BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Structures 3 (Civil)

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL33001
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit gives students insight and analysis skills on plastic failure of structures, introduces and defines failure criteria, explains the basis of finite element analysis outworked in stiffness matrix problems and uses lumped parameter models to analysis structural dynamics.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Structures 1 (Civil) CIVL13001 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Structures 2 (Civil) CIVL20001 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


To develop further methods for the static elastic analysis for indeterminate structures and introduce methods for the plastic analysis of structures and material failure criteria. To continue the development of the qualitative analysis of structures.  To integrate transferrable skills of computer programming taught in previous years through application to structural analysis problems.


1. Plastic Analysis

Which may include: plastic moment capacity of structural sections; Mechanism based analysis of beams and frames; Instantaneous Centre of Rotation

2. Stress analysis -or- non-linear analysis

Material failure theories or simplified non-linear analysis of discrete structural systems.

3. The finite element method (theory and implementation)

Theoretical introduction, with implementation developed via computer programming.

4. Structural Dynamics

Which may include: free vibrations; natural frequencies; damped vibrations; harmonically forced vibrations;  resonance

5a. Laboratory Experiment

Failure of portal frames by developing plastic hinges under vertical and horizontal loading


5b. Use of computer programming in structural analysis

Modification and/or development of first-principles computer programmes to solve complex structural/stress analysis problems, deployed as a theme throughout all syllabus components.

6. Qualitative Analysis

Qualitative analysis skills developed previously will be exploited throughout this unit.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%

Other - Assessed tutorial work

Feedback methods

Exam - In line with standard MACE exam procedures.

Other - On the day after submission, full detailed solutions are provided for ongoing self-evaluation.  At the end of the semester the graded submissions are given specific feedback.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Foster Unit coordinator

Return to course details