Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams

Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams

Your complete roadmap to mastering these essential structural analysis skills.

⏰ 8 h 20 min | 35 lessons
Published: January 2018, (updated 1 year ago)

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After completing this course...
You will be fully competent in drawing shear force and bending moment diagrams for statically determinate beams and frames.
You will understand the relationship between external loading and the shear forces and bending moments they induce.
You will understand the link between internal stresses and their shear force and bending moment resultants.
You will have a robust system of analysis that allows you to confidently tackle the analysis of any statically determinate structure.

Each lecture in this course is developed and delivered with the benefit of my experience as a university lecturer in structural engineering. The teaching style will appeal to all types of learners with material developed through hand-drawn notes and sketches. Students are encouraged to engage with each lecture by actively developing their own notes during each video lecture…no ‘death by PowerPoint’ here! We’ll focus on pinning down the basics before diving into worked examples.

If you follow all lectures and attempt all of the worked examples, by the end of the course you will have an excellent grasp of this essential civil engineering skill!

Course Breakdown

Section 1: Reviewing the basics

Before we get into the detail of shear force and bending moment diagrams, first we need to do a little housekeeping. We’ll clarify a few assumptions that apply to our analyses and make sure you can determine support reactions for statically determinate structures.

Section 2: Understanding internal bending moments

In this section we start laying the foundation for your understanding of bending moments. We kick things off by considering how the bending moment relates to the state of stress within the structure – we’re trying to answer the question ‘what is the bending moment telling us about the state of stress within the structure?’.

Then we’ll see how the principle of equilibrium allows us to determine the internal bending moment at any point within the structure. This will prepare us nicely to start thinking about how the bending moment changes along the structure.

We’ll wrap this section up with some worked examples to make sure you understand everything we have discussed in the section.

Section 3: Understanding internal shear forces

Everything we’ve done for bending moments we’re going to now do for shear forces:

relating shear stress to shear force cutting the structure to reveal the internal shear force introducing a sign convention As always we’ll confirm you understand everything by completing some worked examples.

Section 4: Differential relationships between loading, shear force and bending moment

In this section we take our understanding to the next level. We’re going to establish the relationships (and rules) that allow us to systematically build bending moment and shear force diagrams – 100% accurately every time. By the time you complete this section, you will understand how these diagrams can be developed in a systematic way, ensuring success every time.

Section 5 & 6: Bringing it all together – Worked Examples

In these final two sections we reinforce everything you have learning so far. Remember, structural analysis, like any other skill only improves through practice. By putting everything you have learning over the previous 4 sections into action here, you’re ensuring the skills are embedded.

We will start on familiar ground in section 5 by considering beam structures. In section 6 we’ll map what you have learned onto frame structures – greatly expanding the applicability of the tools and techniques you have developed in this course!

At this point you can confidently analyse any statically determinate structure you’re likely to come across in your civil engineering studies or career. Next step…statically indeterminate structures!

Who this course is for

  • Students who know they should be able to but struggle to reliably draw shear force and bending moment diagrams.
  • Students who have not yet come across the concepts of shear force and bending moments and want to get a head start.
  • Students outside of traditional engineering disciplines, architecture students for example, who want to better understand how structures respond to loading.
  • More advanced engineering students to want to give themselves a refresher – a good idea before a technical job interview!
Section 1
Quick Review of the Basics
1. Welcome and Section Overview
07:56 (Preview)
2. Some Basic Assumptions
25:36 (Preview)
3. Loads, Reactions and Load Paths
04:37 (Preview)
4. Test Yourself – Worked Example #1 📂
5. Test Yourself – Worked Example #2 📂
06:43 (Preview)
6. Test Yourself – Worked Example #3 📂
Section 2
Internal Bending Moments - The Basics
7. Section 2 overview
02:09 (Preview)
8. Relating bending moment to bending stress
9. Internal bending moment and equilibrium
10. Using cuts to reveal the internal bending moment
11. Bending moment sign convention
12. Test Yourself – Worked Example #4 📂
09:39 (Preview)
13. Test Yourself – Worked Example #5 📂
14. Test Yourself – Worked Example #6 📂
Section 3
Internal Shear Forces - The Basics
15. Section 3 overview
01:30 (Preview)
16. Relating shear force to shear stress
17. Using cuts to reveal the internal shear force
18. Shear force sign convention
19. Worked Example #7 📂
20. Worked Example #8 📂
Section 4
The Relationship Between Loading, Shear Force and Bending Moment
21. Section 4 overview
02:30 (Preview)
22. Case I: distributed loading
23. Case II: point loading
24. Case III: couple or applied moment
Section 5
Bringing It All Together
25. Section 5 overview
02:00 (Preview)
26. Test Yourself – Worked Example #9 📂
27. Test Yourself – Worked Example #10 📂
28. Test Yourself – Worked Example #11 📂
29. Test Yourself – Worked Example #12 📂
30. Test Yourself – Worked Example #13 📂
Section 6
Beyond Beams - Statically Determinate Frames
31. Section 6 overview
01:15 (Preview)
32. Test Yourself – Worked Example #14 📂
33. Test Yourself – Worked Example #15 📂
34. Test Yourself – Worked Example #16 📂
35. Well done! Course wrap-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?
Mastering Shear Force & Bending Moment Diagrams is an excellent course that covers the calculation and construction of shear force and bending moment diagrams. The content is presented clearly with helpful examples and illustrations. The instructor is knowledgeable and engaging, and the assignments are challenging but rewarding. I highly recommend this course for anyone looking to improve their understanding of this topic.
Haitham Qasem
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.

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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

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