2022 start September 

Structural Engineering

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

This course focuses on both concrete and steel structures, and how to analyse and design them to better withstand earthquakes, fire and explosions. We teach the use of innovative concepts and methodologies to provide an ideal grounding for an international career in structural design and construction.
Geotechnics student

Course description

The course approaches design using the latest UK and European codes, giving you the opportunity to discover a range of modern and innovative construction materials and methods. From buildings and bridges, to our water and energy supply systems, flood defences and even blast protection, you'll study the crucial infrastructure that we all depend on, learning how to make it safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

Founded over 100 years ago, our department is equipped with the academic expertise and experience to prepare you for an impactful career.

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This degree 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. See the Joint Board of Moderators website for more details.


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Research and Professional Skills

This module fosters best practice in engineering-related research/professional skills and delivers a range of training activities to meet the needs of professional engineers dealing with research and technological development.

15 credits
Structural Analysis

This module is designed to give you fundamental knowledge and skills related to the analysis and design of concrete and steel structural elements. Significant emphasis in this module is on the fundamental understanding of how structural members work and of the analysis behind the design codes. This helps the engineer develop a feel for the behaviour of beam and column elements that is often missing when design is based solely by using codes of practice or by the direct application of prescribed equations. This understanding will become more vital for efficient and sustainable structures into the future.

15 credits
Advanced Geotechnics

The module will provide you with greater understanding of geotechnical design in practice, advancing formative geotechnical engineering courses but critically, extending to the interpretation, analysis and forensic review of failed geotechnical systems and the governing soil-structure interaction relations.

Aspects of uncertainty and risk will be developed pertaining to ultimate and serviceability limit states, understanding soil constitutive behaviour and advanced modelling approaches (physical and numerical). Investigative forensic analysis will be conducted by you, in the context of a design project, benefiting from site investigation, physical modelling (centrifuge) observations, verified by numerical analysis that integrate suitable soil constitutive behaviour.

15 credits
Structural Dynamics and Applications to Earthquake Engineering

This module is designed to provide you with a systematic knowledge and understanding of structural dynamics and its applications in Civil Engineering. On successful completion of this module, you will be able to perform calculation and analyse vibration response of single-degree-of-freedom and multi-degree-of-freedom systems and apply simple structural dynamics theory to solve practical problems in earthquake engineering.

15 credits
Advanced Concrete Design

This module aims to give those with a basic background in the design of reinforced concrete structures an understanding of selected advanced topics in the field, including the use of new concepts, construction techniques and materials. The module also provides a revision of some of the fundamental principles of reinforced concrete design. In particular, it deals with short and long-term deflections, creep, shrinkage, ductility, section analysis, prestressing, shear and cracking.

15 credits
Structural Analysis and Design for Fire

The module will provide an overview of the fire hazard in buildings and measures necessary for life safety and containment of losses. The response of steel and composite structures will be covered in greatest detail, and concrete and timber framing will also be discussed. Traditional design approaches and new design strategies will be discussed, including design for fire parts of Eurocodes 1, 2, 3 and 4. The evidence from recent research including full-scale fire testing at Cardington will be covered. Both intermediate and advanced methods of analysis, and the influence of various parameters, will be discussed. Likely future developments will be reviewed, including measures to ensure robustness in fire.

15 credits
Multistorey Steel Building Design

This module addresses the structural design of medium rise multi-storey steel-framed buildings. Consideration will be given to how such buildings are designed and constructed with particular emphasis on composite construction, frame stability and joint design. Module content will be based around design using Eurocodes 3 and 4 but with a focus on understanding the rationale behind the code provisions rather than a clause-by-clause coverage of the standards.

15 credits
Design of Earthquake Resistant Structures

The aim of this module is to teach the principles of modern seismic design of structures, the methodology of the European design code (Eurocode 8) and the main concepts of seismic performance of structures. The module will be delivered through lectures and computer-lab sessions in which you will be working on a project.

15 credits
Advanced Engineering Research Study

This module represents a major element of the Masters programme, with the aim of enabling you to learn skills in scientific investigation and in running and presenting a project. You are required to submit a comprehensive (bound) report describing the individual work that you have done during the summer semester.

60 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


We use a variety of teaching methods to support your learning, including tutorials, lectures, group project work, virtual learning environments and individual research. Some modules may feature input from our industrial partners, laboratory work or site visits.


Your assessments will include formal examinations, coursework and research projects. Regular feedback is also provided, so that you can understand your own development throughout the course.


1 year full-time

Entry requirements

2:1 honours degree (BEng, MEng, BSc) in civil or structural engineering or other appropriate engineering or science subject.

We'll consider your application if you have appropriate professional qualifications and work experience, but you'll need a strong background in the areas covered on the course.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

+44 114 222 5711

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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