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Fire Safety Engineering

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

Summary

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.

About

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 and Computer Modelling in Fire Engineering.

Entry requirements

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. For general entrance requirements go to:
https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants should:

(a) have gained:

(i) 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 another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

(ii) have gained an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification;

b) hold an A level pass in GCE Mathematics at Grade C or alternatively the applicant's primary degree must have a significant mathematics base to at least A level standard.

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.

Duration

Attendance

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.

Careers or further progression

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.

The programme is accredited as Further Learning for CEng by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Energy Institute.

Professional recognition

Energy Institute (EI) 

Accredited by the Energy Institute (EI) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) 

Accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Further enquiries

Course Director: Dr Karen Boyce
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8703
E: ke.boyce@ulster.ac.uk

Faculty Office
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6521
E: adbe@ulster.ac.uk

Subjects taught

Year one

Heat Transfer and Thermofluids
The module provides the fundamental knowledge of core engineering sciences i.e. heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, and aims to develop practical skills pertained to these disciplines in the context relevant to fire safety engineering. The module materials were designed to develop a deep understanding of the physical phenomena underlying fluid flow and heat transfer in fire, their interrelations and role played at different stages of fire development. Teaching methods on the module comprise lectures, tutorials and assignments.

Fire Dynamics
Fire dynamics as a field of scientific knowledge embraces most fundamental principles related to fire initiation, development, suppression and release of toxic products of combustion. The module presents students with the unified consideration of the above problems and relates them practical fire safety design procedures, studied later in the course. Emphasis is on deep understanding of physical and chemical processes underlying fire behaviour. A large number of practical calculation examples is offered to students in order to prepare them for real fire design challenges.

Fire Engineering Laboratory
This module enables the student to acquire skills in observing, measuring and analysing physical and chemical attributes of behaviour associated with fire processes. It will also equip students with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the techniques required to conduct and interpret results from experimental research.

Active Fire Control Systems
Active fire protection is an integral and important part of overall fire safety design. The module provides students with the essential knowledge of methods and technologies currently used for active fire protection. Relevant physical/chemical principles underlying fire suppression techniques are emphasized. Practical examples are introduced in order to familiarize students with the real design procedures for fire protection systems.

Year two

Structural Fire Engineering
This module considers durability, building code requirements, structural fire testing, material properties at elevated temperatures, thermally induced structural behaviour, in the context of structural design against fire.

People and Fire
Fire safety engineering is inherently concerned with the provision of equitable life safety options for all occupants of buildings. This module provides an understanding of human behaviour with respect to fire, the impact of fire on people and the complex interactions which exist. Students can then apply this knowledge in the development of reasonable and safe solutions to complex problems related to fire safety design and management of buildings.

Fire Safety Engineering Design
This module seeks to develop in students the knowledge and experience in applying fire safety engineering approaches to the provision of fire safety in buildings. Students are exposed to an environment in which they experience the fire safety engineering design process within a comprehensive design exercise set at a high professional level.

Computer Modelling in Fire Engineering
This module is optional
With recent advent in computer technology and better understanding of the underlying theory relating to the fire phenomenon, computer modelling plays an increasingly important role in fire research, particularly for applications where full-scale experiments are too expensive or dangerous. The increased interest in computer modelling has led to the rapid development of various computer programmes, most of which have been used in practical designs. An understanding of the fundamental theory and practical techniques is essential in order to conduct meaningful computer modelling and more importantly to analyse and critically evaluate the simulation results. This module provides such an understanding through lecturing as well as hands-on practice.

Industrial Fire Safety
This module is optional
This module considers fire resistance construction, smoke isolation and venting, ware house storage, storage and special commodities, flammable liquid ignitability and liquid storage and explosion.

Year three
Dissertation
This module enables the student to undertake an independent in-depth study of a particular aspect of fire safety science and engineering. It facilitates development of skills in problem solving and decision making whilst also refining other skills including investigative and evaluative skills. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject researched, skills in critical analysis and use of investigative methods. Students are required to display these skills in written and oral format that will clearly display analysis of the principal arguments and conclusions of their work.

Assessment method

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.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2017

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