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Safety Engineering and Disaster Management - MEng (Hons) - Video

If you want to save lives and make a meaningful difference in the world then this is the course for you.

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Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

If you want to save lives and make a meaningful difference in the world then this is the course for you.


This course prepares you for a leadership role in the design of highly creative technological solutions for the delivery of complex engineering projects and humanitarian relief responses.

The two key focal points of the course, safety engineering and disaster management, intertwine perfectly to educate and prepare you for roles within industry. The safety engineering strand will concentrate upon intelligent design of systems and processes to create more efficient organisations and industries with a highly attuned emphasis on environmental sustainability and inherently safe design for all concerned. The complementary disaster management focus then explores the macro issues to prepare you to lead and manage disaster response teams in a truly international context.

This course prepares you to be in a position to respond to man-made and natural disasters. You will come to develop your technical, scientific and creative skills to help people and communities most in need and most specifically in the face of adversity, such as post-disaster or extreme emergencies. Through this course you will develop a full understanding of your ethical role in terms of designing critical solutions to highly sophisticated problems with the primary aim of preserving or improving human life.

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About this course

In this section


Are you a motivated individual with real potential?

Do you possess a natural talent for problem solving through creativity and innovation? Have you a passion for compassion and are you seeking to make a difference in people’s lives?

The safety engineer, with high level skills, creativity, innovation and professional competences will play a central management engineering role in humanitarian relief and in the development of inherently safe design solutions.

“There is no such thing as a ’natural’ disaster, only natural hazards” (UNISDR). When natural hazards affect human lives, the widely used term ‘natural disaster’ surfaces, although it is the impact that the realisation of those natural hazards (earthquakes, flood and droughts) has that creates the disaster. Impacts on food, welfare and sanitation; impacts on shelter, environment and infrastructure and impacts on government and governance are the outworking of a post-disaster situation. The global targets coming out of the SENDAI Framework aim to substantially reduce global disaster mortality; the number of affected people, direct disaster economic loss, damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services as well as substantially increasing the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies and the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems.

As an MEng graduate in Safety Engineering and Disaster Management you will have the educational base required by the UK Engineering Council (UKEC) to apply for Chartered Engineer status, following a period of appropriate professional work experience. UKEC defines Chartered Engineers as someone who “develop solutions to engineering problems using new or existing technologies, through innovation creativity and change and /or they may have technical accountability for complex systems with significant levels of risk.”

The MEng degree extends the learning experience beyond the BEng level to enable the graduate to potentially gain Chartered Engineer status subsequently in their career without the necessity for further post graduate study. It is this distinction that sets the MEng graduate apart from the BEng graduate.

As a part time student it is in the 5th year of study where the enhanced expectations of the MEng stream become apparent. At this point those studying the MEng degree undertake a comprehensive and challenging engineering design project, targeted towards the delivery of a product or process, which is potentially market ready and suitable to make a relevant and impactful contribution to the global community.

At this same stage a much deeper appreciation is gained of the impact global economics, politics and international law has on your role as the management engineer.

The higher expectations and professional commitment of the student at this level is brought to the fore through immersive study in the fields of fire and water engineering, design and modelling, sustainable technologies, project management and a fundamentally critical appraisal and application of the behavioural and organisational aspects of leading emergency response teams.

If you undertake this programme of study you should be someone who is creative; desires to travel; aspires to manage and lead diverse teams; demands to make a real difference to people’s lives around the world; and who is aiming to truly lead a career worth living.


The course commences in September 2018 and will initially be based on the Jordanstown campus, however from September 2019 the main geographical base for the course will be on the new Belfast campus.

Attendance is part time, typically one day per week.

Semesters are divided into 18 week blocks, which includes 12 weeks of teaching with an exam period towards the end of each semester. You will have to attend two semesters, the first starting mid-September, running until the near the end of January. The second semester commences at the end of January and ends in May.

Each semester of each year is different in terms of attendance at timetabled classes. You will also be expected to undertake independent study outside of the classroom/ laboratory environment, which will involve in depth reading into the subject area, research and discussion with colleagues, coursework preparation and general study.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Construction materials 1

Year: 1

Construction professionals are responsible for specifying, designing and manufacturing the materials with which structures are built. This module will provide students with a basic understanding of fundamental material science and a comprehensive understanding of the composition, microstructure, and engineering behaviour of materials used in construction applications.

Energy and Green Chemistry

Year: 1

The energy professional requires an understanding of the underpinning principles of chemistry relevant to energy. This module provides knowledge and understanding of chemistry principles and supports this with a series of case studies and practical experiments. It requires a competent level of numeracy.

