Skip to navigation Skip to content

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.

Take a look

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Civil Service
  • Local Government


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 innovative direct entry MEng (Hons) degree combines the professional engineering discipline of Safety Engineering with Emergency Planning and Disaster Management. Increasing concerns over climate change and energy security, the resultant new technologies, and the growing threat of natural and man-made disasters mean that today’s engineers are facing a new set of challenges. This degree will equip engineers with specialist skills to design structures and systems to withstand potential disasters in the natural and the built environment. The nature of disasters may include those caused by extreme weather such as flooding, forest fires or earthquakes, or industrial incidents including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear accidents, or acts of terrorism. There is nothing that can be done to completely prevent disasters from occurring. However, it is possible to devise migratory steps against disaster with intelligent and professional emergency management practices.

This timely degree equips graduates with a unique and valuable skillset enabling them to work as safety engineers, both locally and globally, with a wider knowledge of emergency planning and disaster management.

One year industrial placement is an integral component of the degree.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

About this course

In this section


As a student on this programme you will learn to recognise the hazards and modes of failure of a system or structure, and will learn how to plan for emergency and provide solutions in the event of a disaster. The course content will reflect the state of the art and cutting edge research in the field. Additionally, there is a focus throughout on employability; students will develop skills in leadership and management necessary for professional working life.

Planning can lead to the protection of life, property and the environment. Thus, engineers with specialist skills in designing structures and systems to withstand potential disasters in the natural and the built environment, and those who have the knowledge to plan for emergency and provide solutions in the event of a disaster, are a highly sought after group of experts. Combining the discipline of safety engineering with disaster management equips graduates with engineering skills that can be used where human benefit is the primary concern. Engineers have the skills and ability to help people and communities most in need and most specifically in the face of adversity, such as post-disaster or in extreme emergencies.

One year industrial placement is an integral component of the degree. On graduation a further qualification known as a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) is awarded to students who satisfactorily complete their placement.

This new degree has been designed to ensure that defined standards set by the Engineering Council are met, so that accreditation may be sought.

This course has been designed to fulfil the full educational requirements of a chartered engineer. The course team has involved industry from the outset to ensure the course meets the needs of employers.

As a student on this course you will have the opportunity to undertake practical laboratory work, group work and individual research.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


Attendance is compulsory at all time tabled activities, such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories, practical sessions etc.

Typically there is 18 - 20 hours per week class contact time.

Start dates

  • September 2019
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.

Engineering Mathematics 1A

Year: 1

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: 1

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.

Structural Mechanics

Year: 1

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: 1

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.

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.

Physics for Engineers

Year: 1

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.

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

Mathematics for Engineers

Year: 2

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.

Structural Engineering Design 2

Year: 2

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.

Safety: An International and Ethical Perspective

Year: 2

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: 2

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.

Human Factors and Behaviours

Year: 2

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: 2

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.

Hazards and Risk Analysis

Year: 2

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 three

Professional Practice Placement

Year: 3

Professional practice placement integrates education with the workplace and the wider community providing students with an array of experiences and skills related to the safety engineering and disaster management. This experience allows students to participate in industrial activities, which will greatly enhance their future employability, giving the students an insight into real world problems and potential career paths. Students may undertake their placement locally or abroad and are monitored by both the employer and academic tutor.

Following the successful completion of a programme of assessments the student is eligible for the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice (International) (DPP/DPP(I)).

Year four

Structural analysis and design 4

Year: 4

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: 4

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.

Prevention through Design

Year: 4

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: 4

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: 4

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: 4

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: 4

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 five

Project Management

Year: 5

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.

Utilities and Water Engineering

Year: 5

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.

Structural Fire Engineering

Year: 5

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: 5

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: 5

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.

Safety of Sustainable Technologies

Year: 5

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: 5

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, Geography, ICT, Biology, Engineering or Technology.

