ABSTRACT: In order to understand seismic behaviour of unreinforced masonry walls, a finite element model was established for a wall with opening under lateral load, and it was verified by comparing the calculated and testing results. Using the verified finite element model, parameter analysis was conducted, in which the parameters such as the loading directions, the pier aspect ratio, spandrel depth, distance between opening and edge were considered. The results showed that the bearing capacity of a wall was dominated by shear when the height to width aspect ratio of the pier was less than 1.2. It was also found that the structural columns could enhance the performance of a masonry wall. Based on the calculation results, the approximate calculation method for the bearing capacity of an unreinforced masonry wall under lateral load was proposed.