Module details for Finite element analysis and application


Introduction to the theory of finite element analysis and its application in research and industry


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with : an understanding of the theoretical background of finite element analysis and an appreciation of the complexity of finite element analysis for practical use.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand and evaluate the concepts of numerical analysis and governing equations

2.  Able to create and analyse finite element models for structural analysis based on structural and continuum elements

3.  Interpret results of the analyses and assess error levels

4.  Critically evaluate the constraints and implications imposed by the finite element method.

5.  Understand the theoretical background to the applications considered in the module

Indicative Content

1 Finite element method

• Background, history • Application of the direct stiffness method for tissues beams and frames • Meshing and post processing considerations, mesh convergency considerations • Problems and errors associated with applying FEM to the solution of actual problems

2 Application

Application of the FE method using software

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 30
Tutorial/Seminar 30
Practical Activity 5
Assessment 90
Independent 45
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.