Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 23/06/2022 12:23:40

Title of Module: Aircraft Structural Analysis

Code: ENGG11048 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Tony   Leslie

Summary of Module

As aircraft weight saving opportunites become ever marginalised the design and analysis of an aircraft structure increases in complexity. This compounded by detailed design certification regulations, complex loading regimes, material development, manufacturing advances and challenging operating environments leads to significant challenges for the current aircraft structures engineer. The intent of this module is to develop, from earlier module content, the students' understanding of the regulations, loading, materials and therefore develop analysis techniques including Finite Element Analysis and MATLAB (or equivalent) of the significant aircraft structural components and industry stress anlaysis scenarios commonly faced. Detailed discussion on the effect the final structural design has on weight, balance, aerodynamics, manufacture, cost,  repair in-service, test requirements, service life, decommissioning will be inherent in taught materials and assessment.  

Develop critical understanding of aircraft certification specifications in relation to loading, materials and required analysis. Undertake analysis of significant aircraft structural components using analytical, FEA and MATLAB (or equivalent) approaches.

Undertake detailed stress analysis using analytical, FEA and MATLAB (or equivalent) approaches for common industry scenarios, such as cutouts, joints, fasteners, repairs and lugs. 

Evaluate the effect the structural design has other functions.

Assessment will be by formal two hour examination and structural analysis design study. 

During the course of this module students will develop their UWS Graduate Attributes ( in the following areas-

  • Universal: Academic - Critical thinking, analytical & inquiring mind; Personal- Ethical; Professional- Research Minded

  • Work-Ready: Academic - Knowledgeable, Digitally Literate, Problem Solver; Personal - Effective Communicator; Professional - Ambitious

  • Successful : Academic - Autonomous; Personal - Resilient; Professional- Driven

  • This module has been reviewed and updated, taking cognisance of the University’s Curriculum Framework principles. Examples of this are found within the module such as active and engaging module assessment which reflects industry design activities, learning synergies across modules and levels of study, recorded lecture content supporting students to organise their own study time and the use of real-world practical student generated data with to compare with and validate simulation activity developing digital intelligence meta-skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check markcheck mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark







Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically analyse aircraft certification specifications in relation to loading, materials and required analysis.

L2. Undertake structural analysis of significant aircraft structural components using analytical, FEA and MATLAB (or equivalent) approaches.

L3. Undertake detailed stress analysis using analytical, FEA and MATLAB (or equivalent) approaches for common industry scenarios, cutouts, joints, fasteners, repairs and lugs.

L4. Evaluate the effect the designs produced have on weight, balance, aerodynamics, manufacture, cost, repair in-service, test requirements, service life, decommissioning.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

A critical knowledge and understanding of advanced mechanics of materials and concepts, and how these relate to aircraft engineering analysis.
Specific and detailed knowledge and understanding of the application, techniques and practices associated with structural analysis of aircraft engineering design problems.
Detailed knowledge of appropriateness of methods and techniques to different problems/scenarios

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Applying knowledge and understanding to develop modelling and analysis strategies for a wide range of aircraft engineering and design problems, using finite element method techniques.

Assessing different strategies with respect to obtaining appropriate efficient solutions to engineering and design problems.

Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed.

Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems.

Design solutions for complex problems that evidence some originality and meet a combination of societal, user, business and customer needs as appropriate. This will involve consideration of applicable health & safety, diversity, inclusion, cultural, societal, environmental and commercial matters, codes of practice and industry standards.

Apply an integrated or systems approach to the solution of complex problems.

Evaluate the environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex problems (to include the entire life-cycle of a product or process) and minimise adverse impacts.

Select and apply appropriate materials, equipment, engineering technologies and processes, recognising their limitations.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Undertaking, evaluating and assessing critical FEA/MATLAB (or equivalent) analysis data. Making judgements on analytical data and results. Being able to develop conceptual solutions and strategies to FE/MATLAB (or equivalent) problems.

Dealing with unpredictability in results and making critical comparative assessments between theoretical, simulation, and experimental predictions.

Bringing information together from a variety of sources during problem solving and being able to perceive potential problems with methods and strategies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Ability to perform, interpret and evaluate complex numerical, geometrical and graphical data and using it to solve problems.

Ability to use variables and equations. Ability to integrate existing software with other applications such as spreadsheets/MATLAB (or equivalent). Make use of multi-purpose integrated software systems to solve complex problems.

Using communications skills to write detailed, critical technical reports, including text and illustration.

Using finite element hardware and software and associated ICT equipment and systems such as networks to support and perform a wide range of problem solving tasks.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Identifying and addressing their own learning needs both during and out with class time.

Identifying solution routes and strategies using their own initiative and informed judgements.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a blend of lectures and tutorial/software laboratory examples of aircraft engineering problems. A range of formative online class exercises will ensure engagement on all topic areas with video recordings of the software for support out of class. Use of discussion forums will be encouraged.
Assessment will be via a coursework utilising FEA and MATLAB (or equivalent)software.
The module will also be assessed via a two hour final examination covering all learning outcomes.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity18
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop6
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Airframe Structural Design, Michael C.Y. NIU Second Edition, 1988, Hong Kong Conmilit Press, ISBN 962-7128-09-0

Airframe Stress Analysis and Sizing, Michael C.Y. NIU Second Edition, 1997, Hong Kong Conmilit Press, ISBN 978-9627128083

Aircraft Structural Analysis, T.H.G Megson, Second Edition, 2013, Butterworth-Heinemann, ISBN 978-0080982014

Analysis of Aircraft Structures,B.K. Donaldson, Second Edition, 2013, Cambridge Aerospace Series, ISBN 9781107668669

MATLAB (or equivalent) x 30 seats

FEA ANSYS APDL/Workbench or equivalent FEA System

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEngineering
ModeratorTony Murmu
External ExaminerE Tingas
Accreditation Details
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Unseen open book examination 60%
Design Study 40%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark602

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Design/ Diagram/ Drawing/ Photograph/ Sketchcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark402
Combined Total For All Components100% 4 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity
The programme leader has considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students from minority groups, including students from ethnic minorities, disabled students, students of different ages and students from under-represented groups. Students with disability requirements will be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students discussed with the Enabling Support Unit and reasonable adjustments would be made for classes and site visits.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.