The aim of Mechanics of Structures is to introduce engineering students to the basic principles of equilibrium and the behaviour of structural elements and systems which include beams, struts, shafts and trusses under applied loads.


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Discern and determine the magnitude of loads acting on simple structural members (K1, K2, K3, S1)
  • Analyse rigid body equilibrium including: a. Construct free body diagrams showing the function of simple structural elements; b. Analyse the force(s) or moment(s) required to maintain a structure in equilibrium; c. Analyse external reactions on structural members under applied loading; d. Construct axial force, shear force and bending moment diagrams for simple beams (K1, K2, K3, S1)
  • Analyse the behaviour of structural members including: a. Analyse section properties for simple cross sections; b. Analyse internal axial stresses, shear stresses and bending stresses in structural members such as beams, trusses, ties, struts, shafts and bolts (K1, K2, K3, S1)

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
1.00 12 weeks 12
Online Contact (Phasing out)
Online Learning Activities
0.50 12 weeks 6
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
5.00 12 weeks 60


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 20 - 25% 1,2,3 
ExaminationIndividual 40 - 50% 1,2,3 
Laboratory PracticalsIndividual 5 - 20% 1,2,3 
Mid-Semester TestIndividual 15 - 20% 1,2,3 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) An aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) At least 40% in the final examStudents who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirements (ii) in full will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Forces and Equilibrium: Force Vectors, Force System Resultants and Equilibrium of a Rigid Body
  • Analysis of Trusses by Method of Joints and Method of Sections
  • Analysis of Beams – Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
  • Section Properties of Structural Members: Centre of Area (Centroid) of a Section and Second Moment of Area (Moment of Inertia) of a Section
  • Stresses in Beams – Average Axial Stress, Average Shear Stress, Transverse and Longitudinal Shear Stress and Bending Stress

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.