About the course
The Structural Integrity MSc programme has been developed by Brunel University London in collaboration with The Welding Institute (TWI), as part of the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC). The specialist, off-campus programme is delivered solely at the Welding Institute headquarters at Granta Park, Cambridge.
MSc Structural Integrity Scholarships for 2016/17 Entry:
16 Home /EU and International Scholarships worth £12,500 each covering the partial costs of the tuition fees. The following terms and conditions apply :
- Eligibility : to be eligible for consideration of the scholarship, a student:
- must normally have a minimum of a UK 2.1 Honours degree or international equivalent
- must have an unconditional offer of a place on the MSc Structural Integrity programme
- Application : students may apply as normal through the course web page indicating a desire to be considered for the Scholarship, and including in the personal statement evidence of a desire to pursue a career in Structural Integrity. All the required information will be taken from the course application form and verified at registration.
The course at Brunel stands out from others in the market because NSIRC is the UK’s first industrially led postgraduate education centre, which is a joint initiative between TWI and Brunel University London as the lead academic partner.
There are no other courses that provide a dedicated, specialist training programme that combines academic excellence through Brunel University London, with extensive up to date industrial experience of TWI’s experts across the many and varied disciplines that are essential to structural integrity as applied in oil and gas, power generation, and transportation sectors (automotive and aerospace).
This is a direct result of the teaching team placing special emphasis on providing a solid theoretical and applied background, enabling graduates to directly transfer these skills to solve problems faced by industry.
We look forward to welcoming students to study our MSc which combines academic excellence through Brunel University London, with extensive up to date industrial experience of TWI’s experts across the varied disciplines essential to structural integrity, which includes material degradation, asset ageing and inspection.
The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), an education and research collaboration with Brunel University, is contributing to the course.
This programme is specifically tailored to provide graduates or practising engineers with the necessary skills to pursue a successful engineering career, who are targeted for recruitment by companies and organisations globally. As industry ready engineers, recent graduates of this MSc are in high demand and have been successful in gaining employment in:
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Engineering Consultancies
- Asset Management companies
- Research Organisations
- Academic Institutions
When structures fail, the results can be catastrophic, not only in terms of financial downtime, but also in the costs associated for inspection and repair.
Structural integrity integrates the issues that affect the design, service life (including assessing ageing structures for life extension) and safety for a wide range of sectors, including oil and gas, power generation and transportation. This exciting field requires a detailed knowledge of material science, design for safe operation, inspection during production and in-service, as well as risk management and mitigation strategies.
This post graduate programme provides the necessary training in detecting the existence, formation and growth of damage and defects, together with assessing the influence of loads and stresses arising from manufacture and applied in-service.
Being able to detect defects is one part of the problem, but knowing what to do with these defects is at the core of this programme, where you will be taught by industrial experts involved with developing codes, standards and working practices for a range of sectors.
The MSc in Structural Integrity is suitable for graduates in engineering, science and technology and will prepare you for an exciting career, ranging from numerical assessment of structures, NDE/NDT inspection, through to developing safe life/life extension protocols for long term asset management, and much more.
The course is made up of 180 credits, consisting of 120 credits of compulsory and optional taught modules followed by a 60 credit research project. Please be aware modules may be subject to change.
Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue Analysis
This module focuses on the analysis of uncracked and uncracked structures. The course aims to familiarise students in material behaviour of fractures and fatigue, and how the knowledge of structural integrity could prevent catastrophic failure which results in severe consequences. The module will focus on the analytical aspects of the main parameters, primary and secondary stresses, local and global collapse, fracture mechanics and fatigue analysis, particularly in terms of the linear elastic fracture mechanics, and elastic-plastic analysis with J-integral. Fracture and fatigue tests will be covered with practical sessions.
Students will gain a better knowledge and understanding of fracture mechanics and fatigue of metals and non-metallic materials, and will have the necessary background knowledge to deal with components and structures containing flaws.
This module will be assessed by a group assignment, and a written examination.
Materials - Metallurgy and Materials
This module will introduce the student to metallurgy and materials science, both in terms of physical and mechanical metallurgy. The module will focus on various metallic and non-metallic engineering materials in terms of their properties, fabrication and degradation mechanisms. Understanding of the influence of joining and surfacing techniques on the properties and degradation of these materials will be covered. Experience of practical methods for materials selection and failure analysis will be given, with reference to relevant international standards where applicable.
This module will be assessed by a group assignment, an individual assignment and a final examination.
NDT Inspection Methodology
This module covers the theoretical principles, advantages and disadvantages of the commonest NDT methods and techniques, to enable students to identify the correct inspection methods to be applied for a specific task (e.g. failure mechanism), and understand the essential variables for ensuring the inspection meets these requirements and provides relevant input into an engineering assessment. Students will be introduced to the fundamental processes involved in the generation of an inspection strategy in accordance with the requirements of international codes.
