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Structural integrity: predicting and assessing performance

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Structural integrity is the study of the safe design and assessment of components and structures under load and has become increasingly important in engineering. It integrates mechanical engineering, stress analysis, materials behaviour and failure mechanics into the engineering design and failure analysis. The module theory is illustrated with case studies and will be of value to anyone interested in designing or assessing components or structures that undergo loading. The module also covers how to obtain structural integrity data practically and apply this to forensic engineering cases.

What you will study

The first two weeks of the module revise concepts needed to study the rest of the module. Online study guides and self-assessment quizzes support your revision. If you’ve completed Core engineering A (T271) and Core engineering B (T272), most of the revision material will be familiar to you. We’ve included it to ensure you have the appropriate grounding for the rest of the module, even if it’s just a refresher for some.

The module consists of three parts – each supported by a printed book:

Part 1
The first part of the module covers the theory of structural integrity, failure analysis and fracture mechanics.

Part 2
The second part will introduce some of the measurement and testing procedures used to gather data to support the concepts developed in Part 1.

Part 3
The final part introduces the principles of forensic engineering. You’ll study several real-life case studies illustrating the application of the concepts covered in Parts 1 and 2.

You will learn

You’ll learn how to assess the structural integrity of engineering components and structures, predict and prevent failure in them, and conduct forensic engineering analysis.

Entry requirements

T367 has no formal entry requirements; however, it is an OU level 3 module. Therefore, you need a good knowledge of engineering and mathematics obtained through OU level 1 and 2 study or another higher education institution.

We recommend you have completed:

We strongly recommend you check your background and experience are sufficient to tackle this module. We’ve found that appropriately prepared students have the best chance of completing their studies and get the most enjoyment from the module.

Talk to an advisor if you’re not sure you’re ready.

What's included

The study materials for this module are a combination of print and online. The main print materials cover each part of the module. You’ll also have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • learning activities
  • assignment details and submission section
  • access to student and tutor group forums.

We’ll also provide a printed module guide and handbook.

You will need

  • A scientific calculator.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to you. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying T367 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Structural integrity: predicting and assessing performance (T367) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2029.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment