Search site

School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc

Fire and Explosion Engineering - Masters Course


Fire is the major destroyer of property and an obvious threat to human, animal and plant life. In fact, fires and explosions cause 1% of the global burden of injury and 300,000 deaths per year worldwide, destroying cities, families, workplaces, workforce and wildlands.

The loss of human life is not the only outcome of fire and explosion. In the UK alone, the financial cost and safety provision amount to an estimated £10 – 15 billion per year, equivalent to around 1% of annual GDP. As a consequence, there is a growing need, nationally and internationally, for qualified professionals to design fire and explosion protection systems within a legislative framework that is complex and fast changing.

This course has been developed to meet this growing need, covering both foundation and advanced aspects of fire and explosion engineering education and training. Increasingly oriented to performance-based standards, the industry needs professionals with a good level of scientific understanding, the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams and an excellent grasp of the evolving legal environment. This course develops expertise in these areas and is accredited by the Energy Institute.

Course features:
- Most taught modules are delivered in intensive CPD one week (block) format. Modules are spread evenly throughout the year.
- This block module format allows the simultaneous participation of both full-time and part-time students. Many of our students take the programme on a part time basis with the support of their employers.
- The taught modules are assessed by coursework and 'open book' tests; typically within a period of 6-10 weeks from start to finish.
- Extensive participation in course delivery by lecturers from industry brings strong industrial involvement to the programme. Visit our recent speakers webpage to view a list of recent lectures.
- Projects can be undertaken in the workplace (part-time) or at the University (full-time and part-time).

You will have access to extensive and unique research facilities for the investigation of fire and explosion dynamic development and toxic emissions.

This course is taught in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, which ranks highly in the league tables.

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.
Accreditation: The course is accredited by the Energy Institute (EI) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council, and it satisfies the requirements of further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

Energy Institute logo


The table below shows the modules that you will study if you commence your studies in September 2015. This information is taken from the University Programme Catalogue, which is a tool designed for current students to select modules.

Four of the modules are offered to industry in the form of short courses delivered by the Faculty of Engineering's Continuing Professional Development unit (CPD Unit). The Fire Risk Assessment and Management module (by e-learning) can also be taken 'standalone' and is administered directly by the course leader.

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.

Project Work
You will undertake two research projects. The first one is the design of a fire protection system for an existing large residential or industrial building (of approved complex design from fire protection viewpoint). This project is supported by an initial series of lectures and examples, which should enable you to apply modern techniques of fire protection design, including suppression, smoke control/management systems, automatic fire detectors, means of escape and emergency lighting systems.

In the second project you will undertake a laboratory or computational based project on a fire or explosion related topic. A list of possible research topics is made available each year; most part-time students opt to put forward their own topic which may be aligned to the interests of their employer/sponsor.

Both projects are assessed on the basis of a written dissertation and an oral presentation. You will have gained experience in approaching a real problem in a systematic and thorough way, and in applying logical reasoning firmly based on engineering science.

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

Career options

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

The following is a listing of some of the employment opportunities:

- Fire and explosion consultancies
- Fire safety planning offices of local authorities
- Civil engineering and architectural companies
- Chemical/pharmaceutical companies
- Oil and gas industries
- Fire and explosion protection equipment manufacturers
- Government bodies and departments
- Specialist research and testing labs
- Insurance companies

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to meet potential employers at the week long taught courses and there is also a jobs board which advertises employment opportunities that are circulated to current students and past graduates. Many of the job opportunities come to us through our network of Graduates from this programme.

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

Graduate destinations
Every year our Careers Centre undertakes a destination of leavers survey with students six months after graduation. A selection of these destinations, from the last five years, can be found on our employability page.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a UK second class honours degree (2.2), or equivalent, in an engineering, physical science or mathematics discipline. Non-graduate applicants may be considered if they have sufficient relevant professional experience or qualifications.

We also welcome and accept students with a wide range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirement: GCSE English Language grade C (or above) or an equivalent recognised English Language qualification e.g. IELTS: 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Our Language Centre provides a range of English for Academic Purposes Pre-sessional courses, which are designed to help international students develop their language and academic study skills.

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.