Skip to navigation Skip to content


Research led,industrially relevant masters programme offered by an internationally leading research team with unrivalled experimental facilities.


Study Fire Safety Engineering at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The programme is offered by the Fire Safety Engineering Research and Technology Centre (FireSERT), a centre which is internationally recognised for its leading edge research in the fields of fire dynamics, structural fire engineering, human behaviour in fire, and fire modelling. The programme draws on the expertise and resources of the Centre in terms of teaching staff (with core teaching staff all actively involved in research) and experimental facilities. Students on the MSc programme have the opportunity to use Fire SERT's state-of-the-art facilities both within the taught programme and to progress experimental research projects which are often designed to complement current research projects being undertaken by staff. Students also have the opportunity to work closely with practitioners in the design module to develop a fire safety strategy for a real complex building.

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.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

About this course

In this section


The programme is a linked programme of awards leading to either a post-graduate Diploma (comprising eight taught modules) or MSc (eight taught modules plus research dissertation) in Fire Safety Engineering. In the PG Diploma programme (Years 1 and 2) students will study compulsory modules in Heat Transfer and Thermofluids, Fire Dynamics, Structural Fire Engineering, Fire Engineering Laboratory, Active Fire Protection Systems, People and Fire and Fire Safety Engineering Design. Optional modules (to be taken in the 2nd semester of 2nd year) include: Industrial Fire Safety, Computer Modelling in Fire Engineering, Quantitative Risk Analysis.


The PGDip/MSc Fire Safety Engineering is a linked programme of awards. The PGDip is completed in part-time mode over two academic years with students then progressing to MSc and undertaking their Master's Dissertation in the 3rd year. Attendance at class is normally scheduled from 9.15 to 6.15 on Mondays in the first year and Tuesdays in the 2nd year. In the 3rd year (Dissertation) a series of classes will be organised over 2-3 days early in the first semester, after which time formal attendance, other than that scheduled for meeting with supervisors, and eg laboratory time, is not required. From time to time lectures may be scheduled on days of the week, other than those given above. Throughout the course, you are expected to be in attendance at all scheduled classes and also to spend significant time in independent study (about 400 hours over the duration of each semester). To facilitate the busy professional and those from further afield, the PG Dip/MSc Fire Safety Engineering programme is also offered in part-time block release mode. In this mode the eight taught modules are delivered in two week blocks at the beginning of the 1st and 2nd semester for two years. Coursework is completed throughout the respective semesters and examinations taken at the end of the semesters in exactly the same manner as with other modes of study. For students progressing to MSc dissertation, visits to the University will be dependent on the nature of the research methods used.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

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

Entry Requirements

Applicants should:

  • have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree in a related science or engineering discipline from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of anothercountry which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
  • have gained an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification;
  • provide evidence of competence in mathematics (A level Mathematics or equivalent),
  • 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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The programme provides a rich learning and teaching environment that is informed by current research of staff and others. Throughout the programme, staff try to create a research ethos, with much questioning, discussion, reflection and debate, i.e. a learning and teaching environment that is centred around enquiry based learning. There is also a strong input from industry, particularly in the fire safety design module. Learning and teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, design project work and computer laboratory work.

Relatively small student cohorts ensure that lectures are participative and interactive whilst seminars provide more dedicated time for discussion on a particular theme (students are often directed to particular literature in preparation for such). Tutorials are key to develop learning, particularly in relation to the application of quantitative techniques that might be used in fire safety engineering. As a student, you will learn from example applications, and have the opportunity to learn on a one-to-one or group basis within an interactive and supportive environment. Laboratory work is an essential component of the learning and teaching strategy for the programme. You will have the opportunity to be exposed to the essential aspects of scentific exploration whilst engaging in a series of experimental investigations under the direction of staff in FireSERT's extensive laboratory facilities. In the design module, the learning environments are designed to simulate, in so far as possible, consulting engineering professional practice. Fire engineering is, by nature, multidisciplinary and therefore within the design module you will work in learning and teaching environments that are designed, in so far as reasonably practicable, to simulate professional working practice. You will work together in groups, supported by academic staff and industrial partners, to develop acceptable solutions to fire safety problems for a real live building project. Throughout the programme, face-to-face sessions are enhanced by learning opportunities created on-line via our on-line learning system Blackboard.

A diverse range of assessment methods are adopted in the PG Dip/MSc programme to enhance your learning experience and help you understand and enhance your individual performance. Modules are assessed either entirely by coursework or by a combination of coursework and examination. Assessment may include group and individual presentations, laboratory reports, essays, design project work. As a student you should expect to be given clear, explicit information and guidance on the assessment and understand how it will be marked. You will also be given timely and relevant individual or group feedback on all work allowing you to identify areas of weakness and feed forward into your learning.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

There is strong demand for well educated fire safety engineers, and the majority of students will embark on a career within a fire safety engineering consultancy. Graduates from the Ulster course are also employed in other interesting and diverse careers in fields related to fire safety both in the UK and worldwide e.g. as regulators, fire safety officers in both the public and private sector, researchers in research and testing facilities, and fire brigade officers both in the UK and Europe. Opportunities also exist within the Fire Safety Engineering Research and Technology centre (FireSERT) for PhD studies in a wide range of fire science and engineering related topics.

Academic profile

All core academic staff are actively engaged in research which is closely aligned with their teaching disciplines. The majority are members of the Built Environment Research Insitute and were included in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (a measure of the quality of research). In REF 2014 100% of our research environment was rated as world leading or internationally excellent. This reflects the strong portfolio of published academic papers and external research grants held by the team and a vibrant Phd programme. The research ethos of the department is evident within the MSc programme which is research led and informed.


Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are two prizes associated with the course - Best Student (full-time) MSc Fire Safety Engineering and Best Dissertation MSc Fire Safety Engineering. Both are sponsored by Jeremy Gardner Associates.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.


Course Director: Dr Karen Boyce

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 8703