A thermo-structural finite element model for the behaviour of masonry panels exposed to fire conditions has been developed. The model has been specifically designed to simulate the behaviour of both loaded and unloaded brickwork panels in plane stress, which are subject to various types of temperature distribution associated with typical fire situations. The current model has been evaluated using experimental results from fire tests on half- and full-scale masonry walls exposed to elevated temperature oil one face. Analytical and experimental results for the fire tests were basically in good agreement, indicating that reliable results call be achieved provided that accurate material properties and test boundary conditions are known. and that reliable temperature distribution data through the thickness of the wall is available. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.