[Skip to content]

MSc in Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management)
MSc Banner

MSc in Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) offered by Brunel University London

The MSc in Structural Integrity industry-led degree combines academic excellence with the extensive up-to-date industrial experience of TWI’s experts across the many and varied disciplines that are essential to structural integrity as applied in the oil and gas, power generation, petrochemical, nuclear and transportation sectors.

The Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc course is delivered at Granta Park, Cambridge, the home of the National Structural Intergrity Research Centre (NSIRC) and TWI. Scholarships are available: apply now .

Course Summary

This course will focus on the knowledge and skills most relevant to developing a career in technical and engineering roles where understanding and achieving structural integrity is a key component.

The technology and applications of structural integrity are wide-ranging and constantly evolving. The course will bring together and instil relevant knowledge from the fields of materials evaluation, structural assessment, non-destructive testing (NDT) and failure investigation 

Download our new course brochure for more detailed information on the course. 

When structures fail, the results can be catastrophic, not only in terms of financial downtime, but also in the costs associated for inspection and repair.

Structural integrity integrates the issues that affect the design, service life (including assessing ageing structures for life extension) and safety for a wide range of sectors, including oil and gas, power generation and transportation. This exciting field requires a detailed knowledge of material science, design for safe operation, inspection during production and in-service, as well as risk management and mitigation strategies.

This post graduate programme provides the necessary training in detecting the existence, formation and growth of damage and defects, together with assessing the influence of loads and stresses arising from manufacture and applied in-service.

Being able to detect defects is one part of the problem, but knowing what to do with these defects is at the core of this programme, where you will be taught by industrial experts involved with developing codes, standards and working practices for a range of sectors.

The MSc in Structural Integrity is suitable for graduates in engineering, science and technology and will prepare you for an exciting career, ranging from numerical assessment of structures, NDE/NDT inspection, through to developing safe life/life extension protocols for long term asset management, and much more.. 

The overall objective is to produce high-quality engineers with an in-depth knowledge of the science and technology of structural integrity, materials degradation, ageing and inspection. The underpinning theory and principles of these disciplines will be covered in a set of eight taught modules. Application of theory will be consolidated through completion of a relevant research project.

The course aims to equip students with an ability to assess all aspects of asset integrity management and the necessary knowledge and skills to analyse and act on the outcome of asset surveys.

Course Aims

The programme aims to produce engineers and technologists who can quickly make a contribution to achieving and assuring structural integrity in industry through materials testing, structural analysis, inspection, including state-of-the-art methods and NDT techniques, and fitness-for-service assessment.

The key outputs are industry-ready, world-class engineers and technologists in structural integrity disciplines including fail-safe design, corrosion control, structural health monitoring and ageing asset management.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this course will have integrated knowledge of materials performance, structural analysis and inspection methodologies including:

  • Understanding what structural integrity is and how it is achieved and demonstrated

  • Awareness of the importance of good engineering specification and design

  • Knowledge of how materials perform, age and degrade in different service environments

  • Appreciation of the concept of a mitigation process and knowing how to manage integrity in service

  • Ability to apply advanced analysis techniques to determine stresses in structures and components

  • Knowledge of structural reliability analysis

  • An understanding of structural and condition monitoring

  • Learning to develop appropriate risk-based inspection, maintenance and service plans

  • Ability to choose between the capabilities and inherent limitations of different NDT techniques

  • Ability to detect and quantify structural integrity issues by utilising appropriate NDT techniques

  • Ability to make decisions when dealing with structures with flaws and other damage


The high level of industrial involvement within the programme is unique in the UK, allowing students to gain academic knowledge and industrial experience.

Early contact with industry will increase your employability, as the networking opportunities and the professional environment students are exposed to ensure graduates are industry-ready, which is a direct result of the teaching team placing special emphasis on providing a solid theoretical and applied training.

Many applicants have considerable experience and are already practising NDE / NDT engineers looking to further their careers, which generates a rich learning and networking environment.


Our graduates have gone on to work for industrial companies, research and consultancy organisations including NSIRC, TWI Ltd, Mott McDonald, PTT Global Chemical Company and Network Rail, taking up positions not only in the UK, but across the world.

As industry-ready engineers, recent graduates of this MSc are in high demand and have been successful in gaining employment in the following areas:

  • Oil and gas industry
  • Engineering consultancies
  • Asset management
  • Research organisations

If your interests lie in research, former graduates have gone on to pursue PhDs either at Brunel University London, or at other academic institutions in the UK and Europe.

