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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

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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.

The first two taught years and the industry placement year are the same for both MEng and BEng students but it is at the 4th year 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.

Subsequent to the satisfactory completion of the 4th year, students will progress into the 5th and final year of the MEng and it is here where the nature of the Master of Engineering title is fully exposed to you, the student. 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.

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 2019 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 2018
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.

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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.

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.


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 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

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

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

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Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00  Discounts available - find out more

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.


Faculty office:

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6521, E:

Course team contacts:

Dr Sile Brennan

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8751, E:

Dr Ciaran McAleenan

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8073, E:

Mr Robert Weatherup

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6508, E: