Bridge Engineering MSc

Our Bridge Engineering MSc, which has been running for over 35 years, will provide you with advanced capabilities in specialist aspects of bridge engineering.

Why Surrey?

Successful completion of this programme will aid you in pursuing a career as a bridge engineer with either a consultancy, a specialist contractor or a local authority.

Programme overview

If you are a graduate student, you will find the programme of substantial use in developing your knowledge and skills base for bridge analysis, design and management. For those who are practising bridge engineers, the programme is an opportunity for you to update your knowledge of current design and assessment codes and guidelines, and to familiarise yourself with developments in new techniques for the design, construction and management of bridges. 

The Bridge Engineering programme provides a wide range of modules addressing the whole life-analysis of bridge structures. It is also possible to take optional modules from some of our other study streams, covering structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, water engineering, construction management, and infrastructure engineering and management. 

Successful completion of this programme will aid you in pursuing a career as a bridge engineer with either a consultancy, a specialist contractor or a local authority.

Why not explore some of our past and present student profiles, including Alex Salter, Ian Sandle, Evangelos Alexakis and Mina Giagia.

Programme structure

The modular arrangement is intended to tailor the programme to your individual needs and provide maximum flexibility in terms of attendance of full-time and part-time students.

The majority of modules run for eleven weeks and comprise approximately 33 hours (three hours per week) of class time and 120 hours of self-study and assignments.

Successful completion of four modules is required for a student to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, eight modules for a Postgraduate Diploma. Eight modules and a dissertation are required for the award of an MSc.

Individual modules can be used to contribute towards a continuing professional development programme.

Module overview

To achieve the MSc Bridge Engineering, you will need to pass eight modules, with at least four being chosen from the Bridge Engineering group of modules and a further two being chosen from the Bridge or Structural Engineering groups of modules. The remaining two modules are a free choice from all the Civil Engineering module groups.

There are over 30 modules available, each worth 15 credits, covering the general areas of bridge engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, water engineering and construction management. The MSc is classified as technical for the purposes of accreditation by the relevant professional bodies.

Civil Engineering module groups

MSc programmes in Bridge Engineering, Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering share module options. The modules fall under six streams of study:

Bridge Engineering modules
  • Bridge Management
  • Bridge Deck Loading and Analysis
  • Durability of Bridges and Structures
  • Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge Design
  • Steel and Composite Bridge Design
  • Long Span Bridges
Structural Engineering modules
  • Steel Building Design
  • Space Structures
  • Structural Mechanics and Finite Elements
  • Concrete Building Design
  • Structural Safety and Reliability
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Design of Masonry Structures
  • Subsea Engineering
Construction Management modules
  • Construction Organisation
  • Project and Risk Management
  • Construction, Management and Law
Geotechnical Engineering modules
  • Soil–Structure Interaction
  • Advanced Soil Mechanics
  • Energy Geotechnics
  • Deep Foundations and Earth Retaining Structures
  • Geotechnical Structures
Water Engineering modules *
  • Environmental Health
  • Water Treatment
  • Wastewater Treatment and Sewerage
  • Applied Chemistry and Microbiology (Intensive)
  • Pollution Control and Waste Management
  • Groundwater Control
  • Regulation and Management
  • Water Resources Management and Hydraulic Modelling
Infrastructure Engineering & Management modules:

• Infrastructure Asset Management
• Infrastructure Investment and Financing
• Infrastructure Systems, Interdependencies
and Resilience
• Sustainability and Infrastructure

* Students must meet prerequisites for some of these modules to be able to take them.

Bridge Engineering modules - module descriptions

Bridge Deck Loading and Analysis

Loading: types of load; traffic loads; application of loads; load combinations; partial safety factors; shrinkage and temperature loads; the use of influence lines. Analysis: types of bridge deck and their behaviour; distribution of loads; skew deck analysis; use of influence surfaces; computer methods (grillage, finite element, finite strip).

Bridge Management

Inspection, assessment and strengthening; technical approval procedures; maintenance strategies, systems and procedures; whole-life costing and asset management; the assessment of reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete, steel and composite bridges; load testing of bridges; methods of strengthening; the design of bridges for durability of maintenance.

Long Span Bridges

Historical perspective and case studies; the analysis, design and construction of long span cable-supported bridges; the design of the main elements – cables, towers, hangers, deck and foundations; construction processes; aerodynamic considerations.

Steel and Composite Bridge Design

Propped and unpropped construction; serviceability and ultimate limit states; design for bending, shear and combined bending and shear, continuous construction, plastic analysis; reference to current codes of practice; the design of steel plate girders for shear and bending interaction; the design of transverse stiffeners; fatigue behaviour of steel bridges and connections; appraisal to Part 10 BS 5400; means of improving fatigue performance of steel bridges; the design of bolted and welded steel bridge connections; the design of longitudinally and transversely stiffened webs and flanges for box girders; the design of plate elements, longitudinal stiffeners and cross frames.

Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge Design

Pre-stressed concrete: simple design equations; kern limits; losses; cable design; end block design; differential shrinkage; continuous beams. Box girders: design concept; construction methods; cost benefits; global analysis; pre-stress design; distortion effects; end blocks; diaphragms; reinforcement.

Durability of Bridges and Structures

Overview of durability; the durability of concrete, metals, reinforcement in concrete and polymers; testing and monitoring structures; the assessment of structures, repair methods and materials; the design and construction of durable structures; failures of durability and their consequences.

Modes of study

Apart from the usual full-time mode, there are also part-time options. The majority of Bridge, Geotechnical and Structural Engineering modules can be studied by distance learning through the use of an interactive web-based e-learning platform (SurreyLearn).

Distance learning

This programme can be studied via distance learning, which allows a high level of flexibility and enables you to study alongside other commitments you may have. Full information about our distance learning programme can be found in the following document: PDF icon distance-learning-civil-engineering-2015.pdf

Professional recognition

These courses have been accredited by The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), ‭The Institution of Structural Engineers ‭(IStructE), The Institute of Highway ‭Engineers (IHE) and The Chartered ‭Institution of Highways & Transportation ‭(CIHT). In addition the programmes have ‭EURACE accreditation.

MSc Bridge Engineering (technical) (1 year FT, 2-5 year PT and DL)

This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. See for further information.

Further Learning Programme (for candidates with IEng approved HND/HNC/FdEng/FdSci)

This programme is approved as meeting the Further Learning requirements for an Incorporated Engineer for candidates who have an IEng approved first qualification. See for details of approved qualifications.

Institute of Highway Engineers
Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation
Institution of Civil Engineers
The Institution of Structural Engineers
European Accreditation of Engineering Programmes

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Boulent Imam

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 60 months
  • Distance-learning: 60 months

Start date:

Sep 2016, Feb 2017

Entry Requirements

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £8,000 £18,000
Part-time Sep 2016 £900 * £2,000 *
Distance-learning Sep 2016 £900 * £2,000 *
Full-time Feb 2017 £8,000 £18,000
Part-time Feb 2017 £900 * £2,000 *
Distance-learning Feb 2017 £900 * £2,000 *

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

GREAT Surrey Scholarships India

For for all postgraduate taught courses starting in February 2017 within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the University is offering graduates from India the opportunity to apply for one of three scholarships worth £5,000 through the GREAT Scholarships - India programme. 

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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