Example programme structure

Structural Engineering MSc

2017 example programme structure

The Structural Engineering MSc is studied for a full year. Semester 1 starts in September and you will study four units that are essential to getting a good start in your Structural Engineering MSc programme.

These units are:

  • MACE60035 Principles of Structural Engineering Design

This unit builds on students’ prior knowledge of the analysis and design of steel and concrete structures and their foundations and introduces a number of advanced topics to equip students to play leading roles in structural design. This unit is taught by specialists in structures and geotechnics and helps students to prepare for the practical structural design project (Practice of Structural Engineering Design). Using a variety of teaching methods, this unit helps students to link theory with practice.

  • MACE61059 Finite Element Modelling

The finite element method is a computer simulation technique used in all areas of engineering to assess and improve the design of materials, components and structures. The Manchester philosophy is to provide a solid foundation in the theory as well as the practical skills required to use the method effectively in industry, the latter through alignment with the Professional Simulation Engineer accreditation scheme run by NAFEMS.

  • MACE60004 Research Methods

This unit introduces MSc students to the Scientific Method with emphasis on relevance to research projects and dissertation writing. It equips students with the basic skills to design, implement and communicate research. Students will learn how to identify research questions, critically evaluate scientific literature, and apply appropriate methodologies. They will develop skills for the robust analysis of results. The unit covers academic writing skills for production of papers, reports and dissertations; as well as how to effectively deliver oral presentations to a range of audiences. Students will be introduced to the topics of Academic Integrity, Ethics and avoidance of plagiarism. Course appropriate Programming such as MATLAB and FORTRAN will also be included. Training in these essential research competences will be completed before the students embark on their projects to enable students to maximise their academic potential and produce high quality dissertations.

  • MACE62021 Experimental Methods

Experimentation in engineering is a crucial part of any design, research or production process. This unit contains both theoretical and practical aspects of experimentation including signal processing relevant to any engineering discipline. These skills will be reinforced in both a theoretical and a practical experimental sense through the design and implementation of an experiment. Specialist material focused on discipline-specific techniques and practices will also be covered. This unit, developed with input from industrial partners, will provide students with a set of desirable and transferable skills relevant to modern experimental engineering and will prepare them for a career in either research or industry.

Each unit is worth 15 credits and will take a total of about 150 hours of study time. You study will typically include attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. You will be assessed by submitting coursework and by taking examinations.

After a short break in teaching in late December/ New Year you will take your semester one examinations. In late January semester two commences and you will study four new units:

  • MACE60014 Practice of Structural Engineering Design

This unit brings together topics covered earlier in the MSc and applies them to a challenging, open-ended and realistic structural design problem.  There is considerable scope for imaginative problem-solving, creativity and original engineering thought.  The unit delivery is led by a practising structural engineer who is also a Manchester graduate.  It is largely project-based, supported by contextual lectures and workshops.  The unit equips graduates for careers in cutting-edge structural design.

  • MACE60027 Earthquake Engineering

This unit brings together theoretical fundamentals, engineering practice and code regulations for aseismic designs and enables students to understand the philosophy of earthquake-resistant design and appreciate the behaviour of structures subjected to earthquake actions. One of the top structural engineers in the UK will deliver the practical aspects of the unit and show many practical cases. Advanced concepts, such as resonance and vibration reduction, will be demonstrated using physical models. MIDAS will be used to conduct earthquake resistant design of a frame structure based on Eurocode 8. The unit will equip students with advanced knowledge in earthquake engineering to meet the challenging of aseismic designs.

  • MACE60090 Fire Engineering

Uncontrolled fires can cause a large number of deaths and extensive damage, so ensuring fire safety is one of the most critical requirements of buildings. This course will introduce the fundamentals of building fire safety requirements and methods of achieving fire safety design, with a particular focus on fire resistance of structures. This unit builds on the international leading fire engineering research expertise at the University of Manchester. This is a unique specialist structural engineering course for a mainstream topic. It links fundamental theories to practical applications to which the lecturer of the course has made significant contributions.

  • MACE60012 Advanced Structural Analysis

This unit will focus on structural concepts and structural dynamics. Students will study structural concepts from theory to practice with an emphasis on qualitative analysis techniques. Much of the unit content is based on the newly published book, ‘Understanding and Using Structural Concepts’, written by one of the two lecturers. The other half of the module will deal with structural dynamics, covering theoretical fundamentals to practical applications using a quantified approach. Students will use theoretical calculations, computational analysis and qualitative analysis techniques. This unit will equip students with advanced structural knowledge to produce engineering solutions to real structural problems.

  • MACE6000 Dissertation

During semester two you will also start to prepare for your dissertation.  This may involve laboratory or workshop activity as well as an extensive reading of academic literature using the resources of the University of Manchester library.

In late May to early June you will take your semester two examinations. You will then focus your remaining weeks of study on completing your dissertation. The dissertation is worth 60 credits which is about 600 hours work. You will meet with your academic supervisor for advice and feedback as your dissertation research develops. Your dissertation will be completed during the summer and submitted for assessment in early September. Successful students will graduate in December with an MSc in Structural Engineering at a formal ceremony on the historic campus of the University of Manchester, to which you may invite family or friends.


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