Fire Safety Engineering (with Optional Placement) MSc

Fire Safety Engineering (with Optional Placement) MSc

School of Engineering


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, None

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    September and January (part-time route only)

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

MSc Fire Safety Engineering is concerned with the study of fire development and prevention and the means by which its consequence may be reduced to a minimum in human, environmental and financial terms. This postgraduate degree emphasises Fire Safety Engineering in the context of buildings and infrastructure. This involves skills and knowledge crossing all areas of learning including fire chemistry, physics of heat transfer, biology and toxicity, structures, law and legislation, environmental impact, risk management and design. It is supported by an established research base and builds on the training and educational programmes offered by the Institution of Fire Engineers.

This course is designed for students who will eventually hold senior positions within the fire-related professions. Throughout the programme, emphasis will be placed on self-motivation, critical thinking and analytical depth. The application of Fire Safety Engineering is multi-disciplinary and, as in the professional world, you will carry out project work, which will facilitate dialogue between the Fire Engineer and other members of the design and management teams.

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Entry Requirements

Specific entry requirements for the course are that an applicant must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • An honours degree of the level 2.1 or above from a United Kingdom university or of the CNAA or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline (fire engineering, mechanical engineering, forensic science, chemistry, etc.)
  • A degree or HND in an appropriate discipline, together with appropriate professional experience
  • A qualification or experience deemed to be equivalent to any of the above
  • Career professionals with vocational qualifications (e.g. GNVQ5) or those who are corporate members of professional bodies such as CIBSE, IStructE, RIBA (where full membership requires equivalent education and training to a first degree or higher)
  • Applicants with substantial experience at a senior technical management level as building control officer or fire brigade officer (or similar) will also be considered on individual merit. Other non-standard awards may be accepted for entry, provided that the student can demonstrate equivalence.

Programme at a Glance

Compulsory Modules

  • Advanced Engineering Dissertation
  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Engineering Design Project
  • Fires in Buildings
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Fire Engineering Solutions

Optional Modules

  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Safety Health and Environmental Management
  • Accidents and Catastrophes
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Fire Protection Strategies


MSc with Professional Placement

  • As above with an additional option (120 credits)
  • Professional Placement

MSc with Work Placement

  • As above with an additional option (60 credits)
  • Work Placement

Further Information

Combined into a single-discipline, our Fire Safety Engineering Master’s degree meets a challenge of modern industrial needs. Graduates have become leaders in a range of backgrounds from fire services to civil engineering to safety management. The course is fully accredited by two professional institutions (EI and IFE) that play an active part in ensuring the course is developed to meet professional needs. This course is supported by an established research base (Centre for Research in Fire and Hazards Science) which builds on the training and educational programmes offered by the Institution of Fire Engineers. Full-time students can underpin their studies with a range of balancing modules. The remainder of the MSc is a series of options which may involve external speakers as well as expertise from our staff. Students should check availability if they wish to undertake any option in particular.

MSc Fire Safety Engineering commences in Semester 1 with Fires in Buildings which examines: fundamental principles; mechanisms controlling spread of fires and fire development in enclosures; movement and smoke control; fire resistance and fire severity; human behaviour in fires and evacuation; the mechanism of fire suppression agents. Running in parallel, a Research Methods module supports the Dissertation, which is an in-depth study involving theoretical, computational, experimental or investigative analysis. The Dissertation is undertaken in Semester 3 together with the Engineering Design Project, which is an integration of themes of design, ICT and technology within a practical context requiring students to work in teams as well as individuals.

Recent UCLan graduates have become leaders in a range of backgrounds from fire services to civil engineering to safety management.

Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC)

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During your studies at the UCLan Preston campus you’ll benefit from our new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).

Located within one of the most intense engineering and manufacturing areas in the UK, the EIC provides an integrated space for teaching and research with direct links to industry enabling you to work on live, real-world projects with commercial partners in state-of-the-art facilities. Find out more.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

Professional Accreditation

This MSc is accredited by the Energy Institute (EI) as fulfilling the further learning requirement for Chartered Engineer status, whilst also being an approved course by the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

Ei Logo

IFE Logo

Learning Environment and Assessment

The course will be delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical exercises. Guided teaching and formal assessments will enhance the development of transferable skills such report-writing, maintenance of case notes, formal presentations, participation in discussions, ability to work to deadlines, computing skills, public speaking, scientific analysis, adherence and development of laboratory protocols and research methods.

There are different assessment methods employed across the modules. Some modules are assessed by both examination and coursework while others are assessed by coursework only, which may take the form of group projects, modelling exercises or time-controlled assignments or seminar presentations.

Benefiting from extensive research funding, we hold an enviable reputation for the quality of our teaching and research activities. All Fire courses are underpinned by the Research Centre in Fire and Hazards and benefit from the dedicated fire laboratories including equipment for small and intermediate scale facilities.

Our well-equipped modern fire engineering laboratory facilities comprise of state-of-the-art fire research equipment, used by experienced academics, are available for research and teaching. There are specialist facilities which include analytical and material characterisation equipment. A number of experiments, ranging from the investigation of fire retardants to the combustion properties of materials, and fire toxicity can be undertaken. We also have computational fluid dynamics facilities, that provide the use of CFD based fire modelling for research, teaching and consultancy.

Find out more about our facilities: Fire Laboratories

Why choose a placement?

To enhance your work experience you will have an opportunity to undertake a professional placement as part your MSc. This will extend your study time by six to twelve months depending on the length of the placement. Alternatively, there are opportunities to choose an industry-based project.

You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team and UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.


The range of employment opportunities for students who hold MSc Fire Safety Engineering is very wide. The design and safety of buildings for industrial and commercial use is becoming more complex due to the ever-increasing awareness of health and safety needs in the working environment. Therefore an ability to solve the problems of fire prevention and control is desirable. The course is intended to provide both skills and knowledge relevant to the management of private and public sector services.