Humanitarian Engineering

Year: 1

In humanitarian engineering human benefit is the primary concern. This module introduces humanitarian skills and practices, giving an understanding of the characteristics of natural disasters, conflicts and complex emergencies. It will challenge, inspire and work to help determine personal motivation for humanitarian relief work and conceive the difficulties associated with delivering accurate real time design decisions in complex critical multi-criteria decision arenas.

Introduction to Safety Engineering and Disaster Management

Year: 1

This module will develop the students' understanding of the principles of safety engineering, and disaster management to give context to the modules within their degree as a whole. This module will introduce the concepts, theories and principles of disaster management and specifically the role of an engineer in an emergency scenario. Case studies of disasters will be studied to understand the impacts, lessons learned and the role of engineering.

Year two

Structural Mechanics

Year: 2

Civil and Safety engineering design and construction activities require knowledge of the forces due to the statical behaviour of structures. This module introduces common analysis methods for simple structures comprising rigid bodies, beams, two member pin jointed structures and multi member determinate pin jointed plane trusses. Practical classes illustrate the use of these analysis methods at laboratory scale.

Fluid Mechanics

Year: 2

Civil, Safety and Energy engineering design and construction activities require knowledge of the forces due to the statical and dynamical behaviour of water. Methods of determining forces arising from analyses using simple hydrostatics and hydrodynamics are given and applied to practical hydraulics problems. Practical classes illustrate the use of these analysis methods at laboratory scale.

Physics for Engineers

Year: 2

The safety professionals require an understanding of the fundamentals of physics and possessing of relevant skills to apply its laws to analysis and design of engineering systems. The module provides knowledge and understanding of the key principles of Newtonian mechanics, heat and energy transfer, physics of fluids, basics of electromagnetism and optics, and introduces a number of special safety topics considered in detail further in the course.

Engineering Mathematics 1A

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module covers mathematics topics which are suitable for a first year MEng / BEng courses in the engineering discipline. First semester course material starts with refresher topics, includes basic algebra, mathematical functions, polynomial equations, logarithms and exponentials, trigonometry and finishes with complex numbers.

Engineering Mathematics 1B

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module covers mathematics topics which are suitable for a first year MEng / BEng courses in the engineering discipline. These topics include differential and integration calculus, matrices and vectors, and series.

Engineering Mathematics PT

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module covers mathematics topics which are suitable for a first year BEng course in Engineering. These topics include Calculus, Algebra, Statistics and Series.

Year three

Mathematics for Engineers

Year: 3

This level 5 mathematics module is for engineering students on Built Environment programmes. It covers a variety of mathematical methods appropriate for the solution of problems in safety, civil, and architectural engineering. Emphasis is placed on applications in engineering contexts and problem solving tools, rather than on a rigorous exposition of their theoretical basis.

Safety: An International and Ethical Perspective

Year: 3

Examining health and safety from a global and an ethics reasoning perspective, this module addresses the various international protocols, demonstrating how they impact upon local regulation and professional practice. In the process students develop an understanding of the concept that designs must be such that they can be built, used, maintained and eventually demolished in a safe and healthy manner and through problem-based learning put the concept into practice.

Introduction to Combustion for Fire and Explosion Dynamics

Year: 3

This module will introduce the fundamental physical principles underlying fire and explosion development. Particular attention is given to the chemical and physical processes associated with fire as a combustion system, fire chemistry and toxicity, fire initiation, growth and spread in open and enclosed spaces, deflagrations and detonations, blast waves and combustion in closed vessel. Introduction is also given to mathematical methods of fire modelling.

Hazards and Risk Analysis

Year: 3

This module will introduce different hazards involved in a variety of aspects of engineering design and also various analysis and modelling tools based on fundamental principles of probability and statistics for risk assessment

Year four

Structural Engineering Design 2

Year: 4

This module considers durability, deformation characteristics, design and quality control of structural materials; philosophy and concepts of key design codes of practice; design methodology and procedures for reinforced concrete, structural steel, timber and brickwork elements, use of proprietary design and detailing computer packages for reinforced concrete and structural steel.

Human Factors and Behaviours

Year: 4

This module will develop the students' understanding and appreciation of the complexities of human factors and behaviours relevant to safety management and design. An understanding of human factors and behaviours is essential to ensuring the safety of occupants in buildings and the extended built environment. This module will address human factors relevant to the safety environment and behaviour in emergencies. In particular, it will focus on the psychological and behavioural responses of individuals, groups and wider society relative to emergency situations and the impact thereon.

Heat and mass transfer

Year: 4

The theory and applications covered in this module advance the knowledge of the student in the fundamental theory of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics. The emphasis is on more subject specific applications, particularly relevant to safety engineers.

Year five

Structural analysis and design 4

Year: 5

This module seeks to prepare students for participation in structural design and to introduce them to the basis for the use of structural design tools. The module stresses the benefits of the use of sketches in structural analysis and design and the appropriate applications of equilibrium, compatibility, material response relationships. Design is presented as following a rational methodology. Students participate in a design exercise which follows the major activities involved in producing a structural design.

