1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Structural Theory and Design
  4. Print

Structural Theory and Design (CVEN30009)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeCVEN30009
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject introduces the basic methods of structural analysis and the design of simple structures which are built of reinforced concrete, steel, timber and masonry. A feature of this subject is the integration of the design and analytical skills in dealing with contemporary structures that have an effective blending of materials for achieving satisfactory performance and economy in construction.

This subject consolidates basic structural theory and design abilities that underpin further specialised studies in structural design in engineering masters programs. It also gives students some basic capabilities to seek work experience in the engineering profession.


Topics covered include: stress analysis in beams, deflection calculations using direct integration and virtual work methods, structural analyses of beams and frames by the force method, structural design of reinforced concrete beams and columns, structural design of steel beams, columns and ties, design of timber joists and masonry squat walls.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Analyse stresses in beams due to combined axial, bending and torsional loads
  2. Calculate deflections in beams by numerical integration methods and unit load method
  3. Calculate deflections in frames by unit load method
  4. Conduct stability analysis of simple systems including the buckling of columns and stress amplifications
  5. Analyse using the force method for solving indeterminate systems of beams and frames
  6. Design steel beams, columns and ties
  7. Design reinforced concrete one-way slabs, simple beams and compression-only columns, and basic detailing
  8. Design timber joists and masonry squat walls
  9. Design simple structural systems taking into account the design load cases.

Generic skills

Students successfully completing this subject should develop the following general skills:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance
  • Proficiency in engineering design
  • Ability to conduct an engineering project
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Ability to manage information and documentation
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities, and commitment to them
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.

Eligibility and requirements


Successful completion of BOTH of the following subjects is required to enrol:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ENGR20004 Engineering Mechanics
Summer Term
Semester 1
Semester 2
ENGR20003 Engineering Materials
Semester 2

Note: ENGR20003 Engineering Materials may be taken concurrently

OR Admission to the MC-ENG Master of Engineering



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Two 1000 word design assignments (10% and 5%, total of 15%) (per student) in groups of 3 students, requiring approximately 15 hours of work per student, due Weeks 9 and 10. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9 are addressed in this assignment
  • Three x 250 word laboratory reports (5% each, total of 15%) (per student) to be completed individually, due throughout the semester, each lab report requiring approximately 5 hours of work. ILOs 1, 2, 5 and 7 are addressed in the four laboratory reports
  • One 3 hour examination (70%) end of semester. ILOs 1 to 8 are addressed in the examination

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorXuemei Liu
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours50 hours (Lectures: 36 hours per semester; Laboratory/Tutorial/Design workshops: 14 hours per semester)
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts


  • Subject notes


    The subject will be delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. In addition, students will undertake miniature experiments to reinforce materials covered in the lectures and also a design exercise which involves applying the learnt techniques in solving problems that are likely to be encountered in practice.


    Students will have access to lecture slides, recommended reading materials. The subject LMS site also contain worked solutions for all tutorial problems.


    Senior practising engineers from industry will deliver some of the lectures and case studies with focus on typical industry design considerations.
    Having completed this unit, students will acquire skills to design and analyse simple structures.

  • Breadth options

    This subject is available as breadth in the following courses:

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019