Search site

School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc

Fire and Explosion Engineering - Masters Course


This course has been developed to meet the growing need for qualified professionals to design fire and explosion protection systems within a complex and fast-changing legislative framework.

Core modules will cover both foundation and advanced aspects of fire and explosion engineering, from the factors that influence flame spread to the latest research in explosion prediction. You’ll also gain a firm grounding in fire safety design and have the chance to design a fire protection system for a complex building.

At the same time, you’ll focus on topics that suit your interests and career plans through your choice of optional modules, exploring topics such as fire risk assessment, explosion investigation and the complex legal landscape of fire and safety.

Taught by experts in a series of intensive teaching blocks, you’ll work in world-class facilities to gain a range of knowledge and skills that meet growing global demand in a changing environment.

Specialist facilities
You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical engineering.

We have one of the largest indoor explosion research facilities in the world for gas and dust explosion vessels (up to 50m3), a well-equipped compartment fire rig with controlled air supply, an indicative (1m3) standard fire resistance testing furnace, a cone calorimeter (standard and modified), Purser toxicity furnace, online/real time FTIR gas analysis capability which can be used with any of these. We also have extensive analytical labs and access to zone and CFD modelling software packages.

Some of the modules on this programme are offered as short courses by the Faculty of Engineering’s Continuing Professional Development unit.

Find out more about our Fire Engineering short courses.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 36 months. You can also study for a PGCert qualification, where you take fewer modules overall.

Find out about our MSc programme managers on our staff profiles page

Course duration: 12 months (full-time) or 36 months (part-time)
Start date: September/October
Course fees (full-time): UK/EU: £10,000; International: £19,000
Fee structure for UK/EU part-time students:With the fee paid fixed at the year of entry, three equal annual instalments (i.e. approximately a £3,333 instalment for each year of the course).
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £2,000 available.

Course Content

You’ll study core modules that allow you to understand issues such as flame spread and steady burning, as well as developing your knowledge of fire protection designs for complex buildings. You’ll also review research around explosions, how they can be predicted and mitigated.

This framework will allow you to develop specialist knowledge in areas that are particularly relevant to your interests or career, when you choose from our range of optional modules.

Throughout the programme you’ll also complete two research projects. One of these will allow you to design a fire protection system for an existing large residential or industrial building; the other will be a lab-based or computational project on a related topic of your choice.

You can choose from the list of topics we offer each year, but most part-time students choose to put forward their own topic which may be related to the interests of the employer or sponsor. If you take this course part-time with the support of your employer, you can undertake your projects in the workplace. Full-time students will be able to undertake projects in the University’s world-leading facilities.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll need to visit Leeds six or seven times over three years. You’ll attend two presentation days and either four or five teaching weeks, depending on whether you choose the e-learning module Fire Risk Assessment and Management.

Course structure
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

To complete the MSc programme, you’ll take all four compulsory modules and any two optional modules. If you take the PGCert, you’ll choose 60 credits of modules from all the modules offered on this programme except the Research Project.

MSc Compulsory modules Short Course available (CPD)
Research Project By research (i.e. not formally taught)
Fire Safety Design Short Course and Project Yes (CPD unit)
Fire Dynamics and Modelling Yes (CPD unit)
Explosion Prediction and Mitigation Yes (CPD unit)
MSc Optional modules (choose two)  
Fire Risk Assessment and Management
(by e-learning)
Yes (course leader)
Fire and Explosion Investigation Yes (CPD unit)
Fire and Safety Law  Yes (course leader)

Part-time students - time requirement at Leeds
• Minimum (selecting the e-learning module) = 4 teaching weeks and 2 presentation days i.e., 6 visits spread through 3 years.
• Maximum (not selecting the e-learning option) = 5 teaching weeks and 2 presentation days i.e., 7 visits spread through 3 years.

Please note that as there is an ongoing rolling review of the Fire course and individual module content, the above is an indicative listing and future content may vary.

Timetable for academic year starting September 2015 (teaching weeks are confirmed, coursework dates are provisional)
Calendar - September 2015 to September 2016
Details by module for the calendar above


Challenging career opportunities for fire and explosion professionals are available in just about every type of business, industry and government operation.

They include fire and explosion consultancies, fire safety planning offices of local authorities, civil engineering and architectural companies, chemical/pharmaceutical companies, the oil and gas industries, fire and explosion protection equipment manufacturers, government bodies and departments, specialist research and testing labs and insurance companies.

Links with industry
Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to meet potential employers at the week-long taught courses.

The Fire programme at Leeds is actively supported and sponsored by, amongst others, the following companies/organisations
- Arup
- Buro Happold

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in an engineering, physical science or mathematics discipline.

If you’re not a graduate, we may still consider your application if you have sufficient relevant professional experience or qualifications.

All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

-  don't meet the English language requirements for your course
-  want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science and Engineering B (6 weeks) and Language for Science and Engineering A (10 weeks)

How to apply

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. This will allow you to track your application at each stage of the process. For assistance please view our postgraduate taught guidelines.

If you wish to discuss the course content and/or your suitability to either the full- or part-time mode of study and perhaps to arrange a visit to Leeds for an informal chat and a tour of the research facilities, please contact either the Course Director, Dr Roth Phylaktou, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 2505, or the Course Tutor, Mr Peter Riley, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 2793.

If you require any further information or guidance on your application please contact our admissions team, e:,
t: +44 (0)113 343 2343.