Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Structural Engineering

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

Structural engineers make a huge contribution to everyday life. From skyscrapers and megastructures to bridges and tunnels networks, they ensure they are fit for purpose, can withstand natural disasters and make the best use of resources. This specialised postgraduate course provides engineering graduates and experienced professionals with advanced knowledge of structures, ready to meet the challenges of the modern engineering practice.

Delivered through a programme of specialist modules, you'll blend theoretical knowledge with contemporary methodology and practice. You'll look at how advanced technology and computer-aided design is reshaping construction practice. You'll look at bridges and tall building engineering in detail, and explore how seismic analysis influences design.

The course is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways Transportation, Institute of Highway Engineers and Permanent Way Institution) as fully satisfying the requirements for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

You will:
  • Develop the skills and knowledge so you're ready to meet the challenges of contemporary structural engineering
  • Follow a professionally-accredited programme leading to chartered status
  • Understand how technology is driving change in building design and construction practice
  • Explore specific issues related to tall buildings and bridge engineering
  • Learn from IStructE award-winning academics

students accepted

Course accreditations
Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) logo
Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) logo
Permanent Way Institution

This is for you if...


You're an engineering graduate looking to specialise in structural engineering


You're working in industry and want to gain further knowledge and skill training in structural engineering


You're fascinated by tall buildings, mega structures and infrastructure projects

Course details

All about the course

The Structural Engineering programme is delivered over one year full-time, or part-time over three years. The syllabus contains four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project module. For full-time study, each module will require two days of contact per week, with an additional three days of self-study, which equates to a full week of study.

  • In trimester one, you will study Design with Computer Applications and Seismic Engineering and Practical Applications of Finite Element Analysis.
  • In trimester two, you will study Tall Buildings, exploring the techniques required to design building structures, and Bridge Engineering, which focuses on aspects of bridge analysis and design.
  • In trimester three, you will complete your academic-supervised dissertation, which is your opportunity to practically apply developed knowledge in a research context. 
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 will be delivered through lectures and tutorials. Engineers from the industry will contribute to the specialist areas of the syllabus as guest lecturers. Group laboratory work delivered in purpose-built facilities will relate theory to practical application. There is a strong emphasis in developing the skills for guided self-learning.

During your studies, you'll be encouraged to attend meetings professional institution meetings, where topics relevant to the course are discussed. Where possible, you'll have the opportunity to make pertinent site visits and receive guest lectures.


Taught modules are assessed using both coursework and examination. Typically, the split is coursework 40%, examination 50% and dissertation 10%.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a rapidly-changing world, our multi-disciplinary courses will shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Delivered by a team of dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment, where you can take your 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 will be well equipped to meet the challenges of contemporary engineering. They may occupy pivotal appointments in prestigious building schemes and the prospect of a challenging career to provide and protect the infrastructure that underpins society. Graduates typically choose to work as structural engineers in a design and consultancy practice.


Some of our graduates choose to progress to postgraduate and doctoral research in our Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC). The Centre aims to build on our world-class research and provide industry with guidance and expertise in 21st-century technology for business success and economic growth. Research at the Centre is supported by EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission funding, as well as direct investment from industry. 

Our engineering hub conducts leading research in structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics. Postgraduate research opportunities within these fields are available for structural engineering graduates.

A taste of what you could become

A structural engineer

A site engineer

A structures consultant

A technical project lead

And more...

Career Links

Salford has strong links with industry covering companies that span the engineering profession. These links have developed through collaborative research and development projects, or via the commercial testing of products/components. The knowledge gained through these engagements all feed into teaching and learning, and help to connect learning to real-world scenarios.


What you need to know


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


International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 6.0) is proof of this.


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 study. To comply with Home Office regulations, you must obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

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 2020/21 £7,920per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £14,670per year
Part-time 2020/21 £1,320 per 30 credits
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,640per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15030per 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.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021