As long as the subject requirement is met, 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.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

Applied General Qualifications

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:

BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Aeronautical/Mechanical/Engineering, Construction or Civil Engineering with overall award profile DDM to include 9 unit Distinctions.


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Aeronautical/Mechanical/Engineering, Construction or Civil Engineering with overall award profile DDM to include 9 unit Distinctions.

The required modules within the BTEC Extended Diploma or National Extended Diploma (depending on the subject) are:
QCF – Distinction in Mathematics for Engineering Technicians or Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians, Mathematics in Construction and the Built Environment or Further Mathematics in Construction and the Built Environment.

RQF – Distinction in Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems or Further Mathematics for Construction.

A levels with
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

The A level(s) and/or the BTEC qualification(s) must be in the specified subject(s) and must have the required modules.

OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the relevant subjects.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile with H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 to include Mathematics and one other subject from Physics, Technology, Chemistry, Geography, ICT, Biology or Engineering. English at grade H6 or O4 is also required.

Scottish Highers

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

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level) to include minimum grade 4 in HL Maths and another HL science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Bio-Science, Science and Technology or Engineering Access with overall mark of 65% for Year 1 Entry.


GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

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.

Additional Entry Requirements


HND requirement in a Civil, Mechanical or Mechatronic Engineering subject area is overall Merit to include 60 level 5 credits at Distinction and a Merit in the HND Mathematics module for year 2 entry.

For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C or 4 (or equivalent). Please check the following link

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 addition to the campus based learning in your third year of study you will take part in a one year work based learning/ placement opportunity, available across a wide variety of industries, government bodies and international aid agencies to name but a few. This aspect of your learning, in a field or industry of your choice, allows you to put what you have learnt into practice and into context in a very practical and real environment, allowing you to sample and reflect upon your future employment opportunities. This essential and valuable learning experience provides you with an extremely solid foundation for your subsequent learning and career.

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

Exemptions and transferability

Students may transfer to the programme on good academic standing from other courses in the school or university on condition that they meet the entry requirements of the course and enter at Level 4. Due to the unique nature of the programme students cannot transfer into a different level as they will not have the prerequisites to proceed.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Civil Service
  • Local Government

Career options

Graduates will be employable across a wide range of industries as safety is an integral component in almost every sector. Graduates will have a solid background in fundamental engineering subjects with the career opportunities that those skills bring. Roles include positions in engineering consultancies, regulatory bodies, aid and advisory agencies, more specifically the emergency planning and disaster management elements of the course support roles in local, regional and national government departments and agencies, NGOs, utility providers, and the civil service. Opportunities also exist to continue studies through the PhD research programmes at Ulster.

Work placement / study abroad

Your third year is spent on industry placement, allowing you to participate in industrial activities, greatly enhancing your future employability. This gives you an insight into real world problems and potential career paths, allowing you to see how the content from years 1 and 2 is applied in practice, giving context to your final two years of study.

Satisfactory completion of placement leads to the subsidiary award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) upon graduation.

Placement opportunities are mostly identified and approved by the Placement Co-ordinator but you are encouraged to avail of any personal contacts you have. In year 2 you will be asked to express interest in placement opportunities which can come from a wide range of industries such as nuclear and renewable energies, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, international aid agencies, engineering consultancies, government emergency response roles, and disaster management arenas. Many placement opportunities will be in NI, GB and Republic of Ireland although you may seek placement opportunities in Europe or further afield.

During placement you will have personal responsibility for managing your learning through working on real projects, developing you professional network of contacts recording your progress and achievements. An employer representative will supervise you throughout your period of industrial placement. Your placement coordinator maintains contact through the year to ensure that your needs are being met and that work-based learning is appropriate, giving you a positive overall experience.

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 full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

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:

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

£13,680.00  Scholarships available

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.


Admissions contact for entry requirements:
Renee Magee
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8496

Centralised Admissions:
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305

For course specific enquiries:
Dr Sile Brennan
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8751

For more information visit

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment