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    Structural Engineering

    Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

    This course focuses on how to analyse and design structures. 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

    On this course you'll discover a range of modern and innovative construction materials, analysis and design methods.

    You'll study the crucial infrastructure that we all depend on, learning how to make it safer, more efficient and sustainable, and better able to withstand earthquakes, fire and explosions.


    This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Permanent Way Institution on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the academic requirement for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

    To hold accredited qualifications for CEng registration, candidates must also hold a Bachelor (Hons) degree that has been accredited as partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). See the JBM website for further information.

    Candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited Bachelor degree accredited for IEng only or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    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 students with a greater understanding of 'modelling' in geotechnical engineering, applied to the analysis and design of large scale geotechnical structures and systems, such as embankment dams, levees and tunnels. This will critically extend to the interpretation, analysis and forensic review of both successively implemented and failed geotechnical systems. Aspects of uncertainty and risk will be developed related to ultimate and serviceability limit states, using a range of historical case histories within the published literature. Investigative analysis will be conducted in the context of a student project that is focused on forensic analysis of failure, benefiting from data from the literature and numerical modelling. This will be complemented by a consideration of soil having a particulate / continuum duality, and by an examination of the role of physical modelling (such as using a geotechnical centrifuge), analytical models, constitutive models, and the geological model.

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    Find out what makes us special at our next online open day on Wednesday 17 April 2024.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    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.


    Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

    Civil engineering is at the forefront of improving the way we live. Whether it's designing the infrastructure that keeps our day-to-day lives running smoothly - from buildings and bridges to clean water supplies - or working to meet the ever-changing needs of our society in the areas of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change, you'll be helping to create and protect the world we live in.

    Our courses will make you the kind of engineer the world needs right now; forward-thinking, interdisciplinary, environmentally conscious, and capable of the kind of complex thinking our rapidly changing society needs. Wherever you choose to start your career, you'll be in demand.

    We're eighth in the UK for civil engineering, according to the Times Good University Guide 2022, and the Complete University Guide 2022. Our research is internationally recognised, and we work closely with industry and government to ensure that our research has real world impact.

    Entry requirements

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

    You will need a strong background and high previous performance (equivalent to 2:1) in at least one maths module (e.g. mathematics, statistics, linear algebra, calculus) and structural engineering and construction-related modules (e.g. structural mechanics, construction materials and structural analysis).

    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.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    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.

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


    You can apply now 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.