Learning Pathways

Where to start

I’m often asked which course students should take first. This depends on your background knowledge and what you want to achieve.

To help you decide where to start, DegreeTutors courses are arranged into learning pathways. You can think of learning pathways as a sensible or suggested sequence to take these courses rather than strict prerequisites.

Now, although there is a suggested sequence, that’s not to say that someone who just wants to learn the Moment distribution Method can’t just jump into Indeterminate Structures & The Moment Distribution Method. But if you’re not comfortable drawing bending moment diagrams, it might be sensible to start with Mastering Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams.

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis is at the top of the tree. This is the starting point for anyone new to structural analysis that wants to start from ground zero. This will set you up well for to progress onto Pathway A or B.

In Pathway A we focus on developing a complete understanding of Shear Forces and Bending Moments and your ability to construct Shear Force and Bending moment diagrams.

You’ll develop a sound understanding of techniques applied to statically determinate beams and frames in Mastering Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams. These skills are then sharpened in the Shear Forces and Bending Moments Analysis Bootcamp.

After this, you will move on to learn about the moment distribution method for analysing statically indeterminate beams and frames in Indeterminate Structures and The Moment Distribution Method. This will massively broaden the range of structures you can analyse. Again you will further hone your analysis skills in the Moment Distribution Method Analysis Bootcamp.

After completing Learning Pathway A you will be confident in taking on a complete bending moment and shear force evaluation for any beam or frame structure. You will also have developed an intuition for qualitative structural behaviour.

Pathway B is all about harnessing the power of virtual work and dispelling the confusion students often experience with this topic.

We’ll start by developing an understanding of the Principle of Virtual Work and how to leverage it for analysis of axially loaded members in Fundamentals of Virtual Work for Civil Engineers. This will allow us to determine forces, reactions and deflections in pin-jointed truss structures.

We’ll move on to apply Virtual Work to statically determinate beam and frame structures in Mastering Virtual Work for Civil Engineering. After completing this course you will have expanded your toolbox to be able to calculate deflections in beams and frames.

The payoff for mastering virtual work really comes after completing Analysing Hybrid Indeterminate Civil Engineering Structures. In this course you will utilise everything you’ve learned so far to analyse indeterminate structures consisting of both bending and axially loaded members.

After completing Learning Pathway B, you will have fully grasped the power of virtual work and be confident tackling the analysis of hybrid structures that may have previously left you stumped.

Pathway C is our structural dynamics pathway. This pathway is about developing your understanding of structural dynamics and building your comfort level with analysing the influence of dynamic loading.

Fundamentals of Engineering Structural Dynamics with Python focuses on nailing down core concepts in structural dynamics. But rather than a typical ‘Intro to Dynamics’ course, we’ll use our knowledge of the fundamentals to build a numerical analysis algorithm that you can deploy in the real world.

We’ll be focusing on single degree of freedom systems in this course. We’ll move on to look at multi-degree of freedom dynamics in a future course.

This course makes use of Python in the Jupyter Notebook environment. This isn’t a ‘Learn Python’ course but you’ll learn the Python you need along the way.

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