This module will be assessed through the preparation of an inspection procedure and strategy plan in conjunction with an examination.
Codes of Practice with Principles and Application
Based on BS 7910, this module will cover the principles of failure assessment of engineering components and structures with defects. The module will focus on the Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD) approach and fracture assessment procedure, including all key features and calculation steps, such as the three levels of analysis and their corresponding needs, requirements and procedures.
Fatigue assessment procedures based on 7910 will then be covered with fracture mechanics based calculations of fatigue crack growth. Competency statements and BS 7910 annexes, non-planar flaws and other flaw assessment procedures will also be covered.
Other commonly referred codes in engineering practices, such as R6, R5, API 579-1I, ASME FFS-1 and DNV-OS-F101 will also be discussed. New code development will also be introduced such as the EU fitness-for-services codes.
The module will be assessed by a group and individual assignment.
Stress Analysis and Plant Inspection
This module will enable you to have a thorough understanding in stress analysis with emphasis on determination of materials properties, the relevant published material data and assessment of flaw tolerance as well as yielding, constitutive laws, contact/frictional failures and impact loading which underpin the analysis for material and structural failure.
The module provides an overview of different plants and processes within several industry sectors (i.e. oil and gas upstream and downstream, power generation), leading to a thorough understanding on how different operations work, what are the elements of each process and what different assets or plant consist of. This is crucial learning for those who do not have industrial experience. Once you are familiar with typical plant and process, it is important to know why these assets need to be inspected and how they should be inspected, allowing these to refer to the stress analysis covered earlier. Major threats are introduced together with the inspection strategy to mitigate them. At the end, the concept of Risk and Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is introduced with practical exercises.
Numerical Modelling of Solids and Structures
This module covers the theoretical and practical principles underlying Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Boundary Element Method (BEM) to enable students to understand advanced specialist topics in numerical analysis of stress and structures.
Students will learn the numerical tools for stress and strain simulations, particularly for stress concentration and cracks in solids, as well as simulations for non-destructive testing. The module will provide experience in the use of general purposed computer codes in engineering applications.
This module will be assessed by an assignment report and a technical presentation.
This module will be assessed by a group assignment and an examination.
This module aims to provide a working knowledge at professional level of the advanced techniques in reliability engineering and an ability to apply them to structural analysis, the theory on probability of flaws detection and on dimensional uncertainty of the flaws detected.
Topics covered include: Decision analysis; Event-tree analysis; Fault-tree analysis; Reliability of items; Weibull analysis; Reliability of systems; Failure Mode and Criticality Analysis; Markov Analysis; Simulation techniques; Statistical analysis of reliability data – Detection uncertainty and Dimensioning uncertainty of flaws and introduction on FORM and SORM, paving the way for more advanced study in module ME55KK.
This module will be assessed by two technical reports and an examination.
Structural Health Monitoring
This module will introduce the concepts and approaches that are currently used in structural health monitoring identification and monitoring techniques. The emphasis will be on modern approaches using input-output or output only methods applied on complex industrial applications.
The module will focus on the numerical and experimental aspects of damage detection techniques. Both numerical simulations and practical experimental analysis sessions will be carried out using different SHM methodologies.
This module will be assessed by a group assignment and numerical benchmarks and an examination.
Students will conduct research in the area of advanced NDT, Structural Life assessment, Asset Integrity Management and Reliability Engineering. At the end of the research, students must produce a dissertation of not more than 30,000 words. It is anticipated that a large number of students will carry out their dissertation in industry.
Examples of Thesis Topics
- 4D Computed Tomography study of AM metal lattice structures
- Corrosion Resistance of Anodised Al in Marine Energy Monitoring Systems
- Destructive testing of open rotor propeller blades
- Implementing ultrasonic inspection of underwater structures from a submersed platform
- Correlating cathodic protection levels to external corrosion in underground pipes
- Generation and ingress of hydrogen in cathodically polarised high strength steels
- Multiscale Modelling of Dynamic Behaviour of Composite Materials
- Ultrasonic inspection of mooring chains using array ultrasonic techniques
- Influence of side grooving on fracture toughness specimens
- Crack growing behaviour under residual stress
- Effect of post weld heat-treatment on corrosion performance of FSW 7050-T7451 aluminium alloys
- Determining the commonality between pressure vessels for fatigue reassessment
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
The MSc in Structural Integrity of Brunel University London has significant industrial involvement with contribution from the NSIRC. The MSc course will combine academic excellence with the extensive up-to-date industrial experience of TWI's experts across the many and varied disciplines that are essential to structural integrity.
