MSc Advanced Structural Engineering

Heriot-Watt University, The School Of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure And Society (EGIS)

Course Award: MSc

Entry Date: September, January


Our Advanced Structural Engineering course is aimed at graduates and practising engineers. It’s designed to help improve your knowledge of structural and foundation engineering. The degree’s been developed together with a wide range of employers in the sector. So there’s a strong relationship between the course and the engineering industry. The course also builds directly on staff research activities, which include experimental, numerical and theoretical work. You’ll have access to excellent practical and advanced computer and networking facilities too.

Programme Duration

Online Learning: The fastest this MSc can be completed is in 2½ years. The maximum completion timeframe is 8 years. On average, most students complete a MSc in 3-4 years.

Programme Outline

The curriculum of Structural and Foundation Engineering covers the specialist technical and computational skills necessary for today’s construction industry and therefore offers excellent preparation for employment across an industry that includes consulting and contracting engineers, public authorities, and local government. In addition, the course also provides a suitable springboard for graduates seeking a career in a research lead environment.

Both MSc and Diploma students undertake the 5 mandatory and 3 optional taught courses from the list below. MSc students also complete a Masters dissertation.

Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Advanced Design Of Reinforced Concrete Structures (mandatory)
  • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering (mandatory)
  • Finite Element Method Linear Analysis (mandatory)
  • Ground Engineering (optional)
  • Structural Materials (optional)
  • Plastic Analysis of Structures (mandatory)
  • Advanced Design Of Steel And Steel-Concrete Composite Structures (mandatory)
  • Foundation Engineering (optional)
  • Safety, Risk, and Reliability (optional)
  • Sustainable and Intelligent Buildings (optional)
  • Design of Low Carbon Buildings (optional)
  • Finite Element Method Nonlinear Analysis (optional)
  • Computational Modelling Of Concrete And Steel (optional)

Programme Fees

Tuition fees for 2021 entry
Status Per course Dissertation
UK / EU / Overseas £1,440 £1,850

Additional fees information

Students pay £1440 per course and £1850 for the Dissertation. This programme consists of 8 courses (modules). MSc students are also required to submit a Masters dissertation.

Entry Requirements

For MSc level entry applicants must have:

  • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area.
  • Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

  • Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.
  • Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation.
  • Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

Student Support

Distance learning students rely on the provision of practical study guides, detailed course texts (or a required text book) and/or comprehensive lecture notes, tutorial examples and fully worked solutions through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Communication with academic staff, dedicated IDL tutors and other students is either provided through the VLE in the form of email, discussion groups, or other social media (e.g. blogs, wikis). Students are also encouraged to participate in discussion with other students and more experienced work colleagues. Courses will usually include objectives, theory, applications in the real world, worked examples and exercises that usually form part of the formative assessment and feedback for the individual courses. Some courses also have a coursework component to address a deeper level of understanding of more complex and lengthy problems or where practical software applications are required.

Exam Structure

The programme uses a range of assessment types.
Coursework is used to develop problem solving skills, to demonstrate mastery of techniques taught as part of the course that would be too lengthy to undertake as exam questions or where software applications are required. Coursework also helps develop professional report writing skills with emphasis on correct report structure, writing style, resume, and referencing. All courses have some form of formative assessment that provide self, peer or staff feedback as required.
Examinations make up the majority of summative assessment as these are the best way to be certain of testing the capabilities of the individual student against the course aims.

Each student progressing to the MSc dissertation will be required to demonstrate good research skills and a deeper level of critical thinking and analysis than can be assessed by exam.
An academic supervisor will be assigned to each student throughout the duration of their project.

Exam Diet

Exam Results

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