problems and challenges which an engineer has to tackle when assessing and monitoring civil infrastructure.
  • Advances in, and applications of, sensing technologies and data management tools.
  • Fundamentals of structural identification.
  • Applications of information technology to generate numerical replicas of physical structures, which are employed to assess their performance.
  • Algorithmic signal processing approaches, which are used to interpret measurements obtained from monitoring projects.

This module will be delivered via lectures, seminars computer labs and workshops, and assessed via coursework.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Emmanuel Solomon Ita

Structural Engineering with Materials

I would recommend my course and NTU to anyone, any day, because the teaching and delivery here is amazing. The courses are taught with contemporary methods, making every graduate able to compete in an ever-changing world.

How you’re taught

A wide range of teaching and learning methods are used to deliver the course content. In most modules, you’ll take part in intensive sessions of key point lectures, supported by study guides and other literature. Live site visits and laboratory sessions will support your lecture and seminar-based learning.

Many modules include presentations by external industry specialists, to provide a real-life perspective on the module content. Some modules also include laboratory investigations and computer applications. Non-contact hours include direct out-of-classroom reading and activities, and independent learning and reading is deemed necessary to achieve the learning outcomes for the course.

Study trips

Field trips and study visits play a part in your learning. Trips may include site visits to live construction projects and local partners. Where a trip is mandatory it will be aligned to your modules and inform project work, and substantive costs – including travel and accommodation – will be paid for by the school. Optional trips may also be organised which can provide additional opportunities to enhance your knowledge and experience. Optional trips may incur a cost to the student.

Balancing work and study with our full-time or part-time study options

All of our taught postgraduate civil engineering courses are offered either as a full-time or part-time study route. Full-time study typically takes one year, but there is the option of extending this to two years, and the part-time route takes between two and five years to complete.

The part-time route is suitable for students in full-time employment. We offer a weekend delivery option which is popular with employers, as it tailors study requirements to sit comfortably alongside employment.

Choosing the right study pattern for you

  • Midweek delivery

Modules are taught for up to two days a week, for thirteen weeks and are run in parallel with other midweek modules, enabling you to study more than one module a week.

  • Weekend delivery

Other modules will be delivered over two intensive weekends. These modules will be delivered consecutively, with a significant gap between successive weekend-delivered modules. These modules will be delivered in parallel with the midweek delivered modules.

Most of the modules delivered at weekends in one year, will be delivered as weekday modules the following year, and vice-versa.

Full-time students will be studying a mixture of midweek and weekend delivery modules, whereas it is likely that part-time students will opt to predominantly study weekend delivery modules.

Staff Profiles

Bahareh Kaveh (Dr)

Principal Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Bahareh is a Civil Engineer with a PhD in numerical modelling. She is teaching Advanced Structural Design to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Civil Engineering students at NTU. She is a member…

Rolands Kromanis

Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Rolands Kromanis

Anton Ianakiev

Professor

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

Dr Ianakiev is a Professor in Sustainable Energy Systems at School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment. He teaches Engineering Maths and Individual Project modules to undergraduate and Advanced Construction

Agnes Boscoe-Wallace

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

How you’re assessed

Assessment methods vary from module to module, however assignments and case studies form a significant part of the assessment process. You may also be required to develop reports and designs for assessment.

Assignments may be essays, case studies, reports and designs. They are investigative in nature, enabling you to develop principles, analyse, critically appraise and evaluate relevant issues, demonstrating your creativity and sustainable thinking.

Careers and employability

Mentoring and support

During your research project/dissertation, full-time students will be allocated an NTU supervisor, whilst part-time students will have the chance to be mentored by a nominated Employer Tutor alongside their NTU supervisor.  This will probably be a line manager who will be willing to act as a mentor to you during the course, supporting you throughout the course and specifically during the Research Project/Dissertation module. The Employer Tutor will also be a point of contact, and represent your employer to discuss your progress.

Your employability

Students from this course will graduate with improved professional and technical skills to operate at senior positions in the construction industry. Although this course does not offer a formal placement, all our courses are vocationally focused and benefit from strong links with industry. Graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of national and international organisations in senior positions in both the consulting and contracting fields. Alternatively, some graduates have chosen to continue within the education sector and embarked on PhD studies.


Sir John Armitt, Institution of Civil Engineering and Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow, delivering a lecture to NTU civil engineering students

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From geotechnical design to sustainable energy systems, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Facilities for Civil Engineering students

The School has excellent lab and workshop resources for structural testing, materials science, and soils and building services.

See a full gallery of facilities used by our civil engineering students.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage, and high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student).

Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Books and library resources

In the library, you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within the Built Environment. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our electronic resources, journals and books.

You'll also benefit from a liaison librarian, who has specialist subject knowledge. They can offer detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources and also support on things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2:2 honours degree in civil engineering or an appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

We will also consider applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Postgraduate diploma, or equivalent academic achievement in civil engineering or appropriate built environment subject area.

Applying with industry experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.
  • If you are applying for the part-time mode, you would typically have two to three years’ experience, and have the support of your employer who will wish to integrate study and projects into your day-to-day work.
  • You will probably be employed on significant infrastructure, and civil engineering and/or building works, either as a direct employee of local or national government, or in the private sector. You will likely have experience of developing and coordinating significant infrastructure, and civil engineering or building projects.

Advanced entry

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2:2 honours degree in civil engineering or an appropriate built environment subject area.

International qualifications 

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements 

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2022 entry

Study route Home (UK students) fees 2022
Full-time (1 year) £8,800 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study) £4,400 per year

*Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Fees for 2022 entry

Study routeEU and International fees 2022
Full-time (1 year) £15,850 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study) £7,925 per year

*Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships 

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees 

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

How to apply

Apply online through our NTU Applicant Portal.

For a step-by-step guide to making an application through our Applicant Portal, please visit our postgraduate application pages.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Advice for non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from applicants without prior qualifications. However, in this instance, you must have proven experience in the construction industry, which demonstrates appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree (undergraduate) standard.

If you are applying without prior qualifications, you will need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.ac.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Apply online through our NTU Applicant Portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Complete this simple form to keep in touch with the International Office.

More from School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment