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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Engineering Mechanics is concerned with the state of rest or motion of objects subject to the action of forces.  The topic is divided into two parts:  STATICS which considers the equilibrium of objects which are either at rest or move at a constant velocity, and DYNAMICS which deals with the motion and associated forces of accelerating bodies.  The former is particularly applied to beams and truss structures. The latter includes a range of applications, such as car suspension systems, motion of a racing car, missiles, vibration isolation systems, and so on.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Paul Davidson

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

  • Newton's Second (F = ma) and Third Laws (equal and opposite reactions) are applied to the analysis of dynamic and static systems.   

    Stress, strain and elasticity will be introduced and applied, together with the principles of static equilibrium including the analysis of forces in statically determinate trusses, and of shear force and bending moment distribution in beams. The development of bending moment and shear force diagrams is introduced.

    Kinematics and kinetics of rigid bodies moving in a single plane, including rectilinear and rotational motion, will be studied. Impulse/momentum and work/energy methods will be introduced. The motion of bodies of constant and variable mass acted upon by variable forces, including impulsive ones, is examined briefly.  Practical case studies are used to illustrate the application of the concepts.

    Hands-on practical activities are used to enhance students learning.  Students carry out laboratory experiments to determine the forces in a simply-supported beam and a two-member frame, and to analyse the motion of a projectile and pendulum.  The experimental results are compared with the theoretical results and used to assess the limitations of the underpinning assumptions. 

  • Contact Teaching Time

    Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

    Teaching Breakdown

    More Information about Week Numbers

    Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

    Summative Assessments

    1st Attempt: Three-hour written examination paper (80%) and continuous assessment (20%). The continuous assessment will be based on the keeping of a logbook for the practical work but will take into account attendance and performance in carrying out the practical work.

    Resit: Three-hour written examination paper (80%) and continuous assessment (20%).  The continuous assessment mark from the first attempt will be carried forward to the resit.

    Formative Assessment

    There are no assessments for this course.


    a) Assessment grade and feedback comments will be provided on laboratory report within one week of submitting the report.

    b) Students can obtain feedback on their understanding of key aspects of the course at the weekly tutorial sessions.

    c) Students requesting feedback on their exam performance should make an appointment with the course coordinator within two weeks of the publication of the exam results.

    Course Learning Outcomes


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