Fundamentals of Structural Analysis

Get to grips with civil engineering structural analysis once and for all

$79   FREE
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What you'll learn

You will understand key concepts such as the moment of a force, static equilibrium and determinacy
You will be able to determine the support reactions for structures subject to a range of loading conditions
You will learn to use the Joint Resolution Method and Method of Sections to analyse pin-jointed truss structures
You will understand the key differences between simplified analysis models and the behaviour of real world structures


In this course we’ll cover fundamental concepts and methods in static structural analysis. Starting with the very basics, we explore forces, moments and how to use the principle of static equilibrium. Then we move on to look at pin-jointed structures or trusses; what are they and how do we analyse them? We’ll cover the joint resolution method and method of sections in detail. Worked examples are used extensively to demonstrate the practical application of theory.   

This course has been designed to cover the key topics that students first encounter when studying structural mechanics. Based on my experience teaching engineering undergraduates, the course focuses on those areas students find particularly tricky when starting out.

I’ve also emphasises the link between theory and practice as we explore how our models of structural behaviour map onto the real world. A good civil or structural engineer knows the limits of their model. So in this course we’re really going to emphasise this distinction between model prediction and real world structural behaviour.

The course includes video lectures which combine screencast voice over with traditional style lectures. The emphasis is on worked examples with students encouraged to try questions before the detailed solution is presented. The teaching philosophy is ‘learn by doing!’

This course is suitable for engineering students who find their mechanics/structures lectures confusing and feel a little lost when it comes to structural analysis. Students wishing to get a head start before starting their degree programme or more advanced engineering students who need a refresher would also benefit from taking this course. Construction industry professionals such as surveyors, architects etc. would also benefit from understanding the materials covered in this course.

Who this course is for

  • This course is great for undergraduate engineering students who feel a little lost in their structures lectures. We start from scratch, establishing the basics and build from there.
  • More advanced engineering students who want a refresher or who didn’t quite grasp the fundamentals first time around would also benefit from this course.
  • If you’re about to start an engineering programme, this course is a great way to get a head start.
  • If you’re a structures genius already, this course is probably not for you.

Course Completion Certificate

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Course preview

Lecture 9: Pin-Jointed Structures - The Theory

Lecture 10: Pin-Jointed Structures - In Reality

Course content

Introduction and Course Overview

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - Lecture 1
An introduction to me and the course (Preview)

2D Force Systems

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 2
2D force systems
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 3
 Force resultants and components
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 4a
The moment of a force
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 5
Couples and equivalent systems
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 6
Test Yourself – Worked Example #1
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 7
Test Yourself – Worked Example #2
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 8
Test Yourself – Worked Example #3

Static Equilibrium and Reaction Forces

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 9
Equilibrium and reaction forces
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 10
Calculating reaction forces
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 11
Limitations of the equations of statics
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 12
Test Yourself – Worked Example #4
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 13
Test Yourself – Worked Example #5
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 14
Test Yourself – Worked Example #6
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 15
Test Yourself – Worked Example #7
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 16
Test Yourself – Worked Example #8
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 17
Test Yourself – Worked Example #9
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 18a
Test Yourself – Worked Example #10
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 19a
Test Yourself – Worked Example #11

Analysis of Trusses

Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 20
What is a truss structure in theory (Preview)
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 21
What is a truss structure in reality (Preview)
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 22
Force calculation using ‘Joint Resolution’ (Preview)
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 23
Force calculation using the ‘Method of Sections’
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 24
Statical determinacy
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 25
Test Yourself – Worked Example #12
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 26
Test Yourself – Worked Example #13
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 27
Test Yourself – Worked Example #14
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 28
Test Yourself – Worked Example #15
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 29
Test Yourself – Worked Example #16
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis - 30
Wrapping up

Student Feedback

I Crawford


Struggled with some of the concepts here when taught in class. I thought this would be hard getting back into it again but Sean delivers the lectures expertly making the learning easier! Great course, content delivered in a professionally easy to understand way. Thoroughly recommended.

May 2020

T Thompson


Sean explains the video’s perfectly and responds quickly to any queries! Would highly recommend to anyone that wants to revise and top up their structural analysis knowledge.

July 2020

M Wilton-Clark

Used as a refresher. Presentation was excellent. Discussions of theory vs reality were worthwhile. March 2020

J Massar


The course has so far brushed up my memory on the subject and also made me realized easier methods to use.

January 2020

C James

Very, very intuitive and easy to follow. I immediately bought Sean’s other two lectures on structural analysis. September 2019​

L Knight

Love the easy to understand explanations, as well as the examples being easy to follow along with his workings laid out for you if you are stuck. August 2019

YF Gaye

This course is really a good refresher course. I especially like the practice questions, and it’s a good thing that there are solutions to check against. I also appreciate the comparisons to actual structures as this is the reason for modelling. I would DEFINITELY recommend this course to anyone who wants to understand / or needs a refresher in the basics of structural analysis ! Thank you Dr Sean. July 2019

Y Hajjami


I must admit that the first example in the end regarding resultant forces had taken me aback, but in the last example I understood everything and I now feel much more confident in the subject. Really well explained and smoothly laid out, and I don’t feel like I wasted my time but actually filled out a gap I was about to have coming into my first year at Uni.

September 2020

B McKoy


Above expectations, Instructor is amazing and knows the subject matter.

June 2020

D R Doggala

I am a senior in high school and am planning to pursue Civil Engineering in college. This course was the perfect headstart for me and gave me a fantastic overview of what to expect as a future Civil Engineering student. There were a plentiful amount of practice questions provided, which I highly appreciate. Dr. Carroll also emphasized the importance of appreciating the behaviour of real-world structures in comparison to 2-D analysis models. He explained at a very comfortable pace and was very timely in answering any doubts that course-takers had. All in all, it was a very fruitful learning experience and has solidified my desire to study Civil (Structural) Engineering. November 2019

R Paul

This course is perfectly designed. Starting to love structural analysis 🙂 Thanks to Dr. Sean Carroll June 2019

G Morris

This is a fantastic course that has good in-depth explanations, exercises and worked examples. I have learned more in two days of this course than 12 weeks on my mechanical engineering degree, I now understand concepts I was really struggling with that my lecturer skipped over with no explanations. I was unsure about my ability to pass this module on my end of year exam, but now I know I can pass with high marks from the solid foundation this course has given me! Highly recommended to anyone studying engineering. Thank you Sean! January 2019

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