Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines complex structural systems and how different materials perform optimally in different conditions for different applications. Led by very experienced practicing structural engineers working in collaboration with architecture design staff from the Faculty, the unit tackles different contemporary topics and agendas from year to year. The approach in each case is to examine the way in which a particular complex structure works, what the physics underpinning the system are, and how a particular material is chosen to optimise the structural typology. Projects using timber, steel, concrete, earth, masonry and new carbon-based materials are included.

6 points

Students are able to (1) better evaluate structural systems appropriate to architectural design; (2) gain a better knowledge of the structural properties of various materials; and (3) gain a better knowledge of the behaviour of complex structures.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research project proposal and (2) research project (may include physical models, digital models, drawings and a short report). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Patrick Beale
Contact hours
seminars: 1 hour per week
research workshops: 2 hours per week for up to 12 weeks
Resource information will accompany each proposed research topic.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.