Skip to main content

Unit information: Structural Analysis in 2021/22

Unit name Structural Analysis
Unit code AENGM0054
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pirrera
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

The topics covered in this unit will include fundamental concepts of structural mechanics and stress analysis. The unit is propaedeutic to further studies on composite materials and their structures.

Structural mechanics is the branch of mechanics that studies the behaviour of elastic structures under the action of loads, such as forces and temperature changes. Students will learn basic concepts of structural design and performance evaluation and will come to understand the links between structural geometry, material properties, loads and support conditions, and the ensuing stiffness, deformations (or strains), deflections and stresses. Particular focus will be placed on structural elements for lightweight and monocoque constructions, including thin-walled beams, trusses and frames, plates, shafts, etc. Fundamental loading conditions such as stretching, bending, torsion and buckling will be covered as part of this unit.

Aims: To equip the students with: (a) a basic understanding of the concepts of stress, strain, stiffness, deflection, loads and boundary condition; and (b) the knowledge and analysis tools required to perform basic stress analyses, structural design and performance evaluation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Analyse loads in structures with idealised supports and constitutive elements (e.g. trusses, beams, plates) using equilibrium and free body diagrams.
  2. Analyse stress, strain, deformation and stability of structural elements within simple structures using analytical and numerical methods.
  3. Perform preliminary structural design of simple structural elements.

Teaching Information

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

Assessment Information

100% Coursework assessing the students’ ability to analyse (stresses, strains, deflection, stability) and/or design an idealised structure (ILO 1-3).


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. AENGM0054).

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.