Structural Engineering

CAO Code 
Programme Title Award
DT025 Engineering (Common First Year) Level 8 (Honours)
DT097 Engineering (General Entry) Level 7 (Ordinary) or Level 8 (Honours)*

What do Structural Engineers do?

Buildings and structures must be strong enough to carry the maximum loading that is likely to occur during their lifetime. Loading includes the self-weight of the structure, loading imposed by people, furniture, machinery and equipment, loading from wind, changes in temperature, and in some cases waves and water. Structures should also not deflect or vibrate noticeably.

The structural engineer must understand and be able to calculate the different types of loading on a structure, and then calculate the stresses and strains at critical points in the structure.

Common construction materials include steel, reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete, masonry, timber, glass, aluminium, polymers etc. The structural engineer must understand the behaviour of these materials under normal and extreme loading.

The structural engineer uses mathematical methods, specialised computer software, codes of practice, regulations and their own professional experience in their work. He/she works as part of a project team which would normally include architects, electrical, mechanical and building services engineers, quantity surveyors, site managers and construction workers. Design concepts, details and specifications are documented using drawings and written reports. Design work is carried out in the office, but structural engineers will often also work on site to supervise construction. As well as ensuring that the completed structure is adequate, close attention must be paid to the safety and strength of the structure at each stage of construction.

Why study Structural Engineering at DIT?

DIT has provided a specialized degree in Structural Engineering for many years, and the degree is highly regarded in the engineering community. The programme has a very practical focus, and is closely aligned with current design and construction practice.

The aim of the programme is to produce high quality graduates who have a detailed knowledge of scientific and technical principles and engineering practice, who have an understanding of the industrial, business and social environment in which professional engineers work and who possess the personal skills which will allow them to work in the wide variety of employment opportunities available to them both in Ireland and abroad, and to continue their professional development throughout their career.

DIT maintains its strong relationship with the professional bodies through the recognition given to our programmes by Engineers Ireland, and through active involvement of staff with the Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE).

During the final year students complete a major individual project which draws together the many different aspects of their study throughout the entire programme. The purpose of the project is to cultivate independent thought, initiative and systematic study by the student. It provides the student with the opportunity of exercising engineering judgment and skills, analysing problems and overcoming practical difficulties. The student gains ‘hands-on’ experience of engineering materials and structural behaviour.

The Spaghetti Bridge Competition held during Final Year of the DT024 Structural Engineering programme is available to view at: DIT Civil & Structural You Tube Channel

Career Opportunities

Graduates of Structural Engineering have the prospect of employment with contractors, research organisations, consultants, as well as state and semi-state agencies and local authorities. Some pursue postgraduate studies in Ireland or abroad directly after graduating or they may go abroad to work initially and in this way gain wider or specialised experience. Graduates are eligible for Membership of Engineers Ireland and are also accepted for entry to appropriate postgraduate programmes in Ireland and abroad.


Andrew Nolan, Senior Project Engineer at Arup Consulting Engineers and a 2003 Graduate of DIT Structural Engineering.

"Bolton Street gave me the necessary technical skills to work in the design of bridges for Arup. The education I received in Bolton Street was excellent in terms of providing me with the knowledge of design codes, a practical understanding of structures and their design parameters.

I cherished my time in Bolton Street and would highly recommend it to prospective engineers.