Civil Engineering with Architecture BEng/MEng

Structural Mechanics 3 ENG3047

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the concepts of force and displacement methods for analysing statically indeterminate structures.  It also discusses influence lines and plastic limit load analysis.


2 lectures per week, with additional tutorials and coursework classes

Excluded Courses





70% Written Exam

30% Written Assignment (Coursework (15%) Computational modelling exercise (15%))

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ introduce students to the concepts of virtual work and force and displacement methods for analysing statically determinate and indeterminate structures;

■ give students an understanding of influence lines and their application;

■ enable students to use plastic limit load analysis to calculate the collapse loads of structures.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course the students will be able to:

■ appreciate the underlying theory of the force method and the displacement method (matrix structural analysis) and be able to undertake the analysis of trusses and frames subjected to various loadings and boundary conditions;

■ construct influence lines for both statically determinate (quantitative) and indeterminate (qualitative) structures, and then apply to a variety of situations including the assessment of "worst case" loading scenarios;

■ apply the concept of limit load analysis to simple structures from the limit of elasticity all the way through to collapse, and be able to determine the collapse load and collapse mechanism for simple frame structures;

■ implement and modify components of a structural analysis program.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.