Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Structural Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Structural engineers hold the privilege of being responsible for changing the skylines around the world and be custodians for the built environment around us.

From skyscrapers and megastructures to bridges and tunnels, major projects need to be fit for purpose, withstand natural disasters and make the best use of resources. Develop your Structural Engineering knowledge and technique to help deliver them with our accredited MSc Structural Engineering postgraduate degree.

Available with full-time and part-time study pathways, this course is aligned with the principles of the IStructE Chartered Membership examination. With a combination of engineers with real world experience and active cutting-edge research engineers, our course will provide you with advanced knowledge of structures, ready to meet the challenges of modern Structural Engineering. 

Following a suite of carefully-designed modules that blend theory with contemporary methodology and application from concept to detailed design, you will be exposed to assessments that mirror those of the IStructE chartership examination. You will examine general buildings, bridges, tall buildings and consider Seismic design and assessments with an emphasis on computer modelling and validation.

International applicant? Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Start your MSc Structural Engineering study journey

Register for our next Open Day where you can learn more about the course, tour our new engineering facilities and meet the tutors

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 Structural design and analysis skills acquired during your undergraduate studies, so you're ready to meet the challenges of contemporary Structural Engineering
  • Learn from IStructE award-winning academics; chartered engineers with current industry experience as you follow a professionally-accredited pathway towards chartered status

students accepted

Course accreditations

ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers) logo
CIHT logo
IHE (Institute of Highway Engineers) logo
Permanent Way Institution logo

This is for you if...


You are a Civil Engineering graduate looking to continue your knowledge development and specialise in Structural Engineering for future career opportunities


You are an industry professional looking to further your Structural Engineering skills to facilitate career progression

Course details

All about the course


Course delivery

Our MSc Structural Engineering 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:

  • as a full-time student, you will complete four taught 30-credit modules in each of your first two trimesters on campus. In the third trimester, you will complete a 60-credit research dissertation project
  • as a part-time student, you will complete two taught 30-credit modules across trimesters in years one and two. You will complete your 60-credit research dissertation project during a third year of study

Learning experience

We've developed the course to equip you with the practical engineering knowledge and experience required by industry. Current course topics include includes a focus on general building analysis and design, tall buildings, bridge engineering, seismic engineering with finite element analysis and computational structural design. You will also strengthen your research and analytical skills by completing a dissertation on a topic of your choice. Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Course team

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

Course leader: Dr. Laurence Weekes

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 with practical application to real design problems with teaching staff who are a combination of practicing engineers, active researches, or who have acted as either chief examiners or marking examiners for the IStructE chartered membership examination.
  • 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 through application of your skills to real world problems and the design exercise.

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 (25%), examination (42%) and dissertation (33%).

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 leaders.

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


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, a range of tensile and compression testing machines and bespoke structural testing rigs which can be constructed. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Two structural engineers in front of drainage canals and bridge


Structural Engineering graduates are well-equipped to meet the challenges of contemporary engineering. The skills and knowledge you will develop on the course 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, our structural engineering graduates typically secure roles working as structural engineers at regional and multi-national engineering, design and consultancy practices.

Further study

You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. The engineering research hub is home to Informatics PhD and Research Master’s opportunities in areas of structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics.

Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.

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

Applicant profile 

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

English language requirements

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. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course

International students - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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:

International applicants

Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Course accreditation

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 requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.

It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree 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.

Visit JBM for further information.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants should have a minimum 2:2 Honours Degree in an appropriate discipline, such as Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering.

International student entry requirements

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

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).

For more information or enquires about this scheme, please contact:

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,990.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 £1,665 per 30 credits
Full-time home 2025/26 £10,350.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year

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. Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025