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Unit information: Advanced Structural Analysis in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Structural Analysis
Unit code CENG30010
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Alexander
Open unit status Not open

CENG25200 Computational Modelling 2 (or equivalent)



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Analysis of complex engineering problems requires a variety of different tools. In this unit we will develop two different analysis approaches – plastic analysis and finite element analysis – and show how they can be applied to the analysis of simple and complex structures. Also, in some situations dynamic behaviour become important. The unit will introduce methods of how to analyse the dynamic response of structures.

The unit aims are:

  1. To develop students’ understanding of the finite element method and its use in the analysis and design of structures.
  2. To equip students to use the finite element method to estimate the response of structures to realistic loads.
  3. To introduce the upper and lower bound theorems of plasticity and their role in the analysis and design of safe structures.
  4. To equip students with methods of plastic analysis to calculate the collapse loads of statically indeterminate structures such as continuous beams, frames and slabs.
  5. To introduce the concepts of structural dynamics of single and multi-degree-of-freedom structural systems subject to free vibration and simple excitation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will:

  1. Apply structural dynamics principles to a variety of civil engineering problems.
  2. Use plastic analysis to evaluate the safety of standard structural designs.
  3. Perform finite element analysis of some structural engineering problems.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

4-day timed assessment (100%) (ILOs 1-3)

Other Pass Requirements:
In addition to achieving the minimum pass mark in the exam assessment students must complete a computer modelling exercise in order to be awarded credit points. Students will be given two opportunities to complete this during the running of the unit. (ILO 3)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CENG30010).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.