Work placements

All dissertation projects will be linked to an industrial research scheme thus providing opportunities for placements to various extents appropriate to the project requirement


The MSc in Structural Integrity is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, as satisfying part of the further learning requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Accreditation is also pending with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.


This MSc is a specialist engineering programme, delivered in conjunction between TWI and Brunel University London. The course is solely delivered at NSIRC, which is located within TWI's premises in Great Abington, Cambridge. Travelling to Granta Park is convenient, as a daily, direct shuttle bus to Cambridge means that students also have the benefits of living in Cambridge, a compact cosmopolitan city that caters well for students with a host of sporting, cultural and social events. Take a look at Mill Road – described as the Islington of Cambridge and its surrounding area which is one of the hubs of student night life. Another advantage is close proximity to London, 45 minutes by train, in addition to easy access to the major airports and road links to the rest of the country.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website and NSIRC will take all reasonable action to deliver these services in accordance with the descriptions set out in it. However, we reserve the right to vary these services, using all reasonable efforts to offer a suitable alternative. All costs, rates and prices stated are subject to amendment and should be taken as a guide only.

Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with our summary of terms before accepting a place. 

Course Content

The course is made up of 180 credits, consisting of 120 credits of compulsory and optional taught modules followed by a 60 credit research project. Please be aware modules may be subject to change.

Compulsory Modules

Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue Analysis

This module focuses on the analysis of uncracked and uncracked structures. The course aims to familiarise students in material behaviour of fractures and fatigue, and how the knowledge of structural integrity could prevent catastrophic failure which results in severe consequences. The module will focus on the analytical aspects of the main parameters, primary and secondary stresses, local and global collapse, fracture mechanics and fatigue analysis, particularly in terms of the linear elastic fracture mechanics, and elastic-plastic analysis with J-integral. Fracture and fatigue tests will be covered with practical sessions.

Students will gain a better knowledge and understanding of fracture mechanics and fatigue of metals and non-metallic materials, and will have the necessary background knowledge to deal with components and structures containing flaws.

This module will be assessed by a group assignment, and a written examination.

Materials - Metallurgy and Materials

This module will introduce the student to metallurgy and materials science, both in terms of physical and mechanical metallurgy. The module will focus on various metallic and non-metallic engineering materials in terms of their properties, fabrication and degradation mechanisms. Understanding of the influence of joining and surfacing techniques on the properties and degradation of these materials will be covered. Experience of practical methods for materials selection and failure analysis will be given, with reference to relevant international standards where applicable.

This module will be assessed by a group assignment, an individual assignment and a final examination.

NDT Inspection Methodology

This module covers the theoretical principles, advantages and disadvantages of the commonest NDT methods and techniques, to enable students to identify the correct inspection methods to be applied for a specific task (e.g. failure mechanism), and understand the essential variables for ensuring the inspection meets these requirements and provides relevant input into an engineering assessment. Students will be introduced to the fundamental processes involved in the generation of an inspection strategy in accordance with the requirements of international codes.

This module will be assessed through the preparation of an inspection procedure and strategy plan in conjunction with an examination.

Codes of Practice with Principles and Application

Based on BS 7910, this module will cover the principles of failure assessment of engineering components and structures with defects. The module will focus on the Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD) approach and fracture assessment procedure, including all key features and calculation steps, such as the three levels of analysis and their corresponding needs, requirements and procedures.

Fatigue assessment procedures based on 7910 will then be covered with fracture mechanics based calculations of fatigue crack growth. Competency statements and BS 7910 annexes, non-planar flaws and other flaw assessment procedures will also be covered.

Other commonly referred codes in engineering practices, such as R6, R5, API 579-1I, ASME FFS-1 and DNV-OS-F101 will also be discussed. New code development will also be introduced such as the EU fitness-for-services codes.

The module will be assessed by a group and individual assignment.

Stress Analysis and Plant Inspection

This module will enable you to have a thorough understanding in stress analysis with emphasis on determination of materials properties, the relevant published material data and assessment of flaw tolerance as well as yielding, constitutive laws, contact/frictional failures and impact loading which underpin the analysis for material and structural failure.

The module provides an overview of different plants and processes within several industry sectors (i.e. oil and gas upstream and downstream, power generation), leading to a thorough understanding on how different operations work, what are the elements of each process and what different assets or plant consist of. This is crucial learning for those who do not have industrial experience. Once you are familiar with typical plant and process, it is important to know why these assets need to be inspected and how they should be inspected, allowing these to refer to the stress analysis covered earlier. Major threats are introduced together with the inspection strategy to mitigate them. At the end, the concept of Risk and Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is introduced with practical exercises.

