Structural and Civil Engineering, Master

Academic content

Academic content

The Master's programme in Structural and Civil Engineering incorporates a wide range of disciplines: structural mechanics, mechanical systems, material behaviour and modelling, geotechnical engineering and hydraulics. Throughout the study programme, contemporary technologies are applied for analysis and design and you will use experimental work and computer simulations to combine theory and practice.

Studying Structural and Civil Engineering, you will gain a good understanding of

  • structures
  • building materials
  • structural mechanics
  • fluids and soil
  • interaction problems, both static and dynamic

Additionally, you obtain expertise in

  • computational methods
  • experimental methods
  • probabilistic methods
  • computer programming

The teaching combines lectures, laboratory work and project work and on the first two semesters, you spend half of your study time on courses and the other half on a semester project. Each semester has an overall theme and within this theme, you conduct a semester project with your project group, where you investigate and attempt to solve a relevant issue within your field of study.

The study programmes at AAU are based on problem based learning and project work, which gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice in your semester projects, which will prepare you better for your future career.



On the first semester, you will work with load-bearing structures and you will analyse a construction part in order to determine its capacities, strengths and rigidity. Your analysis will include different methods such as experiments in the laboratories, calculations, computer simulations and modelling. This will make it possible for you to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods.


  • Structural Mechanics and Dynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Material Modelling in Mechanical Design (5 ECTS)
  • Fluid and Wave Dynamics (5 ECTS)


  • Stiffness Analysis of Load-Bearing Structures (10 ECTS)
  • Introduction to Problem Based Learning within Structural and Mechanical Engineering (5 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Analysis of a double hole disk
  • Analysis of structural behaviours in a thin-walled beam
  • Linear elastic analysis of a disk with hole(s)
  • Theoretical- and experimental study of a perforated I-beam
  • Analysis and modelling of earthquake resistant mechanism
  • Analysis methods of a plastic hinge
  • Analytical, numerical and experimental analysis of a cellular beam
  • Four point bending of a HEA beam with web openings
  • Estimation of effective breadth of a box profile


During the second semester, you work with coastal, offshore and port engineering, and experiments in the laboratories will be a significant part of you and your group’s project work. You explore the natural strains such as waves, wind, currents and ice and you analyse and consider how the constructions can be modified and improved to strengthen their resistance.


  • Coastal, Offshore and Port Engineering (5 ECTS)
  • Risk and Reliability in Engineering (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Structural Engineering (5 ECTS)


  • The Excitation and Foundation of Marine Structures (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Design of a foundation for an offshore wind turbine
  • Expansion of the Port of Frederikshavn
  • Analysis of a grouted connection for an offshore 5 MW wind turbine
  • The Anholt offshore wind farm
  • Analysis of a slip joint connection on a monopile foundation for offshore wind turbines
  • Analysis of load simulations for an offshore wind turbine
  • Investigation of the effect of aero-hydro-servo-elastic coupling and decoupling for an offshore wind turbine supported by a Tension Leg Platform


During the third semester, you have different options to earn the required 30 ECTS:

  • You can do an internship in Denmark or abroad, where you take part in the day-to-day operations in the business. During the internship, you will write a project about one or more of your tasks during the process
  • You can study a semester at another educational institution abroad or in Denmark
  • You can do a regular semester at AAU with courses and project work
  • You can begin your Master’s thesis, so your work is spread out over both your 3rd and 4th semester

Aalborg University has collaboration agreements with universities around the world, and the programme’s research environment has a wide range of internship contacts.

Find out more about studying abroad and internships here.


  • Electives (5 ECTS): Renewable Energy Structures: Wind Turbines and Wave Energy Devices / Wind Loads on Structures / Advanced Geotechnical Engineering / Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue


  • Analysis and Solution of Advanced Civil and/or Structural Engineering Problems (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Analysis of the settlements caused by a tunnel excavation
  • Design of axially loaded piles
  • Buckling of circular cylinder
  • Investigation of cyclic behaviour of offshore monopile foundation
  • Reliability assessment of existing structures
  • Analysis and solution of an advanced civil or structural engineering problem: Sliding investigation of a caisson breakwater
  • Dynamic human-structure interaction
  • Load calculations on wind turbines
  • Advanced analysis of steel frames
  • Pretension in slabs and walls


On the fourth semester, you write your Master’s thesis, where you draw on all the knowledge, experience and skills you have acquired during your studies. Depending on your topic choice, the thesis will be in the nature of developmental work, further development, or actual research.

master’s thesis

  • Topic of own choice (30 ECTS)

examples of thesis topics

  • Advanced finite element modelling of reinforced concrete
  • Coastal erosion and climate description
  • Damping of edgewise vibration of wind turbine blades by smart liquid dampers
  • Development of driveability model for piles for offshore wind turbines
  • Numerical analyses of the behaviour of a sheet pile wall
  • Renewal of water in monopiles for offshore wind
  • Sedimentation around Thyborøn Channel: Effects of improving storm surge levels in the Limfjord
  • Effects of 2nd order wave on mooring line forces of a floating space frame structure
  • Ground vibrations: Effects of masses placed on or in the ground
  • New high-performance finite element for geo-technical problems
  • Analysis of inflatable structures
  • Modelling of gyroscopic effects in ANSYS
  • Laterally loaded monopile in dry and saturated sand
  • Numerical analysis of centrally and eccentrically loaded strip foundations
  • Limit state optimisation – design tool for reinforced concrete slabs


More about the programme

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau