The ability to successfully carry out complex fire investigations requires extensive experience in fire investigation practice,specialist knowledge and skills in the use of advanced analytical tools and methods and a deep understanding of fire dynamics and how the performance of the building structure and services contribute to fire behaviour. This qualification has been developed specifically to deliver these criteria in support of persons who are required to resolve incidents which due to their inherent intricacy require the support of more sophisticated techniques. The course caters for the needs of Level 3 Officers in Fire and Rescue Services and independent fire investigation specialists. This is the development pathway to further qualifications in fire investigation.
Entry and Admissions
Short Course / CPD
Two weeks taught programme, Sixty hours pre course guided reading and 60 hours post course guided learning.
School of Engineering
No Partner College
September 2013, January 2013,
Advanced fire pattern analysis techniques - processing the scene using calcination surveys and laser equipment; post flashover fire pattern analysis; vector surveys; hour glass burn patterns; Advanced electrical fault analysis – fault identification through elimination techniques; lost neutral, arc mapping surveys, use of x ray equipment; Introduction to modelling fires – fire dynamics & computer modelling; physical and mathematical models; zone modelling (CFAST/NIST); Field models (FDS); Laboratory analytical techniques – Accelerant detection and identification including gas chromatography, mass spectrometry; small or large scale ignition tests; physical and chemical debris examination; radiography; microscopy; reconstruction techniques; adhoc fire testing; Fire dynamics – Flashover characteristics including compartment variations, logic diagram for flashover; smouldering fires; flaming combustion fuel controlled, ventilation controlled and under ventilated fires; stack effect; flammability limits; flash point, fire point and auto ignition temperature; Thermal inertia, heat release rate and heat transfer; structural response of the building including fire load, design load, live load and load resistance.
Course at a Glance
The course focuses on the use of advanced analytical techniques for the determination of fire cause and origin using, computational tools such as NIST's Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS); advanced electrical investigative practice, forensic analysis and fire dynamics.
- Fire Scene Data Analysis and Interpretation
Learning Environment & Assessment:
Theoretical sessions are supported by practical demonstrations in the fire laboratory and computational computer suite.
Assessment is by assignment and unseen examination.
We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions.
Learning outcome & aims
We aim to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip UCLan graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work.
Industry links & professional accreditation
Institution of Fire Engineers
Work experience and international opportunities
At UCLan we work with a range of businesses and organisations, many of which provide work experience opportunities and project briefs to enable to you gain real work experience whilst you undertake your postgraduate programme. Your course tutor will advise on opportunities available within your course and the UCLan Careers Team can provide help, advice and guidance on how to apply for them and how to make the most of these opportunities.
Students graduating from this course will be well placed to deal with the challenges of a complex fire investigation. This course is specifically designed for fire service officers required to conduct Level 3 investigations, but is equally relevant to anyone who wishes to obtain a higher qualification in this area of expertise.
UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers. To find out more about the experiences of our students, read our success stories.
From foundation courses through to world-leading research degrees, you can study a wide range of subject areas at UCLan. Whether you want to develop your knowledge in a subject you enjoy or gain further qualifications to enhance your career, at UCLan there are numerous progression routes for you to follow.
Fees & Funding
You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE
For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.
How to Apply
Fire and Rescue Service and other organisations wishing to nominate a number of officers onto the programme should contact The School of Forensic & Investigative Science and speak to the Course Leader. Individuals applying for the course should contact. Individuals can apply online.