Students who enrol come from a variety of difference backgrounds. Many have specific careers in mind, or are already practising structural integrity engineers working in oil and gas/power generation sectors. This mix of experience creates an extremely valuable learning environment and is one of the unique aspects of this industry led programme.
Located in a purpose built building adjacent to the headquarters of TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute), this specialist, off-campus programme is solely delivered at Granta Park, Cambridge, where you will work alongside leading academics and industrial experts who are at the forefront of structural integrity research.
Travelling to Granta Park is convenient, as a daily, direct shuttle bus to Cambridge means that students also have the benefits of living in Cambridge, a compact cosmopolitan city that caters well for students with a host of sporting, cultural and social events. Take a look at Mill Road – described as the Islington of Cambridge and its surrounding area which is one of the hubs of student night life. Another advantage is close proximity to London, 45 minutes by train, in addition to easy access to the major airports and road links to the rest of the country.
Granta Park location map
The bespoke teaching, research and experimental facilities are outstanding; with state of the art equipment available to support a variety of research topics specified by our industrial partners and includes:
- Industry standard commercial software including Simulia ABAQUS, MATLAB and industry standard software developed by TWI, including CrackWISE (fracture and fatigue assessment procedures (BS 7910) for engineering critical assessment and IntegriWISE (Fitness-For-Service (FFS) assessment software for evaluating the integrity of ageing pipework, pipelines, storage tanks, boilers, pressure vessels and high temperature equipment.
- Access to joint facilities across Brunel University London and TWI, which allows component and full scale testing, which includes mechanical and fatigue testing under different environmental conditions, NDT inspection, together with access to 4D tomography and microscopy facilities.
- Access to onsite, dedicated High Performance Computing facility, which permits large scale computational research projects to be performed.
- Combined access to Brunel and TWI library resources, which includes the latest publications, staff journal papers and the latest design codes and standards developed by TWI.
The MSc in Structural Integrity is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, as satisfying part of the further learning requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Accreditation is also pending with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
Facts and Figures
Brunel's College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with over 150 academics and a substantial and high quality pool of technical and administrative staff. As a result, we have excellent resources to support your time here as a student.
The Mechanical Engineering subject area offers a number of MSc courses all accredited by professional institutes as appropriate additional academic study (further learning) for those seeking to become qualified to register as Chartered Engineers (CEng). Accrediting professional institutes vary by course and include the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Energy Institute (EI) and Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).
Teaching in the courses is underpinned by research activities in aerospace engineering, automotive/motorsport engineering, solid and fluid mechanics, and energy & environment. Staff generate numerous publications, conference presentations and patents, and have links with a wide range of institutions both within and outside the UK. The discipline benefits from research collaboration with numerous outside organisations including major oil companies, vehicle manufacturers, and other leading industrial firms and governmental laboratories. We have links with at least six teaching hospitals and work with universities in China, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Denmark, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy and the US.
Teaching and Assessment
The course runs from September to September, with the key activities in the period up to the end of April being taught lecture modules and seminars from leading experts in the UK. From May until the end of the programme, students work full time on their industrially supported thesis project.
The programme employs a wide range of teaching methods designed to create a demanding and varied learning environment including a structured lecture programme, self-study online videos, case studies, “hands on” computing and testing laboratory sessions and guest speakers.
Each module is assessed through a range of assessment types (including group work), to ensure delegates are tested fully and can readily apply the taught material to real engineering problems.
The high level of industrial involvement within the programme is unique in the UK, allowing a student to gain academic knowledge and industrial experience.
Early contact with industry will increase your employability, as the networking opportunities and the professional environment students are exposed to ensure graduates are industry ready, which is a direct result of the teaching team placing special emphasis on providing a solid theoretical and applied training.
Many applicants have considerable experience who are already practising NDE / NDT engineers looking to further their careers, which generates a rich learning and networking environment.
Our graduates have gone on to work for industrial companies, research and consultancy organisations including NSRIC, TWI Ltd, Mott McDonald, PTT Global Chemical Company and Network Rail, taking up positions not only in the UK, but across the world.
As industry ready engineers, recent graduates of this MSc are in high demand and have been successful in gaining employment in:
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Engineering Consultancies
- Asset Management
- Research Organisations
- Academic Institutions
If your interests lie in research, former graduates have gone on to pursue PhDs either at Brunel University London, or at other academic institutions in the UK and Europe.
All dissertation projects will be linked to an industrial research scheme thus providing opportunities for placements to various extents appropriate to the project requirement.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
Read about other funding opportunities available to postgraduate students.
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
You will need the following:
· A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in engineering, science or technology discipline.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.