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

  • Aerospace Industry
  • Energy Industries
  • Global Management Consultancies
  • International Aid Agencies
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • United Nations

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Emergency Response Team Leader
  • Humanitarian Relief Coordinator
  • Nuclear Safety Engineer
  • Principal Design Engineer
  • Process Safety Engineer


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  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.


Study Safety Engineering and Disaster Management at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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.

If you register on the BEng (Hons) programme initially you may transfer to the MEng (Hons) Safety Engineering and Disaster Management providing you achieve an average of 60% or more in your second year of study.

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About this course

In this section


This new and innovative 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 manmade disasters mean that today’s engineers face a new set of challenges. This degree will equip you 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.

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 to help people and communities most in need and in the face of adversity, such as post disaster or in extreme emergencies. As a student on this course 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.

This course transcends industrial sectors and as such you will be employable across a wide range of industries as varied as nuclear and renewable energies, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, international aid agencies, engineering consultancies, governmental emergency response roles, and disaster and crisis management arenas. Job opportunities are vast on the global stage as the nature of the role applies to most business sectors.

The course will appeal to students with an eye for innovation, a creative mind and a passion for compassion who have an educational background mix of science, technology, mathematics and geography and ultimately a desire to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


The course commences in September 2016 and will initially be based on the Jordanstown campus, however from September 2018 the main geographical base for the course will be on the new Belfast campus.

Attendance is full time and as such a full time approach is critical to your success and full enjoyment of your studies.

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 but as a full time student you should expect to attend classes across normally three to four days per week depending on the modules delivered that semester. 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.

All added together this does mean as a full time student you should expect during the semesters to commit to the equivalent of a full time job in terms of hours of effort towards your studies.

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

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is 260 UCAS Tariff points with grades BCC to include Mathematics at grade B and one from: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, ICT, Technology or Engineering.


Overall BTEC Extended Diploma in Aeronatical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Engineering with a profile of D,M,M with 7 Distinctions to include Applied Mathematics, Mathematics for Engineering Technicians, Further Mathematics or equivalent.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile 260 UCAS Tariff points with BBCCC (from 5 Highers) to include 2 technological/scientific subjects and Mathematics at Grade B and English at Grade C (Ordinary Level).

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is 260 UCAS tariff points at Grades AABB to include Mathematics and one from: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, ICT, Technology or Engineering.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is 260 UCAS tariff points at Grades BCC to include Mathematics and one from: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, ICT, Technology or Engineering, .

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile with 60% in Science, Science & Technology, Engineering.


GCSE Profile to include Mathematics and English at Grade C.

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 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

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

Graduate employers

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

  • Aerospace Industry
  • Energy Industries
  • Global Management Consultancies
  • International Aid Agencies
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • United Nations

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Emergency Response Team Leader
  • Humanitarian Relief Coordinator
  • Nuclear Safety Engineer
  • Principal Design Engineer
  • Process Safety Engineer

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.

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 year 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 as varied 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.

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.


Applications for full time undergraduate courses are made through UCAS

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

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.


Faculty office:

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6521


Course team contacts

Dr Sile Brennan T: +44 (0) 28 9036 8751 E:

Mr Ciaran McAleenan T: +44 (0) 28 9036 8073 E:

Mr Robert Weatherup T: +44 (0)28 9036 6508 E: