Principles and Applications of Strength of Materials (H7102)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

Have you ever asked yourself why objects break? It happens in nature and every area of human activity. To answer this question, we have to look not only at the shape of the object and the loads acting on it but also deep inside it – at the structure of the materials, the strength of the bonds between the particles making it, the purity of the material and many other factors.

In Newtonian Mechanics we looked at the objects from an outside perspective. In this module, we look at what happens inside it, at the internal forces that are developed and react to the external loading. To do this effectively and efficiently we introduce and use the concepts of stress and strain.

Now, engineers can use software packages as tools for solving complex problems related to the strength and physical performance of mechanical parts and assemblies. No matter how convenient these tools are, they cannot replace the simple, analytical calculations of stresses and deflections, which are the object of study of Strength of Materials. This discipline introduces fundamental concepts, which allow you to understand the physical phenomena that takes place when materials are under the action of forces.

By mastering those fundamental concepts, you are not only able to carry out quick calculations, but can use numerical tools, and even improve them. These concepts are vital to the mechanical design process – it can be said that without the prediction of the strengths of the parts, no mechanical design process can take place.


66%: Lecture
34%: Practical (Laboratory, Workshop)


25%: Coursework (Report)
75%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 50 hours of contact time and about 100 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: