MEng Structural Engineering

The course

UCAS code
5 years
Delivery type

Solve the structural engineering problems of tomorrow's world. Ranked in the UK top 20 and 3rd in Scotland for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2021.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


This degree offers a thorough grounding in the major branches of Civil Engineering but with a focus on aspects most relevant to Structural Engineering. The aims of the programme are similar to those for Civil Engineering but with a stronger emphasis on the analysis, skills and knowledge appropriate to Structural Engineering design. In addition, this degree aims to cultivate skills for the creative development of designs for construction projects. An unrivalled range of specialist options is available in Year 5 and students complete a professional design project.

We are ranked in the UK top 20 and 3rd in Scotland for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2021. All Structural Engineering degrees are supported by the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from major multi-national employers offering advice, guidance and work placement opportunities.


In year 1 you have the opportunity to visit a range of construction sites and experience guest lectures from professional engineers.

In year 2 you have the opportunity to participate in Constructionarium, which provides hands-on construction working alongside professional engineers and tradesmen to construct scaled down versions of bridges, buildings, dams and civil engineering projects from all around the world.

There is flexibility to transfer between Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering degrees in years 1, 2 and 3.

In year 4, students undertake a week long collaborative design project working with students from across the built environment disciplines or can apply to study at a partner institution in Europe or North America.

In year 5, students have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Barcelona, looking at the design of some of the worlds’ most iconic structures.

Students on this programme also have the opportunity to apply for an Inter-Campus transfer to Dubai or Malaysia.

Global College pathway for this degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.


Accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Catriona Salvini, graduating with an MEng in Structural Engineering

I'd do it all over again! You build relationships with industry while you study and have the opportunity of gaining practical building experience.

Catriona Salvini, Structural Engineering MEng

Course content

Year 1

The below course structure is subject to developmental change. 

Most courses are worth 15 credits. Some courses are 30 credits. 30-credit courses are stated as such. 

Semester 1

  • Mechanics A
  • Construction Technology 1
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 1
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together A

Semester Two

  • Mechanics B
  • Building Services Technology
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 2
  • Shaping Tomorrow Together B

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Analysis of Determinate Structures
  • Hydraulics and Hydrology A
  • Surveying and GIS
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 3

Semester Two

  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • Stress Analysis and Element Strength
  • Design Studies A - Problem Solving
  • Statistics for Science

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Design of Steel Elements
  • Transport, Design, Infrastructure and Society
  • Indeterminate Structures
  • Geology and Soil Properties

Semester Two

  • Hydraulics and Hydrology B
  • Geotechnics A - Introduction to Soil Mechanics
  • Design of Concrete Elements
  • Environmental Technology and Management

Year 4

You'll complete a research dissertation and engage in subjects in more depth. You'll also undertake a design project involving collaborative work with students from other disciplines within the built environment professions.

Semester 1

  • Dissertation 1 
  • Geotechnics B - Geotechnical Applications
  • Structural Element Design
  • Finite Element Method Linear Analysis

Semester Two

  • Dissertation 1 
  • Structural Engineering Design Project
  • Foundation Engineering

Optional courses include:

  • Sustainable and Intelligent Buildings 
  • Innovation in Construction Practice 
  • Plastic Analysis of Structures.  

Year 5

Semester 1

  • Structural Engineering Professional Design Project (30 credits)
  • Optional course
  • Optional course

You'll choose one course from:

  • Sustainability for Construction Professionals 
  • Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation 
  • Project Management: Theory and Practice 

You’ll choose one course from:  

  • Advanced Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures 
  • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 
  • Structural Materials 

Semester Two

  • Structural Engineering Professional Design Project 2 (15 credits) 

You’ll choose one course from:  

  • Design of Low Carbon Buildings 
  • Project Management: Strategic Issues 
  • Construction Financial Management 

You’ll choose two courses from: 

  • Advanced Design of Steel And Steel-Concrete Structures 
  • Finite Element Method Nonlinear Analysis 
  • Safety, Risk and Reliability 

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our MEng Structural Engineering students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 84% are working
  • 4% are studying
  • 4% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £28500
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £29000

Potential career paths

  • Engineering professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements 

  • Highers AABB (including Mathematics)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (including Mathematics)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (including 5 in HL Mathematics)
  • BTEC DMM (in relevant engineering course)
  • HNC B in graded unit (including 1 unit of SCQF Level 7 Maths if you do not have Higher Maths)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including Mathematics at B)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (including Mathematics)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements.

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (including mathematics plus AABB at Higher)
  • A-Levels ABB (including B in mathematics)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 35 points (including 6 in HL mathematics)
  • HNC A in graded unit (in a relevant subject area and Mathematics at SCQF Level 7)
  • HND BB in graded unit (in a relevant subject area and Mathematics at SCQF Level 7)
  • BTEC DDM (in relevant engineering course)
  • Global College Successful completion of our Engineering with Accelerator Programme

Year 3

  • HND AB in graded units (in a relevant subject area and Mathematics at SCQF Level 7)

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.