Leading and Managing Emergency Response Teams

Year: 5

This module has been designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of modern methods of leading and managing emergency response projects which are by their very nature complex and highly demanding, involving a number of different and well-coordinated courses of action. Ultimately this module addresses the challenges of leading and managing people and resources in complex, challenging and demanding situations post disaster. Practical applications and case studies of relevant practice are used to enhance the learning experience.

Year six

Prevention through Design

Year: 6

UK SPEC requires professional engineers to "…implement design solutions, taking account of critical constraints, including due concern for safety…". The prevention through design initiative, gaining influence in international design circles, addresses the need to develop safe design thinking among engineering undergraduates. This programme helps students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of safe design while developing their PtD analytical skills.

Disaster Safety and Resilience

Year: 6

The module aims to develop the following skills; To retrieve and identify the principal man-made and natural hazards that a location is subject to. The identification of the assessment and mitigation measures to facilitate the measures of vulnerability, robustness and resilience for infrastructure, utilities and built environment. The ability to prioritise mitigation methods by cost, human safety and consequential effects. The assessment, management and recovery from extreme and hazardous incidents.

Occupational Health and Safety Management

Year: 6

he focus of this module is on the policies and strategies which influence health & safety management and the relevant strategies to deal with the control of serious and imminent danger and major accidents. The importance of the social, political and economic influences on health and safety is also emphasised

Humanitarian Politics, Law and Economics for Engineers

Year: 6

This module is designed to highlight that engineers don't work abstractly from the world, they are inherently immersed in designing, creating or managing solutions to problems that sustain, improve or save lives on a universal scale. Consequently engineers must have a critical appreciation of the economics, politics and legal issues that impinge on their professional role and equally importantly that are affected by their interventions. All of these aspects are dealt with in this module focused through a truly humanitarian lens.

Safety Engineering and Disaster Management Design Project

Year: 6

In this module students undertake an individual safety engineering and disaster management design project under the supervision of a member of the course team. The project topics will reflect industry needs or ongoing research in relevant fields.

Year seven

Project Management

Year: 7

The module is designed to provide a postgraduate multi disciplinary learning experience on the subject of Project Management. It introduces the concepts of Project Management, examines the recognised practices and accepted principles involved in the project management function, and combines these with an understanding of the increasingly demanding multi-dimensional aspects of the discipline. It provides an overall project orientated management framework (theoretical tempered with world best practice) with local, national and international dimensions within which you can develop your knowledge / understanding and key professional competencies.

Structural Fire Engineering

Year: 7

This module considers durability, building code requirements, structural fire testing, material properties at elevated temperatures, thermally induced structural behaviour, in the context of structural design against fire.

Computer Modelling in Fire Engineering

Year: 7

With recent advent in computer technology and better understanding of the underlying theory relating to the fire phenomenon, computer modelling plays an increasingly important role in fire research, particularly for applications where full-scale experiments are too expensive or dangerous. The increased interest in computer modelling has led to the rapid development of various computer programmes, most of which have been used in practical designs. An understanding of the fundamental theory and practical techniques is essential in order to conduct meaningful computer modelling and more importantly to analyse and critically evaluate the simulation results. This module provides such an understanding through lecturing as well as hands-on practice.

Behavioural and Organisational Aspects of Leading Emergency Response Teams

Year: 7

Humanitarian aid at its best makes people its goal, protecting their autonomy as decision-making human beings. As a humanitarian engineer, working at the highest level you will promote, plan, design, construct, maintain or manage important safety engineering work, directed towards the alleviation of suffering and recovery from natural and technological crises, disasters and catastrophes in post-event adjustment, recovery and reconstruction. This module, focusses on the behavioural and organisational aspects of leading emergency response teams towards the aim of achieving sustainable humanitarian outcomes for people affected by disasters and crises.

Year eight

Utilities and Water Engineering

Year: 8

This module describes and develops a broad range of water engineering and utilities services covering legislation, construction, remediation and decommissioning. Hydraulic analysis and performance of key elements of water supply and distribution systems will be given detailed attention; this will all be set in the context of water supply resilience.

Safety of Sustainable Technologies

Year: 8

Safety considerations of sustainable technologies and alternative fuels are considered in this module. An emphasis is put on the state of the art and current bottlenecks. Whilst the module is safety focused, the student is provided with background knowledge on new energy applications, including alternative fuels. Consideration is given to the use of sustainable technologies in a post disaster scenario.

Research and Dissertation

Year: 8

This module enables the student to undertake an independent in-depth study of a particular aspect of Safety Engineering and Disaster Management. It facilitates development of skills in problem solving and decision making whilst also refining other skills including investigative and evaluative skills. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject researched, skills in critical analysis and use of investigative methods. Students are required to display these skills in written and oral format that will clearly display analysis of the principal arguments and conclusions of their work.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include Mathematics and one from: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, ICT, Technology or Engineering.

