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Course content

In just a brief duration of time - in a few minutes or even in a fraction of a second - a fire or an explosion can have catastrophic consequences in residential buildings or in industrial plant. In UK alone, hundreds get killed and tens of thousands are injured every year. Some single incidents cost millions of pounds, the total monetary cost of fire and explosions in the UK is estimated at £12 billion per year or approximately 1% of GDP.This course offers students from diverse academic backgrounds advanced training in the field of Fire and Explosion Engineering for those wishing to embark on a career, or further develop their career, in the industry. Particular emphasis is placed on fire and explosion protection systems within a legislative framework that is complex and fast-changing.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.

Specialist facilities

  • An Enclosed Fire Rig Test facility
  • The Cone Calorimeter (standard and modified with controlled ventilation)
  • A 1m³ indicative standard fire furnace (planned for 2017)
  • Purser furnace
  • The Limiting Oxygen Index apparatus
  • The standard ISO vessel for dust explosions (in storage until at least 2017)
  • TGA (trace gas analyzer) and GC (gas chromatography) analytical equipment (off-line).
  • The on-line FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) toxic product analysis.
  • Mass spectrometer (MS).
  • Particulate emissions measurements (including particle size)
  • Access to the world class Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre (LEMAS), within the School, and high speed photography for visualisation of fast processes and optical analysis of particles before and after reaction.

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.

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.

A major part of the MSc are two projects that will give you valuable experience and skills.

The first project involves the design of a protection system, so you’ll learn about the application of techniques such as sprinklers, pressurisation, smoke venting, automatic fire detectors, means of escape and emergency lighting systems.

The other is a lab or computational based project taking into account your own preferences. 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.

Both projects are assessed on the basis of a written dissertation and an oral presentation.

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 features include:

  • Extensive participation in course delivery by lecturers from industry brings strong industrial involvement to the course
  • Most taught modules are delivered in intensive CPD one week format. Modules are spread evenly throughout the year
  • Extensive participation in course delivery by lecturers from industry brings strong industrial involvement to the training package
  • Projects can be undertaken in the workplace (part-time) or at the University (full time and part time)
  • Block module format allows both full-time and part-time students a choice of modules.

The taught modules are assessed by coursework and 'open book' tests; typically within a period of 6-10 weeks from start to finish.

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Fire and Explosion module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MSc) 60 credits
  • Fire Safety Design 45 credits
  • Fire Risk Assessment and Management 15 credits
  • Fire Dynamics and Modelling 15 credits
  • Fire and Explosion Investigation 15 credits
  • Explosion Prediction and Mitigation 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Each taught module is delivered in an intensive one-week block, allowing full and part-time students to study alongside each other. These teaching weeks will allow you to benefit from the expertise of our own academics – informed by their groundbreaking research – as well as a range of visiting lecturers from industry to gain an understanding of fire and explosion engineering in theory and practice.


Taught modules are assessed by via coursework and ‘open book’ tests, typically within 6-10 weeks from start to finish.

Career opportunities

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:

Visit the Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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