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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 is 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.

    It is expected that students will choose optional modules from within each theme of Geotechnics, Structures and Management, with semester 1 optional modules being pre-requisites for the semester 2 optional modules

    Semester 1 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
    Computational Structural Analysis

    This module will cover the theoretical and practical aspects of using numerical analysis methods, with emphasis on the Finite Element Method (FEM). The module starts with the fundamentals of the FEM to then cover practical applications to structural problems and interpretation of results. Additionally, it provides an overview of recent developments in computational structural analysis.

    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

    Semester 1 optional modules:

    Structural Dynamics and 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
    Innovations in Construction Materials and Technologies

    This research-led module will familiarise students with some of the innovative materials and technologies used in the construction industry for the design and execution of new structures and the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure. The module will deal with: the use of innovative solutions for reinforcing and strengthening concrete structures (e.g. Fibre Reinforced Polymers - FRP, Textile Reinforced Mortars - TRM); the development of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and its structural applications; the development of low-carbon sustainable concretes, including geopolymer concrete, and their applications; recent material and product developments (e.g. self-healing concrete), state-of-the-art additive construction techniques (e.g. concrete 3D printing). Existing design guidelines and state-of-the-art research in the field will be reviewed and discussed, and complemented by practical tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions.

    15 credits
    Engineering within Planetary Capacity

    It is projected that by 2050 the human population will be 10 billion, with over 75% concentrated in urban and megacity areas. It is essential that engineering solutions are developed to create and maintain an urban built environment that can meet rapidly changing societal needs, whilst being within the carrying capacity of the planet. This module will equip you with the skills to develop and analyse built environment engineering solutions to ensure they operate within planetary boundaries.

    15 credits
    Civil Engineering Project Management

    This module will introduce you to core management topics and skills relevant to the complex environment of the modern construction industry. Key topics addressed include: construction project management, making a business case, understanding value, risk and quality, managing resources and contracts, legal responsibilities and procurement.

    15 credits

    Semester 2 core modules:

    Advanced Concrete Design for Net-Zero

    This module is designed for individuals with a background in reinforced concrete structure design, offering an in-depth exploration of advanced topics in the field. Focusing on emerging concepts, construction techniques, and innovative materials, the course places particular emphasis on materials conducive to achieving Net Zero Carbon and examines their implications in the design process. The module not only revisits fundamental principles of reinforced concrete design but also delves into key aspects such as short and long-term deflections, creep, shrinkage, ductility, section analysis, prestressing, shear, and cracking. This module equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of modern reinforced concrete design.

    15 credits
    Sustainable Steel and Hybrid Structures

    This module will provide students with up-to-date knowledge of steel and hybrid construction and prepare them with skills for designing steel, steel-concrete hybrid and steel-timber hybrid structures.  The module will help the students to develop a fundamental understanding of the underlying principles of the behaviour of these structures, as well as sustainability and modern constructions methods, such as design for disassembly and adaptability.

    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

    Semester 2 optional modules:

    Blast and Impact Effects on Structures

    This module introduces students to issues related to material and structural response high-magnitude, transient loading, such as those generated by explosions or impacts. The module includes quantification of blast load parameters, qualitative assessment of material and structural response, development of closed-form and numerical calculation methods to quantify structural response and an appraisal of codes of practice guidance intended to increase the resilience of structures to these loads. Teaching takes place predominantly in lecture and tutorials with some computer laboratories.

    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
    Earthquake Resistant Design and Strengthening

    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
    Managing Design and Construction

    This module will apply core skills taught in previous modules to real life scenarios related to the management of construction. The scenarios will include aspects of: construction project management, making a business case, understanding value, risk and quality, managing resources and contracts, legal responsibilities and procurement.

    15 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.

    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.