Other STEM subjects may be accepted after interview.

Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award with DDM profile to include 9 Distinctions. Specific BTECs required for entry include Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Engineering to include Applied Maths, Maths for Engineering Technicians or Maths.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile with H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include 2 technological/scientific subjects and Mathematics at Grade O4 and English at O4.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include Maths and one from Physics, Technology, Chemistry, Geography, ICT, Biology or Engineering.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include Maths and one from Physics, Technology, Chemistry, Geography, ICT, Biology or Engineering.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile with 70% in BioScience, Science and Technology, in Level 3 modules for Year 1 Entry.


GCSE Profile to include Grade C in English and Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

The course has been designed to provide you with a creative, innovative challenging and rewarding learning experience.

Once you have commenced this course you can expect to experience a vast mix of exciting and engaging creative learning experiences. The design of the course is very much focussed on ensuring that you have the most positive of student experiences that ultimately will be preparing you for life as a graduate working in a high paced, critical and engaging working environment.

To reflect this the learning and teaching on this course occurs through creative and innovative approaches that includes simulation workshops, real life scenario briefings, and discussions around critical problems to find solutions. There will be practical hands on laboratory based tutorials, all underpinned by critically engaging seminars and lectures where necessary. There will also be numerous opportunities to learn from experts already working in the field and to attend site and factory visits where you will experience the topic for real. You will be supported on your learning journey throughout this degree by your personal academic mentor or studies advisor who will be there to guide and advise you on all aspects of your studies.

The creativity in the subjects while brought to life in the lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, and laboratories go well beyond the campus walls to the world you will inhabit as a graduate from this course. You will be challenged individually and through group activities to address real life, real time problems in a safe and stimulating environment.

In terms of assessment you will experience a wide variety of assessment opportunities across a contrasting and complementary range of coursework designed to assess the different competency levels and learning outcomes of the course. These approaches will also be supported by use of examinations in some of the modules where this is considered necessary. All the forms of assessment are designed with the overriding principle that they will allow you to showcase your ability to do that task in real life and that you understand the critical significance inherent in your decision making whilst working as a professional in this environment. Appropriate feedback on how well you are performing and how well you are developing is available throughout your time on the course. Consequently everything you will do is based on real life scenarios or simulating the experience, all with the aim of enabling you to graduate as one of the best graduates in this field in the world.

As a graduate of the MEng Safety Engineering and Disaster Management you will have the knowledge, skills and confidence to make a genuine difference in this world.

Exemptions and transferability

There may be opportunities for students to transfer into the course from other courses in the school or the university on condition that the entry requirements of the course are met and the student is in good academic standing. Due to the unique nature of the programme students will most likely need to transfer into the course at Level 4 unless their academic record shows that they have already taken the pre-requisite modules.

There are also options for postgraduate study with courses such as our MSc Fire Safety Engineering.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

This course prepares you to use the intelligent design of systems and processes to provide innovate solutions and create more efficient organisations and industries. As a graduate from this course you will possess the highly desirable engineering skills that equip you to offer creative design and management solutions in the operation of complex engineering industries and delivery of humanitarian relief in the face of natural or man-made disasters. Some examples of the likely career options include:

Safety Engineer in industries such as chemical processing, aeronautics/ aerospace, pharmaceuticals, nuclear new build, energy transmission and supply and engineering design practices.

Humanitarian Aid/ Relief for national or international aid agencies, local and national government emergency planning departments, health and safety regulators and fire and rescue services.

The University is currently seeking UK's Engineering Council accreditation for the course, giving you the opportunity to pursue professional registration.

Ulster University has a career development centre with dedicated career development consultants whose responsibility it is to provide you with specific career development learning and guidance. This normally includes offering you one-to-one or small group career guidance sessions, open employability seminars and workshops as well as tailored career development learning programmes. Additionally relationships are built with relevant graduate recruiters and professional bodies to help you to select and develop career opportunities most suited to you.

Professional recognition

Energy Institute (EI)

Accredited by the Energy Institute (EI) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Academic profile

The cross-disciplinary nature of this course is very much reflected in the mix of staff you will learn with and from during your educational journey. There is an essential mix of world class researchers in the field coupled with a variety of staff with decades of industrial experience. This perfect fusion of expertise is available for you to experience on a course of this nature.

Also due to the global context within which this course is set there is an equally international teaching team with over 10 different nationalities represented. This multi-disciplinary and cosmopolitan team combines to create a course delivery team perfectly suited to supporting, guiding and teaching you how to operate professionally in this truly international and culturally diverse career.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our part-time undergraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.