Numerical Modelling of Solids and Structures

This module is the only one of its kind approved by NAFEMS, the International Association for the Engineering Modelling, Analysis and Simulation Community.

It covers the theoretical and practical principles underlying Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Boundary Element Method (BEM) to enable students to understand advanced specialist topics in numerical analysis of stress and structures.

Students will learn the numerical tools for stress and strain simulations, particularly for stress concentration and cracks in solids, as well as simulations for non-destructive testing. The module will provide experience in the use of general purposed computer codes in engineering applications.

This module will be assessed by an assignment report and a technical presentation as well as by a group assignment and an examination.

Reliability Engineering

This module aims to provide a working knowledge at professional level of the advanced techniques in reliability engineering and an ability to apply them to structural analysis, the theory on probability of flaws detection and on dimensional uncertainty of the flaws detected.

Topics covered include: Decision analysis; Event-tree analysis; Fault-tree analysis; Reliability of items; Weibull analysis; Reliability of systems; Failure Mode and Criticality Analysis; Markov Analysis; Simulation techniques; Statistical analysis of reliability data – Detection uncertainty and Dimensioning uncertainty of flaws and introduction on FORM and SORM, paving the way for more advanced study in module ME55KK.

This module will be assessed by two technical reports and an examination.

  • This module has been approved by NAFEMS.

Structural Health Monitoring

This module will introduce the concepts and approaches that are currently used in structural health monitoring identification and monitoring techniques. The emphasis will be on modern approaches using input-output or output only methods applied on complex industrial applications.

The module will focus on the numerical and experimental aspects of damage detection techniques. Both numerical simulations and practical experimental analysis sessions will be carried out using different SHM methodologies.

This module will be assessed by a group assignment and numerical benchmarks.


Students will conduct research in the area of advanced NDT, Structural Life assessment, Asset Integrity Management and Reliability Engineering. At the end of the research, students must produce a dissertation of not more than 30,000 words. It is anticipated that a large number of students will carry out their dissertation in industry.

Examples of Thesis Topics

  • 4D Computed Tomography study of AM metal lattice structures
  • Corrosion Resistance of Anodised Al in Marine Energy Monitoring Systems
  • Destructive testing of open rotor propeller blades
  • Implementing ultrasonic inspection of underwater structures from a submersed platform
  • Correlating cathodic protection levels to external corrosion in underground pipes
  • Generation and ingress of hydrogen in cathodically polarised high strength steels
  • Multiscale Modelling of Dynamic Behaviour of Composite Materials
  • Ultrasonic inspection of mooring chains using array ultrasonic techniques
  • Influence of side grooving on fracture toughness specimens
  • Crack growing behaviour under residual stress
  • Effect of post weld heat-treatment on corrosion performance of FSW 7050-T7451 aluminium alloys
  • Determining the commonality between pressure vessels for fatigue reassessment


As the Course is delivered in a block teaching mode, contact between students and academic staff is high at around 40 hours during the teaching weeks, and becomes various during the following study weeks with tutorials and lab sessions as appropriate to the contents. As the course progresses the number of contact hours may be reduced as you undertake more project-based work.

How will I be taught?

These provide a broad overview of the main concepts and ideas you need to understand and give you a framework on which to expand your knowledge by private study.

Practicals are generally two-hour or three-hour sessions in which you can practise your observational and analytical skills, and develop a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts.

Simulation workshops
In the workshop you will work on individual and group projects with guidance from members of staff. You may be required to produce numerical modelling to develop a solution to an engineering problem. These sessions allow you to develop your specific modelling capacity and practice your teamwork skills.

On registration for the course you will be allocated to the course director who will be available to provide Industrial and academic support during your time at NSIRC. You will get one-to-one supervision on all project work.


Modules are taught over eight months (from October to May) and will be assessed by combination of assignments and April examinations.

For the final five months (May to September), students will conduct an individual project and prepare a dissertation, allowing the opportunity to undertake original research.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have:

A UK first or second class honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a relevant branch of engineering or science. Other qualifications and relevant experience may be considered and will be assessed on an individual basis.

Overseas applicants should have the minimum level of English Language qualification:

IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Entry requirements are subject to review and change each academic year.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time 

Fees for 2019/20 entry

UK/EU students: £9,100 full-time or £4,550 part-time

International students: £18,720 full-time or £9,360 part-time

For more information please visit the Brunel website

Application Form

Students may apply through the Brunel University London course web page: www.brunel.ac.uk/msc-si, indicating a desire to be considered for the Scholarship, and including in the personal statement evidence of a desire to pursue a career in Structural Integrity. All the required information will be taken from the course application form and verified at registration.