Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Structural Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

From skyscrapers and megastructures to bridges and tunnels networks, structural engineers ensure these major projects are fit for purpose, can withstand natural disasters and make the best use of resources. Develop your engineering knowledge and technique to help deliver them with a Structural Engineering postgraduate degree.

Available with full-time and part-time study pathways, and led by an industry-experienced engineering team, the course provides engineering graduates and experienced professionals with advanced knowledge of structures, ready to meet the challenges of the modern engineering practice. 

Following a suite of carefully-design modules that blend theory with contemporary methodology and practice, you will see how technology and computer-aided design is reshaping practice. You will examine bridges and tall building engineering in detail, and explore how seismic analysis influences design.

This course is designed to meet the requirements of the Engineering Council’s Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP). Visit the Engineering Council website for more information about professional accreditation.

You will:
  • Explore specific issues related to tall buildings and bridge engineering as you examine how technology is driving change in building design and construction practice
  • Continue to develop your engineering skills and knowledge, so you're ready to meet the challenges of contemporary structural engineering
  • Learn from IStructE award-winning academics with industry experience as you follow a professionally-accredited pathway towards chartered status

students accepted

This is for you if...


You are an engineering graduate looking to continue your knowledge development and specialise in structural engineering for future career opportunities


You are an industry professional looking to formalise your knowledge or gain further skills in structural engineering


You are an engineering graduate or professional keen to learn more about the structural engineering challenges associated with mega structures and major infrastructure projects

Course details

All about the course


The Structural Engineering postgraduate qualification meets industry needs by providing formal qualifications for graduates professionals looking to develop their engineering knowledge and skill set.

Course delivery

The course is delivered through a range of industry-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises four 30-credit taught modules, plus a 60-credit research-based dissertation project. The 120-credit PgDip comprises four taught modules. 

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus:

  • Full-time students will complete four 30-credit taught modules in each of the first two trimesters on campus. The research-based dissertation project worth 60 credits is completed during the third trimester
  • Part-time students will complete two 30-credit modules across trimesters in years one and two. Students will complete a research-based dissertation project during a third year of study
Course content

The course is designed to equip you with the practical engineering knowledge and experience industry requires. Current content includes a focus on tall buildings, bridge engineering, seismic engineering with finite element analysis and computational structural design.

Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Trimester one

Introduction to Structural 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 is delivered through lectures and tutorials
  • Group laboratory work delivered in purpose-built facilities is used to help you relate theory to practical application
  • We invite engineers from industry as guest lecturers to contribute to specialist areas of the curriculum 
  • There is a strong emphasis in developing the skills for guided self-learning.

During your studies, we will encourage you to attend meetings professional institution meetings and events where course-specific topics are discussed. You many also have the opportunity to make relevant site visits and take part in industry competitions.

> Read about student Daniel's double success at the Concrete Centre awards


We use a range of methods to assess taught modules. Typically, the split is coursework (40%), examination (50%) and dissertation (10%).

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and industry leaders.

Shaped by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the skills to take your career potential further.

Learning Environment

During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software.

As a structural engineering student, you will use our light structures laboratory to understand and assess structural behaviour using simple equipment. Our heavy structures laboratory will enable you to manufacture and test materials to destruction. Facilities include a strong floor,  2D shaker table and plain strain soil-structure interaction facility. 

Programme Team

The Structural Engineering postgraduate programme is delivered by an academic team with extensive industry experience and research connections.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Structural Engineering graduates are well-equipped to meet the challenges of contemporary engineering. The acquired skillset and knowledge can open up opportunities to get involved in prestigious building schemes and take a lead in protecting and enhancing the infrastructure that supports everyday life.

Keen to apply the specialist knowledge developed on the course, graduates typically secure roles working as structural engineers at regional and multi-national engineering, design and consultancy practices.


You could also choose to take your subject interest further through research. The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is home to our engineering research hub, leading projects in areas of structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics. 

Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available at Salford through our Doctoral School.

A taste of what you could become

A structural engineer

A site engineer

A structures consultant

A technical project lead

And more...


What you need to know


This course is recommended for experienced engineering professionals, and graduates with a relevant engineering degree and/or professional experience, who want to develop a career focus in structural engineering. 


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications. 

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.


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 their studies. You need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

If you have a query relating to ATAS, please contact:

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants should have a minimum 2:2 Honours Degree in an appropriate honours degree, such as civil engineering or structural engineering.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,640per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Part-time 2021/22 £1,440 per 30 credits
Additional costs

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

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022