Fundamentals of Structural Analysis

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis

Get to grips with civil engineering structural analysis once and for all.

⏰ 3 h 3 min | 30 lessons
Published: July 2015, (updated 1 year ago)

Request student access to this course here

After completing this course...
You will understand key concepts such as the moment of a force, static equilibrium and determinacy.
You will be able to determine the support reactions for structures subject to a range of loading conditions.
You will learn to use the Joint Resolution Method and Method of Sections to analyse pin-jointed truss structures.
You will understand the key differences between simplified analysis models and the behaviour of real world structures.

This course covers fundamental concepts and methods in static structural analysis. Starting with the very basics, we consider forces, moments and how to use the principle of static equilibrium. We then move on to look at pin-jointed structures or trusses; what are they and how do we analyse them?

We’ll cover the joint resolution method and method of sections in detail.

Worked examples are used extensively to demonstrate the practical application of theory.

Based on my experience teaching engineering undergraduates, the course focuses on those areas students find particularly tricky when starting out. The link between theory and practice is reinforced using my experience as a structural design engineer. The course includes video lectures which combine screencast voice over with traditional style lectures.

The emphasis is on worked examples with students encouraged to try questions before the detailed solution is presented. The teaching philosophy is ‘learn by doing!’.

This course is suitable for engineering students who find their structures lectures confusing and feel a little lost when it comes to structural analysis.

Students wishing to get a head start before starting their degree programme or more advanced engineering students who need a refresher would also benefit from taking this course.

Who this course is for

  • This course is great for undergraduate engineering students who feel a little lost in their structures lectures. We start from scratch, establishing the basics and build from there.
  • More advanced engineering students who want a refresher or who didn’t quite grasp the fundamentals first time around would also benefit from this course.
  • If you’re about to start an engineering program, this course is a great way to get a head start.
  • If you’re a structures genius already, this course is probably not for you.
Section 1
Introduction and course overview
1. Quick introduction to me and the course
01:34 (Preview)
Section 2
2D Force Systems
2. 2D force systems
3. Force resultants and components
4. The moment of a force
5. Couples and equivalent systems
6. Test Yourself – Worked Example #1 📂
7. Test Yourself – Worked Example #2 📂
8. Test Yourself – Worked Example #3 📂
Section 3
Static Equilibrium and Reaction Forces
9. Equilibrium and reaction forces
10. Calculating reaction forces
11. Limitations of the equations of statics
12. Test Yourself – Worked Example #4 📂
13. Test Yourself – Worked Example #5 📂
14. Test Yourself – Worked Example #6 📂
15. Test Yourself – Worked Example #7 📂
16. Test Yourself – Worked Example #8 📂
17. Test Yourself – Worked Example #9 📂
18. Test Yourself – Worked Example #10 📂
19. Test Yourself – Worked Example #11 📂
Section 4
Analysis of Trusses
20. What is a truss structure in theory
04:42 (Preview)
21. What is a truss structure in reality
05:09 (Preview)
22. Force calculation using ‘Joint Resolution’ 📂
10:56 (Preview)
23. Force calculation using the ‘Method of Sections’
24. Statical determinacy
25. Test Yourself – Worked Example #12 📂
26. Test Yourself – Worked Example #13 📂
27. Test Yourself – Worked Example #14 📂
28. Test Yourself – Worked Example #15 📂
29. Test Yourself – Worked Example #16 📂
30. Wrapping up
Completion certificate
Completion certificate
  • Download your personalised Certificate of Completion once you’ve finished all course lectures.

  • Applying for jobs? Use your Certificate of Completion to show prospective employers what you’ve been doing to improve your capabilities.

  • Independently completing an online course is an achievement. Let people know about it by posting your Certificate of Completion on your Linkedin profile or workplace CPD portfolio.

Ready to get started?
Great course that's well presented! I think Sean's ability to explain concepts makes it easy to understand and implement. Cannot wait to dive into the next one!
Theuns Judeel
Dr Seán Carroll
BEng (Hons), MSc, PhD, CEng MIEI, FHEA
Hi, I’m Seán, the founder of (formerly I hope you found this tutorial helpful. After spending 10 years as a university lecturer in structural engineering, I started this site to help more people understand engineering and get as much enjoyment from studying it as I do. Feel free to get in touch or follow me on any of the social accounts.

Do you have some knowledge or expertise you'd like to share with the EngineeringSkills community?
Check out our guest writer programme - we pay for every article we publish.
You Might Also be Interested In...
Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams
Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams
Your complete roadmap to mastering these essential structural analysis skills.

The Getting Started in Structural Analysis Course Bundle

Lay a solid foundation for your structural analysis journey with these key starter courses.

  • Fundamentals of Structural Analysis
  • Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams
  • Indeterminate Structures & The Moment Distribution Method

Frequently asked questions