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The University of Southampton

CENV2031 Structural Analysis

Module Overview

This module is aimed to develop and deepen knowledge already gained in FEEG1002 of understanding of how structural elements behave, and can be analysed. The module provides a firm basis for all subsequent modules in these areas in later years.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The distributions of strain and stress in a beam due to bending and/or shear
  • Find lower bound estimate of the failure load of beams.
  • Solve stability (i.e. buckling) problems of columns.
  • The distributions of stress in thin-walled, non-circular shafts under torsion
  • Understand the concept of superposition, and how it is used to combine stresses in a member under more than one load effect, e.g. beam with axial load
  • How to solve three-pin arches
  • The concept of safety factor
  • Analyse statically indeterminate truss, beam and frame structures.
  • Apply matrix method, slope-deflection method, moment distribution method and force method of analysis of structures.
  • Apply the Tresca and von Mises yield criteria.
  • Find upper bound estimate of the failure load of beams and frames.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise common types of structural member and structural engineering problems
  • Understand and appreciate the subject as an essential structural design tool.
  • Identify appropriate analytical technique to determine failure load of structures.
  • Estimate safe design loads for a range of key structural elements.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply analytical skills to practical problems.
  • Problem analysis and problem solving.
  • Read flexibly and with purpose.
  • Self-management (e.g. time management).
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Determine stiffness matrix of a simple model structure.


Section A Limiting friction. Stability of a gravity retaining wall. Factors of safety, Three-pin arches, The parabolic three pin arch with uniformly distributed load, The FLEA formula. Compatibility of deformation, Solving statically indeterminate structures, The principle of virtual work and applications Section B Shear force and bending moment diagrams, Deflection of beams, Normal stresses due to bending and elastic design of beams, Beams with axial load, Biaxial bending, Unsymmetrical beams, Shear stresses, Composite beams, Torsion Section C Matrix method, slope-deflection method, Moment distribution method and force method, Influence Lines, Yield criterion, Upper bound analysis of beams / frames, Lower bound analysis of beams, Buckling

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Tutorials • worked examples Coursework Learning activities include • lectures • Coursework • problem assignments • private study PowerPoint slides, tutorial sheets and solutions available from Blackboard

Follow-up work36
Completion of assessment task5
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Repeat Method - External repeat as per referral method.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 50%
Final Assessment  50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: FEEG1002 and CENV1026 and CENV1027


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

CENV2024Structural Design and Materials
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