Hydrogen Safety - PgCert

2025/26 Part-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Postgraduate Certificate

Faculty:

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School:

Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment

eLearning:

This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.

Start date:

September 2025

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We are passionate about sharing with our students the vital role they each have now and as future professionals in promoting a sustainable future for all. We believe that sustainability is not the domain of one discipline or profession. It is the responsibility of all disciplines, professions, organisations and individuals.

That is why on each of our courses within the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment you will learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the contribution you can make now, and as a graduate in the Built Environment.

Read the course details below to find out more.

Overview

Hydrogen is not more dangerous nor safer compared to other fuels and is fully depends on how professionally it is handled.

Summary

The PgC Hydrogen Safety programme is designed to develop in students the knowledge
and skills in the fundamentals of hydrogen safety applicable to existing and foreseeable
hydrogen and fuel cell systems and infrastructure. Students will learn scientific and
engineering principles of hydrogen safety to understand the origin and phenomenology of
hydrogen safety problems. Students will also study advances in the hydrogen safety
technologies, including but not limited to prevention and mitigation strategies as well as
novel engineering solutions to provide inherently safe deployment of hydrogen systems and
infrastructure.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

This course aims to:

Provide the student with an understanding of theories and methodologies that form the
fundamentals of hydrogen safety engineering so that they may undertake his/her own
professional activities, including but not limited to consultancy, research and scholarship.

Provide an appropriate knowledge base of the state-of-the-art in hydrogen safety
engineering and key regulatory issues pertaining to hydrogen safety.

Provide the student with up-to-date knowledge in hydrogen releases and dispersion,
ignition, flames and jet fires, permeation and embrittlement, etc.

Develop in the student a capability for independent learning to expand his/her
knowledge in the principles of hydrogen safety, and to understand how the boundaries.

Develop in the student a deeper understanding of hydrogen safety technologies and
innovative engineering solutions to provide hydrogen safety.

Create an environment where the student will be able to expand his/her interest within
specialist areas of hydrogen safety.

Apply knowledge and skills to evaluate different parameters of accidents involving
hydrogen using contemporary engineering tools and models.

Enable the student to estimate hazard distances for their selected harm criteria.

Develop in the student the ability to deal with complex hydrogen safety engineering
issues, involving but not limited to hydrogen releases and dispersion indoors, enclosure
fires, deflagrations, pressure effects of the blast wave and thermal effects of fireball after a
tank rupture in a fire, thermal protection of storage vessels, etc.

Provide the student with a conceptual understanding of safety strategies to prevent and
mitigate adverse effects of accidents involving hydrogen.

Critically evaluate and use results on current research in hydrogen safety

Attendance

This programme will be delivered fully online as Distance Learning mode or face-to-face as a block-release based on the demand. Blackboard is the online learning environment employed to deliver the content.

Start dates

  • September 2025

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and Learning

This course will be delivered fully online or face-to-face as a block release based on the
demand. Blackboard is the online learning environment employed to deliver the content. The teaching and learning methods include:
- Online lectures, and where available supporting videos of experiments and simulations
- Online tutorials will be held after each lecture and before each coursework
- Online seminars will be held to discuss topics relevant to each lecture
- Communications tools, including online discussion forums and email
- Self-assessment tools, i.e. student self-evaluation and timed online quizzes
- Engineering and research tools, including e-laboratory, references and search facilities
Asynchronous modes of communication are utilised throughout the semester to allow flexibility for the student in learning.

Assessment

Two pieces of coursework, one in the first half, and one in the second half of the semester.
Each piece of coursework contributes 50% to the overall module mark. Each piece of the
coursework will incorporate problem-based solutions and qualitative questions. The
coursework may incorporate tests of factual knowledge, problem solving. The assessment
will be integrated with the working environment of students where possible.
Online self-assessment quizzes: each lecture is concluded by an online self-assessment
quiz. The online self-assessment quizzes are formative assessment but do not count
towards the module mark. Successful completion of the quiz of a lecture enables access to
a subsequent lecture.

Assessment Rules
The pass mark for modules is 50%.
The results of candidates who have successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate shall be graded by order of merit as Pass with Distinction, Pass with Commendation, and Pass.
The assessment results for the final level of the programme (Level 7) shall determine the
overall grading. The weighting of each module's contribution to the final result shall be
determined by the module's credit value. The following shall be the minimum overall
percentages used to determine the final gradings of candidates for each award:
Pass with Distinction - 70%
Pass with Commendation - 60%
Pass - 50%
External examiners
There is one external examiner for the programme. External examiners are academic
subject or professional experts appointed from outside the University. Their key functions
are to contribute to the assurance of the standards of the award and the fair treatment of
students. They are involved in the moderation and approval of assessments and the
moderation of the marking undertaken by internal examiners.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Modules

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

Principles of Hydrogen Safety

Year: 1

This module is delivered fully online or face-to-face as a block-release and focuses on the fundamentals of hydrogen safety science and engineering. This module combines a variety of disciplines in an engineering framework 'Principles of Hydrogen Safety' that includes but not limited to relevant RCS. Insight into these principles is developed to enable the student to understand the origin and phenomenology of hydrogen safety problems involving unscheduled releases and dispersion of expanded and under-expanded jets, ignition mechanisms, microflames, hydrogen jet fires and associated hazard distances, etc. The case studies are the part of the module to reinforce the best practice in hydrogen safety.

Hydrogen Safety Technologies

Year: 1

This module is delivered fully online of in face-to-face mode as a block-release and focuses
on advanced hydrogen safety technologies, including breakthrough prevention and mitigation strategies and novel engineering solutions for hydrogen systems and infrastructure. The module reinforces the knowledge and skills of students gained in the module "Principles of Hydrogen Safety" to be able to carry out independent research and consultancy work. The state-of-the-art in safety of hydrogen production, distribution, storage, and use is addressed to equip the student by skills necessary to work in hydrogen industry and train colleagues in hydrogen safety.

Standard 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.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have:

(a) an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

AND

(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);

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.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Core to this PgCert is the maximisation of employability opportunities for applicants through routes to further onward study and skills development. This provision will provide further study opportunities at a pace which suits the student. Upon successful completion of the PG Cert Hydrogen Safety students can progress to another relevant MSc programme

The course will also provide a career development opportunity for a wide range of existing professionals and those with aspirations to work in the area of hydrogen safety. The strategic focus of the PgC is designed to provide graduates with key critical thinking and analytical skills that will be applicable in the growing field of hydrogen technology, identified by DfE as an essential area of growth and projected to be in high demand.

Graduates may also wish to follow a PhD route on graduation to further add to the body of research in the field.

The proposed course has been discussed with Employability. Employability will be involved in module design from the outset to ensure that it provides a clear development route for graduates and that critical thinking and other transferrable skills are encompassed as core values throughout the programme of study.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025

Fees and funding

2025/26 Fees

Postgraduate fees are subject to annual review, 2025/26 fees will be announced in due course.

See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2024/25 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.